Tag Archives: pregnancy

Jesus: The Rainbow Baby For All Creation

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My sister is now 2 days past her due date for her first baby. I cannot WAIT for my niece to arrive. However, I believe my anticipation is far less emphatic than my dear sister and her husband who have waited over a year for this baby’s birth.

No, she has not been pregnant that whole time, but there exists a long and heavy load of expectancy in the timeline of a rainbow baby. My sisters story is similar to many: After miscarriage comes healing, physically and emotionally; in the midst of that—and sometimes before healing has done its full restorative work—two pink lines come into view, along with the shadow of anxiety and uncertainty of this second pregnancy. Mothers often call this their rainbow baby.

It is a long time to be in expectancy.

I can’t help but think this is how our world felt 2000 years ago. Adams choice miscarried our relationship with God right out of the garden of life. Beautiful and heartfelt attempts at new life ensued, but the law, the building of a temple, the unending bloodshed of innocent animals could not provide the heartbeat required for restored relationship with our Loving Creator.

Humanity, in longing and expectancy, was over due… past the due date by a million moments… and eager, yet hesitant, to finally see the birth of true salvation. True eternal life Himself was born, literally born! The metaphors of pregnancy and expectancy associated with the coming Messiah are not just a play on words. It is, in fact, the Word made flesh, humbly entering the time and space of spiraling earth as a helpless infant who would redeem the barrenness of our wayward hearts.

In reflections like these, I realize I, too, am overdue for Christ’s coming to truly impact my heart. Too often I am nonchalant, unaware of Immanuel. My sister could not be MORE aware of her beautiful belly; I too want to swell with ready expectation for the presence of God-with-us, both for today and for his second coming to truly make all things new:

“The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones—…And the glow of an emerald circled his throne like a rainbow… Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him.

Revelation 4:3; 22:1, 3

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Fear Factor Friday: Have the Day You Have

Every so often, Hollywood offers a golden perspective on life. I think The Odd Life of Timothy Green is one such nugget.

The Greens receive a gift from their garden: the child they couldn’t conceive. The child, Timothy, teaches them about love, selflessness, and trust, which eventually enables them to let go of their expectations but still cling to hope. My favorite scene in the film is this:

“Have a great day” is apparently too much pressure. And I tend to agree.

Our culture calls this, “not getting our hopes up.” Stop caring. Become callused. Without hope, there might not be any disappointment. We all know disappointment is the enemy of hope… its crushes optimism, cloning all of humanity to being “realists”.

But Love tells us to hope. Love also tells us to endure.

1 Corinthians 13 says…

“love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:7)

Sounds a bit contradictory to me. When I am hopeful, I usually channel my hope toward positive things that will most likely happen. If the forecast says rain, I don’t hope for sunshine. I know I will end up disappointed by reality.

When I knowingly walk into a circumstance in which I know I will have to endure, I check hope at the door and brace myself for the coming opposition. I “have the day I have.”

Jon Acuff, author and speaker, writes, “In these moments, fear will try to hand you an apathy shield… What fear doesn’t tell you is that apathy forms a wall, but that same wall blocks you from joy, too.” *

In Christ, the pressure that Cindy Green speaks of, is off!

Do we trust that God is faithful? Do we believe He really has the best in mind for us? That “the day we have” is whatever He planned ahead for us to experience (barring any of our own sin getting in the way)?

The pain, the confusion, the waiting, the excitement, the joy, the changes—each are an agent of God’s will to bring us closer to Him, which will bring us the greatest satisfaction anyway! “Having the day you have” doesn’t just mean grit your teeth and bear it; it also requires hope and trust that “the day you have” is also the “great day” your Dad wished you before school.

When we operate from a heart of love, we can do both. We can say “have a great day” and “have the day you have” at the same time. Love enables us to hope and endure at the same time.

I am about to give birth for the first time. I have no idea what to expect. A huge part of me wants to carry an “apathy shield” to guard against disappointment in my birth experience. But my God has wooed me, convincing me to operate from a place of love, not fear. And so, I am hoping like I’ve never hoped before! But I also know that I will “have the birth that I have.” It will be everything God designed for me to experience; and I have confidence He knows what is best for me. So, in the end, it will be everything I hoped for, because my hope is in Christ, not my circumstances.

“For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.” Romans 8:24-25

I’d like to hear from you? Where have you raised your “apathy shield” to guard against hope? How do you plan to drop that shield to both hope and endure all things?

*from the article "Dreaming God-Sized Dreams, 3 Lies fear always tells you about your goals," in the January 2013 issue of Homelife (produced by Lifeway).
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Earning your Stripes: why celebrating stretch marks in pregnancy is GR-R-REAT

stretch marks fb

“NOOOOO!!!” I cried.

I found it… glaring at me from the right lower side of my expanding belly: my first stretch mark. At 24 weeks (6 months), it showed up like a slash mark on my gorgeous baby-bump.

I growled with irritation!

Seriously, I rub greasy lotion on that skin religiously.

I’ve been chugging water like a camel.

I even tried vitamin E oil, till I broke out in a nasty rash that covered my entire tummy.

Grrr, stupid allergies. Ruined my chances for a perfect glowing belly full of people and potential for wearing my bikini proudly again (for my husbands eyes only, of course).

Then I remembered who was listening. Instant conviction settled over me. Not only had my great God, who designed my body to do exactly this, heard my cries of vanity… but so did my sweet daughter inside.

Crap. Now I have body guilt AND mommy guilt.

Thankfully, “there is no condemnation (guilt) for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

It took a few hormonal tears, a pep talk from my darling husband, and a personal resolve to have a holy perspective before I was able to say this, but here is what is true:

stretch marks pinI am earning my TIGER STRIPES!

Each stretch mark represents so much:

  • God’s design of my body to expand and provide life to two little humans
  • My willingness to serve and sacrifice for our children
  • The fact that my belly really did undergo major reconstruction (its not all in my head that I feel huge)
  • I am a woman! I am not a girl… I have gorgeous curves and getting said curves required a little more room.
  • I am a mother. I am not an object. My body is not a notch on the hot-n-skinny scale.
  • I am still sexy to my husband. He compares my stretch mark to a tough-girl bruise or war wound. He says it makes me look more hard-core.

This week held a first for me in my journey of motherhood: guarding my tongue for my daughter’s (and son’s) sake.

At age 2 or 12, our kids are looking to us to define their worldview. I don’t want my son to judge a woman’s beauty based on her lack of stretch marks. I don’t want my daughter finding her worth in clear skin or a perfect body. But this will be their “default mode” if I live from that perspective.

I am taking the words of Jesus very seriously:

“But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone hung around your neck. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off…” (Mark 9:42-43)

It is my goal to “cut off” that mentality from my day to day thinking. Of course, it’s not enough just to stop thinking negatively about my body. So I will do as Romans 14:13 says, and “decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.”

A bump progress picture from week 23.
A bump progress picture from week 23.

This means:

  • Focusing more on God’s glory instead of my vanity.
  • Finding positive things about my body (see list above) and other’s bodies too!
  • Finding accountability partners who will call me out on my words or behaviors that reflect a negative self-image.
  • Surrounding myself and my children with people and messages that concentrate on glorifying God’s image.
  • Avoiding or addressing media and advertisements that pull myself or my children back into self-focused thinking (positive or negative).

I will no longer growl at my body every time I notice a flaw. Instead, I will look at each part, beautifully made, and proclaim to the world: They’re GR-R-REAT!

My first "bare belly" picture, and you can barely see the stretch mark!
My first “bare belly” picture, and you can barely see the stretch mark!

How about you!? What do your “tiger stripes” mean to you? How do you “cut off” negative perspectives in order to help your family (and self) flourish as an image bearer of God?

*Need to positively affirm your body today? Take a picture, exactly how you are. Include your daughters or your whole family! Post the picture to your favorite social media, and give glory to God for being made in His image with the following tags: #Beautifullymade #thankyouJesus

Want more on this subject? See my post on being overweight here.

 

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Twins-in-progress: week 13

Week 13 flew by! We started the spring semester of BCM, enjoyed a weekend in the hot-springs of Thermopolis, and thoroughly relished in the joy of becoming parents! It all went so fast, I forgot to take a bump-progress picture. Oh well, next week is just around the corner!

13 Weeks: January 19-25

How far along? 13 weeks (3 months, 1 week)

Babies are the size of: Lemons!

Weight gain: 0 (I have hovered around 168 for the last 3 months or so.)

Maternity clothes:. I have started to rock some maternity shirts and dresses that my sister passed on to me. Quite comfortable I must say.

Sleep: Shocking news: I was able to get great sleep on a trip this weekend while sleeping on an air mattress.

Exercise: started a water aerobics class this week and I LOVE it. I’ve also been upping my “squat routine” to prep for labor and delivery.

Best moment this week:. Singing songs of worship with my husband for hours in our make-shift studio (in the laundry room… the acoustics are awesome in there.) I know these babies are going to grow up proclaiming the truths of Christ through music along side, and it is fun to start the tradition now.

Miss Anything? I know it was never a healthy routine, but I miss being able to go, go, go, without HAVING to stop to eat or pee or nap every 1/2 hour. It’s just how I got stuff done. With twins, I suppose I’ll have to learn a whole new way of accomplishing things tiny moments at a time, so it’s good training.

Movement: Not yet.

Food cravings: Mac and Cheese, all the time! Also, I ate a whole carton of strawberries in one delicious sitting. I think I could eat a whole carton a day if they were as cheap as mac n cheese 😉

Anything making you queasy or sick:. A bit of french toast almost made me throw up (see “sweets” below). On the plus side, I had some chicken strips and they tasted lovely, so maybe I am on my way to incorporating poultry into my diet again.

Gender prediction: The cravings test says: citrus/sweet=girl. Salt=boy. I have been craving pineapple, and strawberries and all kinds of sour things. But I cannot stand chocolate or super sweet desserts! Also, initially all I had was all salt cravings. So I guess thats another point for one of each (Though Shane still thinks they are both boys).

Labor Signs/prep:. None. But Shane and I start a Birthing class next Monday!

Symptoms: Not as much energy as last week, but still happy to feel awake more often. There are days I feel so normal, I almost forget I am pregnant 🙁

Mood: Still swingin’ … but daily time in God’s word keeps my perspective positive and joyful!

Lullaby of the week: You Know Me” by Steffany Frizzell (Bethel Music). It speaks of Psalm 139’s truth that God knows each and every bit of who we are. I love that when I can’t see my babies, God can. He has them memorized inside and out. That is incredible intimacy!

Truth I’m dwelling on: That Psalms 139 applies to me as well. My God knows me! He knows what today looks like, and what tomorrow looks like. And He is GOOD! I am memorizing verses 5-7:

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!

photo 3I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!

Looking forward to: The birthing class on Monday!

Thank you for reading and supporting myself, our twins, and this amazing man (standing in our now painted living room!).
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Twins-in-progress: week 12

This is the final catch up post! From here on out, we should be in real time with my pregnancy. 

12 Weeks: January 12-18

12 weeks

How far along? 12 weeks (3 months!)

Babies are the size of: Plums

Weight gain: 0

Maternity clothes: I have purged my closet of anything I can’t wear anymore, but I am still holding out in yoga pants and loose tank tops. I’ll see some of those other clothes sometime next year hopefully. It will be like free shopping!

Sleep:. I am a champion nap-taker. Night time is when my mind seems to play Steven Spielberg (I come up with the craziest scenarios for my real life and my dreams).

Best moment this week: Tie:

  1. Seeing the babies again (pictures below!)
  2. Seeing out new house coming along so quickly!
The Twins' room has drywall and texture now!
The Twins’ room has drywall and texture now! Next up: PAINT!

Miss Anything? The sunshine! But I don’t think that is pregnancy related.

Movement: We saw these cuties on the ultrasound on Thursday, January 16. They truly looked like they were chillaxin’ in a pair of hammocks! We could see their legs and arms, heartbeats, brains, and spinal chords. But no boy/girl parts yet! While it was so much fun to see them again, I am still not feeling any movement yet.Baby A

Baby B

 


man of the yearAnything making you queasy or sick:. I still don’t like chicken. I decided to suck it up and make some for Shane though (cause I”m a good wife). I put a bag of frozen chicken in the fridge to thaw, and of course, it leaked NASTY chicken juice all over! A chicken-juice-waterfall of gross-ness trickled all the way from the top shelf, spreading onto the next two shelves of leftovers, and even into the bottom drawers with my beloved fresh-spinach and green apples.

Oh. My. YUCK! I have never been so grateful for this man right here, and his stoic selflessness to clean the fridge for me. He was so cool about it too! His sense of humor will be the main factor in my survival of this pregnancy (and probably parenthood.)

Food cravings: in addition to the tropical fruits, tropical drinks (feel free to bring me a pima-colada smoothie)… I am now craving frozen waffles.

Also, break out the popcorn (with plenty of salt if you want to keep up with this preggo-craving), because looked who “popped” out!popped out!

Gender prediction: This week, I think we have one of each. Shane is still holding out for 2 boys.

Pendulum test (Circle=girls. Back and forth=boys). I did this a few times, 4 out of five it went back and forth. Once it circled around my belly. Another point for one of each!

pendulum test

Labor Signs: Of course not. Praise the Lord.

Symptoms:  I had a hot-flash this week. It took me by surprise as we were on our way to church. I was not aware that hot flashes were a pregnancy symptom, so I got a little panicked. I stripped off my sweater dress in the car and cracked a window to the blessed January breeze. Turns out I am happy it is still winter.

Mood: up and down this week. I was able to hit the gym 5 out of 5 weekdays this week! It is a huge improvement for both my physical and emotional health. I am so happy to have some energy to work out again.

Lullaby of the week: Hold you in my Arms” by Ray LaMontagne

Truth I’m dwelling on: 2 Corinthians 12:9, But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Looking forward to: Finding out the genders in March!!!

Thanks for subscribing to all that God is doing in the Rosty Family!

 

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Twins-in-progress: week 11

Its another week to update the pregnancy timeline journal. Week 11 was emotionally difficult, but also wonderful. We got to praise Jesus as He took a dear friend of ours home to be with Him. Between her home-going, and this adventure of pregnancy, this week is a beautiful reflection on Ecclesiastes 3:

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

     a time to be born and a time to die,
    …
     a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
   …
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
     a time to search and a time to give up,
   …
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,

…He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

11 Weeks: January 5-11

11 weeks

How far along? 11 weeks (2 months and 3 weeks)

Babies are the size of: Limes

Weight gain: Still zilch, but my appetite is returning, so we should see some growth soon! 

Maternity clothes: I’m still hanging in there with lots of yoga pants and saggy tank tops. So comfy.

Sleep: Sleep and I aren’t friends anymore. 🙁 Hoping to reconcile soon.

Best moment this week: It was a difficult week. A dear friend and former BCM student of ours, Ashlee, passed away on Wednesday, just shy of her 21’st Birthday. Shane and I were honored to pray and worship God with her in the hospital before she met her Savior face to face. After Cystic Fibrosis had ravaged her body for so long, it is a blessing to know she is free.

That day, God gave me a glimpse of what our twins could be like. A couple of girls, twins and also our former BCM students, were there loving on and praying for Ashlee. Their heart to selflessly be at her side, laugh and cry with her, was inspiring to me. I truly hope our twins will be just as compassionate and Christ-like.

Miss Anything? I do miss that feeling of competency. I know this is exactly where God wants me: dependent on Him. But I would be lying if I didn’t acknowledge my fleshly longing for independence. The Holy Spirit gives me so much grace.

Movement:  No. I am dying to feel something.

Finally made this bad boy... it was delicious.
Finally made this bad boy… it was delicious.

Food cravings: Pineapple upside-down cake, and DOLE whip from Disney world… and flip flops. I really just crave some sunshine and warm weather!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Still the usual.

Gender prediction: We still think they are Boys.

The heart beat test predicts that a heart rate of less than 150=boy, more than 150=girl. For our first ultrasound the heartbeats were 181 and 185. That’s 2 big points for us having girls! We will have to wait and see!

Labor Signs: Nope.

Symptoms:  A lot of back pain and occasional cramps, in addition to the loss of appetite and exhaustion.

Mood: I have been relatively down this week. But you know what? That’s ok! I can lean on God as my comfort. I know Jesus weeps with us in our sorrow.

Lullaby of the week: Beautiful Things by Gungor:

“You make me new, you are making me new.”

Truth I’m dwelling on: Despite the adversity, mourning, frustration, fear, and uncertainty, Jesus is solid. I KNOW I am standing on the solid rock, but why do I react as though I am in an earthquake? I hate this about my perspective, but I appreciate that Jesus is patient with me.

Looking forward to: Ultrasound next week. We wont find out the gender yet, but I can’t wait to see these kids again. I am also looking forward to spending time at the gym, and hopefully working out some of these conflicting emotions through exercise while listening to a much-needed sermon.

Thank you for reading and supporting our sweet babies, friends, and family in your prayers!
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Twins-in-progress: week 10

We are still playing catch up with the pregnancy timeline journal. This post is from my 10th week of pregnancy, a week in which Shane and I spent like hermits. The weather was cold, and aside from a few very special visitors, we snuggled up in our warm house and avoided life in general. With all that relaxing, we forgot to take a bump-progress picture. Oh well, our “announcement picture” will have to do:

10 Weeks: December 29-January 4

week 10

How far along? 10 weeks (2 months and 2 weeks)

Babies are the size of: Prunes (who eats prunes anymore?)

Weight gain: 0

Maternity clothes? I went through a box of preggers clothes that my sister passed on to me. I haven’t worn any of it yet, but it is sorted and ready.

Sleep: Decent

Best moment this week: Catching up with friends and daydreaming about baby showers and bringing the twins home (it is still a little overwhelming!)

Miss Anything? My Abs! I was starting to feel toned before this pregnancy. I notice more and more (like when I sneeze or cough) how much my tummy is changing and making room. I look forward to having energy soon to resume a safe workout.

Movement:  not yet

Food cravings: Sour things, strawberry Ice cream. (Still grossed out by chocolate)

Anything making you queasy or sick: The smell of coffee, the thought of chicken.

Gender prediction: Shane still thinks they are boys. I am starting to agree with him. But, according to the “Sleep Position” test (sleep on the left=boy, right=girl), I am having ONE OF EACH, because I switch back and forth. We will see!

Labor Signs: Nope.

Symptoms:  Not as much morning sickness this week. Looking forward to moving on from the lack-of-appetite.

Mood: Blessed

Lullaby of the week: I Get to Be the One, by JJ Heller. I can’t wait to stare into their eyes and sing this:

“Well hello, little baby. Your eyes have never seen the sun.
You should know, little baby, that I am the lucky one. 
I get to be the one to hold your hand… through Birthdays and broken bones, I’ll be there to watch you grow, I get to be the one.”

Truth I’m dwelling on: This is going to be a big year. While 2013 was relatively calm, I feel now we are in the crescendo of this great masterpiece God is composing for our lives. I just keep giving Him praise for His goodness.

Looking forward to: Lighting up my blog and Facebook with the news! I am so appreciative of all our friends’ and families’ support, so I can’t wait to share!

And it was such a blast to share the news that week. Thanks for reading and catching up with the Rosty’ Twins! 
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Twins-in-progress: Week 9

Week 9 was a whirlwind, with Christmas and New Year’s on the horizon. We had a blast telling our friends and family all about the big news. Stay tuned for more updates as we catch up to real time preggers news. 

9 Weeks: December 22-28

How far along? 9 weeks (2 months and 1 week)

Babies are the size of: Green Olives, very festive for the holiday

Weight gain: 3 lbs. in the positive this time!

Maternity clothes? I have to unbutton my pants after I eat. Classy right?

Sleep: we are still not friends.

Best moment this week: Toss up between

  1. Seeing the babies do a jig on the ultrasound at True Care (thanks to our wonderful friends and mentors in Casper).
  2. Sharing the news with our parents for Christmas. Both future Grandmas’ reactions were priceless and very precious to us.

Introducing: Grandma Rosty

introducing: Grandma Conger

Miss Anything?  CHRISTMAS COOKIES! Sweets are really off-putting to me, so its pretzels and eggs for now.

Movement: I know it is WAY too early, but I swear I felt a flutter.

Food cravings: Sour candy, particularly Airheads.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Mornings. By 5pm I am good to go, though.

Gender prediction: Girls. I accidentally said, “when the girls get here” without even realizing I said “girls” instead of “twins.”

According to the “Dry hands” test (Dry hands=boy. Soft hands=girl), I have had very dry hands (and feet) so perhaps we have 2 boys?!

Labor Signs: Nope.

Symptoms: My left ear keeps plugging up. I understand that during pregnancy, a woman’s blood and fluid volume practically doubles. With twins it is even more! It appears that all that fluid keeps making its way to my ear, especially when I sing.

Mood: Excited. And relieved to have the news out.

Lullaby of the week: Rockin’ out to “You brought the Sunshine,” by Out of Eden:

“You made my day, you came my way… you brought the sunshine in my life; You are the lifeline that saved my life.”

Truth I’m dwelling on: That God is trustworthy! I can take each fear captive knowing He is a good Father. When I sense fear creeping up to swallow me, I worship my way through it. Singing songs of trust and surrender to God remind me of His power over every negative scenario I can imagine.

Looking forward to: Meeting these kids!

Coming soon: update from week 10! We are catching up.
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Twins-in-progress: week 8

It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for! I’ve been journaling through these past few weeks of pregnancy, and now I have to catch you up!  I will be posting the last few weeks’ updates pretty quickly, then it should be a steady update once a week till D-Day!
 
The following entry is from way back in December, right after we found out we were having twins. 

8 Weeks: December 15-21

8 weeks
I am pointing at the future daddy, who is taking the picture.

How far along? 8 weeks (2 months)

Babies are the size of: Raspberries

Total weight gain: oops! I actually lost 8lbs. in the last few months (hopefully my appetite will return soon! I was 175 pre-baby)

Maternity clothes? nope, just a lot of leggings

Stretch marks? loud and proud from my puberty days baby. I’m a tigress.

Sleep: eludes me

Best moment this week: Celebrating Shane’s 26th Birthday (December 17).

Miss Anything? Sleep. And a sense of control… God is good and knows that is not what I need.

Movement: Does bloating count? Sorry, TMI

Food cravings: not a thing. get food away from me.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Everything. Every smell especially. BUT I have championed mind-over-matter, praise be to God, and I haven’t thrown up yet.

Gender prediction: Boys. I had a feeling it was a boy before we knew they were twins. But I would take girls in a heart beat too. (I have been perusing Pinterest for the cutest twin pics ever.)

According to the “Extreme Upset stomach” test (more queasy=girl, etc.), I am probably having boys. I lost my appetite, but I haven’t been nauseous so much.

Labor Signs: Nope.

Symptoms: No throwing up, but I really have to force-feed myself. I am also really tired and SUPREMELY emotional. Still, every time I start crying over something silly, I start cracking up and then can’t stop laughing.

Mood: Giddy. I don’t think Shane and I have stopped chuckling since we found out.

Lullaby of the week: Perfect Peace by John Waller. The lyrics resound from Isaiah 26:3, which is the verse my mother memorized while she was in labor with me. Right now, it is a lullaby to my own soul, but I look forward to singing it to my babies when we face overwhelming circumstances:

“Thou will keep me in perfect peace when my mind is stayed on you.”

Truth I’m dwelling on: God is WAY bigger than I understood Him to be. His plan exceeds my imagination, and His guidance through what seems impossible is constant and intimate. I am in awe of God.

Looking forward to: Raising our kids “to be sensible; in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame… Titus 2:6-8

I am so grateful for this blog, which inspired me to document each week this way. It is easy to keep up with, and fun to see the progress! I am truly grateful for bloggers who remain positive and Christ-centered during each stage of their pregnancies. I hope I do the same and shed further light on the beauty of God’s plan and encouragement for women to chase hard after Jesus each week.
In great faith,
Becky Rosty
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Pictures of Selfless Love for a (future) Mama, Part 2: Pregnancy

pregnancy

This week, God has led me to explore the pictures of God’s love through parenthood. Many of my friends will be celebrating Mother’s Day in a few weeks, which lends to me thinking more and more about the idea. I am not a parent yet, but the Holy Spirit is definitely rearranging my perspective of having children.

In the last post, I explained my view of adoption as the most beautiful picture of God’s unconditional love. Recently, the Holy Spirit has opened my eyes to another, equally beautiful, reflection of God’s perfect relationship offered to us: pregnancy.

So here it is…. Pictures of Selfless Love for a (future) Mama, Part 2: Pregnancy 

As usual, the transformation of my mind came through God’s Word. In bed with a sore throat, I spent some time with my podcast app in effort to engage my spirit and mind, though my body was out of commission (it was an epic sore throat, ok). I listened to this sermon on Philippians 2, from Timothy Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church:

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love,   if any fellowship with the Spirit,   if any affection and mercy,     fulfill my joy by thinking the same way,   having the same love,   sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal.  Do nothing out of rivalry   or conceit,   but in humility   consider others as more important   than yourselves.  Everyone should look out not only for his own interests,  but also for the interests of others.  Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God  as something to be used for His own advantage.  Instead He emptied Himself  by assuming the form of a slave,  taking on the likeness of men.  And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death — even to death on a cross.  For this reason God highly exalted Him  and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow   — of those who are in heaven   and on earth and under the earth   — and every tongue   should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,  to the glory   of God the Father. (Philippians 2:1-11 HCSB)

Keller explained that many of us do not actually love or serve others out of selfless motives. He theorized that most of us love others as a means to meet our own needs: the need for love in return, the need for relationship, the need to be needed. As Keller puts it, God is calling us to love from a place of having already been satisfied, as Christ did.

God–Father, Son and Spirit–did not create man out of a need for relationship. As a complete trinity, the Three had already experienced perfect satisfaction in their friendship… before the beginning of time! Thus, God’s willingness to create was an overflow of His love and relationship from within.

His satisfaction inspired creation! God created that He might share that perfection of love and friendship with more beings: angels, humanity, etc. His love is not just displayed in redemption of creation (adoption) but the creation of humanity for relationship in the first place (conception).

Keller’s point, of course, was that we should be so completely satisfied in our relationship with the Lord (as Jesus was), that our “considering others greater than ourselves” is an outpour from satisfaction, not a pursuit to fill a need.

But God works in funny ways. What Keller meant for general Christian charity, the Holy Spirit meant for a dramatic shaping of my perspective of pregnancy and childbirth. The Holy Spirit used this message to show how creation of another human being is not always rooted in selfish motives (as was my fear). How incredible is God’s Word!

I am now grasping the depth of these pictures of God’s love for us. His first act of love was creation in the first place! He conceived humanity as the fruit of perfect connection and relationship within the trinity. God was so pregnant with love, so expectant to sharing that relationship with others, that He created! What a picture of love. What a picture of God and relationship.

His second act of love was redemption. The overwhelming longing to bring in the lost and broken children of the world, He sacrificed everything to adopt us.

Both creation and redemption are equally beautiful and both equally necessary for relationship.

Both conception and adoption are equally beautiful pictures of that relationship we have with Christ.

So, I guess what I am trying to say is, I am starting to get this whole “having a baby” thing. All my misgivings, doubts, and frustration with the idea vanish in light of the sweet selflessness of God to both create and redeem me.

Again, this is not a pregnancy announcement (I’ll be way more creative when that time comes). This is just me, being transparent with what God is doing in my life, in hopes to encourage you.

By God’s grace and undeserved blessings, we will get to experience both pictures of unconditional love as parents: through the overflow of love that inspires creation of a new being, and the overflow of love that inspires adoption and redemption of a lost one.

I’ll keep you posted on the journey till then.

What do you think about pregnancy and adoption? Have a different perspective? Please share!

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