Saturday, January 16, 2010
Beyond our imaginations.
Life was hectic at our house this week. With several of us having some sort of stomach-bug for the better part of the week it felt long and we're glad to all be on the upswing at this point. The worst of it was when both Chip and I overlapped in not feeling very well. The kids definitely outnumbered us in energy and their needs felt even more demanding. But somehow we managed survive and life is back to "normal" again.
As you can see, Crew creates his own "normal" and keeps us all very entertained around here. Somedays I wonder what I did in my free time before he came along. Other times I remember vividly what I did with my free time before he came along. I blogged more. =)
He's quite the handful, but we couldn't imagine life without him. He gets lots of attention when I take him out on errands to places like the grocery store and Target while he's wearing his winter trapper hat. He didn't like it at first, but now he likes he so he can pretend to "hide" under it and act shy when people talk to him in the aisles of the stores. He's definitely got his own personality and I think sometimes he's a little too smart for his age- but the part of him that's charming just makes him irresistible in the end. To think there was a time in our lives when we nevered dreamed he'd be in it seems crazy. And yet the reality of another little one joining our family is beginning to sink in and within months we'll be saying, "we never imagined life without you in it, Baby".
All that is sort of a prelude to some thoughts I've been mulling over since before Christmas. I learned of my pregnancy about a week or so before the holidays came and went and I found myself deep in thought about many things- including how life doesn't always "go the way we plan" it. I was especially moved as I thought about the journey of Mary and Joseph as they traveled many miles to the town of Bethlehem to register and then while there, found themselves without a place to stay just as the time came for the baby Mary was carrying to be born.
I was thinking about how Mary must have felt- knowing she was carrying the Christ-child and fully trusting (as an angel had told her she would bear God's Son) that God had His hand in every aspect of what was happening to her and Joseph at that time. Still, she must have wondered (out loud or in her heart) how there could be no place for them to stay once they arrived. Afterall, God had brought them there and certainly He had made arrangements in His plan for them to have a nice place to stay and bring His Son into this world. I wonder if she thought someone was just trying to "mess up God's plan", or was she totally surrendered to the idea that God had it all in His hands and it would come to be as He had ordained. I wonder if Joseph felt torn that maybe he had taken a wrong turn somewhere along the journey or felt that God should be leading them somewhere else. I think the two of them must have felt a bit overwhelmed when they "felt" they were in the "right" place and yet it appeared to be a "dead-end".
I have to admit that I might not have been so willing to settle down in a cold, dusty stable and accept that this was God's plan for the birth of Jesus. Yet I also have to admit that at times when life seems so bleak and mixed-up and confusing is most often when I have felt the peace and presence of God so strong that it is undeniable. Those are the times when trusting the unseen hand of God takes little effort. It's beyond my imagination how this happens, but it is a truth I have lived through more than once. It's amazing and true.
I have been feeling somewhat tired in this early stage of pregnancy and also pondered some tough questions as I stated that the reality of another baby is sinking in more and more. We are excited that God is sending another baby into our lives. Yet a big part of me also aches at the same time because I have so many friends and know that lots of people are on a journey of hoping to be where I'm at- expecting a baby- and yet it seems no matter what they try or do or how hard they pray, their journey ends at a "dead-end" time after time. I can't help but feel some of their pain and wonder how God's plan can be trusted when it seems so cold and bleak. Yet I know that God is the Creator of all- from everlasting to everlasting He is God. His timing is always right. His ways are higher. What we find confusing as we walk life's journey so many times turns into something that goes beyond our imaginations as we look back and we can "see" how He in fact did have it all mapped out. Perfectly dependable; totally reliable; Almighty God. I take great comfort in knowing that even when life's path gets bumpy or takes a turn I hadn't planned for, none of it takes God by surprise. He is with us through it all and has our best interest at heart. And He has a BIG heart too!
Maybe you find your own self struggling with something in life right now that seems overwhelming, dark, beyond what you can bear, or simply leaving you without any peace at all. I hope I can be an encouragement to you that God is near and He will see you through. Your journey might not look the way you had imagined it or wish it would look, but God is always in control and when we give our hearts and lives and futures to Him, He promises to make something beautiful out of our offering. That promise gives me peace, joy AND hope! I trust that it does the same for you too!