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Last September was my last post (wow!), and I realized that it was also about the time I was finding out I was pregnant with our first baby.  This whole pregnancy thing has been interesting, frustrating, emotional, happy, sad, exciting, terrifying, and full of hope.  I think I’d like to write a few things that I’ve learned through it all.

1. Breaking the news of pregnancy is a tricky thing.  Telling some friends is easy and wonderful, because they are just as excited as you are.  Telling others is a little difficult, because you know they are dealing with their own disappointments, so it’s hard for them to be as happy for you.  I also wanted to surprise my family with the news, but couldn’t because they figured it out early.  This frustrated me at first (I was being a little selfish), but then I realized they were excited anyways, so it didn’t matter.  Sorry mom.

2. There is no sickness like morning sickness.  I was afraid it would never end, but thankfully, between months 3-4, it passed.  Probably the hardest part of my whole pregnancy was feeling so unlike myself during this time.  I also noticed it was alot worse when I was stressed and tired, but taking my vitamins before I went to bed helped.

3. Maternity clothes are expensive!!!  I am very grateful for those lovely women who passed on their clothes to me.

4.  I was surprised at the dynamic shift in my relationship with Matt.  I’m not sure if he noticed anything, but I felt like we grew closer emotionally through this time.  I’ve enjoyed that.  I am looking forward to having our physical relationship go back to what it was before I got pregnant, hopefully.  I am a bit apprehensive about the different ways having a baby will change our relationship.  I’m not really sure what to expect.

5.  The first time I felt this baby kick I was talking about it with my friend.  It was strange, sort of like a small muscle twitch, and it took awhile for me to get used to it.  Since then, the baby got really active, especially during the 5-7 months.  I wonder if he’ll have Matt’s energy-I think so.  Now, he doesn’t have as much room, and it looks weird (and sometimes hurts) when he stretches out.

6.  People always comment on how you look when you are pregnant.  I don’t think I really liked this, although I got used to it by the end.  At least they’ve been saying nice things for the most part.

7.  I started reading What to Expect When You’re Expecting early on, which helped a great deal.  It basically listed every pregnancy symptom, so I didn’t get too freaked out when weird things were happening to me.  It was also nice to know that I didn’t have some symptoms other women experience.

8.  I wasn’t really into the whole belly picture thing-maybe I’m vain-I wanted nice looking pregnancy pics of Matt and I.  Our friend Eric took some great shots for us, including the one you see here.

9.  I think I kissed regular sleep goodbye once I became pregnant.  I don’t know about everyone, but I definitely have to pee at least 2x a night, no matter if I drink a little or alot.

10.  We’re pretty sure we’re having a boy, which I think is great.  Even though someday I’d love to have a daughter, I’m a little intimidated  by it.  Plus, Matt told me now the pressure is off.  I guess it’s good to have someone carry on the family name. 🙂

11.  Walking is good…I’ve tried to do it more.  (So is stretching, but that’s been fairly difficult here in the last month or two.)  I think if I have another pregnancy, I’d like to try swimming.  This time I wasn’t really ready to be pregnant in a swimming suit.

12.  Decorating one room (for baby) is a whole lot easier and way more fun than decorating a whole house.  I think I must have gotten some nesting instinct at some point, because I also decided I wanted to repaint our bedroom.  Of course, that will wait until I can actually help.

13.  Maybe Matt has been nesting a bit too?  He’s been doing projects like crazy-fixing the car, building closet shelves, painting, and putting up molding.  I think he did a great job on all of them, but I think he should also take a break from projects for awhile.  Poor guy has been working hard, with little help from me.

14.  Matt and I decided that I should quit my job next year.  I was a little surprised at how sad I was to actually make it official.  Even though I complained about it, I think I found my job very rewarding and a great blessing in my life.  I hope that I either enjoy staying home with my kid immensely, or I get the opportunity to have a good job again in the future.

15.  Taking off some time here at the end of school (and my pregnancy) was a really smart move.

16.  I am excited about the change happening very soon, but I am also pretty nervous.  Will I be able to take care of a baby?  Will Matt and I continue to grow in our relationship and love for each other?  Will Matt love being a dad?  Will I love being a mom?  Will we be able to handle this change with flexibility, grace, and resilience?

17.  I find it funny how I’ve worried about this baby who isn’t even born yet.  I decided that I should try not to do that; it doesn’t make a bit of difference in what will be.

18.  I find it astounding and humbling that God would allow me and Matt to take care of another human being.  That’s a pretty big deal, and I’m pretty sure an amazing blessing.

A few weeks ago my husband and I tried to trade in our old car to buy a nice new Civic when the “cash for clunkers” program was going on. Now, I can’t say I fully support this program, but like most people, when something helps me out, I don’t really care about the greater good. So, we decided to buy a car.1997_Eagle_Vision

I have to say, it was a lot of fun to be driving a brand new car. I felt cool. I was cool. The idea of getting rid of my old “clunker” seemed real good to me-I was trading up and it made me cooler. Unfortunately, it fell through, and I’m still driving my clunker. So I guess I am still as uncool as ever.

I was thinking about it though…is it my things that make me who I am? Sometimes I get into this pattern where I will get really stuck on buying myself new clothes or makeup or things for my home. When I do this, it makes me temporarily feel better about myself. Hey, anyone will look better in a new pair of jeans and expensive shoes. But does this really make me better?

Regardless of whether I wear a sweatshirt or a dress, I am still the same person inside. I have all the same faults and all the same gifts. The only difference is in the way I view myself-in a false way or a true way. I believe the true way is that I have been created by God and have been blessed enormously by Him. I am His servant, and not a servant to myself.

This is a challenging way to view one’s live, especially living in American culture. It’s something I struggle with, so tonight I wanted to remind myself (and perhaps you) that we are not what we wear, or own, or drive. We are who God made us to be-He loves us-and that is better than any shiny new car.

Undoubtedly many of you have heard of Randy Pausch.  He became famous when his “Last Lecture” was aired on Oprah.  This book was written as a follow-up.

An educated man, Randy has accomplished much in his life.  He dedicates the book to his parents, who “allowed (him) to dream”.  Being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (the most deadly of all cancers), he reflects on life lessons and the importance of his own life.  Inspiring others through his position at a top university, Pausch tells others to acheive their dreams, his book detailing how he did that and how you can, too.  His last lecture can be watched here.

This book touched me, but perhaps not in the way it has done to the 24k people who’ve loved his video.  Near the end of the book, my eyes teared up thinking about the pain and loss that Randy’s family will suffer as a result of this.  Not only that, but Randy himself was forced to take into account his whole life and reflect back upon it, knowing that his kids would grow up without a father.  Death hurts.

I thought it was curious that Randy did not include any spiritual insights in his book.  This caused me to wonder.  Here is a man with much-happiness, family, fulfilled dreams.  Now, they are being taken from him.  Yet, he is still satisfied with his life.  He celebrates it, in fact.  Obviously this man doesn’t need God.  He’s got it taken care of.  My question is this: Do I need God?  Does he exist?  Does it matter at all that there might be a God bigger than we can fathom and he is intricately involved in our lives?  Randy seems to have all the answers: work hard, send thank-you notes, never give up, believe in others, do the jobs you don’t really want to, be a team player…all good things, of course.  But where is his need for God?  Hasn’t he just successfully taken Him out of the picture?

For many, that won’t matter.  They either don’t believe in God or don’t want to acknowledge that he exists.  Or, perhaps God is irrelevant to this topic.  But is He?  If He is who He says He is, than I should give more careful thought to the actions of my life.  I’m not so ready to accept Pausch’s encouragement.

Yes, this book is inspiring when you first read it, as Randy’s lecture is inspiring when you first hear it.  I’m tempted to think however, that it just might be a little bottle of poison wrapped up in a pretty package.

So lately I’ve been thinking alot about potential and discipline.  I’ve been faced a bit with the reality that I often perform well below my potential, due mainly to the fact that I lack motivation and discipline.  It’s a little humbling to take an honest look at yourself and realize that you are lazy and have been okay with it on a regular basis.  But I don’t think that I’m okay with it anymore.  I really admire the kinds of people who finish projects that they start, even if they get a little bored or tired in the middle.  I think it’s really honorable to do something you don’t like to do, because you know the benefits outweigh the “pain” you might suffer in the meantime.

I’ve noticed that Proverbs really talks alot about discipline.  Reading Proverbs is actually the first step I’m taking to be a little more responsible with what I’ve been given.  I know that I can spend time in God’s word everyday; it just takes some effort.  And so far it’s been good.  So goal #1 is in progress: Spend time daily in God’s word.  Potential doesn’t matter unless you make use of it.