On Living the Dream

“Living the Dream” … Exactly what I’m doing, right?  One would think.

With Jordan working 12 hour days for the next two weeks, I’ve had a lot of time alone, at home, on the brink of boredom because the house work and such takes too little of my time, and because the oppressive afternoon heat saps the energy and desire to indulge in any of my hobbies.  So, while my body sits in a green recliner (and a new green room  – hurray!), my hands moving over a crochet hook, and my eyes taking in the sight of a creamy-painted crib, my mind has plenty of opportunity to sort through random thoughts and makes sense of it all.  My life.  Who I was, who I am and who I will be.  The people who most matter to me.  The husband I am missing, and the baby whose frequent kicks keep me smiling.  The fragility of it all. The fact that life moves on, stage by stage, and there is no bringing back the “old days” to blend with the new, but rather there must be the bittersweet sensation of moving on, not regretting the transition, and yet….regretting it.  Wishing there were some way to freeze moments, and preserve their happiness to be enjoyed at a later date.

So this morning, after getting the “hot” work done – cooking, dishes, a walk – I sat at my kitchen table, thinking happy thoughts of my plans for the day, and suddenly “woke up” to the fact that I am indeed “living the dream”.  Living MY dream, and the dream I know so many girls share.  I have a man who loves me and cares for me, a healthy little one on the way, a home to call my own, and which requires my care… all of those things that used to make up my happy day-dreams.  All those things are mine now, and they are such a part of my every-day-life that I sometimes don’t even notice them.  Further than that…I sometimes get dissatisfied with them (reference  paragraph above 🙂 )!  Already, less than a year into my “dream” I look at the dirty dishes and wish they would just clean themselves for once – or go away.  Already, I fret when life makes demands, and I am left alone for the day, when I would rather be with Jordan.  Already, I feel how delicate it all is, and how easily it could be lost or destroyed, and a panic sometimes seizes my heart at the thought of losing any of it.  Why all these mixed feelings of insecurity and boredom?

Part of the problem, I think, lies in the fact that, dream or no dream, I carry my flesh into every part of my life, and it is always going to put up a fight.  Flesh will always want something “new” and “exciting”, will always demand more and better, will always shirk the dirty dishes.  That’s just reality on this earth. And after 23 years of dealing with it… it’s come to be pretty normal to me.

But another part of the problem – maybe a bigger part – is that sometimes I am not just “living the dream”.  I am living FOR the dream.  As in, the fulfillment of my mind’s idea of happiness is LIFE to me, and if things don’t go according to plan I feel empty and at a loss to know what to do with myself.  My life has no meaning apart from the dream.  And that is wrong.  Dreams come and go.  Homes and family and loved ones come and go, and at the end of the day, while I still love and can rejoice in my family, my husband, my baby, my home I must be living for something more, something bigger than all of those things.  And that brings me back to God, the One who gave me the dream, and fulfilled it.  He alone is the Eternal One, who will never change and never fail.  If I am living for Him, I can lose everything that now shapes my life and still live with a purpose.

Why is it that I forget this?  I should know by now that every time I elevate the gifts above the Giver, there is distortion, and disillusionment, for the gifts can never provide the fulfillment that Christ does.  But every time I bring my heart to a place of worship and dependence on God, I am enabled to enjoy His gifts to the very fullest extent – even in the dirty dishes of every day life.

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God’s Blessing in Sickness

So, I was sick last week.  By way of skirting the gory details I will only say that three days of stomach flu is not pleasant, pregnant or not, and I don’t know that being pregnant really made it worse – although there were tearful moments when I began wondering, “Is the baby sick too?  Is he in there, all sad with his little bones aching and I can’t even comfort him???”  But, we won’t linger on that thought.

What occurred to me, during the last, long, boring day of recovery, while I was awake enough to have an active mind, but sick enough to have an uncooperative body, was this thought: God had been good to me, even in the sickness.  Now, I understand that God’s blessings aren’t always in the guise of ‘good’ things.  Health would have seemed like the real ‘blessing’, and yet God allowed me to be sick, and He is still a good God, even though He allowed something I didn’t perceive as good.  Sometimes, however, He likes to show Himself good above and beyond the normal or expected, and He really did that for me last week.

For instance, I had just finished all the cleaning and decorating and organizing on Tuesday, right before Jordan came home from work.  I felt so happy to have it done, and was looking forward to moving on to other things.  “Other things” didn’t happen, obviously, but think of how much more stressed I would have felt, laying in bed sick and looking in despair at a messy house?

Also, the meals I cooked on Monday and Tuesday were so large – probably the outcome of my over-active cooking urges which had been suppressed for a whole WEEK during the painting process – that I joked with Jordan Tuesday night, “I’m not going to have to cook for three days, there’s so much food in this house!”  And what do you know… I was sick for three days. The food lasted exactly that long.

It gets better.  I had just finished washing, folding and putting away that last load of laundry – guess when?  Tuesday.  That’s right.  So in spite of the fact that being sick came as a complete surprise, I couldn’t have been more prepared if I had planned for it!  How awesome is that?  The Lord timed it all so that my house was clean, Jordan didn’t starve and we both had plenty of clean clothes to wear.  All I can say is, “Thank you Lord!!!!”

Reaching the 7 Month mile marker

I’ll be honest – I didn’t actually feel any different when I woke up on that glorious morning – you know, the one where I was officially 7 months pregnant.  That’s THIRD TRIMESTER.  BIG DEAL!!!  Once upon a time, I thought I would NEVER get here, and now it’s been more than a week, and so much else has been happening that I didn’t really think about it.

However.  Now that I’ve had time to consider: third trimester is really great!  Of course, I realize I’m fortunate, and have managed to avoid almost every unpleasant pregnancy symptom there is (although, there are more on the way, I hear… swelling ankles, constant bachache, etc…), but just being so close to the end is an incredible, happy feeling!  Both Jordan and I love feeling Baby move – which he does, a lot! – and are enjoying all the little preparation steps we have to take, such as painting the room, setting up the appropriate furniture, washing the little newborn outfits, etc…  If we never have another day with this little one, we already feel so blessed.  And how much MORE blessed will we feel in the days to come (Lord willing), when we finally get to see Baby’s face (and gender – it will be nice to know whether this is a little He Hobble or a little She Hobble), and experience all the joy’s of watching Baby grow!  We are looking forward to it with every passing day!

So, here are a couple of pictures, terrible as they are, to mark the Seven Month Milestone.

 

 

The weird thing is, I’m not really wearing maternity shirts yet, even though I’ve gained almost 25 pounds.  Not sure why that is.  However, I’m sure I’ll still get to experience the true ‘maternity’ look in the next couple of months (and the next ten pounds).

Home Improvement Pictures

Just a small portion of the mess!

There were more pictures of the mess around our house, but the camera deleted them, unfortunately.  It was a disaster!  However, the end results were well worth it.

Here we go:

The finished living room, angle 1

Notice the pale cream color of the walls – no longer a shiny, blotchy, warped white.

Looking through the front door to our couch

To the left of the couch… missing the violins, but otherwise this is our ‘music corner’

And here’s the bedroom:

Sewing things are now squeezed into a corner of the bedroom, making more room in the baby’s room – not that baby will need it, but it does look better!

And finally, the baby’s room:

Look at those green walls – exactly what I wanted for the baby’s room. Jordan and I are tickled with it – even though we had to sneak a book shelf into an otherwise-baby-themed place.

And this corner, in which we are storing baby things for now, will soon hold the crib, a lovely antique-white crib someone gave to us.