Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hanging up my Dancing Shoes

"I don't know what You're doing, But I know Who You are." -JJ Heller

There are times in our lives where we dance, and there are times in our lives we sit out. The dancing makes life more joyous and beautiful. But when you are sitting out, it's like time stands still and you watch with envy as everyone else around you enjoys the music.

There was a time in my life where I sat out. For a long time. I was a girl who was surrounded by wonderful friends who met wonderful men who recognized their wonderfulness. One by one, these men got down on one knee and took the hand of their wonderful girl and swept them away into marital bliss. I sat there. I watched it all. And in my heart, I was so happy for them. I didn't want them to sit out with me. I wanted them to dance and love and become beautiful brides. But deep down in my soul, I just wanted to dance.

Lo and behold, there (finally) came a time in my life where I got to showcase my dancing skills. I had every intention of starting off with a slow dance, but this boy was all too great and sure enough before I knew it, we were dancing like crazy all the way down the aisle. I love him a heck of a lot. He has made my life so rich and great and I've never been happier dancing with anyone.

There's a season for everything. All are necessary. Not all are fun. But dancing sure is. I used to think I never wanted to stop dancing. Once it began, I never wanted it to end. 

Never in my life have I felt more anxious to join my friends who were sitting out. And it's not because I'm not happy. It's not because I don't love my life. It's just because I am happy and I love my life.

I've been blessed with a husband who leads me with such strength and gentleness. We have fun together and, I don't's just sweeter with him by my side. A year after we got married, we were surprised by the news of a baby. We bought a bigger house and have made such sweet memories as we prepare to bring our baby home. Here we are, weeks away from meeting our awesome baby boy I couldn't love more if I tried. 

Yet I find myself surrounded by people who are sitting out watching me dance, and my heart aches. Brett and I have been surrounded by couples who have tried and tried to have a baby and nothing has happened. We know couples who finally get pregnant then experience miscarriage. We have seen couples go through pregnancy knowing something is seriously wrong with their child and are dreading the long road ahead of them. Couples who have had beautiful pregnancies then find themselves sitting next to their baby in the NICU begging God to have mercy on them.

We seem to be the only two on the dance floor. You can't blame me for feeling guilty. Don't misunderstand me, I'm thrilled to be here and consider myself incredibly blessed. But tonight...tonight I want to take off my dancing shoes and sit out with my friends.

Life is so unfair. But our God is oh, so good. Resting in that truth tonight.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dear Baby Fox (34 weeks)

Dear Baby Fox (34 weeks)

Dear Baby Fox,
  Rumor has it you can now recognize songs Mama sings to you! So far you've heard a lot of JJ Heller's "Boat Song" and "I Get to be the One." I just keep wondering how cool it would be if I sang these to you in a few weeks when you're here, if your eyes would catch mine because you were familiar with what you were hearing. Hmm, the mystery will soon be solved!
  Yesterday I was able to gather with several women who love you very much to celebrate your life! We are so lucky, little man, having so many people who love and support us in our lives! I can't wait to introduce you to all of them. Just be ready...they're gonna want to cuddle you close and kiss your cheeks!
  Six weeks. Six weeks until your due date. Your dad and I can't believe how soon you'll be here! We're about to experience the greatest adventure of our lives with you. Be patient with us; we're new at this. It's my hope that no matter what happens, you will feel so loved by us and that all of us would be able to enjoy this new chapter in our lives! I love you like whoa, Kid.
Love, Mama

  • How far along?: 34 weeks
  • Baby is the size of a:  Butternut squash
  • The Bump: Slowly getting lower
  • Symptoms: I am one hot, contracting mama! I feel like I live in a sauna 24/7 and Braxton Hicks contractions are crazy ridiculous. Most don't bother me, but they get strong enough that they take my breath away and I have to stop and regroup...I'm in for a real treat when real labor contractions begin!
  • Food Cravings: Cheeseburgers
  • Anything Making Me Queasy or Sick: Bending over...whenever I have to lean over to put my shoes on or pick something up, I get nauseous. 
  • Sleep: it's become a favorite past time of mine
  • What I miss: taking a deep breath
  • Weddings Rings On or Off: Still on!
  • Any Names Picked Out Yet: :)
  • Movement: All the time. Sometimes it tickles. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes he should stop. But he always makes me smile.
  • Maternity Clothes: I need to invest in a tent or two
  • Labor Signs: So many contractions when I stand or sit or lay down or anything. I secretly hope this means he'll come a week or two early :)
  • Best Moment of the (last few) Week(s): Baby shower my lovely sister and friend threw...I'm a blessed lady! 
  • What I’m excited about/looking forward to: My doctor's appt next week...anxious to hear his heartbeat and see if I'm progressing much!
  • Thursday, April 11, 2013

    Dear Baby Fox

    Dear Baby Fox,
      It breaks my heart to tell you all about the world you're about to enter into. But I feel the need to tell you so that you become more and more confident in your purpose here on earth. You are needed here, sweet boy. Our loving God has a beautiful plan and you get to be a part of it! You can bring so much hope to this broken world, if you chose to! You may be small, but you can do mighty things!
      From the very beginning, every where you look, you will find someone who is hurting. Whether it's because something has happened to them or because their decisions led them to that place, they are hurting and feeling hopeless. You can encourage them. You can tell them all about how God is in the business of making dirty things beautiful. You can show them the same love God has showed us all along.
      It's about impossible to engage in any sort of media without stumbling upon something that doesn't honor God. Be it crude humor, inappropriate commercials, or the message that life is all about's so hard to avoid. You, however, can put on the armor of God. You can memorize His word and be in tune with His ways. You can battle temptation and exposure with the Truth God brings, and trust He will follow through on His promises. The ways of this world may seem overpowering, but God is on your side!
      Baby, people here treat each other in unspeakable ways. People lie to one another and cheat to get ahead. People take things from one another and act like bullies to put others down. I hate to say it, but young, precious, innocent babies just like you aren't always spoken for. This world has bought into lies and deceit straight from the Enemy. One thing I know: the answer is not condemning them. The answer is not ignoring them or avoiding them. No, the answer, my sweet baby boy, is loving them. You have to remain bold and you have to be brave, but everything we do has to be in the name of God's love. That, my baby, is the only way you can change this world. And baby, you CAN change this world.
      Some day you'll read this letter and understand a little more. You'll understand why your daddy and I have rules and limitations for you. You'll understand why we're so protective. You'll understand why we teach you Scripture and why we're a part of a church and why we tithe and practice generosity. You'll see why we pray together as a family and why we invest in the lives of others. We do it, sweet boy, because we believe that Jesus was who He said He was. His life and death and resurrection has not only touched our hearts, but it's changed the way we see everything. It's transformed our lives and we're pressing forward in hopes that other broken and hurting people's lives will be transformed and made new as well! It's why you're be a mighty, loving warrior in the name of Jesus.
      So love big and brave, my boy. You have the most mighty Warrior of all on your side!
    Love, Mama

    Monday, April 1, 2013

    Dear Baby Fox (32 weeks)

    Dear Baby Fox

    Sophie's been a little clingy lately...think she knows something's up!

    Dear Baby Fox,
      Do you have any idea how crazy I am about you? My heart already overflows with pride and love for you and we haven't even seen your face! I thank God daily for your little life! I've been spending time in your nursery just closing my eyes and dreaming about you. I soooo look forward to meeting you and getting to know you and seeing who you will become! You're a very special little boy!
      Yesterday we celebrated Easter Sunday. I can't wait to teach you all about Easter. See, a long time ago God saw that we as people had become so wrapped up in sin. He knew we needed a Savior, so He sent His Son, Jesus to come and save us!  Jesus had to live a perfect, sinless life and die a death He didn't deserve in order for us to be able to know God. The coolest part about the whole story, Baby Boy, is that after He died, He rose again! It was such a miracle, and it's the reason we can know and love Jesus today! I can't wait for you to come to know Him! Jesus is what this life is all about!
      I won't lie, my strength and patience is wearing thin. However, between our Savior, your daddy, your grandma, as well as several other friends and family, I've got the greatest team cheering you and I on! So instead of wishing the next 8 weeks away, I'm going to try my best to continue to savor each moment of pregnancy...especially afternoon naps :)
      I love you more than you know, sweet boy. Be good in there.
    Love, Mama

  • How far along?: 32 weeks
  • Baby is the size of a:  Not sure on the comparison, but he should be almost 4 pounds!!
  • The Bump: Large and in charge
  • Symptoms: Hip and back pain, starting to feel faint heartburn...praying it doesn't become very intense! Also my feet and hands are starting to swell at night...
  • Food Cravings: Hot fudge sundaes :)
  • Anything Making Me Queasy or Sick: Nope
  • Sleep: Sparse but I'll take what I can get
  • What I miss: Tanning Beds
  • Weddings Rings On or Off: Still on!
  • Any Names Picked Out Yet: There's a few on the table, we're waiting to make it official until he's here
  • Movement: The kid is crazy...I told Brett ten bucks says he kicks during his sleep because otherwise there's no way he's getting rest in there with all this movement!
  • Maternity Clothes: Getting small!! Not buying any more at this point!
  • Labor Signs: Hello, Braxton Hicks! Most I can barely feel, but sometimes they get a little attitude is "bring it!"
  • Best Moment of the (last few) Week(s): Our babymoon :) Brett and I spent a few days away in Nashville, TN and got to relax and laugh and take naps and go on was PERFECT. Also, we got our maternity pictures back and they were AMAZING. AND my mom and I enjoyed a children's resale where we got the baby his bouncer and baby carrier and of course some cute jammies! PLUS, we finished his nursery :) Busy couple of weeks over here!!
  • What I’m excited about/looking forward to: My next appointment...had to miss the last one since Dr. was out on a delivery. Can't wait to check on the little man's growth and hear his sweet heartbeat!!