Giving Birth is Hard Work

Her pains come hard and fast.

Even before the labor begins.

She is unsure about the pressing child within, the one she wanted to abort, who will now live.

Her labor is long and difficult. Her groans audible. At the pinnacle, a distressed baby is born with the help of skilled hands.

Her pain produces a son.

Our pain gives her a home.

Christ gives them both a future.

I know this pain. For I am pregnant, too.

Romans 8:22-28: All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs.

My womb is empty, but I’m pregnant with waiting. Waiting for Him to answer, to reveal, to show the way, to accomplish what I cannot. I’m learning that helping our precious girls safely deliver their unplanned and usually unwanted babes into the world, is just the beginning of the hard work.

These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting.

And as our waiting grows, so do we.

We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

This giving birth is long and painful. It is soul-weary work we don’t know how to do. But if we knew the how, we wouldn’t need Him. He is waiting on us to need Him.

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.

My sighs and aching groans are noisy. I am weary and I don’t know how to do this. It is too hard for me. I don’t know how to make a mother love her baby or help a detached orphan girl bond with her child or repair these broken, broken girls or how to keep juggling home and work or even help my own son not feel weird in this world.

I don’t have the answers. Because I’m just a broken girl myself.

But I hang onto this promise, inscribe it on my heart:

He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

We are laboring for Him.

Giving birth is hard work.

*Scripture from The Message Bible

Can I encourage you to keep laboring? Even when it’s hard, especially when it’s hard.

Custom Christmas Ornaments {A Vintage Pearl Giveaway}

UPDATED WITH WINNER: Congrats – comment #140 Rachel G and comment #40 Amy

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is buying each of my kids a new ornament every year. It’s usually sentimental or funny or both.

They get so excited to dig thru our ornament box and reminisce about each one. When they leave home one day {sob: I don’t want to talk about it} we will pass down my hubby’s tradition and let them take their special ornaments with them for their first tree.

We let them decorate the tree and then after they are asleep, we “fix” it. [What can I say? The OCD side of me cannot handle 19 ornaments on one branch].

This year, I’m starting a new ornament tradition: I want to add a new FAMILY ornament to the tree. Something we make together or that has our names on it. {That way, when my nest is empty, I’ll keep the family ornaments and all the memories. Why does this post make me want to cry??}

Here is what our 2011 FAMILY ornament given to us by The Vintage Pearl will look like:

Isn’t it lovely? I’m so excited to  hang it together on our tree.

A few other choices:

and

Today, The Vintage Pearl is giving away TWO ornaments (TWO winner’s choice) and TWO gift certificates for $25 to one family!

Take a look around and please leave a comment {with one of your Christmas traditions if you want} to be entered.

This giveaway ends Thursday.

Deals: Great Photo Gift Ideas

Vistaprint – Free Photo Wall Calendar
1 Free Photo Wall Calendar! The Calendar is FREE. Just Pay Shipping and Processing. Shipping starts at: $5.67.

I love this idea: Custom Cookbooks by Picaboo! Makes a great gift for $20 (60% off) I think the hard-to-buy for cook in your life would love this.

My wall is happy with the canvas of this picture of my hubby and I. Great deal on a FREE 8×10 wrapped- canvas or 40% off and free shipping off larger canvas sizes.

Click here or the button if you’re interested:

[affiliate links]

TableTalk: The Best Idea I’ve Had This Year

Dinner with my family is important to me. I fight for it.

Some days it’s the only time all five us are together.

It’s our family devotion time, when we connect and communicate.

And so…….

we decided to make our table [the center of our home], a practical, fun place where everyone wants to be by painting the top of it with chalkboard paint:

How to turn your dining {or any other} table into a work of art:

Questions for your table:

  • What do you love doing together?
  • What was the best part of your day?
  • What do you want to be when you grow up?
  • What are you thankful for?
  • What do you dream about?


Q: What’s your favorite thing to do?

A: 1. Play football together  2: Play my flute for you

3: Family hike, fishing, dates 4: Play at the park together

We can’t keep our kids out of the kitchen, from around the table! It’s the place to be.
Together.
My hubby’s drawing of the scripture we’re learning:

We have a few guidelines: chalk down when food is on the table. If you draw it, you must [help] clean it up. And reality check? It will probably never look this clean again. Plus: our youngest has been doing so much better during devotion-time because she’s able to doodle. I like to think she’s listening. We’ve had our table for ten years or so and the top looks a lot better painted!

What’s on our table right now:
Of course, you don’t have to paint your table to make dinner fun, but your family will enjoy it if you do!
No matter what, make every day matter.

Thanksgiving Challenge: Day 13

I went into my kid’s rooms to pull out clothes that don’t fit and decided to purge their rooms. I didn’t come up for air for three hours! I’m thankful my hubby helped me and we have someone to share our excess with.

Thanksgiving Challenge: Day 11 & 12

I am thankful for coffee and catching up with one of my dearest friends today and a Saturday with NO plans. It’s been a long time!

I’m also very proud to be an American and I’m thankful for our servicemen and women.

What are you thankful for this weekend?