I like to use the word "surprise" instead of "unplanned," "unexpected", or "oops" ... I mean, we planned on having another baby, and we certainly hoped we'd have a daughter one day. Some babies are born a few months early, Julia was just born about a year early.
It's no secret, I wasn't exactly thrilled when I found out the news. I could come up with all sorts of excuses to justify how I really felt. But the truth is, I'm not proud of my initial reaction, and I hope my daughter never, ever thinks that she wasn't wanted or was an inconvenience. Because, along with her brothers, Julia is one of the greatest joys of my life. God has been dictating her steps since one unprecise moment in January 2011. As she gets older, I hope she realizes that her little life was God-ordained from the start and will continue to be that way 'til the end.
|Adorable knit hat - $1.49 at the thrift store.|
But something changed in me between the time I first found out we were "expecting" (ha!) again and the time we decided to start sharing our news. Soon after that fateful day, the Lord brought a scripture to mind and it's the one I have repeated to myself most often over the past year, especially when I'm feeling overwhelmed and ill-equipped. Deuteronomy 28:2 says, "And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God."
I remember the first time I heard this verse, really heard it. I was a senior in high school and a visiting pastor prayed over me and somewhere in the middle of it I can still hear his heavily accented voice saying, "and ohhhhh the blessings shall overtake you!! ..." And you can imagine what little old senior-in-high-school self thought of that.
"Hello, awesomeness! Bring it on blessings!! A house too big I have to hire a cleaning service? So many cars I have to give them away? More money than I know what to do with? Here I am Lord, use me, overtake me with your BLESSINGSSSSS!!!"
Ahem. Perhaps I should have read a little further in verse 4 where it say, "...Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb..."
Because, let me just tell you what being overtaken by blessings really means, at least in my current stage of life ...
It means being overtaken by diapers, and dirt, and baby-snot wiped on your pants. It means overtaken by laundry, groceries, and all those little things that supposedly occupy and entertain our little ones. It means being overtaken by sleepless nights, zombie-state days, and utter disorganization.
But it also means being overtaken by kisses, and hugs, and the soothing peace of a baby sleeping on your chest. It means overtaken by laughter, tears of joy, and many, many moments I wish I could bottle up and save forever. It means being overtaken by time, which is either always moving too slow or too fast. It means being overtaken by responsiblity, the sheer vastness of this task, and the smallness I feel at facing it.
Because one year ago God had a very special, beautiful little girl on his mind. And for reasons which I'll never know, He chose me to be her mama. Despite all our flaws, inadequacies, and wrong desires, God gave Jon and I His greatest gift - LIFE.
And I must say, in the past four months since her birth, it is that thought which overtakes me the most.