Yesterday did not go as I had planned. I'm a planner at heart, much to my detriment most of the time. I find strange delight when events go exactly as I had imagined they would and when they do not I feel uneasy and tense. The Lord is working on me in this area, giving me plenty of opportunities to be reminded that His timing is always best. His ways are always good.
Last night we had a wonderful party planned with our small group to reveal the gender of the baby we're having this summer. The ultrasound was Monday and the plan was to have the ultrasound tech write down the gender and seal it up in an envelope. We would take the envelope to a cake baker and ask for the cake to have either a blue or pink center, depending on the gender of the babe. And finally, at said party, we would slice the cake to find out what we're having and enjoy the surprise surrounded by dear friends. But things didn't go as planned.
All seemed ideal on Monday during the ultrasound. She told us right away that she knew the gender and would keep it a secret from us. She said the baby was looking healthy and was measuring 11 ounces. Then my planning train slowly began to derail. Joel made a joke about how the baby was probably going be born on his birthday (my due date is one day after his special day). The tech switched to a new screen to show us that the baby's due date was now looking earlier than my actual due date. On the computer screen, right below the due date box was the "gender" box. In plain sight. As soon as I saw it, my eyes started to well up and I knew the tears would come quick. I was so sad to find out that way. The tech finished up and left and I burst into tears...and told Joel.
The good news was that we had our own little secret for one whole day. The bad news was that we decided to make the cake ourselves (I'm not an accomplished baker at all). My husband went out and bought the baby a new outfit and tried his best to console a very emotional, pregnant wife. It was a day, let me tell you.
Last night we went to our small group party. Our leaders had put up pink & blue decorations and had a girl & boy gift waiting for us as soon as the cake was sliced. Our friends gathered around the cake and waited for the big reveal. Watching so many of our closest friends crowd around a very poorly made cake just to support our family was such a special moment for me. We truly have community here in Elgin. Joel sliced the cake as slowly as he could to draw out the suspense. Inside the cake was...PINK! We are having another girl. Everyone cheered and enjoyed the snacks and a slice of strawberry cake. Even Ainsley joined in the fun and had a few bites in between playing with our leader's dog, Jackson.
Another girl. Can't wait to meet her.
Exactly five years ago I enjoyed the first cup of coffee with my now husband. We had been told of each other by a mutual friend (still so thankful that he thought to match the two of us up) and were finally meeting. Joel and his wingmen plus myself and my wingwoman all sat at a 24-hour Starbucks chatting about music and ministry and movies we liked. I told him about the trip to Italy I was about to take with my wingwoman, Maja. He told me about working at a church and how much he loved the Cubs. Honestly, I only half listened as he talked, I was so busy taking him in- the smile lines on the corners of his eyes, his short dark hair, the sound of his voice. I remember he drank his coffee black, which I found incredibly foxy. He was intoxicating from the start. After coffee, I got in the car with Maja and headed home, wondering if I would see this man again. Thankfully, I did.
Today I challenged my eighth grade students to read something to the class that they had written. Nerves filled the room. Suddenly, my teacher "coolness" had worn off and I was now the evil woman who makes them share their ideas. For shame. Once the first few people had gone, thus paving the way for others, the anxiety seemed to settle down a bit and some of them actually seemed to enjoy the experience.
I remember the first few times that I shared something that I wrote with someone else. I was petrified. What if they didn't like it? Or worse, what if they read my words and found them to be irrelevant. Unoriginal. Boring. Studying to get my degree in English forced many a "sharing" opportunity. I was taking writing classes with peers that were eloquent and concise. I remember so many days walking back to my dorm room defeated. I had nothing to write about; I had nothing to say. I graduated feeling excited to teach literature but very intimidated about having to teach writing. I knew the fundamentals- I lacked a shred of inspiration.
As odd as it might sound, the more that I learn about Jesus, the more I want to write. Spending time with the Lord awakens my mind. I have found the very source of inspiration. Writing feels so much more important- my words can be a form of worship to ultimate Poet and Storyteller.
Sadly, these months of pregnancy have made the idea of writing feel a bit tedious. In those precious moments when Ainsley's napping and my time is my own, a nap is much more inviting that my computer or journal. So instead, whenever a thought strikes I scribble little notes on pieces of paper all around our apartment . Perhaps someday I'll gather them up and see if there's anything there. Until then, I believe it's napping time.
-Dinner out with a sweet friend followed by a crazy Sam's Club trip. Who knew grocery shopping could be so enjoyable?
-So many good talks with my husband this week. We've had dinner together almost every night this week (this is sadly unusual). That man is hilarious and wise and so very handsome. An excellent meal companion.
-A few of my good friends are also pregnant. Pregnancy is more bearable with pals who know EXACTLY how you feel.
-My cousin, Erin, gave birth to a little girly named Madison Mae. So happy.
-In our small group, we've been studying Philippians. My heart has been wrecked by Paul's humility and the love he had for the Lord. God help me be as fervent and faithful.