Saturday, March 28, 2009

Getting What I Don't Deserve

Three years ago today (and every day since) that is what I received.

She had fooled 3 home pregnancy tests and the blood test at the doctor's office. I was 2 1/2 months pregnant when I finally got a positive test.

There was nothing about my life at that time that made the thought of having another baby seem like a good idea. But when the doctor walked in with "the wheel", you know the little due date calculator, I knew it was true and by the time I got to my friend's house to pick up the kids, I was in love.

God gave me what I didn't deserve.

On March, 27th I had my last OB visit and we made the decision to be induced the following morning. My midwife was going out of town and I didn't want just any doctor at the delivery and if I had not gone into labor by the following week, they were going to induce anyway. I spent the afternoon with my friend, Kristin, and our kids. For some reason, we decided that she would give me a foot massage to see if it was true that a foot massage can induce labor.

It is true.

I was contracting before she even finished the massage! When I went in for my induction, my midwife checked me and commented that I had indeed already gone into labor on my own :o). But they still broke my water and started pitocin.

For the record, this time around I am getting a foot massage from Kristin before they have a chance to recommend is evil.

I was 3 cm when they started pitocin at 7am. I hung out that morning with Gary, my Mom, and my friend Tracy. We actually had a nice morning. My Mom and I played Scrabble and when the nurses and resident doctor would check in, they even tried to help. By 11am I was not having quite as much fun and by noon I just wanted to be in bed.

And then the fun part.

My midwife checked me at 12:30 and I was dilated to 4. I spent the next 5 minutes mentally panicking. In my head, it went something like this...


And so on, and so on.

Until I finally said to my family, "This feels like the end."

Somehow, Gary understood that I meant that it felt like the end of labor, but my Mom about had a heart attack having just heard her daughter announce that she was on her death bed!

So, I asked for an epidural.

I hated asking. I was so upset. I had avoided an epidural for all 3 of my other labors. I am happy for all of you moms that have had "painless" labors but I can't handle the thought of a needle in my spine. Seriously, I'll take the labor pains.

So, for the first time, I actually met an anesthesiologist during labor. Well, I heard his voice. I never opened my eyes to look at him. And I was only half listening to what he had to say. He said something about "you'll probably be pushing soon anyway" and "I have another patient and then I'll come back." It was at some point during his little speech that I started feeling like I had to push. (I did officially meet the anesthesiologist the next day when he came to tell me that he did in fact come back but I had already delivered!)

So, 20 minutes after hearing "4 centimeters" and proceeding to panic, I was complete and ready to push.

And at 1:02pm on March 28, 2006 we met Rachel Grace!

"Rachel", our little lamb.
"Grace", being given what you don't deserve.

And all 7 pounds 13 ounces of her was absolutely beautiful. A perfect gift from God, at just the perfect time...His timing, not mine!

He surprised us with her and she's been surprising us ever since. And 3 years later, I'm about to decorate a "Nemo" birthday cake for the little girl who dances through this house, charming everyone. The little girl who tells me what direction to go when I'm driving, to get me to Walmart for her blue suckers. The little girl who is addicted to apple juice and already has a love for shoes. The little girl who loves to sing "Jesus loves me" (and wore out the battery in the bunny that sings along!), and "talk to grammaw" on the phone. The little girl who loves "so-sees" (horses) and the colors "pink" (purple) and "purple" (pink). The little girl who uses "kung-fu panda" moves on her big brothers and cried when Daddy took "her van" to work one day. The little girl who took her 2 year old buddy on an elevator ride to the youth room at church one Sunday and gave us all a heart attack!!! The little girl who is getting a twin bed today...who used to be my "baby."

Happy Birthday Rachel Grace!

And on a slightly less important note...3 years ago today, I was not only blessed with a little girl I didn't deserve but a Culver's turtle sundae to celebrate her!! This year there will be no Culver's sundae but Gary just came home with groceries and I have Edy's French Silk ice cream!!! I just keep getting what I don't deserve!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

When God Doesn't Work.

We've all heard people say that they "tried religion" or "tried God" but that it, or he, didn't "work" for them. I'll be honest, when I hear that, even when it's just implied, I feel like a little girl on the playground ready to take on the school bully to defend her Dad! That is of course just my initial reaction to an accusation that something God has said, done, or even not done, is wrong.

The truth that I have found is that when we are disappointed by God it has nothing to do with God. I've seen people "try" God and what they are really doing is seeking something from God and naturally, if they don't get what they want, then God "didn't work."

They did not try God. They tried the equivalent of rubbing a lamp, scratching off a ticket, or kissing a frog. God promises us, "But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul." Deuteronomy 4:29

Are we looking for Him? With all our heart and soul? Is it God we want? Or is it a happy marriage we are seeking, or a better job, or better health? God tells us to "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." I Peter 5:7 But have you read the verse right before that?

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." I Peter 5:6

If we come to God when we want something and turn away from Him if He doesn't give us what we want, it is not God who didn't work. He never promised to do everything the way we ask or want or even the way that makes the most sense to us. In fact, He promises us that His ways won't make sense to us. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9

To seek God and humble ourselves before Him, admitting that He is God and we are sinners, this is the first step in the only way to have a relationship with God. He sent His Son to pay the penalty for our sin and until we accept that gift we remain separated from God. To "try" God and religion without first coming to Christ will never "work."