Monthly Archives: May 2014

A Season of Grace

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven – Ecclesiastes 3:1

Ah, Seasons.

It’s a post that has been written many times, by many authors, on many different topics.  I hesitated to share as I knew it would probably be old news, but you know what?  Sometimes old new is good news; and sometimes hearing about another person’s process is helpful in my own.  I hope my season can encourage you in yours, whether the title is Grace, Trust, Life, Joy, or any other place that you find yourself today.

 ************

I find it hard to write about seasons that I am in the middle of.

It’s messy.

There’s no pretty little package all wrapped up with an ingredient list and directions attached when you’re in the middle of it.  It’s a walk of faith.  A step by step journey of learning and growing and stumbling and getting back up again.

I suppose that’s why life works in seasons.  There is no growth without change and change is not always fun.  Change requires learning, stumbling and getting back up.

There is a lot stumbling for me in this season of grace.

What exactly do I mean by “season of grace”?  I’m glad you asked. 😉

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary has a list of great definitions for the word grace.  In particular, what I am referring to is  “Favor; good will; kindness; disposition to oblige another; as a grant made as an act of grace…Virtuous or religious affection or disposition, as a liberal disposition, faith, meekness, humility, patience, etc. proceeding from divine influence.”

Growing in grace is something I always expected to be easy; of course, that was during a time when the lessons were not a challenge (funny how that works).  Learning to be gracious is a lot harder and messier than I expected it to be and I seem to have continual opportunities to practice currently:

Do I respond in grace or exasperation when my toddler throws a tantrum because once more I’m mean enough to not let her eat rocks?

When things are not done correctly in a work situation, am I gracious and understanding in my handling of the situation, or do I have a poor attitude?

One that stretches me farther than I like is the uncertainty with Oliver’s work schedule – the dates for his most recent show changed 3 times after the original schedule was given – twice after the plane tickets were already purchased.  I am a planner by nature; I like things to be efficient, well-organized, clear, concise, and done correctly.  Changing a schedule is a simple enough adjustment when one works a normal 8-5 job; changing a schedule when one works out of town snowballs into many other schedules – there are airport pick ups and drop offs, babysitters, appointments to change, etc.  It takes all of the grace I can muster to even be courteous and kind in my response when I hear that the schedule has changed, yet again.

And you know what?  I fail miserably at this grace stuff, day after day.  BUT, grace also means “the free and unmerited favor of God; favor, mercy, pardon”.  In other words, every time I fail at giving grace, His grace covers me.  When I feel like I just can’t handle one more “grace-growing” situation, I have His grace to fall back on. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Am I good about boasting in my weaknesses?  No, not really.  I like to have everything together.  I like life to be a neat little package that I can manage.  I get frustrated with myself when I respond in a way that I am not proud of.  The truth, though, is that I will never have it all figured out and that’s okay.  I will never be The World’s Most Gracious Person, but I can be the best me that is possible.  I can keep putting one foot in front of the other in this season of grace and embrace every opportunity that I have to practice.

My hope for you is that, in whatever season you may find yourself right now, you will be gracious with yourself when the process is messy – and extend the same kindness to those around you.

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” – 2 Corinthians 13:14

 

Advertisements
Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Olivia’s Birth

With her 1st birthday looming only a few short weeks away, I suppose now is as good a time as any to share Miss Olivia’s birth story…

June 24, 2013 – I was one day shy of being 42 weeks pregnant on the day my induction began. I had hoped to go into labor on my own, but sweet girl was happily staying put and I just couldn’t handle another 40-hour work week at 10 months pregnant.

After a weekend of walking, walking, walking and still not going into labor, we arrived at the hospital at 6am Monday morning to begin the induction. The nurse got us checked in and settled into our room and the waiting game began. The midwife on call was not the same midwife who scheduled the induction, and apparently she forgot to check her schedule that morning. We ended up waiting until 10am for her to arrive and begin the process.

The day dragged on and on after the induction began.  I was having very regular contractions, but didn’t really feel any of them until around 5 or 6pm, and even then they weren’t unbearable.  By 9pm the midwife decided that it would be best for me to take a sleeping pill and try to get some rest and then continue on in the morning.  I was disappointed because I was really hoping she would be born on the 24th since it is my aunt’s birthday, but Olivia had different plans.  The nurse took one look at me after the midwife left the room and said “you have no intention of taking that sleeping pill, do you?  Yeah, that’s what I thought from the look on your face…”  She got a bath ready for me instead and I settled in to relax for a bit while Oliver went off to the airport to pick up my mom.

They got back a little after 11pm and we caught up for a bit before settling down around 1am to try to get some sleep.  I slept for about 45min before having to get up to go to the bathroom and then dozed off again around 2am and dreamed that I was in labor.  I got up to go to the bathroom (again!) at 2:40am and knew something was starting to happen so called the nurses in.  At 2:53am I said to the nurse “I feel like I’m leaking” and then suddenly felt a huge gush and knew that my water had broken.  Adrenaline kicked in at that point and I began shaking uncontrollably.  Olivia was also still turned slightly sideways and had scooted herself back up, so the contractions became much more intense as her head was knocking against my spine.  Someone once told me that “back labor will want to make you drown puppies” and after having experienced it, I would agree.  The regular contractions had become intense, but nothing compared to the pain shooting all the way from my tailbone up to my neck.

I finally decided that I did want the epidural (I was 3cm and 80-90% effaced) and they got that done around 4:30am.  After 16 hours of early labor and 2 hours of active labor I was grateful for the relief and was able to doze off for a while.

Fast forward to the morning of the 25th – the midwife came in a little after 8am, checked and said we were ready to push!

Olivia Caroline was born at 9:40am after roughly an hour of pushing.  She had the cord wrapped around her neck and did NOT like her head being squished (her hand was near her face and I could feel her scratching in annoyance as she was coming out!), but other than that the delivery was fairly uneventful other than having to be on oxygen in between pushes as I was having trouble breathing.  They placed her on my chest as soon as she was born and we just stared at each other for a while.  She didn’t cry or make a sound until they took her over to get her stats – 6lb 13oz and 20in long.

Olivia

Olivia’s name means “Peaceful Song of Joy” and we are so grateful to have her as part of our family!

Olivia's Birthday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.