Monday, September 10, 2007

Waiting for Max

Josh and I spent this weekend with his family in northern Ohio, waiting to see if Kari (his sister) would give birth to our nephew, Max. Poor little Kari is about ready to pop! Josh comes from a very small family, and his sisters are all just 5 foot or so, but married to tall, tall guys!

I was full of ideas about how I'd help Kari move things along a bit. I made her sit on the exercise ball all the time. I kept suggesting spicy food. On Saturday, we went for a nice long walk (the pace I kept about killed her!). The poor girl kept having contractions in the midst of whatever we were doing -- several in WalMart, where we all really got our hopes up, because she nearly keeled over in the middle of the isle ("Don't stare at me!" she hissed "fake like you're all just talking"). We had a delightful outing on Saturday where we all (Josh's mom, sisters Kari and Melissa and I) got pedicures at a place the next town over, enjoying the green massage chairs, foot massage and a good girl time together (Lo, we missed you! We'll make it a tradition before everyone has their babies, so you can come in a few months before Melissa has hers).


Well, maybe you can tell by the way I speak of this weekend in past tense, but there was no arrival of the long-awaited little one. Things certainly seemed to be progressing -- Kari was much changed from when we arrived to when we left -- but apparently, they need to be progressing even more! We had all prayed that the time would come while we were already there, but that clearly was not the plans God had for us, or baby Max.

It is interesting how waiting for the arrival of a baby makes you ponder God's sovereignty. We are powerless to do a thing to hurry up His plan. At the end of the day, after trying what we knew might encourage things along a bit, all we can do is stamp our feet and say "Okay! We're ready now!" But it doesn't matter. God holds it all in His hands, and our feeble attempts to help him move it along are just truly silly. But isn't this true in all of life? Do we really wield control over any events? We just feel like we do, because sometimes things work out the way we planned them. Other times, we attribute the success or failure of our plans to the actions of another person -- which, though out of our control, still not within God's. People jokingly would say "Max will come out when he wants to!" or "You've got a rebellious nephew there! He won't obey already!" I realize that is a joke, but it speaks volumes as to who we really think holds the power! It's really funny to consider that this tiny baby is actually plotting to make us all wait -- rather than automatically realizing that our big God has a perfect plan in which we must wait.

Kari and I talked about how she is learning patience during these final weeks during our long walk. How precious to see the character that God is building in our lives! Our perso
nal growth and godliness is high on God's agenda for His children. He desires to make Kari more like His Son -- and waiting for Max is working that out in her life. Imagine if we were able to set a date for the baby, like a wedding date, and then there was no question mark at all. Think of what we'd lose! An absolute dependence on God, patience for Him to bring about the right time, perseverance to keep chugging even though our bodies are wanting to quit! Dear friends -- God has us just where He wants us: in the midst of His great plan. Whether you are waiting for a job, a spouse, a child, a change in a relationship, an engagement, you'd do well to realize what I did. I cannot make it happen. Which is really such a good thing.

Hang on, Kari! God's got it all in control, hon!

"Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind, or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother's womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things." Ecclesiastes 11:5

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am DEFINITELY learning patience. Our "perfect" weekend for Baby Max to arrive has come and gone. Now maybe I should consider accepting God's perfect time for his arrival. Thanks for a fun weekend, Gret! Hope to see you soon!

Love,
Kari

David and Sharon said...

Not to sound self-centered, but this post could have been written about me. I look and feel just like you described Kari, and I'm struggling with the same things -- patience and accepting that God is in control. My mom is here and she will go back to Brazil the beginning of October and I've even tried to angle my prayers so that the baby's soon arrival is for her benefit. Haha! Thank you for the reminder and encouragement, Gretchen. And by the way, we were seriously talking about going to see you guys Labor Day weekend, but my doctor said I should not travel further than 30 minutes away. We really want to see you guys, so we'll plan something for later this year.

Love,
Sharon

Emily said...

"Wait on the Lord and be of good courage and He will strengthen your heart."

My meditation. Waiting is so hard, but it is so very good for us.

-emma

Morning Rose said...

After having one child arrive two weeks after his due date and another child a week ahead, I realized we have no control over when our babies will be born. We need to wait upon (or trust) in the Lord alone, completely, and personally.

Anonymous said...

Patience is such a hard thing to learn because you can't DO anything while you learn it!! You just have to wait!! AUGH. Gretchen is sooo mean, I am never having her over if I am ready to pop, she will make you walk too fast. I would be dying. :( Did anyone see in one of the middle pictures Lucas getting in the fridge in the background!? Haha! Congratulations Kari!

Anna

Gretchen said...

Konrad, Did you get the e-mail with the pics? How are you feeling today? I'm totally stoked, girl! It's gonna be great no matter when it happens!

Sharon -- oh, sweetie, I'm feeling for you. You aren't self-centered to identify with Kari and what I wrote about her right now! I don't think you're wrong to want your mom to be there when the baby is born! Thanks for thinking of us on Labor Day weekend. We will love to see you no matter when it is!

Emma -- good verse! You are so right!

MR -- you are so right!

Anna -- HA HA HA! Lukas was way more in the picture but I trimmed him out. I love his fox feet in his dress socks because he came from work. Such a great action shot, reaching for the Big Red in the pop fridge. Do you like our pedicures? That was the reason for the picture, but Josh had a hard time with the angle. P.S. Kari said she wanted to go fast because she felt better.

Steph said...

There is nothing like waiting for your first one to come out! Hang in there Kari and maybe they will induce (they did for me and it worked out okay. By the time I had a really painful contraction I was already IV'd and ready for pain meds) As much as you want that baby here - do all the "selfish" things you want: eat the hot food while you can, sleep or lay around and watch whatever show interests you. Be in the bathroom for as LONG as you feel like, because once they are here...well, I THINK I had a hot meal a few months ago!LOL (But the privacy in the bathroom is a thing I have kissed goodbye.)