Wednesday, April 27, 2011

20 Week Ultrasound Results

Today I had my 20 week ultrasound.  Though we didn't really get any good pictures, we did see enough to learn that baby three is another boy!

I've been strongly leaning boy the past few days, but it still surprises me that we can have boys.  I grew up in a family that is very dominantly girl.  And now my mother will have more grandsons than granddaughters, which is hard to wrap our brains around.

On the upside of the little guy not cooperating (he was nestled very low, and not budging), we'll get to see him again in four weeks.  In addition to not getting to see his face, which was firmly planted in my placenta, the doctor didn't get to get a good look at some of his more vital organs.  I'm not going to complain about another glimpse of him before his arrival!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

God's Mysterious Ways

Tomorrow will be a week since we re-entered the realm of unemployment.  Lest anyone get the wrong idea from that last post, this is where I confess how I'm doing.

I don't wake up in the morning feeling hopeful or joyful.  I have to actively put on hope and joy.  And not just once.  But in a minute-by-minute sort of way.  I wake up remembering that most of the jobs that are rapidly "rebounding" are retail, that we can't live long term on that, and wondering what in the world we are going to do if we don't get work in the next 2-3 months.  Faith isn't easy.

In America, most of us are completely unfamiliar with the fear that we might not have a place to live.  We have friends and family who won't let that happen, but without them, it would have been reality in the past and would very possibly be a future reality.  In this country family-wage work is available for the taking if you have a good education and work ethic, right?  Or, at least, most of us still seem to believe that.  We worry about whether or not we'll be able to buy a house, not whether we'll have a roof over our heads.  We fret about not having enough bedrooms, or a yard as large as we'd like.  Not whether we'll be without shelter.  We're spoiled.  Myself included.  Letting go of those things, especially as a woman, is hard.  I want a home to make, and right now I have re-orient and be thankful for a warm, comfortable place to sleep, if not a home we can call our own for any length of time.

Each day I struggle.  And about every 36-48 hours I have a "crying" day.  On those days I have to be reminded that God is faithful.  And He is.  Always.

We sang "God Moves in a Mysterious Way" in church on Sunday.  And once again, I began to cry--on this verse.  One that I am currently trying to remember several times a day.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Because, in all honesty, I'm fearful.  Very, very fearful.  And yet, God's mercy is abundant, and I do believe, despite my bad days, that those clouds I so much dread will break forth in blessings.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Lord Gives and Takes Away

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

That last part is really difficult.  But I don't suppose that it is ever easy when the verse is applicable.

The Lord gave, and He has taken away.  Yesterday Ryan was let go.  I was in the kitchen cleaning up after lunch when Mercy joyfully exclaimed that daddy was home.  And my heart sank to my toes.

Everything clicked into place so quickly four weeks ago.  He was offered the job.  He started two days later.  We found a place we love and moved in four days after he started.  God put us here for a reason.  But two weeks into work stress levels at work mounted.

They said it wasn't his fault.  He's a good accountant, but it was an experienced position and they've come to realize they made a mistake in thinking they could hire someone right out of school to fill it.  They'll write a letter of recommendation.  And with many apologies they handed him his check.

I've cried more in the past twenty-four hours than I have during the entire course of our marriage.  Last night Ryan simply held me until I went to sleep.  After sleeping in this morning I cried some more while he held me.  Then we began to talk, and he helped me with perspective.

Yes, every mother wants to know where her children are going to be sleeping in a month.  How we're going to pay the bills.  Have an answer when asked "where's our home, Mommy?"  But in reality, the Bible places very little value in financial security.  Yes, a man is to work hard to feed his family, but sometimes that looks a bit different than others.  Like when your country is in a recession with statistics that rival the great depression.

It is through suffering that Christ is truly revealed to us.  That's one of the reasons the apostles gave thanks in the midst of persecution.  Those who've never wondered where they'll be sleeping next week or next month have never seen God provide those things in the ways that we've seen Him do that for us.  We've seen Christ in situations that have felt desperately lonely and hopeless.

And now, more than ever, we're having to trust God for those things.  For nearly a month, we tasted financial security.  I thought I was able to plan for the future.  That I knew where I'd be tucking my children into bed next year.  I had visions of my children playing in the yard this summer.  Of a small garden.  Of making a home here.

And it's gone.  But even in the midst of that we're to give thanks.  For right now, what God has given us is enough.  However, I'll probably need to be reminded of that with some frequency for the foreseeable future.