Sunday, March 21, 2010

I'm Huge

Well, I guess it's happened...apparently I'm officially HUGE.  :)

This morning after the service an older woman in our church made about 4 or 5 comments during our very brief conversation about how big my pregnant belly is getting .  She said something about how I only have a couple more weeks before our baby is due.  I said, "Well, about 5 weeks."  She said something like, "Wow!  Just imagine how huge (she might have said big, but huge is the word that stuck in my mind...LOL) you'll be in 4 or 5 more weeks!"  Thanks a lot, dear sister!  :)

You know, there were several other people who made comments to me today.  A couple of people told me how good I look (being pregnant), three people complimented me on the purple top I was wearing (and that it's a good color on me), two people complimented my hair (and the scarf I had in it); yet the negative comments were the ones that stuck in my mind.  Words really are a powerful force, aren't they?!

For our women's Sunday School class we have been studying the Wisdom of Proverbs (a study by Wendy Blight).  Ironically, this week we studied Proverbs chapters 10 and 18 focusing on controlling our tongues, and that's what we discussed today.  Note: the elderly lady I mentioned above doesn't normally attend Sunday school, but I'm thinking perhaps she would have benefitted from this weeks study.  hee hee  :)

During Sunday School we discussed how our words can either "build up" another or can "tear" them down (can give life or death).  Now, I must say, I know that the dear sister mentioned above wasn't trying to hurt me with her words.  We're all guilty at times of speaking words in haste, without thinking and without regard to the effects, still today her words and the positive words of others were a great picture in my mind of what was already revealed to me this week through God's Word.  Our words are powerful!  This was just a SMALL thing.  It really was.  However, it was also a GREAT BIG reminder to me that I'd rather be the one speaking positive, uplifting, life-giving words, than the one making the negative, not-so-helpful comment without even thinking.   

This woman's words weren't poisonous or perverse or violent (and I'm honestly not trying to be hard on her!!).  However, her words weren't exactly "life giving" either.  Before we say what's on our mind it is good to ask ourselves, "Is this true? Is it kind?  Is it helpful?  Is it needed/necessary?"  

True: Yes.  Although I  haven't gained as much weight with this baby as I did with my last, I can tell that my belly IS indeed bigger.  So, yes, my sister's words are True.

Kind: Although they weren't necessarily said in a mean-hearted, unkind spirit, I'd say no...not so kind. :)

Helpful: Not so much.  The last thing a pregnant woman wants to hear is how HUGE she is.  lol

Needed/Necessary: Nope.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, a person shouldn't make a comment to a pregnant woman about her appearance unless telling her, "You look great!" or "You're glowing."  Being preggers can be tough.  Why not "build up" a sister?!?!  Find something positive to say.  It's not like we pregnant women can help how big our belly gets.   

No worries, dear reader!  Although I'm using this woman's words to make a point here, I'm really taking them lightly, choosing to laugh about her comments and to consider the source.  My husband and I have had some great laughs about it already several times today. 

I'm not going to spend the following weeks worrying about it.  Instead I'm going to enjoy it.  Maybe we will have more children down the road, maybe we won't.  Regardless, this special time of THIS pregnancy will only last a little while longer.  So, I'll enjoy feeling the baby move within my womb (guessing whether that's a knee or an elbow that I see moving across my belly), praying for the baby's health and thanking God that we are both growing!  Soon I'll get to hold and snuggle my precious baby...AND my belly will shrink.  :)

My big belly will go away, but I pray that this lesson on controlling my tongue remains with me forever!  I want my words to be full of wisdom, to be encouraging, uplifting, positive, peaceful, gentle, loving, kind; so I'm going to try to ask myself BEFORE I speak, "Is this true?  Is this kind?  Is this helpful?  Is this needed/necessary?" even in the seemingly small things.  If the answer is no, I pray I'll remember to zip up my lips...and spare those around me.  :)  LORD, help me!!

Wise words satisfy like a good meal; the right words bring satisfaction.  The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.  Proverbs 18: 20-21

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Marvelous Workmanship!

Baby Beran is due in 6 weeks...

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother's womb.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous--how well I know it.

You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.

You saw me before I was born. 
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They can not be numbered!

Psalm 139:13-17

Awesome!  God is just awesome!  As I read this passage this morning
 I found myself basking in the awe of God's marvelous workmanship.  
Although I already love my baby, I have felt it actively moving,
heard it's heartbeat, eagerly await it's arrival; 
 I do not really know my baby yet...but God does!
He is knitting this child together in my womb,
even the delicate, inner child's very being.
God has a plan for my child's life, He knows every detail.
This child has a unique purpose, no one else has ever been or 
ever will be just like him/her.
Precious in His sight...even now! 

But this isn't true only of Baby Beran or David who wrote the Psalm above
(or even just for my 3 year old Andrew above)...
it's true for ME and YOU!

Read the previous verses found in Psalm 139:1-6

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.

You know when I sit down or stand up. 
You know my thoughts even when I'm far away.

You see me when I travel and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.

You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.

You go before me and follow me. 
You place your hand of blessing on my head.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!

He knows every detail of our lives, friends!  From the beginning...
to the end and everything inbetween! 

He wove YOU together in your mother's womb!
He knows YOU and the details of YOUR life!
 YOU are His unique and special creation!
He has a plan and a purpose for YOUR life;
ones only YOU can fill!
He knows everything about YOU,
YOUR thoughts, feelings and dreams!
He wants to bless YOU!
His thoughts of YOU are precious...
and too numerous for YOU to count!

...they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up, you are still with me!
Psalm 139:18

Do you believe it?
Do you really believe it?!

As I apply this to my life, I find myself in awe
saying much like David did...
This is just too wonderful,
His ways too great for me to comprehend!

But I believe it and I
thank you, LORD!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Spring is near. Not quite here yet, but I can feel it in the air. I love seeing the sunshine…and some of the massive mounds of snow melting. There will probably be some more cold, windy, snowy days before the month of March comes to an end, but we know we’re in the home stretch now.

I’m probably the only person in Iowa who would say the winter has gone fast. Although it has been a long, harsh winter, I made a decision at the beginning of it to simply keep a good attitude (not always easy!!). To help the matter, we’ve been working at remodeling our basement this winter…helping the time speed by as we’ve kept busy. Now here we are, it’s almost spring (and less than 7 weeks from our baby’s due date)!

Life is like that. The time always goes by. We have seasons in our life (like a long winter in Iowa) that we “wish away”. We tend to be always longing for something better…easier…more appealing. Then, before we know it, sure enough, the season passes and we’re on to the next one. Unfortunately, that “more appealing” season rushes by just as quickly (or more so).

The wise words of Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3:11-13 tell us, “God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I conclude there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God. “

I’m starting to understand how the older generation must feel. How often have you heard one of them say, “Just enjoy this time, it goes quickly” or like my own mom, “Don’t wish your life away.” There is wisdom in their words. They know that life is fleeting, and want us to grasp that knowledge now while there is time.

I don’t want to spend my life waiting for that next blissful season, only to find myself at the end of my life, never having enjoyed the days God gave to me! I don’t want to spend my life “going through the motions”, I want to enjoy it!

I like this quote from Jane Canfield, “The happiest people are rarely the richest, or the most beautiful, or even the most talented. Happy people do not depend on excitement and ‘fun’ supplied by externals. They enjoy the fundamental, often very simple, things of life. They waste no time thinking other pastures are greener. They do not yearn for yesterday or tomorrow. They savor the moment, glad to be alive, enjoying their work, their families, the good things around them. They are adaptable, they can bend with the wind, adjust to the changes in their times, enjoy the contests of life, and feel themselves in harmony with the world. Their eyes are turned outward, they are aware, compassionate. They have the capacity to love.”

Enjoy the simple things of life. Savor the moment. Be adaptable. Love and serve others…thinking outside of yourself. Not just when things are going good, but all the time! We may not be able to see the “scope” of God’s plan, but He can…and we can trust Him! That gives us such peace, hope and joy!

As a Christian I know that God promises me:

A rich and satisfying life. A life of fullness. (John 10:10)
Strength I need from day to day. (Phil 4:13)
To cause everything to work together for good for me. (Rom 8:38)
That He has good plans for me, giving me a future and a hope…if I look to Him. (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

God didn’t intend for us to spend our life waiting for the next season. Thinking we’ll be happier…when winter has passed, when the spring rain ends, when the summer humidity subsides, when the fall foliage displays every color, when yet another harsh winter passes, starting the cycle all over again.

Or maybe we’ll be happier…when we graduate, when we get married, when we have kids, when we land that perfect job, when we get a promotion, when our health is better, when we retire, etc.

Why do we wish our lives away?! Although it’s good to have things to look forward to, it’s good to have goals, it’s not so good to wish THIS day away. God has promised us that He will be with us. He has given us His joy as our strength TODAY.

God only gives us one life to live, let’s enjoy it!! This season will pass…and then, all too quickly, so will the next one. Let’s choose to be thankful in our circumstances TODAY, in this season.

Look around, what are you thankful for today? What moment can you savor a little more? What brings you joy in this season of life? Are your “eyes turned outward” looking for someone who could use your help seeing the beauty of the season they’re in today? Is there someone you could “love on” a little more? =)

“…let the Holy Spirit fill and control you. Then you will sing…making music to the Lord in your hearts. And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 18b-20

Proverbs 15:15b says, “…for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.”