1:00am Thanksgiving morning. I thought for sure yesterday I was in labor.....contractions all during the day, culminating in a 45 minute walk with intense contractions every 2-3 minutes......until I came home and laid down, then they seemed to dissipate and mostly disappear. And....here I sit....debating whether or not to call it a night and turn in.
I am struck by the fact that this could indeed be my last night of pregnancy......ever. And, so, I wait patiently with my little Grace....enjoying her on the inside snuggling and squirming inside of me, and also eagerly anticipating her arrival to the outside world.
It is not lost on me, this most meaningful timing...whether or not she arrives on Thanksgiving Day, or chooses to wait a few more days. As we close this season of childbearing, it is not without significance that she will arrive in the season of Thanksgiving. These past seven years of pregnancies and childbearing have been full of joy, love, and laughter.....of God's greatest gifts being revealed to us through our four precious children. A mama at heart and by design, I both embrace these gifts and mourn for the season that is about to pass, yet I look forward with eager anticipation to what lies ahead for our little family. I have come to be thankful for the cozy little farmhouse God has provided us with, and realize that our family will have special and happy memories of life here, in and around this house. We will look back and remember the slapping of little hands and knees as our tiny ones began to crawl, then toddle, and the pitter patter of little feet as the two year olds took off with confidence. We'll likely always hear the hearty laughter and giggles of little children as they race around the house playing hide and seek or tag, the chatting and laughing upstairs long after the lights have been turned off. I'll hear the squeaking of the floorboards as Papa rocks Anna Ruth in the old rocking chair and sings Blessed Assurance to yet another child. I'll see the little boys sitting in stuffed Thomas the Train chairs, flanking their Papa as he leads the Ordway Family Prayer Council. I'll hear Jason's voice as he weaves the story of Hansel and Gretel the Two Cows, or he of me as I recount Annie's Adventures. We'll remember sneaking up the stairs to hear Caleb singing a mournful dirge or praying for 10 minutes on and on and on while Emet listens and interjects...We'll see two little boys racing their dumptrucks and bicycles up and down the gravel driveway and around the yard....children on the swingset...exploring the barn. Two little boys will remain in our hearts as they haul their load of wood up from the woodshed, increasingly with a little sister in tow. Had our nest been bigger or fancier, I'm not sure the experience would have been quite the same. And despite all of the times I have been frustrated by its simplicity and needs, I am beginning to see that life in this simple country home has been one of our biggest blessings.
And so, as I ponder these precious memories....in the passing of one season to another, I cling to my time here as I wait with Grace......and I am thankful for the Grace that has been given me.