My women's Bible study group is reading the book Gripped by the Greatness of God by James Macdonald. In the second chapter, Mr. Macdonald points out our misuse of the word AWESOME. He explains it should be reserved for God and God alone. After watching God move in my life and the lives of my friends, I quite agree. I will update you on Baby Girl, but I have to share this praise first.
Awesome #1) As I was scrolling through my newsfeed this early morning I noticed a theme of answered prayers. Some were answered years ago while I was still waiting. Others were answered in the past year. A handful (mine included) were answered since January. Most of these friends prayed for years before seeing any results. YEARS. Not days, not months, but YEARS. Awesome #2) Some were asked to wait five years or more, before I even knew them. Think about where you were five years ago. How many prayers has God answered since then? Are you still praying for something? Keep waiting. God is listening. Five years ago we were planning our wedding and I was finishing college. Hope was almost done with preschool. We were praying our family would grow by the end of the year. God had a better plan. Keep waiting, and keep praying.
It may seem strange to call the waiting 'awesome', but I think all my friends would agree their waiting was God ordained. They wouldn't be the same people they are if God answered their prayers on their timeline. That doesn't mean there weren't times they wished he would, it just means they can see the growth and God's power through the hard stuff.
I was talking with my grandma tonight about some huge things we need before the baby arrives. Things we can't buy ourselves, and they're not exactly things you can register for. These are what I call my "God sized prayers." They're things that only God can provide. Years ago in my mommy and me group we were encouraged to pray outside our comfort zones. Pray for the house. Pray for the new car. Pray for the big things, not just the daily needs. Those big things are "God sized prayers." I told my grandma I've finally quit worrying about them, because I believe if God lets us bring this baby home, He'll provide the things we need to properly care for it. That doesn't mean we aren't working our tails off and looking for opportunities to earn more income. It doesn't mean we expect them to drop in our laps. It just means God will work them out in HIS time. If His time isn't our time, we'll work around it. We always have, and we always will. This is one instance though when I truly believe 'God will work all things for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose'. That verse was prayed over William as I carried him, and our sweet Pastor recited a whole passage from Romans over his grave. There's a reason for that. There are some times when all you can do is your best and trust that God will take care of the rest. For us right now, this is one of those times.
Okay, now for the baby stuff. I never got around to taking pictures of the ultrasounds last night, and this morning my shadow keeps getting in the way. I'll post another blog of just baby pictures as soon as I can. Sorry for the inconvenience. Right away we could see Baby Girl moving around. She was flip flopping every which way except the way the tech wanted her to. We saw the perfect outline of her spine, and we watched as she continued to push her foot over her head. Her heart has four chambers and all her organs are in the right place. She doesn't have a cleft lip, and she even showed off her little girl parts! I was praying for that, because there's always a chance the NIPT is wrong. Hope and my mom were with us, and they loved every second. Shaun wanted to get another animal with her heartbeat so we have one from the beginning, one from the middle, and her at the end. We agreed to let Hope choose. Admittedly we each tried to persuade her towards one animal or another. We were both pleased she chose the lamb, though for different reasons. This heartbeat sounds different from her last one, so I'm thankful we have the mementos. Earlier this week I caught Shaun listening to the teddy bear again and he said "I haven't heard it in a while. I just love listening to it." He's going to be great with a newborn. I'm thankful we get so long to wait and watch each other grow as we wait for her to be born healthy.
That's another thing, I finally believe she will be healthy. I wasn't anxious for this ultrasound. Admittedly I was a tad nervous while we were waiting at the office, but even then it wasn't fearful. It was really more excitement than anything. That is a HUGE praise! I've been terrified to prepare too much or get too excited, because I was afraid as soon as I did God would take her home. This past month all that has changed. We've started cleaning out our bedrooms and the nursery. Hope has made space for a few things we need to move in her room. We've continued to purge the things we no longer need. Two broken televisions that I was convinced would stay in inconvenient places until the day we moved out of this house were disposed of this weekend. That's something else I've spent years praying about, and God answered in his time. One friend gave us almost all her baby girl clothes, since she is now expecting a boy. Another group of friends gave us a whole bag full of clothes and supplies. These were things we hadn't prayed about and weren't even concerned about purchasing, and God took care of it. There's another huge praise that we should have in our home by tonight, and if all goes well I'll update you on that tomorrow.
We're still working. We've planned for me to keep babysitting until school starts. I don't have anyone lined up for fall, but I believe that is God ordained. I'll need some time off before the baby comes, and I don't want too many kids around her during cold and flu season. I'm selling Jamberry wraps to give us a little cushion while I'm on leave. http://amiethomas.jamberrynails.net/ Maybe through Jamberry sales God will provide the income to answer those God sized prayers. Even if those God sized prayers aren't answered this year, God is still God. He's still keeping our Baby Girl healthy and strong. He's still protecting and providing for our family in ways we'll never know.
Now, I think I'm going to try to catch a nap before my alarm goes off. Thanks for reading! And remember, God is AWESOME!