Dwell in Me

Seeking God in the Every Day


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Giving Myself Permission to Write

I’m an inconsistent and sporadic blogger. I always was, and it’s only getting worse. Rather than hide from it, rather than try to pretend that if I put my mind to it I’ll post regularly, I think it’s time to just admit that I’m a write-when-I-can kind of blogger. At least for this season of my life.

Because the more I try to tell myself that I should write consistently, the more I frighten myself away from writing. And that really isn’t what I want.

So, whether it makes sense in a social media world or not, whether it’s the “right way” or not, whether it’s a way to build followers or scare them away, I’m going to commit, right now, to blogging when I can. Which means that I probably won’t write consistently. And I’m going to be okay with that, because otherwise I’m not going to write.

I have always been a pretty long-winded blogger, but I’m giving myself permission to change in that regard too. Life with a baby is truly worth the wait, and I love being able to spend time cuddling my son and loving on him. So maybe when I do write, I’ll write short snippy things because my free time is rare and often short-lived or quickly interrupted.

I’m back in school full time, which means 7 hours this summer and 9 in the fall. Last fall I took 15 hours and I didn’t know what free time was. This spring I had a baby and took 3 and barely got it together to study when I needed to for that. But babies grow–very quickly as it turns out–and as Penn has gotten just that much more independent, I’m finding I have a few minutes here and there to toss a load of laundry in or rinse a few dishes. And as he’s napping in his crib now and going to bed before me (most nights), I’m finding some time to do my homework for my classes. And, well, sometimes maybe I’ll be here, blogging.

I love having this space, but I guess I need to treat it as what it is: a space for me. For reflecting and writing and growing. For recognizing the seasons I’m in and the lessons I’m learning. And maybe sometimes it will be interesting for other people and maybe–likely often–it won’t. But if I get hung up on that, I’m not going to write.

And I know I have had a baby. And that changes a lot when you’re dealing with infertility and so many posts for so many months were so focused on not having one and wanting desperately for circumstances to change. Infertility has shaped me. And it’s something we expect to deal with every time we want to grow our family. But the fact remains that having had a child changes the scene and changes the focus. I’m not worrying about treatments. I’m not despearately crying out to God every night for a change in our circumstances, because the circumstances are changed. And that change is going to spill over into my blog because otherwise this isn’t going to be an honest place.

So, dear readers, I won’t be offended if you need to leave because I’m talking about the joys and challenges of having a baby. Because while I wouldn’t change it for the world, being a mother does come with challenges. I think we all know that, but I’m just coming to really, personally, know that.

And if I don’t make this a place where I can speak honestly, I’m not going to write. Which may partially explain why I haven’t really written in such a long time.

That, and because four months of motherhood have flown by and I’ve hardly had moments to acknowledge any of it.

So, this post is about me finding the freedom to write what I want to write and to let myself write when I can. Because some days I want to and I can’t. And today I can, so I am.

Blessings.

 

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It’s a Boy!

In my last post I promised a series on relationships, starting with how we can grow in our relationship with God.

That was one month ago. Yikes.

Now, in my defense, I was in fact working on the first post for the series one week later. I have a half-written draft sitting in my account. And I do intend to finish it and get the series going. But I got distracted and had to stop in the middle of writing because I went into labor.

And I can’t believe it’s taken me three weeks to get this up here, but:

Introducing Penn!

8 lbs., 2 oz, and 20.25″ long. Well, he’s bigger now, but that’s what he was at birth on Jan. 22 at 7:57 a.m.

Our little boy.

Our miracle gift from God.

05-andrew-5

I was extremely blessed to be able to have a natural delivery and a relatively short labor. We are absolutely over the moon in love with this little boy!

I hope to get my series going here soon, but find it’s difficult to get much done these days. I’ve been a bit preoccupied, I guess. I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually.


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Fear: An Enemy to Keep Fighting

**This post is very much pregnancy related.***

Fear.

Never a friend.

But always sneaking up on you, no matter how many times you say, no thanks. You’re not welcome here.

Recognizing and fighting fear became a big lesson for me as we were going through infertility treatments and prayers and whys and what-ifs. I learned a lot about this enemy and I wanted it out of my life for good. But it somehow keeps sneaking back in.

Yesterday, when the baby wasn’t moving like normal, I let it in a little. I knew it was better not to be afraid, but it was a fight to push fear back. Have you been there?

I know I still have a lot of growing to do in eliminating fear and its control in my life. But I’ve learned a little, and I tried to put what I have learned into practice. I prayed. I worried and feared that something may be terribly wrong with the baby, but I prayed.

“There is no fear in love, for perfect love casts out fear.” (I John 4:18a)

That verse continues: “For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”

God doesn’t punish us. Right?

But bad things happen. They do. I’ve seen plenty. I’m sure we all have. I’ve experienced more than enough, but I’m sure I will experience still more. So how do we go from there to trusting that the bad things that happen can be used for good? Or that the terrible things in our lives can be part of God’s perfect will for us?

“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21: any wonder why we praise this man’s faith?)

And I thought about it. What if the Lord was taking away this prayed for baby? I know it sounds terrible and gruesome and now, in the light of day and on the other side of this, it’s harder to imagine than it was yesterday morning. But what if? What if the Lord wanted this child to bypass the evils of this world? What if the Lord wanted to postpone our meeting until we might be reunited in heaven? What if he did? Could I face it?

Could I trust that it was to be used for my good?

Could I trust God in the face of that kind of loss?

I prayed that I would be able to. I prayed for trust and faith in him. And I prayed that our baby was okay. And I prayed that if he did in fact call our baby to himself right then that I would keep praying.

I can’t imagine what that would have been like or what that would have looked like. And I thank God that this is not where things are right now. Our baby is fine. Hours at the hospital yesterday hooked up to fetal monitors have determined that the baby is fine. But there was that moment. And in that moment, I let fear sneak in a little more than I should have, but a little less than I would have in the past.

I am growing. But still not completely perfected in love. And still with much to learn.

And I am praising God for the miracle of life that is still alive in me. I am overwhelmed by his mercy toward us and thankful for his grace.

And praying that these next few weeks will go smoothly, that we’ll meet our child soon and on this side of heaven. And that God will continue to grow us in wisdom and to perfect us in love. Because if we let the fear in–it’s too much. There are too many ways this could all go wrong. Yesterday was such a poignant reminder. And a good reminder, also, that this baby is not mine, but the Lord’s. May the Lord use our child for his purposes and to do his perfect will.

I John 4:18


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Enjoying Advent and Longing

I love Christmas. I have been really enjoying getting our house decorated, planning our Christmas caroling party, and watching Christmas movies. But this morning at church, I started crying during a Christmas song. Why?

Apparently this holiday is all about a baby. And the preparations we make are all about expecting a baby.

The song this morning just reminded me how much I wish I were expecting. I still love Christmas. And I am so grateful for the entrance into the world of my savior. Without him, who knows where I’d be. I don’t think I’d be able to handle what we’re going through now.

But that doesn’t change how much I hope I will one day be blessed to be a mother.