I normally would not pose for any pictures this far along in the game, let alone post them, however for Elizabeth Hope's sake I wanted to have one to show her. So here it is...9 months, profile shows an all-consuming baby, but she literally is all out front and unlike some of her siblings has not ventured to spread around my mid-section or ever up under my ribs. Truly a beautiful pregnancy and a very gentle girl. The Lord is gracious and we are all excited to meet her.
Candid and raw... (also not something I do very often)...This past week has been a stream of emotions (I am not one to weep, however I have not been able to control the tears some days...ugh). Not to mention the lack of long-suffering I have had...I have been staying busy to keep my mind focused, but anticipation has been overwhelming at points.
I KNOW and rest in the Lord's sovereignty over all things. I KNOW that He has planned the day she is to arrive...He knows every detail of the upcoming delivery and orchestrated it to be so according to His perfect purpose. It is a battle for my heart and mind to merge these truths sometimes.
Those of you that know me, know that I am a 'planner' so you also know how births are so not something that can be planned...they are unpredictable. Sure you plan for having baby things ready, you plan for having your home in order...laundry current, cleaning done, belongings tidy, food stocked, etc....but you can not plan for when the delivery will actually occur. Will it be (for me ideally) when all the home is quiet and asleep or will there be activity all around? Will the day be one in which I have had rest (which has not happened for the past several weeks...5 hours per night and choppy at that) or will it be after a full day of caring for the children, teaching, home responsibilities, helping my husband, etc.? Will the delivery be peaceful and quick or difficult and long? So many factors that are not able to be answered until that moment happens.
My encouragement and hope must be drawn from the Scriptures. I pray for His strength: "The Lord is my strength and my shield, in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. Psalm 28:7"; steadfastness: "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. James 1:2-3"; for Him to be glorified: "Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20"; endurance: "More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5".
So, with the remaining days, I will continue to pray (and covet your prayers) for God to be ever-present in my mind, for rest (physical and spiritual), and for the actual home-birth (our mid-wife, health, strength/endurance, peacefulness, focus and the presence of the Lord through Scripture and song).
Looking forward to exulting God through answered prayers and the announcement of Elizabeth Hope's arrival in the near future...Lord willing, my next post will be THE ONE. :-)
Thank you for your love, prayers and encouragement ~