And that's when I started to get all weepy. Seven years earlier at almost that exact time my water broke. Joe and I were at Kenwood Mall in Cincinnati. I had just finished a glazin' raisin pretzel from Auntie Anne's when I stood up and felt a little trickle. My due date was a week away but I had a feeling that this was "it"! I looked at Joe with eyes as big as saucers, fear written all over my face and told him what I felt. He told me to go to the bathroom to make sure I didn't pee my pants (haha)! Once it was confirmed it truly was my "water", we hit the road! I think it was pure elation I saw on Joe's face, me rubbing my tummy as we sped down I-75...not because he was about to meet his first child, the one that would melt his heart into a million pieces, but because he could go as fast as he wanted on the highway!
Yes, I would have to say that was my most memorable New Year's Eve ever. Not sure how it can be topped.
So, there I was sitting in the car, I tried not to think too much about that special night seven years earlier. I told myself I would write about it later, I didn't need to become a puddle of tears right then. I was on a mission, I had gifts to buy! I walked into the bookstore and asked if they had bible covers. I found one I knew for sure he would like. It had little Velcro pockets on the outside, and that boy loves places to put things. He has a toolbox that he keeps organized...screws, tape measure (or tape measure-er as he calls it), screw drivers...random Lego pieces... I could already picture him finding the perfect trinkets to put in those little pockets.
With that, I went into the Children's section and started looking at a few books. I found "You Are Special" by Max Lucado. And that's when I just couldn't hold it together anymore. This sweet book about how our Maker wants to spend time with us each day. How we gain our confidence from Him alone and not what others think. I would like to say I was crying on behalf of my boy but what really struck me is the fact that my Maker wants to spend time with me. This isn't a new thought, I was raised in church and I've always known He loves me but sometimes that realization can feel brand new. You know, the whole Creator of the Universe really wants to spend time with me? My problems can sound more like complaining or ungratefulness. And I don't want to be that person who is all "yeah, I have three healthy kids and food in the fridge but I can't stand this teeny, tiny townhouse".
But the truth is I am that girl. And I wasn't sure how I was supposed to be feeling about things. Our life has been a roller coaster these last four years or so. We've had moments where we didn't know where our next meal would come from. I've been the mama crying over the sleeping babe in the crib not knowing where he would sleep in a month or where we would call home. I've been that mama, belly big and round with a precious soul inside wondering if the food I consumed that day was enough to sustain two lives.
The next day on my drive home from the gym, with the words of that book still fresh in my mind, I just started praying. I've been so, I don't know, I hate to say discontent with our living situation. 1400 square feet is not enough for a family of five. Or it's at least a true struggle to make it work. I type that and then think we are so blessed, because we are. Most of the world would be incredibly grateful to have what we have.
Still, my heart was torn. I wanted a place for my kids to ride their bikes, to build a tree house, to have friends come and play and actually have a place for them to play! To sit on my couch and not be staring at my treadmill on the right and "dining room" on the left...to eat at that table and not get poked in the back by the Christmas tree....
So, there I was, praying and crying over this. We had come to a point where we had stopped looking for the next place, we just decided to stick it out here for a few more months. A few more months doesn't sound like a long time but I know us and a few months could easily turn into a few more. I was feeling pretty hopeless. Worn out from spinning my wheels and trying to make this space work. I just asked God to reveal to me if any of this was sinful, what I had been feeling, this torn, messed up heart of mine. I drove by our old house, the one with four spacious bedrooms and a finished basement bigger than the entire place we are in now. Probably not the best idea. I just gave it all up. I said I was sorry for being ungrateful, that He would have to find our next house because I was done trying. I just couldn't keep getting my hopes up, picturing where our pictures would hang, envisioning our kids playing in the yards, the Thanksgiving dinners that would accommodate our large extended family. Because I would get my hopes up and then it wouldn't work out, or the timing wouldn't be right. And there I'd sit, staring at my treadmill and really wishing I had a window in the kitchen. Knowing all along that those things aren't the important things, but boy wouldn't it be nice?...
Later, we were all huddled on the couch watching "Winne The Pooh". I didn't know it but Joe was on his phone looking at local houses for rent (he didn't know about my emotional morning). He showed me one, we saw the price and knew it was a "steal". We called right away, we met the realtor a couple of hours later. And now, not even a week from when we first looked at it, we are packing our things. I still can't believe it. I haven't been able to sleep at all. I start to fall asleep and then remember it all over again...and get excited all over again! That darn treadmill (it's a love/hate relationship...but mostly love, honest) will have a spot, in the unfinished basement. I can't wait! What a great way to start the new year :)
I don't know what all of it means but I think there is a lot to say about Surrender. Just giving things over to the Lord. And I don't know why I get so surprised when He surprises me. If anything He's continued to show His faithfulness. Over and over and over again. How is He showing you?
I've gotta go. It's a big day. Cupcake delivery to Isaac's school so he can celebrate his birthday with his classmates, and it seems like there's something else.....oh yeah, packing :)