I just finished reading a blog by Jennifer Antonucci about expectations. Her basic point was that when we place our expectations on people we are bound to be disappointed and our expectations should be focused on God. This got me thinking about how many times I've placed expectations on people without them ever knowing it. The results almost always end up the same, anger, hurt or bitterness on my part and complete oblivion and freedom on theirs which in turn fuels even more anger, hurt or bitterness. Lately, I think I've not only put way too many expectations on people, but I've also allowed myself to not take any responsibility for my lack off communication with those around me. This has lead only to my disappointment or frustration. It has also short-changed the people I love and work with due to the fact that my false expectations stunt my ability to see what others are doing well and to praise them accordingly. So, my goal is to do two things. First, I must go before God and ask Him to help me to have appropriate expectations towards Him and towards people. I must regain the proper balance that puts my faith in God and His sovereignty rather than in man. Second, I must develop the leadership, courage and discipline to communicate with others my needs or expectations. This of course, will require a good chunk of humility, but to live free of bitterness or disappointment towards those I care about makes it worth it.
Posted by Jenn Becker at 5:03 PM
Pregnancy does weird things to you. Today I discovered these strange bumps on my wrist due to really dry skin, one of baby-cookin's great side effects. My hair is different, my memory is weakening, I have a hard time staying awake past 9:30pm and sleep now requires a minimum of 3 pillows all strategically placed. I've also succumbed to the stereotypical cravings, but even those seem weird to me. For example, never in my life have a even liked beets, let alone got excited about them. Now, I can sit down and eat a bowlful with joy and then marvel at the pink tinge that later results in the toilet (sorry, TMI). I've also fallen in love with sprout and ham "burritos". That is a piece of deli ham wrapped around a giant glob of fresh clover sprouts, MMMM! Above all, the one of the strangest things about being pregnant is also one of the most wonderful. I wake up nearly every morning and can feel my daughter doing her morning tap dance routine on my sides. I then eat breakfast and she does a few rounds of kickboxing with my belly button. The rest of the day she spends time rolling around, occasionally giving me a reminder or two of how strong she is becoming. I then lay down to sleep and there she is again dancing to the music of her mommy and daddy talking and winding down for the night. I LOVE it! I love HER! I'm amazed as each day my love for her grows and grows and I haven't even met her yet. (deep, thoughtful sigh...) I'm so thankful and so in love. Thank You, Jesus! =)
Posted by Jenn Becker at 6:21 PM
Looking from the outside in, our lives have been chaos lately. The past two weeks have been packed with hospital stays, ultrasounds, tests, minor emergency surgery (rescue cerclage), follow up doctor visits and stretching of finances. My husband and I have run the gamut of emotions including surprise, shock, fear, disbelief, confidence, gratitude, and peace. The little bundle of love in my belly is our miracle. We have endured more than 8 years of fighting infertility, dealing with loss and learning the true meaning of trusting in God's sovereignty rather than simply in His ability to answer. It's amazing to me that after all of that I assumed pregnancy would be easy, breezy and beautiful. I supposed God thought "she's had enough, let's give her a baby now". Instead we have dealt with the risk of cystic fibrosis, enlarged kidneys, cysts on the brain, a funneled and shortened (incompetent) cervix and the threat of premature birth. Looking at this list all at once makes it sound like I've had a pregnancy of horror, but the truth is quite the contrary. After all we've been through to have this baby, these bumps in the road have seemed so minor in my spirit. I truly believe God has used past pain to create a rich treasure of sweet and simple confidence in His control, which is just now being discovered. I'm now facing my 3rd trimester straight in the face and all I can think about is how grateful I am. I'm thankful for the strength and peace God placed in my heart, even during the scariest of doctor's reports. I'm thankful for a sweet and strong husband that has resorted to prayer over us every step of the way. I'm thankful that the Holy Spirit led a radiology student to discover the dangerous state of my cervix. I'm thankful for the support system that raised up while we were in the hospital. I'm thankful that we now have a great possibility of making it to full term with a healthy (and VERY active) baby. I'm thankful to finally be able to be in a place of trust and rest in God. To me, that's the biggest miracle of all.
Posted by Jenn Becker at 2:07 PM
I'm realizing more and more over the past few months how much of a slow processor I am. I've been home from the hospital for nearly 5 days and still haven't quite been able to jumpstart myself back into normal life. I literally woke up today not having a clue where to start my day. This practice is not normal for me. I usually lay down to sleep with a 'to do' list in my head and then wake up with an even longer list. This morning I've spent time reading my Bible and trying to regain some footing so I can face my day with some normality. All while reading my mind kept wandering to my inner questions, 'Why does it take me so long to process? Why am I so cautious? Is it a good thing or a bad thing or both?' I haven't gained any answers to these questions, yet I do know two things. No matter the season I'm in, I (#1) don't ever want to be so cautious or detailed that I miss the moment to jump into something fantastic that God may have for me, nor do I (#2) want to be so hasty that I avoid listening to wisdom or warnings from the Holy Spirit and cause needless pain or struggle. For now I'm going to sit down with my planner, pray for clear vision, make my lists, and hopefully the spinning from the past week's events will end.
Posted by Jenn Becker at 10:55 AM