Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Story and An Announcement

We took a family camping trip a couple months ago, and on the way home we saw the funniest thing--a goat. The goat was standing in a field surrounded by grass as tall as its chin. And it was really going to town munching on this grass.

Normal, right?

The thing is, the goat was standing next to a fence. And for whatever reason, the grass that was outside of the fence and way out of reach of this goat was the only grass it was interested in eating. So it stood there--again, surrounded by all this tall grass--and craned and contorted its neck over and under and all around this fence just to get the slightest taste of the grass that grew outside of its fence.

I thought, "Isn't that funny?! What the heck is wrong with that goat?!"

But two more hours in the car, a naturally introspective mind, and an insatiable desire to find an object lesson in everything left me with this realization: I am that darn goat. And this grass-is-greener thing can really creep up on you if you're not careful!

I wrote that as a social media post for Our String of Pearl's Facebook page.

This picture came first:

I had created the image with a plan:  to write a whole post on the subject.  I figured I'd accumulated enough experience to be able to do so. 

This whole thing--the grass is greener thing--had started to creep up on me and it was getting pretty painful.  Here's what that was all about...

We'd been trying to have a baby for two and a half years.  When we began tossing around the idea of growing our family, we had decided that the best thing we could do was give it to God.  So, I stopped getting birth control injections, and we began the process of letting it go.  We assured each other that when--or if--it was time, He would bless us with another child.

Surrender, we found, was so much easier when it was kind of a far-off notion we had just tossed around a few times.

But you could say we got used to the idea of having another baby.

Liking it, even.

Then it became a desire.  Suddenly we were so sure that a son would perfectly complete our family, and therefore, the opposite was true...without a son, our family wouldn't be complete.  I began counting cycle days and bookmarking articles on conception methods.  Which isn't something there's necessarily anything wrong with.

What was wrong was that our posture had gone from open-handed submission to closed-fisted frustration.

Month after month we tried and month after month we were disappointed.

By the beginning of this past summer we were convinced that it just might not happen for us.  And to make matters worse, it seemed like we were surrounded by pregnant women and babies.  Baby boys, to be more specific.  It was torture.

Then God started working on me.

I can't remember exactly what the circumstance was.  If I'm being totally honest, I was probably on Pinterest pinning things to my "Baby Fever" board.  (Yeah, it was that bad.)  But I remember seeing a picture or reading an article or something and--for the first time in a long time--thinking, I've been pregnant twice already.  I have two beautiful, healthy children.  Our family is beautiful and complete just the way it is.  I believe God whispered that to my heart.

Suddenly I realized that I'd been so obsessed with the desire to conceive another baby that I'd been missing what was right in front of me all along.  I'd been missing the blessings my life was already so full of.  He finally (lovingly) asked me to stop, and thank goodness.

I finally felt free to let go of this picture that I thought was going to be perfect if only--and see what was so perfectly perfect all along.  Free to really see the miracle of my sweet Katie Paige again.  My sweet, strong, determined little lady who is suspended somewhere between being able to pour her own drinks and yet is still able to be brought to that baby belly laugh when Daddy tickles her real good.  And my Jyllian Olyvia.  There are times when I look at her and see this incredible young woman...in the way she looks, the way she talks, the way that she relates to people.  It's hard not to see glimpses of the woman she's becoming, and I love what I see.

And the incredible miracles that they are began in me.  Once upon a time I sat in anticipation, so anxious to meet them.  I sang to them, talked to them, worried about them.  Felt their first kicks.  Agonized over itchy pregnant bellies and hurting hips.  I willed them into this world and from the moment I laid eyes on them I loved them each more than anyone has ever loved anyone or anything.  They're mine and they're a gift.

I hate that I spent a single moment forgetting that.

But, back to the camping trip.  That was late July, and by that time my heart had begun to take this turn.  So when I saw the goat on the way home, I immediately recognized that I must look just like that poor soul.  Totally surrounded by beautiful, yummy, tall grass and yet completely miserable because it wasn't the grass I wanted. 

Totally ridiculous.  And that was my stance for a little while.

We stopped trying.  Well...I stopped counting days and all that jazz. :-)

And then...

The yes.

This test was taken on September 11.  We see the doctor for our first ultrasound tomorrow.  As far as we know, Baby Strouth will be welcomed into the world in early May.  We're so excited and humbled all at the same time.

And as I sit here sick as a dog, I can't help but smile and think how so many times in my life I've been reminded to just. let. go.  Just water the grass where I stand, and God WILL take care of the rest.  No matter the outcome, it's always perfect.  Always.

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