How God (Totally) Changed My View: Part 2

 

(Aren’t my nephews as cute as pie and just as eatable?)
I’m a woman of many contradictions.

One of the most difficult contradictions I have experienced is my great desire for (and also fear of) having children.

When we didn’t get pregnant within the first six months of our marriage I panicked. “What if we cannot conceive?” “What if I am never able to give my dear husband a baby of his own?” (Dalton loves children! 🙂

Then there were moments when I thought we could be pregnant; when all the signs and symptoms told me to invest in a test and begin planning. I panicked during those moments too. “What if I’m not a good mom?” “What if I’m not ready?” “What if I like my life too much as it is?”

I was ashamed of my feelings. I wanted to be pregnant yet when the possibility was there I was terrorized. Thankfully, the Lord has worked (and continues to work) miracles in my heart. He has also given me grace to learn why I was afraid. Below, I have written three reason for my hesitancy towards having children; maybe one of you can relate?

I was afraid of being pregnant because I had never taken the time to decide if I really wanted children. Children are blessings, gifts from our Heavenly Father, and they should be desired and thanked for! But as a Christian, conservative woman I had allowed myself to believe that having children was the godly thing to do — mere duty instead of privilege. I had allowed my false belief to taint the way I viewed children; if babies are merely expected jobs then joy is lost. It was only after I was married and faced with the possibility of pregnancy that I began to see that I did in fact want children. I wanted them not because it was expected or the godly thing to do … I wanted them because they were true blessings!

I was afraid because I was selfish. When I find more happiness in controlling an environment than enjoying/blessing the people within the environment I am being selfish. When I let myself get angry over a messy room and forget that these little people are people I am being selfish. When I love my life more than having someone new to share my life with I am being selfish. I was afraid of having children because children are a big commitment! 😀 I had to come face to face with my selfishness and call it for what it was … sin.

Finally, I was afraid because I was uninformed. This was really important for me to realize. I was afraid because I was afraid! 🙂 For some reason, I knew nothing about birth (and watching one show of “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” on TLC did not help the matter … talk about freaky!). I was afraid of the pain, the weight gain and the body changes which often accompany pregnancy. I was afraid of the natural (and beautiful) process of birth. I was afraid of pregnancy because I was uneducated.

Since then, I’ve been reading about childbirth, natural labor and all that is involved. I was blessed to be apart of my sister’s delivery. As I learned, the fear and anxiety magically began to drift away. I am still learning and so thankful to know that God will keep working in my life! 🙂

Have you ever struggled with the thought of having children? Or maybe you are one of those strangely awesome ladies who have that part of life all figured out? No matter who you are, do leave your comments. I’d love to learn from you!

With love, coffee and sunshine,
Frannie
// p.s. check out this link for the final post in the baby love series! //

Awfully, Painfully, Terribly Awkward: Part 1

I have a love-hate relationship with children.

I love the idea of children, the joy they radiate and the feelings of motherliness I get when I tend to them.

But I struggle with the real deal, the in-your-face with peanut butter and jelly stains, rambunctious and sometimes naughty reality of children.

p.s. I’m laughing as I write this article. Just so you know, I don’t hate children (at all). But I am terribly, awfully, painfully awkward around them … let’s proceed with examples.

Growing up, my sister and I babysat as a team. Allie was the fun, game playing, diaper changing, order-keeping sister. And while she kept the children at bay I enjoyed cleaning the house. Having inherited my dad’s fear of holding small, plushy babies I didn’t learn how to properly change a diaper until I was nineteen and hired at a daycare. (Can you imagined my boss’ thoughts when she learned her employee didn’t even know how to change a diaper!? HA!) At twenty-five I battle being irritated with the quirks of students.

Some women seem to love everything about children … I get cranky after one hour of babysitting.

My mom encourages me that it will be different when I have my own children. And while I am grateful for the encouragement I can’t but wonder what I can do to change. How can I learn to thoroughly enjoy children, to discover the joy in the mess? How do I change a twenty-five year old habit when I’m serious minded and more prone to adult conversation than play?

Prayer and time.

I’m convinced that these alone will change my attitude. I don’t want to just be tolerant — I want to accept unreservedly.

Coming up, I will share how God has been changing my heart toward children. I’ll also write a little something on the patience in waiting for a child. Both are relevant to my life today.

Question: Do you relate well with children? If not, how have you learned to overcome? I’d love to learn from you —  and laugh with you too!

With love, coffee and blessings!
  Frannie
p.s.s. My friend Angel wrote an excellent piece on this very topic so if you love children, want to learn to love children or love random wedding pictures do check her site out. 🙂
p.s.s.s. If you’re reading this and I’ve babysat your children before … please don’t freak out thinking I hated watching your precious babies! Ha! Not true. Every child I have watched (and there have been many) are special bundles of personality that I love and appreciate and I look forward to watching in the future.

Pregnancy Tests and Baby Blues

Edit: Almost one year later and I’m resharing this post because I’ve met so many couples who can relate! Since I wrote this I’ve grown in so much peace, contentment and joy. Baby blues are a real thing and some days it is hard wondering if we’ll ever be parents; however, there are so many more moments where I am filled with overflowing joy. I know everything is in God’s hands and He is SO good! Blessings! 12/4/2015

It can be a very personal subject and one I haven’t known how to discuss. Pregnancy troubles. Or, more specifically, struggling to get pregnant.It’s been a hard journey to be on and one I hesitate to share with others; I’ve only been married for ten months, have not dedicated myself to certain timing methods, and am very healthy and well. I’ve been afraid to share because we haven’t visited a doctor or even bought prenatal vitamins — but when you’re as newly married, healthy and young as we are sometimes doctor visits don’t seem appropriate yet.

But, regardless of the circumstances, it has been hard.

And I want to talk about it because I think it will help.

This past week I had been hope-filled and dreamy-eyed. I thought I was pregnant. Nearly every classic symptom of pregnancy appeared to be taking its course so, with a hop and a skip and a merry heart, I bought two pregnancy tests.

The boxes tell you not to read the test after ten minutes but my sister, who has a beautiful 5 month bouncing, baby boy, read a positive only after the set time limit. So I assumed it was okay. Ten minutes after the timeline, a faint positive became visible in the tiny, plastic circle and with the visibility my heart leapt. I had thought I was pregnant at 3 different times within our short marriage so I was used to disappointment. But this time was different. I had a teeny-tiny-faint positive.

And my heart secretly soared.

I waited till the end of the week to try the second test. Like the first, it came out negative; in an effort to move on from my sadness I busied myself with prayer and tidying our house. Twenty minutes later I returned to find that a huge, big blue positive line had appeared. I began to plan how I was going to tell my husband the special news and began to put baby names together.

And then the bleeding began. I told myself it was simply the implantation phase; the natural process of the fertilized egg nestling into its new home. Natural. Good. Expected.

After waking up to the beginning of a normal period, I spoiled the surprise, nervously dressed, held hands with my steady man while picking out three tests and headed home.

The reading?

Negative.

I felt so stupid. How could I convince myself that I was pregnant after two originally negative tests and traditional pms symptoms? How could I be crying over my naivety? How could God have let me believe that I was pregnant? With the sweetness and goodness of a true man, Dalton held me, encouraged me, blessed me, and reminded me that birth is in God’s capable, good hands. Of course, I knew that; I had faith in God and His timing.

But then I realized something very important.

Faith isn’t faith unless it can withstand the valleys, mountains, and struggles.

Remember the Israelites and their journey through the desert? Very few of their company could be called men of faith; men of faith journeyed knowing that they would get to the Promised Land even when the food bags were sagging with emptiness and the last watering holes were three days backwards. Men of faith knew that the God Who had parted the sea would also keep His word. Men of faith didn’t lose heart. And today, this very faith in God is demanded of us.

“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; ” Hebrews 3

Doubt is a very natural response to life’s struggles and I am thankful to know that even our Lord Jesus was tempted with it and understands us. There is no condemnation in struggling with unbelief; but, for me, I wasn’t doubting God’s ability or timing in giving us a baby. I was doubting His goodness and His love. My inner man cried out saying, “Why, when I am living a life following Him would He deny me my heart’s desire?” And that is where I want to encourage you, sweet one, if you are in the same boat.

Remember that God is good. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him — words the psalmist wrote long ago still ring true today. God is good even when life has disappointments and the way is long and the road full of pot-holes and steep ditches. He is good even when your pregnancy tests say positive but the science says negative and He is good even though your week-long dream becomes another example of your vivid imagination.

So yes, it has been a long journey.

A long, marvelous, God-filled journey.

And I am okay … at least I will be.

I don’t mean for this to be a sad tale or turn into a pity party; there are so many sisters in Christ who are struggling with this issue (and in much more painful ways). I also don’t want to be accused of being foolish for not visiting a doctor. Like I said before, I am healthy and well and at this time I am more than okay with letting time take its course. I may change my mind but for now I am happy and content with that.

I just want to be able to talk about it and not feel silly. Because this pain I feel? It’s real. And it affects both Dalton and I.

More than anything, I want it to be a growing experience. I want to walk away from these difficulties and be able to say that my faith grew, my heart expanded, and my love multiplied.

With love, blessings, and coffee,

p.s.

Sometimes learning to talk out your feelings can be embarrassing and really, really hard. Thankfully, I have an amazing husband ready to encourage my heart and dry my eyes, family who love no matter what, and friends like you … who bring authentic sunshine into my life. 🙂 Blessings to you!

My Fear of All Things Babies

 

 

Babies.
Most females my age love the little bundles; they like to kiss, hug, and jostle
about the squirming creature and they enjoy cooing and soothing and holding all
the while making it look easy and natural.

 

I, on the other
hand, am different. Much different.

 

Put a baby in my
arms and I become as wide-eyed, stiff, and awkward as can be.

 

Babies scare me.
They’re fragile. Their necks flop about and they are so hard to dress; it took
me forever to learn how to button onsies (so many buttons!) and I’m scared stiff
to pull their little t-shirts over their little faces.

 

Back in Alaska I’m
known for putting a baby’s diaper on backward.

 

Toddlers aren’t any
better—instead of enjoying the cute faces they make I spend energy worrying
about whether or not they’ll choke on a carrot or if it’s time to change the
diaper.

 

Finally, the birth
process. Oi. I have ever so many questions
about the pregnancy. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is a miraculous event and I
believe motherhood in all its stages is beautiful.  But what about weight gain, labor, pain and
all those doctor visits?

 

You see, I’ve never
had any little people in the house to take care of. When my sister and I
babysat she would take care of the babies and I would take care of the cleaning;
we made a great team and I relished the chance to avoid those fragile, precious
packages.

 

Last week I had the
chance to visit with a friend who recently had her first baby. We talked about
little things at first; I was afraid becoming a mom had totally changed her.
Then we began to talk about it, the
baby and the birth.

 

“Was it painful?”

 

“How has your body
adjusted?”

 

“How did you handle
all those doctors?”

 

“Was the umbilical
cord . . . creepy?” J Ever since I watched an episode of “I Didn’t Know
I was Pregnant” the umbilical cord has resembled something alive from the SciFi
channel! Eeek!

 

It was so good for
me to ask real questions and to hear honest answers. It was such relief to know
that pregnancy and labor are hard but well worth it. It was such a blessing to
see how God carried her through her pregnancy and labor and how the pain is now
drifting into the past . . . just like He promised.

 

So, am I ready to
pick up every baby I see?

 

No.

 

But am excited to
see the little ways God molds and changes my heart and soothes my fears?

 

Absolutely.

 

With love,

 

          Frannie

 

          The baby about babies
Like that baby carriage? Me too! Find it here.