Friday, January 23, 2009

Overheard

I was having a conversation with one of my classes that is primarily made up of boys and we were talking about guns and safety and the things their dads had taught them about using guns for hunting. At some point, I heard this random comment:

"Did you know that all the deaths in Georgia are caused by guns? Oh, and cancer."

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Karate

You know, all the message boards say that "every woman's pregnancy is different please do not compare your pregnancy to another woman's babies are only human each one is different" blah blah blah.

Well, I say "blah blah blah" but really, those words are comforting.

But I will tell you, pregnancy, physically, has been pretty great. My hair is growing like crazy and other than heartburn, I really don't have any problems. Well, and trying to figure out comfortable sleeping positions. But still, I just imagined that pregnancy would be a wild ride-- and it has been a ride-- but for me, the biggest thing I have struggled with is my mind.

Take two nights ago, for instance. I'm lying on the couch after a LONG day at school, watching something on TV (to be honest, I have no clue what I was watching-- I'm sure I was on the verge of going to sleep!), my hand resting lightly on my tummy. I had finally been feeling the baby in the last week and a half with semi-regularity (thanks to my friend Melissa for comforting me on this point!) and was expecting to feel him moving around inside at any moment when all of a sudden, something sort of lightly punched my palm.

AIGH!!!

My first thought: I'm dying. It's an artery about to burst.

You think I'm kidding?

I did a quick body check: heart rate normal (except for the terrified spike), no aches, no funny large red blotchy place where my blood vessel must have exploded-- I'm cool.

I left my hand there and then it happened again and I knew: the baby. Oh my gosh. Incredible. I called for Don to come feel it and he did it again when Don had his hand there. Incredible. It was the first time I'd ever felt him move from the OUTside. Before, all the kicks were felt from inside.

So here's this: some days this little guy is training for the Olympics and others he thinks he is a freshman in college during midterms: completely vegged out on the couch, soaking in denial and chips.

I want him to build a little schedule to comfort his mother. Here's what I need from him: a few bumps/nudges/kicks in the morning, one or two at lunch, and a bunch at night. Just move around, let me know you're in there and doing fine. That's all I ask. If you could grade some papers, even better, but I'll take what I can get.

Until then, I'll just trust the Lord that He has it well in hand. And I'll be grateful for this season where my lungs and ribs are not being assaulted.

But I'm secretly looking forward to that, too.

:)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Grateful

I tend to exaggerate, but I am telling you now that the following statement is no exaggeration:

I was almost killed in a car accident today.

On the way to work, I pulled out of our street onto a road that people (including ME) tend to fly down. Before I pulled out, I looked right, then left, and then I ignored the wise words of Jiminy Crickett and did not look right again.

The next thing that happened was really weird.

I stayed in the left hand lane. I mean, normally when you turn left you turn into the right lane, right? But I stayed in the left hand lane-- everything was so strange. There was no traffic coming from that direction, fortunately. I sort of turned to look behind me (why??)before I corrected my car into the right hand lane and at that moment (literally 2 seconds after I had turned onto this road) a champagne colored Suburban came flying past me, going way too fast, but also in its lane....

How did I not see that thing? I pulled right out into it. If I had not somehow stayed in the wrong lane for 2 seconds I would have at the very least totalled both of our cars, and I should say again, the Suburban was going FAST. I drive a pretty average sized car but would have been toast. And it would have been my own fault. Unless I simply didn't see him because he was driving way too fast and came up on me too soon.... I don't know.

But all day I've had flashes of how close I came, and how miraculously my life was saved. I can only imagine some supernatural force holding my car in the wrong lane (this is the same exact spot Don wrecked his truck this summer and busted up his birthday kayak) for the seconds I needed to be there. But I started praising the Lord right there and have just been thinking about this baby and the fact that the Lord saved HIM for sure-- a wreck could have been so bad for him, even if I wasn't crazy hurt...though I just don't see how I could have been anything less than badly hurt.

Wow. Thank you Jesus.

And the other thing is this-- and I know it sounds trite and cliche-- but I wonder...who do people thank if they don't have Him? Do they thank the heavens? Do they thank goodness? Man, I needed to thank someone today... I had to thank HIM.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Baby, baby

This is literally the most amazing experience of my entire life.

I should amend this statement. I do, in the words of my friend Caroline, tend to "speak in superlatives." Because to say that being pregnant is the most amazing experience of my life isn't exactly true. Falling in love with Don and experiencing that love reciprocated in strength and depth was almost crippling in its intensity. Going away with him after our wedding was such a paradigm shift -- it was awe inspiring. I remember standing at a train station in Stockholm, hands shoved deep into my pockets in the -40 weather, waiting to spend the day walking through that lovely old city on our honeymoon. He had walked back into the little building at the station to get a map and I watched him as he walked toward me while reading the train schedule and it occurred to me how deeply happy I was.... All of those years of traveling alone-- wonderful years, filled with the presence of the Lord and fantastic adventures with great friends, but still-- I had always quietly prayed for a husband. For someone who was better at reading train schedules than I was. Someone with a sense of direction. Someone to help carry my stuff-- luckily for Don, I had prayed for a long time so in the meantime had figured out how to pack light and how to survive in a foreign city so I wasn't too needy :).

Anyway, I had never experienced love like that-- friendship like that. Like what we had and still have and have even better today than it was then. That's truly amazing. To be loved the way Christ loves the church....

But this is different. And I know that I don't know the half of it because right now, this little one is hidden away and I only have the sensation of his flips and bumps a few times a day (thank God for godly women who assure me that they, too, worried that their baby wasn't kicking enough...he's still little and sleeps 12-14 hrs a day. I need to CHILL). But where I was amazed at the way I was and am LOVED by Don and the depth of feeling that I had and have for him, this time...well, with this love it's completely just focused on this little person whether he loves me back or not and I remember that oh my goodness...he is my child. And I love him. And I've never even seen him. My son. My own. Ours, but right now... mine alone to feel...

Yesterday I spent the better part of the day with one of my best friends from high school who has remained like family to me and has added his wife to that mix. We sat in his parents' kitchen and talked about... well, everything, all day long, and at the end of the day I asked them to pray for the baby and me and Don. We stood outside as they prepared to go minister in North Carolina and they laid hands on me and prayed and all I could think as they were praying was, "Oh God, I forgot how much you love me! I forgot that you have words for me, that you have dreams for me-- that in the same way that I deeply hope that my son will be whole and healthy and happy and that he will follow You and listen for your voice and will feel how deeply he is loved and wanted by his parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles, both by birth and friendship, You want the same things for me!"

Suddenly, the idea of the Holy Spirit manifesting in groans and utterances makes even more sense to me... many times during this pregnancy I have been reduced to tears while praying, just silently feeling what I wanted to say to the Lord. Sometimes there just aren't words for the depth of desire I feel for good things for him.

And I've never even held him.

It's amazing, but here's this, too: what a great life, filled with so many amazing things that we have to categorize them :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Foggy Weather

I love the weather we are having in Georgia. It is dismal, dreary, rainy, chilly...lovely.

I have no idea what it is about this weather that I adore. My friend Robbie and I simply hang our favorite word above the mantle: cozy. To me, this weather is straight up cozy. Tonight, I pulled out a heavy quilt and read a book with my head in my husband's lap while he watched the Falcons being pummeled and it was just so cozy. I could feel my little baby boy moving around, I was warm, and I wasn't worried that Don was in the woods being chased by bears (he took Joshua and some other senior boys from the youth group camping over the last few days).

It's so good to not worry.

Of course, I worried that I didn't talk to mom long enough on the phone when she called earlier. And I worried that I hurt a friend's feelings when I didn't ask her to come to lunch with two other friends. And I worried about the fact that I really wanted to go to another friend's house tonight but my feet were swollen and I needed to lie down and I didn't want her to think I was blowing her off.

I read the other day that the baby is affected by the hormones that are coursing through my body, and this makes good sense. If I am anxious, those hormones pass through the placenta and affect him, too. If I am afraid, depressed, happy, excited, etc., he is affected.

No pressure.

But then it occurred to me that the Lord has this little one in His hands (again-- God is so faithful-- He lets me think that things are "occurring" to me when I am actually remembering them). I need to do my best to fix my mind on those things which are good, holy, lovely, etc.

So I should report that I have chosen NOT to look up information on Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome and pregnancy :). I happened to see something online about all of these women who are trying so hard to get pregnant while having PCOS and we didn't try at all...so here he is, a miraculous gift. But I knew that if I started searching...there is so much fear out there among others-- I don't need to partake. HOWEVER, I'll be reading like crazy once he is born and we're out of the woods.

And with that, I am going to go join my husband, newly out of the woods, and go to bed.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

G-iminy crickets!*(^%

Here's this: in my opinion, Facebook, is supposed to be really, really flaky. What I mean is, not really the spot for heavy-duty friendship stuff. Well, not the "profile page" anyway. And it's not the end of the world either way, but the thing is, unless you're 15, there should be not one even remotely negative comment on a profile page. It's a meaningless page anyway, except for the fun of shooting back and forth quick and friendly updates on your life and the lives of friends you might not have seen for years (scads of re-connected YWAM friends-- I LOVE that element of facebook!) or ones you'll see at work tomorrow. It's no big deal. It can be hilariously funny and is often highly entertaining. But when it comes to my profile page, if there is ever anything that I personally translate as too much information about my life (per ex., info that a close friend has but doesn't realize that I'm not really sharing yet or ever-- hasn't happened in a long time), or if it makes me a little uncomfortable, or feels passive aggressive in any way at all, I delete it. No big deal at all, but it doesn't stay.

But the fact that this is even something I think about as a 37 year old woman reminds me about how stressful this kind of stuff is to my students. What I do so casually, and hope that my other adult friends pay little attention to (a comment disappearing or not responded to), a teenager might not be able to do so easily. They're so keenly aware of the behavior of others toward them, taking so much so personally... stressful. Typically, once I delete something I forget about it. There was one friend that I did drop (in the distant past-- long time ago), but otherwise I just don't think about it any more: facebook is not a real place. It's an elaborate message board. An easier way to keep up with my beloved former housemates and friends in high school, YWAM, and college than the phone calls we don't really have time to make (plus, several of them don't even live in the country any more). But it shouldn't be a place where important things happen. My advice to some of my kids who were having a myspace fight (of course, they didn't take this advice): never try to solidify plans on a profile page, discuss intimate relationship issues, discuss OTHERS' relationship issues, apologize, forgive, ask out, or break up on a profile page. It's careless and inappropriate and if you get hurt...well, you kind of walked into it.

You won't (hopefully) find me doing or saying anything deep or meaningful on a profile page, and if I receive something that feels too personal on a profile page, expect to see it disappear. It's no big deal. As adults, if we get our feelings hurt on Facebook, we should delete our profile because it has become worse than a waste of time.

These are simply my opinions, but it seems like we spend so much time telling kids how to be online and we don't pay that much attention to the fact that adults are getting as tied up with this world of virtual stupidity as the children are, and that is, to me, a dangerous combination of passive aggressive behavior mixed with opportunity to make a public spectacle of yourself or your friend-- as adults, the consequences can be more far-reaching than with teenagers, but more than that, it's embarrassing.