Sleep came on Thursday evening like it usually does. Quickly, completely, restfully. Rrrriiiiiing. The cell phone on my nightstand rang. I had barely remembered to turn the thing off silent (my default) and only because my sis is very pregant and though I doubted she'd be going into labor for another week, I was all about being prepared. Rrrriiiiiing. The second ring jolted my head into reality and I grabbed for the phone. It was my mom. Surprise---my sis is in labor and headed for the hospital now.
It was exactly 1:00 am.
I was wide awake.
I started praying. I had learned that babies need to get born healthfully, mamas need prayer while laboring and it's time to pray (not sleep) while this is happening. I prayed and checked the clock every ten minutes. And it seemed like eternity, but as quickly as I awakened... I fell asleep.
It was 1:45 am.
At 3:00 am, my phone jingled. Text message with the baby announcement.
Baby Girl B. is born. They are healthy... and the baby was born at 1:41 am.
I smiled. I smiled because God is good and He does good. Because the Spirit's leading is perfect. I smiled because God used me to pray and then He let me sleep when He was done. Perfect.
I told Brandon about the baby.
The best part was the next morning when I turned to Brandon and said, "so Baby B. is here..."
And he said, "Wait. That actually happened?"
I guess someone was more sleepy than he appeared. ;)
Worked a half-day on Friday and then to the hospital to hang out with my sis. Things change with fourth baby. Daddy has to go home to check on little girlies, less people come visit the hospital and the nurses tend to leave mommy & baby alone. As not-fun as the hospital environment is (loud beeping and talking is not restful), we had a good time because a) the birth was spectacularly awesome and so much glory to God for answered prayer, b) Baby B. is the sweetest little darling at 6 lbs, 5.9 oz (contrary to the ultrasound tech's prediction of at least 7 lbs, 11 oz?) and c) I brought chocolate milkshakes. We celebrate everything with chocolate ice cream. Even new babies.
((Pictures pending permission from the proud parents.))
I stopped at their house on the way home to for a short visit with three little nieces who were SO EXCITED about "baby si'ter." They had just been informed that they were gonna go spend at least a week at grandma's house in quarantine from their mama and baby sister, which is not fun for mama's heart, but we're looking at the bright side. It could be a new family tradition; finish the homeschool school year (which happened on Thursday, right before their mama went into labor~another crazy awesome thing that God alone orchestrated) and spend a week at Grandma's house! Anybody else excited? :D I spent an hour reading books, listening to the most hilarious childish chatter and 'playing' the harmonica loudly so three little girls could twirl around the living room. We ended my visit by me playing the piano and them singing "ON CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK I STAND" at the top of their lungs. And then I had to 'go home to Unca B'andon.'
Glorious springy weather earlier in the week inspired us to plan a Saturday morning date around our little town, including a walk in the park. However,Saturdaywas COLD. Like cold enough that there were snowflakes falling on the crazy PSU football fans watching the Blue/White game (aka. it's just a scrimmage, folks. Penn State always wins). We changed our plans toinside. Inside the haircut place because Brandon needed a haircut. Inside the coffee shop because coffee is our love language. We spent our time sipping each other's coffees and listening to an uncomfortably awkward conversation between a lady renting her house to a young 20-ish year-old couple. Weirdest part was when the girl renter asked the landlord lady when her lease ran out. Landlord lady: "Um, I own it." Dumb blonde girl, "Oh, do you like own it with a husband?" Landlord lady: "No husband. Just me." I am still shaking my head. Eventually, we did manage to tear our heads away from that nonsense and whisper a few sweet nothings to each other. Stopped at our friendly neighborhood library for a few minutes and then our short-and-sweet Saturday morning date come to an end.
Brandon went back to studying. We are counting down the days 'til the semester ends. It's a balance thing that we talk about often---looking forward to the future, while still enjoying the present. We make it happen by enjoying little things together, like our morning coffee, the privilege of commuting together, constant conversation, staying nearby and keeping our hearts fixed on the most important things-- Jesus & each other. Then, even the hard work of the semester is a delight. It's a delight to feel God's pleasure. It's a delight to work hard six days and rest on the seventh. And I'm sure summer without quite as many classes will feel like a vacation to us. Of course, add some wedding photography to the mix for me... but I'm not complaining, not afraid of hard work. :P
My Saturday work consisted of catching up on housework. I scrubbed the bathtub by hand, and made all the soap scum go away! It was my greatest Saturday success (I am taking advice on how to keep the soapscum from coming back!). There was laundry, grocery-shopping, baking and putting together my new vacuum cleaner. DID I MENTION THAT I GOT A NEW VACUUM CLEANER?! AND IT WAS FREE?! Yes, all-caps is appropriate for this level of excitement. I had been using my lame Walmart $30 vacuum and life wasn't pretty, but I figured out how to redeem some reeeeeally old airline miles for a vacuum cleaner. It's so nice and shiny and wonderful, that I didn't even mind picking through nasty trash to find the missing screw (that I had accidentally thrown away) needed for finish assembly.
I love Sundays. Every Sunday, it seems that I stop and revel in the magnificent blessings that God has given me. The blessing of my husband. The blessing of my family. The blessing of safety and security and hope and a future. The blessing of being able to worship freely. The blessing of singing wholeheartedly, playing piano with abandon and worshipping God. The blessing of speaking a word of encouragement and receiving the same from others. The blessing of friendship. The blessing of controversy. Yes, I thank God for that. A little controversy keeps us sharp, keeps us seeking truth, keeps us from becoming complacent. I thank God for the blessing of new life and birth and growth and maturity. The blessing of wisdom and discernment and the help of the Holy Spirit, our Perfect Teacher.
The blessing of companionship with God.
I can't get over the privilege of walking with Him.
He hears my voice. He welcomes my prayers. He loves my company. He made a way for us to walk together.
If you need me, I'll be over here thinking about that miracle for a good long while....