Sunday, May 26, 2013

8 of 43 years

Chace: As I crawled into bed last night and tried to get comfortable (in the wee hours of my 7th month of this pregnancy), I prayed that God would supernaturally drop one of those fancy maternity pillows I've been eyeing (since baby no. 5 or 6 was in the womb) in my lap, and soon.  Earlier that morning, Shane had been comforting and snuggling me, and was a bit taken aback at how strong SJ's movements were.   He was lovingly admiring my efforts to try to have a good attitude about the hard days of physiological challenges endured, while reminiscing about my pregnancies with our 10 children (this made a substantial deposit in my 'love bank,' by the way; guys take notice; affirming this thing we do to grow your babies is a good thing). 

16 wks, at Liz's house for breakfast after a happy sleepover

So I decided to do the math after Shane got up to shower, just for kicks.  It turns out that after 10 lunar months of 9 pregnancies, and 6 months of preggers behind me with this little guy, totaling 96 months, that when you divide by 12 months in a year, the equation ends with my having been PREGNANT FOR 8 WHOLE YEARS OF MY 43 YEARS OF LIFE. Dang. That's 18.6% of my lifetime... Almost a fifth.

8 years of battling heartburn over babies smoosh-ing my digestive tract in such a funky way that all the way back to carrying Ab (and for 9 pregnancies to follow) I've battled heartburn over even the healthiest non acidic foods, swelling and skin expansion that makes me itch like crazy, and now the post-op babies pull on the scar tissue and mesh inside on the left, to where it burns/aches almost from conception forward, but "Would I trade the parties Annemarie and I have in the baby pool for all the $ in the world?" I was reminded, quickly, after my mathematical moment (thank you, Holy Spirit, for bringing perspective to that negative place I ended up in).

The day we found out SJ was a 20 wk old boy baby
When I think about how the vision to rear children for the glory of God is coming to pass, it's impossible to be overwhelmed at the prospect of 16 more weeks of pregnancy ailments.  The magnitude of how Emma is expanding the Kingdom, engaging lost and hurting people almost daily, as she serves up Starbucks with a smile (and a Jesus inside that most of her customers have never met), or how Ab was thanking a friend by text last night for being the wise kind, who lets the Lord be the One to guide her family on whether they should audition for 'Willy Wonka' or not, it's hard to stay in this place of 'Woe is me' over being out of breath some, frustrated about old valves that don't open and close in my left leg like they once did, or bummed about bouts of occasional dizziness (when I haven't exercised the self discipline to recline more, to get the double blood volume pumped back up to my brain).   Even our dear, almost 14 year old 'Libby Lou Who' called me Saturday, exuberantly exclaiming all the creative ways she'd been babysitting the 3 littlest, so Daddy could take the others to see the new 'Fast and Furious,' and so I could get caught up on a mountain of office tasks.  How many 8th graders do you know that are seriously that selfless and into servant-hood?  Jackson is so tenderhearted that he thanked me recently for going to bat with his dad on something he felt prayerfully led to do (an opportunity Dad was unsure of) which is incredible for a 15yo young man to even know to communicate to his mother formally.  Our 12yo daughter Ruby gets strengthening prophetic words for others, which is astounding.

Ruby and Libby, 12 and almost 14
I read recently in a magazine from my chiropractor about a father whose life was radically changed from his wife's birth; every human being he saw afterwards was a reminder that someone labored to bring that precious person into the world.    Are we really that grateful for one another?  For the moms who carried us, the parents who provided for our needs as best as they could?   For the huge sacrifices they made to labor and prepare us to be effective adults?   I am not nearly appreciative enough, and am in need of a heart transplant.  

Change my heart, oh God, make it ever true, may I be like You:  
You who are never irritated or annoyed by what sacrifice for our families involves, how life ebbs and flows and requires constant figuring and refiguring to pull it all off, 
Your Holy Spirit who gives- in a limitless way- without doing the math. 
Forgive me, Lord, for these moments of humanity and weakness, and make me ├╝ber grateful for the extra privileges that come from the extra responsibilities of managing our large family's logistics, and being the mother of many.
Our darling Josephine Grace, 8 1/2,  next to SJ in the belly at 24 wks gestation

1 comment:

  1. You look beautiful, Chace! I'm praying for comfort, of the body and spirit. Love you.