Tuesday, October 23, 2012

32 weeks and definitely counting

     Being thirty-two weeks pregnant has brought all kinds of new challenges so far this week. People weren't lying that the second trimester is sort of like a pregnancy "honeymoon." These past couple weeks here in the third trimester have been replete with dizziness, difficulty breathing, silliest appetite, crazy emotions, waddling, and some other details I'll save the general public from. Going to work and being on my feet for six hours is now something I have to mentally prepare myself for, because it's not pretty. Or pleasant. Or remotely enjoyable.

   All that being said, I'm so thankful this little one is in good health and all my aches are your typical pregnancy complaints. God is good.

   Once again, and with the help of some wonderful people, I'm able to head to Georgia this weekend. It's a funny thing to not be sure if I'm excited to go. This last trip I got that question a lot, "Are you excited?" and the answer was a definite "no." I didn't know what to expect from my first visit with Thad and "excitement" was low on the list of emotions.

   I'm excited this time, for sure. The excitement is there. I miss Thad like only someone who's been separated from their husband for months with only snail mail for the occasional comfort can miss their husband. They actually don't make a word for this kind of missing, at least not one that I know about. But the truth is, after we part ways this time, we will not hear or see each other for minimally four months. And during those four months I'm going to deliver our little one, endure the holidays without him, and turn 24.

   At this moment, it feels emotionally insurmountable. It keeps me up at night. I can't talk about it outloud. I'm going to need a lot of encouragement.

   What's great is that I get to visit Thad for two weekends. This upcoming weekend is going to be great, because our friends are renewing their vows Sunday evening AND Thad gets to go. During the week I will be staying with hands down one of the best families in existence, The D'Arienzo's. I haven't gotten to spend time with Laura--who I can only best describe as my long lost sister--in literally years. On Wednesday, I get to connect with the mother of one of Thad's closest friends in the program and she and I will be going to church with the guys from NLB. Basically my ten days in Georgia are stacked full of blessings.

   My mom and sister in law are currently in cahoots planning my baby shower, which is going to be November 16th. I've never had a baby shower before obviously but I'm pretty excited to have lots of my favorite women together in the same room to celebrate my new favorite woman, little Clemenbaby. (Nickname her father uses? Clemskidoodles. We're in trouble.) So if you're a woman and you like my baby, you're totally invited (formal invites haven't gone out yet). I know probably to the chagrin of a few, I decided to register on Amazon. I didn't go with Target or Babys R Us or any of that because I think baby products can be grossly overpriced and also I'm picky. So far, no one has seemed to annoyed with my choice of registry, which you can find here.

   I have never been more excited to meet someone in my life. I dream about this girl. I adore her daily. I can't wait to snuggle her. I can't wait for other people to meet her. She's so buff these days, I feel her wiggling and squiggling and kicking me all the time and I LOVE IT!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Sweet Anonymous

  Sometime earlier this year, someone left a Bible at the store I work in. It sat in the back room, unclaimed, for many months. I picked it up one day on my break and started flipping through it. This bible has been well-loved. It's marked and lined and written in with very, very thoughtful, sweet notes. Every single book, nearly every single page, has been noted or written on. The book of Colossians is falling out. This was someone's Bible, and I don't mean their "I use this on Sundays sometimes" bible, it was their "I live and die by these words" bible.

In the front there was a note that had a name and a phone number so I called that number and asked for the name listed. The person who answered had not lost his bible, and he didn't know anyone else who had, or who had written his name and number in the front of their bible. He offered to ask around and I let him know where I work so if he found out who the bible belonged to, he could direct them my way.

That was several weeks ago and no one has showed up asking for it yet. Which makes me think that the sweet gentleman who owned this bible may or may not currently be with the Lord. I know the person who loved this bible was a guy because he wrote next to a verse in Song of Solomon, "I need to make Teresa feel like this." And yes, I do tear a up a little everytime I think about that.

Admittedly, I'm kind of glad the owner of this bible has not come for it. I've certainly enjoyed reading from it. The notes are thoughtful, and everytime I see something particularly powerful that is underlined, I feel like I'm getting an "Amen!" from a brother or an "Oh, check this verse out". It's so nice reading it and feeling like I'm reading it with a fellow believer. Is that strange?

What Jesus said in John 13 has been weighing on me lately: "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." That's such a sweet reminder and a serious command all wrapped in one. I can't help but think of all the loves that have surrounded me lately. My sweet friends David and Julia came to pray with me the night before I left for Georgia and just that simple gesture--can we come pray with you?--meant the world to me, and how sweet to watch them live out John 13:34. And it's not just these two that have shown me this kind of love, its people I both know very well and haven't ever even met face-to-face. But when Jesus is the connective tissue between two people, no matter how far apart, or like the owner of this bible whose name I don't even know, there's such a transcendent closeness and familiarity that I can't quite put my finger on. And why would I want to? Some things are just too special for words.

I know that's its awfully creaturely of me, but I hope that one day I bump into this sweet note-taker when we're both in glory and I get to tell him everything his sweet scribbles meant to me.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tall, tall trees and all the water in the seas....

   I've had a hard time figuring out what to say publicly about my first visit with Thad since he went to No Longer Bound in July. So many wonderful people have sent their love and support, and I want to be able to say something. I know beyond any doubt that we have been in so many people's prayers the past several weeks. I can feel it in my bones, and we felt it during our time together as well.

  Truth is, our visit was beyond words. I was not 'excited' to go see him. I was fearful. Our visit could have gone one of two ways: good or horribly, terribly badly. I prayed for a lot of things before/while heading to Georgia and every.single.one.of.them. was granted and then some. I didn't ask for all the joy and hope that I came back with. I simply wanted a husband who was going to be truthful and was wanting to reconcile. But the Lord had even better plans in mind for us. We have never felt more blessed than we did during the time we had together. 

   During church on Sunday I had to cry when we sang "Jesus, how I trust him. How I've proved him over and over" because Thad and I are a living example of what Paul was talking about when he wrote, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!" The fact that God would choose to use us, and use our terrible situation to be a testimony to his Word is....humbling. Amazing. Hard to wrap my head around. 

   Obviously seeing Thad was my favorite favorite part of going to No Longer Bound but it was also BEYOND words awesome meeting some of the guys there. Seeing him just surrounded by a bunch of guys that genuinely care about him and want nothing but good for him, and both cry and celebrate with him, was just humbling and beautiful and wonderful. Also, getting to meet some of the wives of the men in the program was great, too. And by wives I mean getting to see one of my favorite wives again (I mean you, Speed) as well as getting to meet the wife of one of Thad's favorite guys there. Mrs. Latham is such a wonderful, sweet lady and getting to talk to her on our drive back from church on Sunday was proof-positive that I am so not alone. 

   Now that I've seen him and spoken with him, I've entered a different phase of this process. He is now becoming the kind of man I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with. (Did I mention he's gained THIRTY pounds? He looks amazing.) I don't have anger to 'protect' me from how much I miss him anymore. And I have this unbearable excitement to get a letter in the mail/visit again/for him to graduate so we can be together and be a family again. I'm happy that he is where he is, I'm happy that he has another 8 months of this program to go through, but 8 months feels like such an impossibly long time right now--especially with Clementine's arrival being less than 3 months away. 

  So today, I woke up feeling vulnerable and emotional and just beat down. The weight of the next 8 months decided to sit on my shoulders and park it for awhile. As much as the Lord has granted me peace in many things, sometimes anxiety peeks its head around the corner and tries to hang out with me for awhile. And while I was stressing about silly things like finances and all things new-mommyish, UPS showed up with boxes of baby stuff for me that someone had purchased off my baby registry. 

  If you've ever doubted that the Lord's timing is perfect, just take a look at my life. 

   The fact that someone on the other side of the country was thinking of my precious daughter and I moved me to tears (as I usually am when something comes in the mail for us) and I can't help but feel the Lord's hand behind it all. Don't you love that? When the Lord is just so obviously all over every blessing and second in your life??

  So, I have a very small window to try to visit Thad again before I will be too pregnant to fly. Pray that I can find a way to make it to Georgia at the end of this month. It will be minimally four months before I will be able to see him again after that. And that first visit after those long, four months will be the first time he'll meet his daughter. Can I just say its mildly soul-crushing to contemplate? 

  Thank you to everyone who has kept us in your prayers. Please don't stop now! We still have such a long road ahead but how encouraging is it to know that the Lord answers prayer?

Monday, October 1, 2012

And the gender is......

Looks like we've got a precious little girl on her way. 
Can I just say how excited I am???
I did not know until I was laying in the ultrasound how much I wanted a girl.
And because I can't read ultrasounds I had a moment where
I was sure
I was having a boy
Clementine Jaymes it is.
&we could not be more excited.
Her daddy found out on Saturday
and cried tears of joy
just like I did 
when I found out.