As you have probably heard, a few weeks ago we found out we are expecting baby #8. I had been absolutely exhausted and feeling funny but I just assumed it was the extreme lack of sleep and stress surrounding the incident with Puppy. Then one day at work I smelled something foul and almost lost my lunch. I couldn't blame that on stress, so I got a test in secret. I wasn't even really nervous because I really didn't think there was much chance it was positive. I read a book while waiting the couple of minutes for the results. When I looked down I just stared. I grabbed the box because certainly I had misread the directions. I put the box up to the test. I must have checked it a hundred times before whispering, "Dear God, NO!" My baby was just about to turn 7! It was time for me to be able to carve out some time for me to be able to work on books and stories. We don't have room for another baby. I got rid of everything. I'm 40 years old for crying out loud!
I cleaned up the evidence and took out the trash so no one would know. Marty was already at work. I wandered around the kitchen trying to make sense of supper before I went back up and stood in the bathroom. Had I really just discovered this or was it some kind of dream? The garbage was empty, I really had been here. I called my Mom who happened to be at Hannah's house. Hannah is my baby sister that Mom was pregnant with when she was 40 and I was pregnant with my first son Josh. If anyone would understand it was Mom. I think she was as shocked as I was. Hannah found it funny. My brother called in so I switched over to him and figured I might as well let him know because usually I get extremely sick and the Sharathon was only 2 weeks away. I was supposed to be the prayer room coordinator. I think I sent him into panic.
I wasn't able to tell Marty till morning when he came home and his reaction still makes me laugh. "What? How did that happen?" I find that especially funny because that's what everyone who has seen me pregnant since #3 seems to say, "You do know what causes that don't you?" They think its funny, I don't. But this time coming from my husband it was. Both our minds went straight to worry about the details and strain it would put on us. Not to mention all the people who would have "witty" things to say as if we hadn't heard it all a million times.
It took 3 days to finally get my kids all together to tell them. When we announced it, first there was shock and disbelief. Eli who had been being teased all weekend looked at me wisely and said, "Wait a minute, you don't look pregnant." I assured everyone I was not kidding and a celebration broke out. Everyone was talking at once and cheering and laughing. It was good for my soul because my kids were contagious and I realized I was getting bogged down in the worry that isn't mine instead of treasuring the blessing that God says it is.
Such a lesson for all of us. God gives us a gift and we start worrying about all the details instead of treasuring and thanking the Giver, who does not give and leave us but instead not only gives the gift but also provides the needs. I have actually been able to keep food down this time! I'm not feeling great and I'm certainly exhausted but I can still function. Sharathon was tough but I was even able to get through that with the help of Victoria. Josh did the driving since it was some late nights. Kristin did all the cooking in my absence and Jared made sure the dishes stayed caught up. Matthew and Noah have kept the laundry up and Eli is getting really good at cleaning the bathroom. In fact, one of the most awesome things about this, has been watching as each of my kids in their own way have stepped up and taken on responsibilities to keep our home functioning. What a blessing they have been!
Can I encourage you, Mommy's and Daddy's, that it is never too early to teach your children that they are a valuable and necessary part of the family. I can't tell you how many broken dishes I've had to clean up or how many pieces of laundry I've had to refold but my kids learned that they could and should be a help around the house. Not only does it help you but it helps them to know and value the work that is needed to keep things running. It lets them know that they are a vital part of this thing called family and helps them belong. I've never been able to pay them for it, so they have learned that some things you just do because they need done. I've struggled through the years wondering if I was doing all this stuff right but seeing the very tangible fruits now and the fact that they are stepping up on their own, tells me that maybe I did a few things right.
I'm actually looking forward to this baby now and almost as excited as them, now if I could just feel better...
So for all of you who are facing a blessing in disguise, hang in there. If God brought you to it He will bring you through it. And if you have eyes to see, you will see so many blessings in it that you will lose count of them. We serve a great God who loves His children desperately.