This week has been busy, and it's not been as restful as I had hoped it could have been, especially on the heels of the exhausting day we had on Sunday.
Wednesday evening, we shared a meal with some dear friends, which was very special. The women have been dear friends of mine for years, and one is My Darling's cousin, whom I've known since we were five (she and her husband hosted us in their home that evening). The other came into my life as such a blessing in the seventh grade--and you know how special a friend is when she became your friend in junior high school and remains just a good a friend more than twenty years later. The evening was mercifully cool and breezy, and after we finished eating on the deck, we sat and talked and watched the children play on the swing set. It was refreshing, both in body and spirit!
We were supposed to have gone that afternoon to see Chris...but the rule of thumb with a midwife is that you call before you leave. For the very first time with us, when I called her on Wednesday, she was with a laboring Mama, so we have to reschedule. Rats. I was really looking forward to hearing her wisdom to calm my heart on a couple of issues. I'll get to that in a moment.
Last evening was the first of what I'm sure will be many "Maternity Mom's Night Out" occasions. One of the women in our home school group has introduced the idea that rather than give a traditional shower, one Mama will talk with the Expectant Mama and find out what food she is craving, and then make reservations at an appropriate establishment. Whoever comes then splits the check for the Expectant Mama's meal with the other women there. We talk about our birth stories and whatever else comes up, and gifts are welcome but not required. I think this is a fabulous way to acknowledge each baby--since none of us are having our first, and many of us have families who just seem to become disinterested in welcoming baby number three...or four.....or more...........
My Darling thinks this is a fine idea as well, and said to me, "Well that'll be easy for you--they'll take you to Taco Bell!!"
No.......because we are due in December, and because I don't really relish the idea of going out in late November, when the roads may well be icy or snowy, I think I might just want a pot-luck meal here in my home. Perhaps My Darling can take the kids out to McDonald's or Pizza Hut or something so that we Mamas can visit together and play board games or cards or something. I'm such a home-body that this really sounds like a perfect evening for me!
I've had these mysterious twinges and pulls in places (like the top of my belly) that don't really feel like anything I've ever experienced during pregnancy before. Only one has been truly crampy, but they're so odd that they have me concerned. Every now and then they are strong enough to make me catch my breath and freeze until I know they're gone. It's so strange, and I've had a hard time explaining exactly what the sensation is like. I mentioned them to my chiropractor, and her thought was that perhaps I have adhesions there from endometriosis that are somewhat "new"--as in, since my pregnancy with the Monkey (since most of my discomfort during that time was the direct result of my accident, for Pete's sake)--because they're not causing any other symptoms; there's no bleeding, no contracting, nothing that would indicate a serious problem.
I was really hoping to visit with Chris in person on Wednesday, because this is just one of those things that niggles the brain....it pesters me to no end and makes me wonder about the safety of this baby, and then gets my heart all caught up in loss again. It's such an endless cycle of worry mixed with joy mixed with grief mixed with hope that if it were a recipe, it would certainly not win any prizes at the county fair!
Then, my chiropractor says (as she's checking out the ligament issues I've been having) that my round ligaments are feeling unusually tight and stressed. She said, "I recommend that you rest with your feet well raised and supported so that these ligaments are relieved from their duty for a while." I said, "But I'm already doing that! I've been, for lack of a better term, stagnant like standing water, for Pete's sake!" I've had such low energy that it's been difficult to do as much as I'd like to do, so rest has been largely the order of the day most days.
Please, Lord, give me the grace to accept the things You've placed before me...without question, without griping, without yearning for "more" or "different." Please give me a clean heart and a right spirit, that I may more fully bring my children to You and accept the blessings that You bestow on us every day. Allow this time which needs to be of rest to also be one of growth, and help me to want more of You and to learn more of You. Let my soul just find the peace of waiting for You and being with You and listening quietly for You rather than frantically searching for You in the places I think you'll be.
See, if I could just keep that in my heart all the time, this would all be so much easier. There's so much I want to do, so much that I accept onto my plate before I look down and realize that it's already full. I want so much to please and to help that I offer, sometimes, more than I have to give. It's a weakness that I'm slowly beginning to recognize, and it's truly a classic case of needing to find Mary in Martha. I've been struggling to be Martha without recognizing that God is gently encouraging Mary to come to the foreground. What a gift it is to have His intention so clearly laid before me, and what a fool I've been to look past it, trying to find what I want to see, rather than what's there.
Today I lift up to Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mama Mary, all women who struggle to find the balance that our families need us to have. For women who shun their vocations, or who find little support within their families and friends--and even in their churches--who work so hard to please everyone around them that they have nothing left to give to themselves, to their families, and to God. To those whom He has given hearts that want to work without rest, without pausing to seek Him in His word, in silent prayer, in community, in the Sacramental life, I pray that there is peace and rest in Him....we all have a little bit of Mary and Martha in us. We just need to be able to allow both of them to bless us.