Waiting For Those Cheeks…

So this happened today.

calendarThe other day, Kaylia threw her little arms around my big belly, and exclaimed, “I miss you, Baby!”

Then she gave it a hearty smack, and asked, “Did I kiss his cheek?”

When I told her I was pretty sure she had just kissed his bum, she said, “At least I kissed one of his bum cheeks!”

We all keep dreaming of the day when we will actually be kissing his real cheeks!!

Wild Ride

KendraSo I’m thinking that my doctor is the Queen of False Hope. She got me so geared up for an early delivery, and here we sit, three weeks later. Glad I spent so much time worrying about that one, when it turns out, I’m permanently pregnant.

She also told me last Thursday that it would happen in the next 24 hours.

Nope. Oh, well.

Ben keeps saying, “You CAN’T be pregnant forever – this has to end soon!”

What he doesn’t understand is that I actually feel as though I WILL be pregnant forever. I cannot imagine my life any other way at this point!! I cannot imagine that we are on the verge of adding another little person to our family!

I was in Baby’s room last night when Ben came looking for me. I tossed him a pair of impossibly small sleepers, and asked, “Can you actually imagine that there will be a little baby wearing those sleepers soon?”

He proceeded to arrange the sleepers over his shoulder and pat the back of them, which was very sweet, but then he suddenly grabbed the feet, and started whirling and twirling them energetically through the air.

Baby is in for a wild ride…

Learning to Wait Well

So, it looks like this little guy will not be following in the footsteps of his big sister – Kaylia surprised us by arriving at 36 weeks, so my doctor told us to be ready this time around! Fortunately, the 36th week has come and gone, and Baby is still right where he should be, so this is good.

Really, it’s GOOD!!

I’m trying to convince myself….In my head and heart, I know it is the best for Baby to be full-term before he makes his debut, but in my back, hips, and pelvis, I was quite sure I could handle another preemie!!

Now this whole waiting thing has become a big mental challenge, because we took the doctor seriously when she said, “Get ready!” We have our car seat by the door, we’ve got everybody’s bags packed, we’ve got the hospital snacks ready to go, WE ARE READY!!

But when the doctor checked me last week, and said there was no sign of anything happening anytime soon, I got a bit crabby for a few days. Wait, I’ve been a bit crabby for awhile already – I got crabbier than usual for a few days.

What hit me one night, though, as I sat alone in the dark, after being unable to fall asleep after the fifth trip to the bathroom, is that God knows. He knows the pain I’m in, He knows how hard it is to wait, and yet I’m pretty sure He still wants me to walk through this with joy!

And then I felt ashamed, because there are so many people who are waiting on much, much harder things in life. Silly me, I know that I won’t be pregnant forever, and I know that I’m waiting for something awesome and joyful and miraculous. But it’s so easy to sink into my own discomfort, and focus on the pain I’m experiencing right now, and forget all that other stuff.

I came across a great blog post on learning to wait:

“Over the years, I have learned that waiting on the Lord is one of the most potentially sanctifying (and necessary) aspects of the Christian life….I pray that God will sanctify my impatience.”

So for now, I’m being sanctified! And I’m trying to smile sweetly at ALL the people who ask, “How are you feeling?”

My answer is, “I feel ready to have a baby!!”

In the meantime, we’re already enjoying some really cute laundry….:)



A Baby Room, and a Pirate Quote?!

Sometimes I like to remind Ben that I’m being a “Proverbs 31 wife” – I’m saving him money, and being really productive and wise, and all that kind of stuff. Definitely worthy of being praised at the city gate, but we’re having trouble figuring out what would be the modern-day equivalent in Niverville – the entrance to Fifth Avenue Estates, the development where we live? He’s talked about making posters….

Or maybe Facebook? He could start posting updates on how amazing I am?

But this weekend, he was a …Proverbs 31 husband… if it gives such a thing. He seemed determined to get every task done that could possibly be stressing me out, and had his most productive Saturday ever. He moved furniture, and washed floors, and hung up pictures, and cleaned the house.

As a result, we now have this:

baby room

And now, Baby can come. Anytime.

baby roomAfter he had finished setting everything up, Ben said, “All we need is a sailing quote stenciled on the wall above those pictures.”

I’m not sure which shocked me more – Ben having an opinion about decorating, or him suggesting that we stencil something on our wall. Since I’m pretty sure he won’t actually do it, and at eight months pregnant, I won’t either, I suggested maybe a nicely framed quote would be an acceptable substitute, to which he agreed.

But the best we could find were these:

Work like a Captain, Play like a Pirate.

Or this one:

To “Err” is Human. To “Arr” is Pirate.

Not really baby room material….

Any nautical, babyish quotes to share??!

Around Here Right Now

So if I were being completely honest, I would write that around here, I’m not sleeping well, my back hurts, and five weeks never felt so long before. But since nobody needs to hear about that, I’m going to write about the stuff that’s awesome enough to bring joy in the midst of the waiting…:)

1) Coconut Whipped Cream

You guys, this stuff is amazing! Particularly for anyone avoiding dairy. If you stick a can of coconut milk in the fridge for a few hours, and scoop out the solid part (save the thin liquid for smoothies), you can make dairy-free whipped cream. Soooo delicious. I’ve asked Ben to bring me cans of coconut milk instead of flowers, whenever he feels a romantic urge.:)

coconut milk

2) Family Yoga


This is new, but completely awesome. I’ve done yoga every single night for a year straight, and cannot put into words how much it has improved my life. Still going strong at 35 weeks pregnant, and couldn’t survive without it.

Recently, I asked my massage therapist for tips on keeping Anika in good shape, now that she’s started taking violin lessons. After having dealt with a musician’s injury for so many years, I want to keep her back, neck, and arm muscles strong and healthy. His advice? Yoga, with me!

I also asked him about Ben’s knees – he’s had knee surgery already, and commented the other day that most likely, his knees will be the first thing to go. Guess what – yoga for him, too!!

And of course, Kaylia just joined in, because everybody else was doing it, but her comments were so hilarious, it was hard for any of us to take anything seriously.

My evening yoga routine used to be very relaxed and focused, so the atmosphere has changed drastically, but it brings such joy to my heart to see my whole family doing Downward Facing Dog poses in the living room!! I’m hoping this is something that will stick…

3) Getting Ready for Baby

Almost there – I have a few things to cross off my list, and then I can relax at night, because we will be READY!! Kaylia arrived at 36 weeks, so my doctor has told me to be ready! But she’s also told me we could be waiting until 40 weeks, there’s really no way to know. It will just feel better when everything is all set to go….

baby room

4) Invitation to Solitude and Silence

Invitation to Solitude and Silence

This is what I get up and read at night when I can’t sleep – loving it so much! Focusing on quiet rest is exactly what my frantic mind is craving right now. It’s an interesting exercise to spend focused time with God, but not speaking to Him – just being.

What have you been enjoying lately? Please share – I need new ideas!!

It’s the Gender Reveal Post!:)

We’re going to interrupt this week of “Birthday Favorites” to bring you some exciting baby news:

Gender RevealWe brought our girls to the ultrasound on Tuesday, but the technician wouldn’t tell us the gender, so my doctor called with the results yesterday. I was very anxious to find out if we were having a boy or a girl, but I was not prepared for how outrageously excited I felt!

I called Ben right away, and it was pure giddiness!:) When he called again later on in the day, he asked, “How’s our son doing?” And then we felt very giggly.

At our picnic supper later on, we gave the girls with an envelope to open, and it was so much fun to watch them trying to figure out what was going on.

gender revealgender revealgender revealI love the look of confusion on Anika’s face! She was reading it aloud and saying, “It’s…a…boy….What does that mean?! Who’s a boy?”

gender revealAnd then all of a sudden it sank in, and they both went crazy.:)

gender revealgender reveal

Obviously, we would have loved having another girl, but we’re pretty excited about experiencing something totally new and different!

To all those people who chuckle gleefully, and tell me that my whole life will change, and boys are TOTALLY different than girls, and I have NO idea what we’re in for, this is what I have to say:

Bring it on!

I am so excited about this new challenge. I feel like God’s been getting my heart ready for this for a long time.

I used to desperately NOT want a boy. When both Anika and Kaylia were born, I had a deep, secret fear they would be boys. I know nothing about boys. I never had any brothers, and my education in that area is seriously lacking.

But in the last few years, a longing and curiosity started growing, and now this feels right and good and wonderful.

When Ben and I were first becoming friends at Red Rock, many years ago, I interviewed him while I was getting ready to do a talk on dating for a bunch of girls. I don’t remember everything he said, but there was on especially memorable quote:

Girls think boys are so complicated because they’re actually so simple.

I’m hoping he’s right!:) And we’ll figure it out from there!

I’ll be back later with more birthday favorites!

Quoting Ben on Answers to Awkward Pregnancy Questions

When we were graduating from college, Ben didn’t really know what he wanted to do next. He dreaded the question, “What will you be doing next year?”

So he decided to make an awkward situation entertaining for himself, by trying to see what outrageous occupations he could come up with in his answers about future plans.

Lately, I’ve been needing his creativity, as people have been finding out about our third miracle baby being on the way. I keep finding myself in need of some good answers for some of the awkward questions and comments I’ve received. Somehow, I stumble through an answer, go home to tell Ben about it, and then enjoy the ideas he comes up with.

Here’s a few of his ideas:

Question: “So, was this a planned pregnancy?”

Ben: “WELL, there was this one night….” (Because he says awkward questions deserve awkward answers….For the real answer, see this post!)

Question: “What do you hope you’ll have?”

Ben: “We’re REALLY hoping for a unicorn!”

Comment: “I would LOVE to see how you would handle having a boy!!”

Ben: “Well, we don’t really know what we’re doing with girls, either, so there shouldn’t be much difference!”


If you have any awkward questions that need answers to, I’m sure Ben would love to help you out!;)

And We Thought We Were Done…

Sweet friends. It is with growing excitement, as well as a fair amount of lingering shock, that I give you this news: We are having a baby!!


I know. Me too! We thought we were done. I didn’t want to be done, but I really thought we were.

I always said that when I turned 35, I’d stop hoping.

Well, last summer, I turned 35, so I went to all of my therapists, and asked them, “Is it possible for me to have a baby?” Most of them said, “Absolutely not.”

So I went home, had my cry, and tried to put away those baby dreams, once and for all.

I started selling a few things, here and there.

I donated a large amount of baby clothes to the ministry that lives in our basement.:)

And I asked Ben for a special gift for Christmas – a necklace with our girls’ names on it, as a symbol that our family was done, and I was blessed and content.

I really was.


God was so gracious and good, and He gave me true rest and joy in my heart during that season.

But then December happened, and I felt God saying He was going to heal me. The first Sunday in December, we went to our friends’ church for a baby dedication. There was a choir singing on stage that morning, and I noticed a woman, very pregnant, and singing with obvious joy and abandon. And suddenly, a picture zipped through my mind of me being like that woman – very pregnant, singing God’s praise with a smile on my face and my arms in the air.

It took my breath away, and then I thought, “Oh, no, not again!” I had worked so hard to surrender all of that, and I didn’t want to go back to the longing. I wanted to be content.

I tried to just give that vision to God, and I prayed, “Whatever you want, God. If you heal me, just do whatever you want.” And I put it aside.

Well, January came, and something had happened in my body. So I went back to the therapists, and asked again, “Can I have a baby now?” And they said yes!

I rushed home to tell Ben the good news, and he said blankly, “We want a baby??”

And I said, “We don’t want a baby??”

Turns out, I’d spent 5 years hoping for a miracle, and Ben had put it out of his mind, because he just doesn’t worry or dwell on things. When the topic of another baby had come up, he never had a lot to say, except, “I’d be sad if I knew we were never having another baby.”

But now, he said he just wasn’t sure if he could go through all that again – infertility and miscarriages and all the rest was hard on both of us, but he didn’t think he could watch me go through it again.

I tried to explain to him how I felt – I didn’t know if I really wanted a baby – I just knew I wanted to let go, and stop being in control, and just let God decide the future of our family. I wanted to know when I’m eighty years old that we had at least tried. I wanted no regrets.

Ben said he was 60% happy with our family just the way it was, and 40% wanted another baby.

In my mind, I thought, “Hey, we’re only 10% away from agreement! Surely I can swing him over…”

But Ben does not like being swung. God knew this, and took pity on him…:)

A few days later, I was at my weekly Bible study, and God spoke to me. Loud and clear. There were three parts to the message:

“Surrender your desire for a baby to me.

Submit to Ben’s desires for your family.”

And then I saw a picture of a branch of fall leaves.

I was a little heartbroken, and a little in awe of how God had spoken to me, and really confused about the branch of leaves. I kept wondering, “What’s up with fall?? Will this all make sense to me in fall? What will God reveal to me in fall????”

I went home and told Ben what God had said to me. He thanked me for choosing to obey, and was relieved.

And then I went about the work of trying to surrender. That is HARD WORK!!! But it was during this time that I wrote the post about God’s burden being light. He really carried me through that time. I can honestly say I gave that desire fully to Him. I wasn’t expecting in any way that I was giving it up so that He’d give it back to me, or fulfill it. I honestly thought we were done.

But two weeks later, we sat on our couch with a positive pregnancy test, in complete shock. I don’t know when I’ve ever been so surprised in my life.

And wouldn’t you know, this baby is due in fall. God’s got an awesome sense of humor, hey?! (“What’s with the fall leaves??!!”)


Since then, God has been providing for us in pretty awesome ways. I’ve been grossly sick, but I lived through a ladies retreat, as well as two other speaking engagements, which was pretty miraculous, considering that most days, I lay around from morning till night, wondering how we’d ever reach the end of the first trimester.

God has been at work in me – and not just creating our third little miracle baby! He’s been teaching me A TON about trusting Him, and learning to let Him carry me through the fear, doubt, and uncertainty of this first trimester, bumping into all the emotional scars left by the two miscarriages I went through a few years ago. BUT…that’s a long story that I’ll save for another day.:) He is so good, and I’m so overwhelmed by the awesome way He is able to carry us through our struggles!

AND I’m overwhelmed by the fact that He has chosen to bless us again with another sweet baby. I heard the heartbeat today for the first time, and first I laughed, and then I cried, and now, I just feel ready to celebrate!!

God works and speaks and heals and moves in the most unexpected ways!


I Don’t Have Enough Faith

On Wednesday, I wrote brave words about teaching my girls strength through my weakness.

On Thursday, I broke down and wanted to take it all back, just for a minute….

Over the years since I first got sick, I’ve been prayed over many, many times for healing. I’ve been anointed with oil, and I’ve had hands laid on me, and great people of great faith have prayed boldly and confidently for me.

I’ve prayed for healing for myself far more times than I could ever count, sometimes with faith, and sometimes in pure desperation. But that miraculous healing hasn’t come yet for me.

And when I came across people who said, “Just pray with faith. If you have enough faith, then Jesus will heal you,” it always left me feeling like I wasn’t enough.

I wasn’t faithful enough, I wasn’t trusting enough, I didn’t believe enough, or maybe, just maybe… could it be that God didn’t care enough?

Other people got their miracles. Why couldn’t I get mine?

Waiting for a miracle brought me to a crisis of faith more than once along the way. But somehow, I always found my way through. I always hung on to Jesus, sometimes just enough to barely get by – but not enough to eliminate those lingering feelings of doubt that my sickness was my fault.

I didn’t have enough faith.

In the midst of my health issues, we were waiting for a baby. Two miscarriages, and it felt like no baby would ever come. But I kept begging and praying and pleading, and once again, it just seemed as though I didn’t have enough faith.

I didn’t deserve a baby, because I didn’t trust God enough.

But one day, as I knelt by our bed, begging God for a miracle, it suddenly hit me that He already was giving me a miracle – just not the one I wanted.

I was asking for the miracle of a baby, but God was giving me the strength to hang on, and somehow keep going, choosing Him even when things were hard.

Which was the greater miracle?

And so I tried to thank Him for the miracle of His presence and provision, even if it wasn’t the miraculous baby I was begging for.

But then, exactly two weeks after I was told a baby was completely, physically impossible, I stood in our bathroom holding a positive pregnancy test.

And I felt like I didn’t deserve it.

I hadn’t earned it. I hadn’t learned enough yet. I didn’t have enough faith. I hadn’t learned to trust God enough. I hadn’t found enough joy in the midst of this hardship.

But that day was the beginning of learning that I can NEVER do enough to earn it. I can never have enough faith, enough trust, enough of anything to actually deserve God’s mercy and grace and blessing.

He just gives it anyway.

So I held our miracle baby in my arms, and I wondered if maybe, just maybe…God could heal me even if I didn’t have enough faith. Or maybe…He could be enough, even if I spent the rest of my life dealing with health issues.

Yesterday, my friend reminded me of this passage in Daniel:

If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. (Daniel 3:17-18)

Even if He does not.

That’s what I’ve learned. I think it’s the most important thing anyone can learn about faith and prayer and miracles, this side of Heaven.

295 - 2

He is so far above me, I cannot begin to understand.

Am I okay with not having an answer?

Am I okay with not getting the miracle I’m asking for?

I believe He wants to give great and wonderful gifts to His precious children. But we live in a fallen world. He calls us to bring His kingdom to pass here on Earth, but it’s still all fallen.

So one day He’ll come and clean up the whole mess, and redeem our feeble attempts at “kingdom here on earth”, and Anika and I agree that we will eat ice cream every day from that day on, and I’ll ride my bike a lot.

Or maybe we won’t, and we won’t even care. Who knows.

All I know is that I trust Him. I trust Him for the miracle. I trust Him if He chooses to skip the miracle, and waits to heal me on that glorious day when He returns, and I meet our two babies I’ve never known.

He is good if He saves me, and I trust Him if He doesn’t.

Do I have “enough faith”?

Nope, probably not. I don’t really have enough anything, but that’s okay, because Jesus is enough, and I’m hanging on.

And so every once in a while, I come across people who suggest that all we need is enough faith. And then, all I need is a quiet corner to wrestle down those doubts that have plagued me for years. I give it all back to Jesus again. I surrender my life again.

And I say, once again, “Jesus, I believe you can heal me. But even if you don’t, I’m still choosing to trust You.

I hang on tight, and then we do it all over again.


What are you holding on for today? Is it ever hard to keep believing that Jesus is enough, even if the miracle isn’t coming?

I know that some of these things are too hard, too personal, to be able to share with the general public in the comments section, but please know that if you ever need to get it out, and want someone to listen, you can send me an email. I’ll listen and pray, and hold on with you!

Best Sisters Forever

Anika started praying for a sister when she was two years old. She kept praying for three and a half years, and she never stopped believing that God would answer her prayers.

And then He did. I will never forget what it was like to call Anika from the hospital with the news that her baby sister had been born (and of course my mom captured the moment on camera!).

Anika just giggled. And kept giggling.

And now they giggle together.

They also fight a lot, the most popular reason being Kaylia’s large area of personal space, and Anika is forever getting in it, trying to hug and kiss her….while still refusing to share her toys. Things can get ugly at times.

But things can also be so beautiful, too.

One of the greatest joys of my life is watching our girls being sisters.

So, in honor of Kaylia’s birthday, I put together a little slideshow of Anika and Kaylia…