Monday, May 25, 2009

Action-packed day!

My co-worker told me I needed to write about my busy day today on my blog. I think she thinks I'm straight up nuts at 39 weeks pregnant. So here it is:

I ran home during my lunch break as usual, and laid out everything for the wedding I was going to attend after work. I was so busy rushing around doing little chores, I didn't really eat lunch, and I tried to leave to go back to work early so that I could leave work a touch early today. So I ran out the door, turning the lock and as soon as I got outside (with my leftover chinese food in hand that I didn't have time to eat) I realized:

I'm locked out and my keys are in the apartment!

Josh was working downtown -- no car. I had it, but no keys.

I whipped out my phone, called work to tell them I'd probably be late coming back (of course everyone I call thinks I'm calling because I'm in labor). Then I call my friend who keeps our spare key. Funnily enough she had texted me at the beginning of my lunch break to offer me a ride to the hospital if I needed it today. But when I tried to call her to get my spare key, no answer.

Good thing I didn't need a ride to the hospital! Haha! :)

They live about a mile and a half away. Without another thought, I set down my chinese food and set off for their apartment with just my purse and beverage (it was muggy -- wait, sort of sprinkling) on foot. I am sweaty immediately. I text Josh to see if he has my friend's husband's phone number. He does and I try calling him -- no answer. Josh is slightly concerned for me. I'm walking to their house and maybe they are not there! I try calling other friends who live really nearby to see if anybody is just chilling at home and wants to pick up a pregnant girl in her LifeWay uniform. No answer.

As I walk, I make 12 back-up plans. They were all pretty good. I know other people who live in the same apartment complex I was walking to. I'd try their house first. If they weren't home, I'd go through my cell-phone starting with whomever lived closest/would be willing to come fetch me. I did not plan to walk home again! Someone could drive me downtown to get my key from Josh OR to our church because I knew our friends would be going to the wedding and maybe I could track them down there to get my key.

Well, as it turns out as I walked up the drive at my friend's apartment complex, her husband was coming out to look for me. The rain streamed down RIGHT when I got in the car. It took all of 2 minutes for him to drive me back to my house, and let me run in to grab my keys.

I was back to work only a half-hour late.

Now, wouldn't that be WAY more exciting if, say, my water broke as I walked forlornly down Brownsboro Road?

Not what I hoped to accomplish during my lunch break, but as CJ Mahaney says "Only God gets His to-do list done every day!"

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Baby's Room, or, Nesting Part 2

Here are some pictures of the nursery we've put together for the baby! It's been so fun, and we are so blessed by so many generous friends who gave us wonderful things. I've honestly spent almost nothing on the baby (so far -- haha!). We tried to plan ahead a bit and not go SUPER girlie with everything, so that if we are blessed with more children, we will have some things we can use over and over. The Lord has provided for us by giving us this new apartment where we are SAVING money every month and we roughly have double the space from our last. We were blessed in Fuller, and enjoyed our time there, but it really is going to be nice to have a room for the baby! That said, here are some pictures!

First, here is the gorgeous quilt my dad got me from Pottery Barn Kids. I'm planning to have the baby's name embroidered on it once she's here. Maybe her birthdate, too. What do you think?

A shot of the room with the lovely bookcase we turned into a changing table and the Pottery Barn Magazine Rack bookshelf my friend Misty sent me. I got some good deals on baskets on sale at Michael's and then covered them with green gingham liners from Pottery Barn Kids. They are holding little toys, blankets, sleepers, onesies, socks, shoes and hairbows -- all generous gifts for our baby girl!

I tried to get a picture of the whole room from the doorway. It's hard to quite get it all in, however! But you get the feel of the room. I think it looks very classic and relaxing. I'm looking forward to spending some time in there when the baby arrives!

I'm having a hard time with blogger, so those 3 pictures will have to be enough for now. We've got everything ready for you, Baby J! You can come any time!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Praise Factory

I am so excited to link to this site! Connie Dever from Capitol Hill Baptist in Washington DC has written this amazing children's ministry curriculum called "Praise Factory". It's been a long labor of love for her, and NOW it is all up on line for FREE! This is SERIOUS good news for children's ministries everywhere!

Since I moved to Louisville, and started working in the children's ministry at my church, Clifton Baptist, I've gotten to use Praise Factory. It's organized as a systematic theology, walking children through the teachings of the Bible in "Big Ideas". What I love about this curriculum is that you park on the same big idea for 3 weeks, and have 3 different stories, activities, etc. For example, tonight we finished the 3rd week of the big idea "God shows love for His people by caring for their needs" with the story of the burning of Rome, and the martyrdom of Peter. The story illustrated this big idea by showing how Peter's spiritual needs were cared for, and Nero, who thought he could take care of himself, ended his life in suicide, spiritually hopeless. Last week our story was about Hudson Taylor, and how God supplied his needs as he went to China. Usually the 1st and 3rd week's stories are Bible lessons, and the 2nd week comes from church history, or more recent events.

I love this curriculum. Clifton has had the opportunity to use it for several years now, because our children's director is a friend of the Dever's and we were sort of using it on a trial basis. NOW it's available for anyone to use! What a BLESSING to small churches or churches with a limited children's ministry budget! Please take time to check it out, and let your children's director know about it. I think it would work best for a Wednesday night children's program, but I think Capitol Hill uses it for Children's Church time, so it's pretty flexible. There are lots of activities and ideas that go with every lesson, you probably won't have time to do them all, but it give you a bunch of choices.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Meditations

Today is my first Mother's Day as a mom. Here I am, blessed to be a mother for about 37 weeks now. It's also my first Mother's Day without my mother. Clearly, how could anything else be on my mind today? I woke this morning thinking about my mom, wishing I could think of some special, original way I could still honor her and DO something for her for mother's day. But it seemed like there was nothing to be done.

My friend Gretchen said to me at church "you can be thankful for the good mother you had", and I think she's right -- that's the best thing I can do right now. I know I've listed them on this blog several times before, but here are a couple thoughts that are a bit more fresh:

I loved how Sue Benzing was always excited for you. You could tell her you got new red shoes, and that was exciting for her. If she saw the red shoes, even before you told her they were new, she'd mention them, and tell you she thought they were cute. Little specific things like that stood out to her. She got REALLY excited for you if you told her you were going to have a baby. I've seen her shriek and jump up and down for people who were just aquaintences. I've heard her talk on the phone for hours to women who were going through adoptions to encourage them along the way. And I heard her scream for 3 solid minutes when Josh and I told her and Dad we had a baby on the way (I think the neighbors heard, too). Mom's enthusiasm was genuine!

She LOVED motherhood. She wanted me to experience it. She wanted every girl to experience it! She really thought it was the best ever path to follow. She waited to become a mother for 7 years of marriage, but she had kiddos at home for the next 31 years. Not many people get that long of a stretch of doing something they love. It is a rare gift to love exactly what the Lord has given you in life, but Mom had that gift. She loved staying home with us, and homeschooling us. She loved babysitting Cede every day. She LOVED being a Grandmommy!

My mom often battled fear and worry. I never used to understand this, but I think I identify with my mother more than ever since I have become a mother. Almost every day during this pregnancy has been a battle in my mind to trusting the Lord and His good plan for my child. I told my friend Annie that I often feel like I've been holding my breath the whole time. If you've been in this position -- every day wondering if she's moving, if she's forming okay, if she'll make it through childbirth, etc. It's fear and worry. And sin. Mom used to write out verses about fear and trust on 3x5 cards to memorize. I remember them sitting on the window frame in the kitchen, sort of water-splashed. She was fighting that sin. What a good lesson for me!

Thank you, Lord, for my wonderful Mom who left me such a legacy. Her life makes me even more excited to enter this great journey of being a mother.

Friday, May 08, 2009

My Grandpa

It's been just under 2 months since my Mom's funeral, and today I'm preparing for my Grandpa's. I think my perspective on funerals has changed a bit. I now want to embrace them as a way to honor the person who has passed away (since both my mother and grandfather were godly, honorable people), and to glorify God for the work of grace He has done in their lives and through their lives. I won't have a part in Grandpa's funeral, since I am one of 30 grandkids (the baby I'm expecting will be the 35th great-grandchild), but I do want to honor Grandpa here on my blog.

Grandpa was always a gentle giant to me. It was amazing how he still seemed like that in my recent adult years when he'd become so much more slight in size, and not much taller than me anymore. His deep rumbling voice always called my dad "Billy", and I loved to hear him talk to my big dad like he was still a kid. My dad and his siblings modeled for the grandkids the way to honor and respect our grandparents. We did not EVER ignore them or any request they gave, and we dropped our silly childishness when Grandpa or Grandma was speaking to us -- only real, honest answers were necessary, no displays for attention. I think it was easy to respond to them like that, because they seemed worthy of real respect. I've seen many of my cousins treating my grandparents in the exact same way, so I know many of us feel this way.

My Grandpa was a godly man. His favorite song was the Doxology, which we always sang before meals and family gatherings. Last September he turned 90, and we had a birthday party for him. The big cake was decorated with the words of the Doxology. It was the only time I ever heard people sing the "amen" at the end of a song when I was a kid. If I was standing near my parents when we sang, I could hear my mom harmonizing the "amen". Grandpa was always proud to hear us quoting scripture (Luke 2, every Christmas!), and loved singing old hymns.

A recent favorite memory, which I'm sure I'll always treasure as precious was when Grandpa came to Illinois for my mom's funeral, just a couple months ago. The Lord blessed him with extra strength and good health for the trip, and we enjoyed time with Grandpa, a bit more like the old days. One evening Grandpa asked for a songbook, and my aunt brought it to me to sing with him. I sat on the couch by him with my niece Cede, and we flipped through that book, singing every song we recognized. I was so hoarse since it was the day after Mom's funeral, and had been a little sick and things, but I would never have stopped singing (besides, Grandpa didn't seem to mind). My sister Abby recorded a tiny bit with her camera phone -- me and Grandpa singing "Mansion Over the Hilltop". :)

I'm so glad for setting aside a couple days where you really don't have to do anything besides reflect and consider the goodness of Christ in the life of the loved one lost. I know funerals aren't always that sort of bittersweet celebration -- for those who die without Christ, it is only mourning and pain. I am thankful to the utmost to think about how my Grandpa (and my mom) are in Heaven, rejoicing before the throne.

And when before the throne, I stand in Him complete,
Jesus died my soul to save, my lips shall still repeat!
Jesus paid it all! All to Him I owe,
Sin has left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Is She Nesting?

I personally think it's a pretty funny expression to say an expectant mother is "nesting". I know it's been a REALLY long time since I've put up pictures of any sort, but here are a few I took of some of the things I've been getting ready.

All the newborn and onesies and sleepers are clean and ready to wear when Baby J arrives.

I'm just starting to set up the baby's room -- here's a picture of the dresses I "hung on the line". Not much else is set, but I'll try to take pictures when it is.

Baby's coming home outfit -- washed and packed (the sweater was my sister Emily's when she came home from the hospital. Mom gave it to me.)

The rest of the hospital bag packed and ready.

So, maybe I am "nesting". :)