baby steps, baby steps

I am currently 15 weeks pregnant. We know, our families and friends have been told, and now we are part of the club where we get to share in many moments of excitement, wonder, worry, and frustration as we welcome a new member into our family.

There’s lots on my mind today because yesterday was the first day that I had an actual appointment with an OB and we got to see a little person who is residing in my body and who seemed very comfortable swimming around in there. He or she had a head, a brain, a torso, legs, arms, toes and fingers. Oh, and an umbilical cord, and a heart that we could actually see beating!

One concept I’ve reflected on a lot over the past few years – which is again on my mind – is that I want to celebrate the present and not get hung up on the future. This is probably somewhat due to my tendency to become overwhelmed at times. I especially get frustrated by societal and cultural influences that constantly push us to perform well, succeed and make a name for ourselves. These things aren’t wrong or bad in and of themselves, but they don’t determine our value as human beings. Truly, the Lord is the one who determines our value, and we find our worth and purpose in Him.

As a relatively young person, I don’t like feeling the pressure of expectations from others. I’m sure I’m not the only who has had this experience. Fortunately I don’t feel constant pressure from parents, like some, but I think people unknowingly say things out of turn; and a lot of the time, it’s people who don’t know you very well. For instance, I remember being laughed at a few years ago by the spouse of a colleague of my dad’s when I told her I’d graduated from college but still didn’t know exactly what I was going to do with my life. She condescendingly told me something like, “You’d better figure it out.” And just last week when I was on a work trip, a random woman told me that I needed to go to grad school, and not to wait too long. Never mind that I had not expressed any interest in grad school to her, and don’t have any plans to go, and don’t know what I would even do if I did go (isn’t that kind of the point of getting another degree?)…

Anyway, having a baby is no different than any other life milestone. People like to make small talk and like to know your plans for the future. In fact, yesterday the doctor was already talking about what to bring to the hospital and what their birthing plan looked like. People have already asked me about names – and I know that some people do decide those things quickly. But I’m not even showing yet! The questions that both we think through ourselves and that other people ask will probably never end, and I think I’m just now beginning to come to terms with that.

And like a lot of similar moments in my life, I’m probably not going to do what most people would do and I’m not going to make decisions the same way. I am okay with this, but it does lead to either 1. smiling and nodding when people tell you what they think about your life, or 2. trying to have a real, honest discussion about what you believe. Either choice is difficult.

Anyway, I want to again commit my mind and my heart to doing what I know is right: celebrating the present and not freaking out about the future. Sure, it’s crazy to think about becoming a parent when I didn’t really intend to, and how hard breastfeeding might be, and how cranky I will be from lack of sleep… but it really won’t do much good now. I can only absorb so much information at once, and I don’t want my current life to be consumed with obsessing over becoming a parent. Why worry? The Lord has always blessed me, no matter how much I deserve it or not, and I will praise Him in this moment, at 15 weeks when I don’t have a big belly yet but I know there is a tiny life twirling and swirling inside me. God has given me life, grace and love and now I get to pass it on to someone else. THAT is worth celebrating, dwelling on, and being excited about.

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