Monday, June 8, 2009

A Few Thoughts on #5

Today I hit 12 weeks, nearing the end of the first trimester. I've had nearly a month and a half to ponder the idea of what a 5th child will mean and bring to our family. I've wondered how many people would think us absolutely crazy. And maybe we are. ;o) But I do know that this little one has been wondered about, considered, and prayed over for nearly a year now. The longing for another one has been there, but the question of "timing" always hung over us. There's no question that life is busy. I do wonder how I can "do it all." And truly there are probably a million different reasons we could come up with as to why "right now" is just not the best time--if Josh made more money, if we had a bigger house, if the kids were a bit older and the boys not so *ahem* "boyish" ;o) . . . I remember once being told by my sister-in-law that if you are always looking for that "perfect" time for another one, you'll just never find it. You can always come up with a reason not to. Which in the end was why it was a decision that got left up to God. And truly, I felt God preparing my heart for a "no" answer, or at least a "not for awhile." I realize how blessed I am with the four He has given me--two girls, two boys--a friend for each. Why mess with something so nice and even? ;o)

I read somewhere awhile back someone's thoughts on the verse "Without faith it is impossible to please God." She was pondering what having faith meant, and her realization was that it's in doing the stuff that stretches her, scares her, and pushes her beyond what she knows she can do on her own. If we live in a little world of our own making, trying to keep ourselves as comfortable as possible, trying to inconvenience ourselves as little as possible, I think we end up missing out. We don't get to see God at work, because we don't give Him the chance. We orchestrate and plan. And then pat ourselves on the back when everything goes according to plan. This is where I was when I started out my twenties, beginning my journey as a wife and mother. It's been in the latter half of those twenties that God has been pushing me out of my comfort zone, out of my preconceived notions and plans, and leaving me simply with Him and and His provision. It's been rather painful, I will admit, but it is by far a much better place to be. And so this little baby is a little bit of a leap of faith. I don't know how I'm going to manage another pregnancy while caring for four children and homeschooling. I know others have done it before me, but I don't know what it will look like for me. I'm already dreading having to climb up onto the girls' top bunk during the last trimester and change sheets. I don't know what life will look like with a new baby to care for. I'm not quite sure how the carseats/boosters will all configure in the van. ;o) There are a lot of unknowns. BUT I have a God who has it all figured out, therefore I DON'T NEED TO KNOW!!! And that is so thrilling and freeing. I know without a doubt that "Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They shall not be ashamed, when they speak with their enemies in the gate." Psalm 127:3-5 And really, that's all I need to know.

Each baby that has been welcomed home has brought with it adjustment, a little bit more of "dying to self", learning to be more organized, more efficient, etc. Truly, these children push me beyond myself and leave me always reaching for more, striving for growth. I welcome that. I think I would get far too lazy without having them urging me on. And so a part of me is up for the challenge.

But that other part that's a bit scared? She finally recognizes there is a God who is orchestrating everything for her good. And that is a very happy place to be. I just want to cherish this pregnancy, enjoy it, be thankful for "now" because there is a very good chance this will be the last time. And that in and of itself is very bittersweet. How very, very thankful I am for the opportunity to do it once more.


Cathy said...

You are right where I was a year and a half ago. For me it was baby #4. Samuel (#3) would fit right in with your boys, and I was about to add a second student to our homeschooling journey. I wrestled with many of the same questions.

Now, as my baby is about to turn one, I can tell you that God is so faithful. He blessed us with a laid-back, happy little guy and I can honestly say this was our easiest year of school so far. I'll be praying for you and this new transition.

And thanks for the reminder that faith is only faith when we step aside and let God do as He wills. I really needed to be reminded of that tonight.

Brooke said...

Thanks for sharing Janna! It IS so wonderful to be learning that we only need ONE thing: our God!

Anna said...

This is a big encouragement, Janna! It IS so much better to trust in the Lord, on so many levels. I needed to hear this, thanks for sharing!

Kathy said...

So beautifully written and a great encouragement to see you walking by faith!

Mommy K said...

I am awaiting baby #5 also, with a 6, 4, 3 and 14 mo old - 2 boys and 2 girls, also. Although we had planned on having more children, this baby became God's timing completely. We are due in the fall when we had originally planned to get pregnant. I feel similarly that the last 7 years have been a growing experience for me, but until now everything had gone for us as "planned." With an unplanned pregnancy, it's been a lot more of understanding how little control we really do have, but that it is a good thing, not bad. With only a few months to go we've had to answer all those questions like how they will fit in the van and when we can purchase a new one, but each new adjustment has come with God's provision. It has really been an awesome process to watch, although in the beginning it seemed so bleak. I wanted one summer without an infant or pregnancy, I wanted to enjoy my youngest a little longer than I had the others, we needed to save up money to purchase a new vehicle, etc. My "plans" were all good ones, but God threw a loop in so that I could see how much He cares and how much He provides despite our own work. He wanted to teach me that my control over my family only goes so far. He wanted me to trust Him more, rather than my own abilities and accomplishments. I feel so much better about this pregnancy than in the beginning.

I tell people all the time that if you wait for the perfect time, one will never come. Many friends think we are crazy, but we know we are in God's will. I think there is a big difference between 4 and 5. Although people knew we wanted more, when we told them #5 was on the way it was often a different reaction than with #4. I think #5 is a different level these days. We just have to brush those comments and reactions aside and know where we stand with Him.

Good luck on your pregnancy and your adventures into an even larger family. I have enjoyed visiting your blog on occasion.