Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Having 2 under 2...and SO thankful for God's grace!

Thrilled. Excited. Shocked. Nervous. Nauseous. Tired. Cranky. But ultimately, THANKFUL.

Yes, we are pregnant with Baby #2. Yes, that means we'll have 2 under 2. And nope...we didn't waste any time!

My main question is: CAN WE HANDLE THIS??!?!

I'm currently not getting much sleep as it is because our 11 month old likes to wake up at the crack of down every morning (around 5:30!). I'll thank my early rising hubby for passing along that gene (my friends and family know that DEFINITELY didn't come from me, someone who misses her Saturday morning sleep-ins 'til noon!). And when we travel, Marshall still wakes up several times a night. So these days I've been wondering...can I really handle another one!??!

Parents of two or more keep reassuring me that by the time Baby 2 is here, Marshall will be in a more consistent and manageable routine. Please, Lord, let that be the case! Most of y'all know what I'm like with little sleep...BEWARE!

Despite the chaos and sleep challenges that lie ahead...I am SO thankful. Thankful that Marshall gets to have a playmate so close in age. Thankful for the opportunity to learn how to be even LESS selfish with my time and expectations. But thankful, most of all, for this precious life inside me, when a few years ago, we weren't sure if that would ever be a possibility.

It took us almost 2 years to get pregnant with Marshall. Like most women who walk down the infertility road, I struggled with a range of emotions. At first, it was no real surprise (since I knew things like hypothyroidism and an erratic cycle meant that pregnancy might be a challenge). As the months went by and friend after friend got pregnant with what seemed to me like such EASE, I began to grieve. That grief, at times, came out as jealousy. Jealousy of others getting what I so desperately wanted. (And just so you know...I wasn't the type who was eager to be a mom. But it was like one day, my internal clock went off and suddenly, I was ready! Then once I realized I might not be able to get pregnant, that made me want it even more. You know, the grass is greener mentality).

On most days, I tried to avoid thinking about it. But it seemed like everywhere I went, there were babies. Babies in strollers, babies in grocery carts, babies in Bjorns, babies in car seats, babies on mom's hip, movie stars having babies, family members having babies, friends having babies, TV commercials with babies. I couldn't get away from it.

I remember one day, I was in an exceptionally irritable mood (I'd like to attribute that to the fertility drugs I was on at the time, but I have a feeling it was just my own darn sinful nature). I felt angry at my body for not being "normal" and not being able to "perform" like every other female (or so it seemed!), so I figured I might as well be useful and do some nice, hard physical labor. In my anger, I went outside, on what was a crisp, fall afternoon, and began raking and bagging leaves. I went at it for atleast 4 hours. By the end, I had raked SEVENTEEN bags of leaves. And by bags, I mean those big, tall, Home Depot kind. So take that, you infertile body, you! Of course, I could barely walk, bend over or sit for the next 4 days. My husband sure didn't mind the yard work help, though!

While it seemed like forever in my mind, it was really only a few months after I started fertility treatments that I learned I was pregnant (I know many women have a MUCH longer road than I did). My first response was to fall down on my knees and thank God. I knew I didn't DESERVE this. I knew He didn't OWE me this. I knew I had been such a brat. Demanding my wants. Telling him MY timeline and what I thought was best for me. Deep down, I had actually feared that because of my "bad behavior" and "bad attitude," He would never let me get pregnant. I thought that until I became more "godly" in the midst of my struggle, He would never grant me my heart's desire.

What a lesson of grace. It was purely by God's love and undeserved mercy that I got pregnant. He saw my yuck. He saw my bratty attitude. He saw my heart. But He didn't turn away from me. He didn't say, "Well, SHE definitely doesn't deserve this." Instead, He chose to lavish me with love and bless me with a precious little boy that I DON'T deserve.

What I learned from that was...I so easily tend to believe that God responds to me based on how good I am. That He loves me based on how well I am DOING. That He will listen to my prayers, He will reward me, and He will bless me, as long as I am being a good person and doing the right things in His eyes. What's so comical about that is that even when I think I'm being a good person, my heart has impure motives. Pride. Judgement. Selfishness. Whatever it is, there is always an impure motive lurking deep within. It's part of being human. No matter how hard we try, we can NEVER really be wholly and purely "good." We can never reach that standard of perfection. We will always fall short, thanks to that darn sinful nature that's been around since The Fall.

But that's what makes GRACE that much more beautiful. Jesus paid the price we could never pay, Jesus died the death we could never die, Jesus forgave us, redeemed us, and brought us back to the fold of God. And that is something we could NEVER earn by our own doing.

So as we experience another season of Christmas and we celebrate the precious, holy birth of Jesus Christ, Son of God, I pray that we would be mindful of God's grace in our lives. I pray that you would know the deep, abounding love of our Father, who does not ignore us, who does not withold blessings until we are "good enough" but rather, wants to LAVISH us with love, joy, laughter and blessings because He DELIGHTS in us, because He CHERISHES us, because He LOVES us more deeply than we could ever dare to hope or imagine. And it's not because of anything we deserve or have earned, it's not by our own merit at all, but purely because of His amazing, awe-inspiring, and undeserving grace.

And for me...that grace is what is going to get me through each and every day, as I take care of 2 little ones under 2 come June. woo hoo!

Merry Christmas!

4 comments:

  1. Oh, girl ... you can SO do this! Our gracious Father will prepare you beyond your wildest measure. You'll be doing things and functioning at levels you never thought imaginable ... and all because He is STILL so gracious and so kind and merciful to you in your daily life. He surprises me all the time by doing just that in my life. I know it shouldn't surprise me, but it does ... and It just keeps reminding me of my need of Him in e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. We're excited for you guys and will pray for you thru your pregnancy!

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  2. Great post, Mandy! And great memories of walking through the joys and disappointments of life with you guys. Love it.
    -Steph Lucke

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  3. Go Bear Go! There are a bunch of leaves outside right now that need raking.... I'm just saying...

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  4. Hi Amanda, I saw a comment you made on the Mom and Mom blog and followed it here. Congratulations on your second pregnancy! I had my last two boys 22 months apart, and it definitely wasn't planned. The beginning was tough, but now they are starting to play together more and more and I can definitely see the benefit of having them so close together. You're going to love it. Hope you're able to snag some naps here and there... that's the hardest part when you already have little people running around!

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