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Prince Edward County year two, and weighty things that birthdays can bring

Turning 31 rushed in with different feelings than the big 30 milestone for me. We returned to the County for the second year in a row, filled up by the vast beaches, rolling hills and charming homes, and it was a happy time, but my spirit felt heavier.

A distinct sadness, the weight of what life and the world looks like today, and yet a settled realization of how it doesn't actually matter that much in the grand scheme of things. God knows what he's doing, in the heartache, and the division, and the pain. And He is distinctly good.

We've been trying for kids for quite some time now, the dream of having a quiver full that once burned bright full of hope is now mingled with embers and a distinct sadness. Open hands is how I try to pray, and sometimes I have to physically stretch my hands out flat, for they tend to roll up into fists if and when I let my thoughts trail to anxious ones. Luke reminds me that it may very well happen, having kids that is,"we're not that special, ya know" and this simple word calms me. And then I turn my thoughts to truth - that's when the real peace comes.

I feel incredibly fortunate in the kid and baby realm, with being an aunt filling my heart to the brim for the last decade - I got to be there, at least in the first week or so, of each little person being born, and the generosity of my sisters in sharing the sweetness of their babies is one of the best gifts they could have given me, and one they have given over the years freely, lovingly.

And even professionally, I've changed thousands of diapers, rocked hundreds to sleep, learned to swaddle, comfort, and care for babies, learning to read between the lines of what may be going wrong under their sweet sleepy expressions and cries. This too, a sweet gift and calling, one from the Father, who knows us deeply and loves us more than we can understand. He saw me before I was knit together in my mother's womb, and put a path before me to fight for babies lives and their wellbeing - not excluding the extremes of titrating blood pressure drips for shifts on end, starting chest compressions, and pressing code buttons. And to be a praying witness when their lives are far too short, but filled with purpose and meaning, because they are image bearers of our Creator and King, has been a beautiful gift too.

So as the months pass, and I reluctantly look for the dreaded start of bleeding, subtly showing itself again and again on the bound together white squares, my thoughts meander to some of the other cares in the world, and I feel my heart expanding for the other ways that motherhood can present itself, though pangs of grief not far off- bound up in the thoughts that I know I must hush - the what ifs, the temptations to bargain, to beat myself up for not getting married sooner or something, and the lies of unworthiness.

Growing up with the radio consistently tuned into Focus on the Family, one of the soundtracks in my mind has always been on the pro-life movement. And I don't know what this may look like for us in the future, but I don't want to miss it. And I also believe that we will be held accountable for what we know and how we have stewarded what we know. God doesn't make mistakes in the families he places us in, and what He allows to happen to us. And He is the whole point. He gives and He takes away, and His name is blessed.

Watching movies like Lion, and seeing first hand into orphanages in some of the poorest places in the world, I feel drawn to exploring what this may look like for me and Luke in the years ahead. And a burden that must begin with blistering knees in secret, is also one that I feel I must carry to the light, even on this humble little blog.

Because hope and purpose and worthiness is not in the gifts God gives us, or doesn't give us. It's in Him. And the older I get, and the fleeting satisfaction that things in this world hold, actually fills me with much hope. We were made for Him. We were made to be satisfied in Him, fully. And while we only see dimly this side of Heaven, it should turn my anxious thoughts, my fearful prayers, my temptation to bargain, to peace, joy even.

There are so many things that are good to pursue, but when we make them bigger than the all-satisfying One, they begin to cripple us, steal our joy, leave us wanting. Maybe it's that degree, or a spouse, having a baby, house ownership, or landing that dream job in that dream place that's robbing you of seeing how abundantly He's already given Himself, and finding joy in the life God has given you right now, today. These are things I'm tempted to seek significance in at least. And even if and when He does choose to give us these good gifts, holding them with stewardship and care, and open hands is where joy can be found.

I've been drawn to the design of things for quite some time, and I think it's important to recognize that grief is appropriate when God's design for the world and the people He has made doesn't go according to that design. Struggling to conceive being the example here. God designed us to "Be fruitful, and multiply". But I don't want that same grief to become a long term resident in my heart, when what my heart was ultimately designed for is the Designer Himself. And I want to praise Him with open hands, and a worry free heart, because He is so, so good, even when we often don't understand His ways. Regardless if that test ever shows a positive mark, I want to be found with open hands and a heart filled with joy, because being found in Jesus is what brings me significance, and joy.

I S A I A H 5 5 : 8 - 9

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.


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