Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Something Very Personal

I am not pregnant.  However, a lot of my friends are pregnant and having babies, so lately, I have been thinking about it a lot....a LOT.

As of late, I have spent at least a little time every day imagining what it will be like when I am pregnant.  Will I be sick?  (This is almost always my first wondering.)  Will I look cute?  (This is almost always my second wondering.)  Will I glow?  (My goodness, how self-consumed can I be?)  Will I have an easy pregnancy?  How weird will it be to feel a person inside me?  Where will I be living?  How will I make all of those decisions?  (Names, home birth or hospital birth, which car seat is safest, what color high-chair to get, and so on.)

But my favorite thing to imagine and to think about is that for 40 weeks, I will have a tiny person inside of me and for those 40 weeks, I will literally never be by myself.  Every morning when I come out to sit on the couch, someone will be with me.  Every time Rod and I go on a date, there will actually be three of us.  I imagine that I will almost constantly be aware of the fact that I am pregnant.  (You moms can speak into this it true?)  And, I hope, because I am continually aware of it, I will continually be praying for that little tiny one.

Right now, Rod and I enjoy praying for our future kids.  We pray that they will grow up to know the Lord.  We pray for the people who are going to be their mentors, their best friends, their spouses.  We pray that my body will produce healthy children.  We pray for the Lord's blessing and favor over their lives.  We pray that we will have world-changing kids.

But over the last month or more, Jesus has really been bringing something to light for me.

It started in December, when a friend told me about a mother of three that she had met.  This mother was abusive to her three sons and she knew it, so this mother asked my friend to help her find a family to adopt her kids.  She said it had to happen soon or else she would bring her three boys to DCFS and give them up.

My friend asked if we would pray about adopting one or two or all of them.

It only lasted about a week before the mom changed her mind and the whole thing sort of flew out the window.  But in that short period of time, my instincts must have kicked in, because I saw a picture of those boys and I really, truly began thinking of them as my own.  I prayed for their protection and for their healing.  I prayed for this woman to stop hurting them.  I prayed Jesus would bring them to us safely if they were meant to be ours.

And for some reason, in the last maybe 3 weeks, those feelings have come up again.  Not for those boys specifically, but I wake up in the morning thinking, "My baby might be out there with someone else."  "My baby might be born today."  Or, "My baby might be three years old today."  And I pray even more for that baby's blessing, health, and most of all protection.

In all of these thoughts and these prayers, I am reminded again of how little control I have.  How the fact that I can go to the doctor and take pre-natal vitamins and read about all of the best exercises to do and the best foods to eat while pregnanct really is just an illusion of control.  That ultimately, I have to live with open hands and trust the Lord to carry out His perfect will.

Maybe His will is for us to only have children come through my body.  But more and more, I don't believe that's true.  More and more, I believe some (or all) of our babies are out "there" somewhere.  It makes me sick to think that someone else could be abusing my child right now, but that just drives me ever and ever closer to the Lord, because if that is the case, my only choice is to trust in His promises and believe that He will work all things out for good. 

The truth is, we are never in control.  We can do our best to make good decisions and to educate ourselves.  But HE is the one Who is holding it all.  That is a very scary thing to think about - having to trust Someone else to take care of things for you.  But when you look around at the pain and the evil that you are capable of (I can be so mean to my husband.  I can be so selfish when I want something.) doesn't it make you glad that you don't have the final say?  That there is Someone bigger and wiser and more loving than you Who is taking care of things and making beauty out of your ashes?

We serve such a good God.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Album of the Month - January, "Shorter Days"

I have a few Resolutions this year...

Number One. Fast from pop.  (Especially hard when you're at the movie theater and you're eating handfuls of salty's just not the same with water.)

Number Two. Memorize two Scripture passages each month.  For this, I am joining together with a dozen lovely women from my church, and I am learning a lot.

Number Three (and the one I am sharing with you now).  Create an Album of the Month.  I first heard about this idea from my friend, Emily.  So I adapted it and made it my own.

Remember getting/making mix tapes for road trips or for special events or for friends' birthdays?  This is like that.

This year, as a way to broaden my musical horizons, I am spending time each month discovering new music, and I am putting the best of what I find on the Album of the Month and then I will be sharing it here with you.  I find myself stuck in the same music for years at a time, only adopting new music when someone tells me to check it out.  So the whole point of this is to give me a tangible, measurable goal to work toward, which will force me to be proactive. 

It really is quite a narcissistic project, because the only requirement for a song to make it onto the album is that I like it.  I can bet that the vast majority of the songs will be low-key, acoustic, folksy stuff, but you never know when I will whip out a surprise (particularly if Justin Bieber releases any new stuff this year...I've admittedly got a little fever). 

My goal is for 80-90% of the album to be music that I have newly discovered (because there are just so many great songs that I already know, and I will want to share those too), and my other goal is to at least have one of my own originals on there each month, too.  The recordings won't be great, but again, it will force me each month to make an effort to write (or record, if it's already written) at least one song that I'm proud of.

For the sake of accountability and feedback, I have several friends who are helping me in this by being my "audience".  They are people who have agreed to give my album a listen each month, let me know what they think of it, and suggest new music to me as they come across it.

I would like the same from you.  If you ever hear of music you think I would like (based on the songs I list each month), please feel free to share it with me!  This project has been fun so far, and I'm looking forward to the new discoveries I will make.  Hope you like it too!  (And as soon as I figure out how to use Spotify, I will create a playlist on there, which should make this album much easier to share.)

January - "Shorter Days"
1. "1957" by Milo Greene
2. "When the City Comes" by Chuck E. Costa
3. "All My Days" by Alexi Murdoch
4. "In the Garden (Live)" by Susan Tedeschi
5. "Grand Central Station" by Mary Chapin Carpenter
6. "So Within" by Seryn
7. "Mario Kart Love Song" by Sam Hart"
8. "Ready to Leave" by Anna Joy
9. "Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop" by Landon Pigg
10. "Making Pies" by Patty Grifin
11. "Ever Could" by William Fitzsimmons
12. "Much Farther to Go" by Rosie Thomas
13. "Songbird" by Jillian Edwards
14. "Hazy" by Rosi Golan (featuring William Fitzsimmons)
15. "Hawthorne" by Mat Kearney
16. "On My Knees" by Seryn
17. "We Will Follow" by Jars of Clay (featuring Gungor)