Recently, I took a look back in my meager journal - when life is good, my need to write seems to slow - and I found my first entry from when I first found out that we were pregnant.
I marvel at how insecure and how scared I was. Worries over worries - a speciality of mine - dominated the page of scrawled anxious-looking notes...insurance, new business, new marriage, small rental home, all those things seemed insurmountable during week No. 3 of The Bean's pregnancy.
But in the past 5 months or so, we have been blessed, not just by a growing belly, but also by a growing recognition that life is a constant challenge, but not a hopeless cause. We have been showered with goodness from the Lord and through Him from the people around us. Family, friends and acquaintances are stepping up in ways that they don't have to - throwing us baby showers, "rescuing" someone else's castoff fabric for the nursery, encouraging me to continue to exercise and making me laugh even when I feel dowdy and huge. They are researching strollers, calling to inquire about my latest observations and experiences, or they simply just are happy for us.
They support us with generous contributions of costly baby must-haves, and give me the equally priceless gift of their time, experience and resulting wisdom of infant care and toddler rearing. I have received boxes of hand-me-downs, so spotless and cute I can't believe anyone would part with them. Sometimes it's a simple smile from a stranger that reminds me that God is good all the time, even when I seriously doubt the fortune of my current situation.
I might have an achy back but a compliment about my appearance or a well wish directed a human being in the making can straighten that out in a second.
I'm starting to truly appreciate those gifts given so joyfully and freely, so selflessly they shine next to anything done out of obligation. When you are the recipient of such kindess, you can choose to feel uncomfortable (how will I ever repay these people?) or you can simply cherish them for what they are, reminders that giving can make one as happy as receiving and that people, loved ones and strangers, are God 's creation I admit my natural inclination veers towards the first. I want to repay, dollar for dollar, cent for cent. I don't want to owe too much, who knows when I can pay you back?
But I have this feeling that a heartfelt thank you, a hug and my excitement about some offering or another are what these wonderful people want from me. They aren't giving me their time, money and hand-me-downs to score points, they want to help simple as that. While I was running the other day - my knees grumbling over the extra 20 lbs. - my mind wandered to something my friend Brynn had told me to remind myself now and then.
I'm only pregnant for the first time once in my life.
It has been a blessings-filled 6 months so far. I am overjoyed. Thank you Lord and everyone.