Baby

This post is part of the 31 Days Writing Challenge, in which a group of writers post a piece every day for the month of October. Want to read all of my posts in this series? Click here

“Did you guys go out on a date?” The little girl from a few apartments down always wants to know what’s going on. So, I guess since Husband-Man and I are dressed up and getting home at 7:00 PM instead of our usual 5:00(ish) PM, she connected the dots pretty well.

“Yeah, we did,” says Husband-Man.

“Oh, that’s right. You guys go out on dates because you don’t have kids”.

Ouch.

She didn’t mean anything by it. My history with her leads me to believe that she usually says exactly what she’s thinking. To her, we’re strange. Maybe even interesting. Her mom and dad have a kid. And I guess they don’t go out on dates on work nights.

No matter what she meant by it, I still went inside and cried. Babies stare at me. They’re like tiny, adorable, stalkers. And when I’m lucky, a baby wants me to hold them. I’m not skinny, so I imagine that I’m comfortable. I love to snuggle babies. They smell like heaven with a sweet mix of baby powder, sour milk, and poop. They make my heart ache.

Why did her comment hurt? Because I desperately want to have a baby. And it’s not even time to try and get pregnant.

When I say that, I feel a need to defend myself. Will people think that we’re being selfish and not trusting God? Will people think that I have no right to long to be a mother so deeply and still not be trying to get pregnant? Today, I chose to not let that matter. I’m sharing with you one of the most painful parts of my waiting, and I’m not going to defend myself.

I want to be a mother so badly. I long to be a mother. I long for our tiny family of two to be a family of three. And both Husband-Man and I feel like it’s not quite time to even try to get pregnant.

So I wait. I wait to find out if we’ll be able to get pregnant. And in this waiting, I have to trust God. I have to trust God with my aching heart. I have to trust God that He knows what He’s doing in our lives. I have to actively wait. And I struggle. I want to hide and not interact with babies sometimes, because it makes me so sad. But if I can’t love someone else’s baby, how could I love my own?

So, as we prepare for Halloween, I’m stealing my heart. Last Halloween was very difficult for me. I was so excited to pass out candy to the neighborhood kids, but when the hoards of princesses and pirates descended, I couldn’t stop myself from weeping. Husband-Man wound up passing out the candy without me, because I was inexplicably sad.

Motherhood is a difficult subject, and I have found the heart pain associated with motherhood to span much farther than longing to be a mother. It spans from the longing to be a mother to the pain associated with dying to yourself daily as a mother. I’ve been blessed to walk with some of my friends through preparing for motherhood and becoming mothers, and their pain is similar to mine. It’s a blessing to know that I’m not alone, and that God works on our hearts through all of our desires.

How you experienced any similar pain?

Day 22

Wait for the Lord

This post is part of the 31 Days Writing Challenge, in which a group of writers post a piece every day for the month of October. Want to read all of my posts in this series? Click here

Day 21

Tuesdays in October, I’m sharing scripture that the Lord has used to work on my messy heart in my time of waiting. When waiting for peace, anything, something in the dark periods of waiting this year, Psalm 40 spoke to me about waiting for the Lord. About His goodness.

And maybe it will speak to you while you wait.

Psalm 40 (ESV)

1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
    out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
    making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
    and put their trust in the Lord.

Blessed is the man who makes
    the Lord his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
    to those who go astray after a lie!
You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
    your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
    none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
    yet they are more than can be told.

In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted,
    but you have given me an open ear.[a]
Burnt offering and sin offering
    you have not required.
Then I said, “Behold, I have come;
    in the scroll of the book it is written of me:
I delight to do your will, O my God;
    your law is within my heart.”

I have told the glad news of deliverance[b]
    in the great congregation;
behold, I have not restrained my lips,
    as you know, O Lord.
10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
    I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
    from the great congregation.

11 As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain
    your mercy from me;
your steadfast love and your faithfulness will
    ever preserve me!
12 For evils have encompassed me
    beyond number;
my iniquities have overtaken me,
    and I cannot see;
they are more than the hairs of my head;
    my heart fails me.

13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me!
    O Lord, make haste to help me!
14 Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether
    who seek to snatch away my life;
let those be turned back and brought to dishonor
    who delight in my hurt!
15 Let those be appalled because of their shame
    who say to me, “Aha, Aha!”

16 But may all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
    say continually, “Great is the Lord!”
17 As for me, I am poor and needy,
    but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
    do not delay, O my God!

Peace

I’ve been trying to make Mondays in October about being around my house. And today, while I was hanging out at my house, watching the who knows what number hour of television I’ve watched in the past month, I realized that I didn’t have a post ready for today.

I actually don’t have my posts ready for this week. That hasn’t happened all month. I have been spending a few hours on every Saturday getting my posts ready, and instead, this weekend I went to my mom’s house and hung out with my family.

I’ve been doing a lot of nothing recently.

I’ve been scared and kind of sad. About nothing, and everything at the same time. Even though I usually love the fall, this year, it has brought with it a lot of anxiety. On a walk the other day, while feeling the cold through my after work uniform (IE, sweats), I stopped and almost cried.

My memories of the cold this year don’t have anything to do with my birthday or Christmas, or having fun in the cold. It makes me feel the fear that I felt when Husband-Man was very sick and didn’t get off the couch. When I had to make him go back in the house while I was cleaning the cars and parking spaces off. When I came home after work to make sure he was eating.

And I have to stop. And remind myself to not wait for everything to go wrong again. I have to be okay being at peace now, enjoying the fall and not waiting for things to be dark again.

I have to wait and ask for peace from the One who knows my heart better than I do.

Day 20

This post is part of the 31 Days Writing Challenge, in which a group of writers post a piece every day for the month of October. Want to read all of my posts in this series? Click here

It is Well

On Sundays this month, I’m sharing songs that have spoken to me in my season of waiting.

I’ve always loved “It is Well with My Soul”. It’s always made me feel better. But then I read the story of the man who wrote it. Take some time to read the history. And when you wait, listen to the words of the song knowing where it came from.

This post is part of the 31 Days Writing Challenge, in which a group of writers post a piece every day for the month of October. Want to read all of my posts in this series? Click here

Go for a Walk

This post is part of the 31 Days Writing Challenge, in which a group of writers post a piece every day for the month of October. If you’re interested in catching up on the rest of it, click here.  

I really look forward to the weekends. I look forward to sleeping a little bit more, and to being able to spend extra time with Husband-Man. One of my favorite things to do is to go for walks with him.

And on walks, I don’t wait until the end. I practice being right where I am. And it’s lovely.

Day 18

What reminds you to take a pause and stop waiting for something?

Gaining Weight

This post is part of the 31 Days Writing Challenge, in which a group of writers post a piece every day for the month of October. Want to read all of my posts in this series? Click here

On Fridays this month, I’ll be telling the story of Husband-Mans journey through illness this year. This post is about his struggle with food.

If you’ve ever cared for someone who was quite sick and didn’t feel like eating, you know  how painful it is to know that they’re having to force themselves to eat. If that sick person is 6’1”, normally skinny Husband-Man, it’s down right scary.

When he got sick, he completely lost his appetite. At his lowest point, I used a “weight loss” app to track his caloric intake to make sure he was getting at least 1,500 calories a day. Usually, he eats about 3,000 a day.

I did everything that I could to get him to eat. We went to the store in another town to get tempting foods that he might feel like eating, and on each trip, he had to go sit in the front of the store and wait for me to finish shopping because he got too tired. I bought snickerdoodle muffin bites and protein powder and big tubs of ice cream. I bought vitamin-D milk and frozen pot-pies. I didn’t care what was in it, as long as it had calories.

At his lowest point, he weighed 15 pounds under his healthy weight, which is 10% of his original body weight. Before he got sick, he was told that he had 3% body fat. So that other 7% was coming from vital muscle and other organs.

I came home at lunch to make food for him and to make sure that he was okay. And I agonized. We waited for a diagnosis, but we waited for something more tangible. We waited for his appetite to increase.

It’s like waiting for water to boil. It’s not a fast process, especially when someone doesn’t feel like eating. We waited for him to gain weight. And life kept going. I still had to go to work every day. I still had to live life.

Just last month, he finally got back to his “normal” weight. I tried to celebrate by making him eat. He thinks I’m weird. It was a long process, but that tiny wait is over. And it’s wonderful.

God was good when Husband-Man didn’t eat. God is good now that he’s eating again. (He’s eating a lot, in fact.)

Day 17

Today, are you waiting for a painful kettle of water to boil? Or are you celebrating that fresh-brewed cup of tea?

 

Nails

This post is part of the 31 Days Writing Challenge, in which a group of writers post a piece every day for the month of October. If you’re interested in catching up on the entire series, click here.

I enjoy waiting for some things. Especially when those things are silly and make me feel good.

I have a theory that everyone has something that they really enjoy indulging in. Something that makes feel the their best self. Something that makes them feel like they’ve taken care of themselves, even if they’re crazy busy and really stressed.

My one thing is doing my nails. Even when I was working full time and in graduate school, even when Husband-Man was really sick, my toes have always been painted. Because when they’re not done, I feel like I’m falling apart.

So, when I’m waiting for my nails to dry, I feel like I’m taking a few minutes for myself. And that’s okay.

Day 16

Is there something that you do (or should do) for yourself?

Get Fit

This post is part of the 31 Days Writing Challenge, in which a group of writers post a piece every day for the month of October. If you’re interested in catching up on the entire series, click here.

Day 15

To look at me, you wouldn’t think that I LOVE going to the gym. But, I do. I really do. It’s nice to not have to talk to people. It makes me feel really good when I feel strong. I do just fine with motivation (most of the time).

But, like most big things in my life, I have a (not so secret) desire to get swatted on the head by a fairy godmother who magically turns things into how I want them to be. I want to expend no effort and I want results now. So, I think, “I’ll get fit one day”.

And I know that’s not how it works. I go to the gym every day that I can. I work really, really hard at the gym.

But I have to remind to remind myself that “getting fit” is a day-to-day thing. It doesn’t happen all at once. It doesn’t happen because I think about it. It happens because while I “wait”, I’m being active. I’m making small choices every day that either take me closer to or farther from my goal.

So, “waiting to get fit” doesn’t mean waiting on my heels. It means getting off my backside every day. It’s active.

How are you actively waiting?

Renew

This post is part of the 31 Days Writing Challenge, in which a group of writers post a piece every day for the month of October. Want to read all of my posts in this series? Click here

As I’ve said before, often, my words fail. I can’t express myself. I can’t pour out my messy heart because I don’t know what’s going on inside my heart. Tuesdays in October, I’m sharing scripture that have spoken to me in my season of waiting.

Isaiah 40 spoke to me in the depth of my fear and darkness. The chapter speaks of God’s greatness and his love for His people.

Isaiah 40:27-31 says:

27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
    and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
    and my right is disregarded by my God”?
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
    his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
    and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint.

It speaks about man’s weakness and God’s provision. God’s constant strength and power and His provision for those who wait for Him.

What scripture has been speaking to you?

Oceans

Singing is such an natural thing for me. I put on music, sing along, dance some. But I often don’t think about what I’m singing. I often don’t take the time to consider the words of the song that’s coming out of my mouth.

“Oceans” by Hill Song United speaks to me while I’m waiting, but I didn’t really listen to the words until recently.

The refrain is:

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior”

This song is asking for God to stretch me to breaking. “Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander” means (in my head) “drop me in the deep end so that I can have more faith”. When we ask for God to give us more faith, more patience, He doesn’t just snap His fingers and give us what we ask for. He gives us the opportunity to cultivate characteristics like Him.

This year of waiting has taken me deeper than I ever thought was possible. And the song has taken on new meaning.

So, when you sing, listen to the words. Consider the true meaning of the words that you’re singing.

This post is part of the 31 Days Writing Challenge, in which a group of writers post a piece every day for the month of October. Want to read all of my posts in this series? Click here