Have we lost our minds? Maybe. Don’t we know kids are expensive? Yes. Are we in over our heads? Probably. But we’re excited anyway.
Pregnancy is hard. I’m older this time around and I’m feeling it. But here’s the thing. That moment—standing in the bathroom, hands shaking, staring at a positive pregnancy test—it’s happened to me five times now (!), and I count each one among the highlights of my life. When we first got married, we spent four long years praying for a baby. So we don’t take for granted this place where we are today, our table full of messy little faces at dinner every night. We don’t want to stay in babyland forever, but can you see why we haven’t hurried our way out of it?
It’s not all bliss at our house, of course. I’ve dealt with more anxiety this time around—about miscarriage, the baby’s development, and just the unknown in general. I’ve also thought a lot recently how saying yes to one thing often means saying no to something else, at least for now. There’s a soup kitchen here in town that serves lunch 365 days a year. Our local pregnancy center consistently helps mamas and babies with their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. I dream about going to Haiti someday, and serving there as a family. And then there’s the foster care system and orphanages overseas, full of hurting children. There is so much need out there in this big, beautiful world. And the Bible is pretty clear: Christians are to go out and do something about it. But right now I am mostly just home with the kids. Sometimes having a house full of little ones feels like putting life on hold. (For the record, some of the “on hold” activities have nothing to do with serving and everything to do with books and bubble baths.) And I can’t help wondering, what does God think of me right now? Am I doing what He wants with this life He’s given me?
All I know to do with my uncertainty is to get down on my knees with it and hold it up to God. Psalm 131 has been on my mind a lot lately, especially when David says he has calmed and quieted his heart before the Lord. His peace doesn’t come from figuring everything out. It doesn’t come from the important work he accomplishes for God. It’s the opposite actually. David admits there are many things too great and wonderful for him to understand and he is okay with that.
There is a stack of receiving blankets in the back of one of our closets, some pink and some blue, leftover from our other babies. The other day I was putting away some laundry when I caught a glimpse of them, and pictured a tiny baby all wrapped up burrito-style. And then my questions quieted down. Because when I think about the new little person God is so carefully putting together, and the way this baby will grow and change our entire family, I know there is really nothing on hold in our life. Maybe for us, this—feeding and teaching and cleaning up after this little pack of kids, forgiving each other and taking lots of pictures and laughing at the chaos as much as possible—maybe this is life to the full. Maybe it’s not so much about doing big things for God, but about letting him lead us into the work He wants us to do, praying for little chances to serve and then grabbing them when they come.
There is so much I don’t know. But I believe God is sovereign. And I believe in some mysterious way, he is behind our dreams and choices, moving us along according to his plans. Lord willing, we’ll be holding this baby sometime around Christmas. I can’t think of a better gift.