Thanks for your patience with me as a bloggy friend and for your words of encouragement over the past few weeks. I'm now 17 weeks pregnant and reading "What to Expect When You Never Dreamed You'd Be Expecting Again" (40 year old edition).
I'm definitely starting to show a bit more than just a "muffin top" out of control and finally surrendered to wearing maternity pants. I NEVER again thought I'd be in the market for pants with an elastic front panel and was doubled over laughing in the dressing room trying them on. But with each day, I'm more and more grateful for this surprise blessing.
I've missed sharing about so much because I've been so sick, but over the past few weeks we celebrated Daniel's 1st Gotcha Day, celebrated the birth of our Savior, celebrated our sweet Brady's 6th birthday, traveled to Orlando and spent a few days at Disney World, and now we are home enjoying some days off from school due to a rare snow and ice storm in Georgia.
When we left for our trip to Florida it was still December--Christmas tunes were on our local radio stations, decorations and lights were still adorning homes and businesses. When we returned, it was after the new year. As we drove through our familiar streets, the kids in the backseat observed with sadness that all evidence of Christmas was gone. The radio was playing the regular old songs, the lights no longer glowing, the decorations had disappeared.
It's funny how God wires all of us differently. Some people are ready to yank down and pack up every bit of Christmas the minute the last gift is opened. They are ready to usher in whatever comes next and can't wait to get moving. Then there are the folks who hang on to the remnants of the holiday season for dear life. They keep their decorations up as long as possible trying to somehow justify them as Valentine's decorations. Some of us fall somewhere between the two extremes.
My husband and Olivia seem fine to move on soon after Dec. 25. I'm a bit more sentimental and leave everything up till New Year's Day. But my three youngest kiddos are still trying to find a way to make the Christmas season last till the 4th of July.
I was pondering this the other day--the whole "out with the old, in with the new" struggle within some of us. And I realized that it's the "out with the old" part that is so difficult for me. I don't really mind the new. Bring on the new year, new season, new resolutions, new plans for the future.
But I like the old. It's comfortable like well-worn blue jeans. It's safe and predictable and familiar. And so in my effort to treasure what is old, I am sometimes resistant to what is new.
I'll never forget how Daniel was when he first came home. He wanted to eat the same meal over and over, wear the same clothes each day, and never wanted to leave the house. I made him a daily schedule and tried to stick with it as closely as possible, because I could see it brought such security in knowing what was coming next.
We spent one day at the Magic Kingdom a year ago because the girls' cheer competition had us in Orlando soon after Daniel arrived home. We were concerned it would be too overwhelming for him so we planned on going to the park just one day and kept our expectations realistic. He actually loved it but the way he approached everything was interesting.
His first ride was the Buzz Lightyear ride. It took all the courage he had to get on. When we exited, he announced that was the ONLY ride he wanted to do--"to infinity and beyond." He didn't want to do anything else. Nothing could possibly top it. We tried to convince him that there were other rides he would certainly enjoy. He wasn't buying it.
So we took him over to the race cars for him to watch for a bit. He finally got on and, of course, thought it was the coolest ride ever. He then announced that he would only go on Buzz and the race cars. This exhausting routine went on all day, but he did try just about everything.
When we were driving down to Orlando this year, I reminded him of how particular he was about the rides. He laughed at how he had acted. I rejoiced in how far he had come. (There was no hesitation this year.)
In my "lesson from mommy" voice, I talked with my kiddos about how sometimes we miss out on some great things God has planned for us because we're scared to try something new. Afraid of the unknown. Paralyzed by our limited view of what's ahead.
And then, as usual, my words came back and hit me between the eyes like a boomerang in a cartoon. I realized that I've been bargaining with God on what I'm capable of doing. Trying to convince Him that it's best for me to just stay on the nice, safe ride that I'm already on. And then I feel conviction that I'm not trusting the One whose plan is so much better. I feel regret knowing I'm missing out on the great things God has planned because of my fear.
These past several weeks we have been diligently praying for direction in many areas. Our practical thinking is battling our emotional leading. Discerning God's will has never been so difficult and accepting His answer is proving even harder.
And so my prayer has become, "Dear Heavenly Father, help me to surrender the old--the safe and secure--and help me to be faithfully obedient to the new--the unknown and uncertain." I have a feeling this will be my prayer for 2011.
Much Love from Muffin-Top Mommy,