Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Struggle With Contentment

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."Hebrews 13:4-6

It has been a while since I have really sat down and blogged. I have posted updates or prayer requests but when it comes to the nitty gritty, I have been lacking in words. In some ways I think I have been in kind of a funk and in some ways maybe I have allowed myself to become a little complacent. I have been struggling with many things like the idea of prayer, church, and if I am being honest, envy.

For a long time now when we are out in public I look at a family and wonder what their story is. I imagine that they have lived a life far easier than my own (though I am very aware that things are not always what they seem), I see a family FULL of kids and wish so badly that each of my children were here with me. Sometimes I get so angry when I am so often asked "is this your first pregnancy?" and I reply with "no, it is my fifth.". I always say it is my fifth, I never sugar coat the truth. Our story is what it is. This is my fifth pregnancy, but when I think about it, it ticks me off that though I have been pregnant nearly constantly for the past six years, I have only two living children. It just doesn't set well with me. I think for quite sometime I have felt these feelings of entitlement. I went through pregnancy and so I deserve a baby. I deserve to have all of my children here in my home.

In the past few weeks I have really tried to do some searching and praying and am finding a huge change taking place in my heart. I am still not sure that I will ever be "ok" with the idea that I will never again hold Isaac or Asher this side of Heaven. It still makes no sense to me and just doesn't seem right.

The impending arrival of their baby sister has gotten me thinking even more. My heart goes back and forth between fear of losing another child, and extreme excitement at the idea of bringing her home. I do not believe I am pessimistic, just realistic. My reality is that of four pregnancies, I brought home two babies and, two babies went Home. That makes my record 50/50. I have learned not to take a single moment of pregnancy for granted. Not one ultrasound or heartbeat has been taken lightly. I am keenly aware of the miracle that is going on within by body and of all of the lessons the Lord has taught me through Isaac and Asher.

What I have been feeling the Lord trying to teach me these days is contentment. As I have said, I still struggle without two of my boys here and I don't for one minute pretend to like or understand why they were taken from me so soon, but because I know God's word is true, I also know his plan is good. I know that through all of it he has never left me or forsaken me even though at times it has felt like it.

He is teaching me not to long for the lives I see others living, but to be content with the life he has given ME. He chose me to be the mommy of Luke, Isaac, Ben, Asher and this baby girl. It has not been an easy path, but I AM blessed. If I had it to do over I would do it all in a minute because the love I have known because of each of those babies far outweighs the heartache of saying good bye. I am learning to let go of some of the anger and sadness and embrace my life for what it is. There are some things we just have NO control over, we must just accept them and do the best we can. That is all I can do. I must be content with what I have.

Yesterday we had another ultrasound. I still held my breath as the technician moved that wand across my belly, yet the tears streaming down my face were tears of joy as I gazed upon the miracle of the little gymnast moving about. She still did NOT allow for any photos, but this time it was because she would not stay still. We got to see her yawn and suck her hand and move about and it was just amazing to see the work the Lord has done over the past nine months. She shook her head and wiggled her feet and allowed for a firm confirmation that she is indeed a SHE. The technician said that her head was very low and difficult to measure but that everything looked right on track. She is weighing in at 6lb 11 oz give or take a half a pound. Her heart is beating perfectly and she is practice breathing regularly. She really could choose to arrive at anytime now.

We left that appointment and Howard and I went to dinner (since we already had a sitter and knew these moments would be few and far between all too soon) and as we sat there talking we could not stop talking about what it would be like to have a newborn at home again and how we thought the boys would react. We laughed and reminisced about bringing home Luke and then Ben. We talked about how neat it would be to bring this baby girl home to four brothers and how spoiled she is going to be. We are pretty sure she will NEVER get put down, and we are really ok with that!

And last night as I walked past the nursery door and saw her room for the millionth time it sunk in. For too long now it has all seemed too surreal, and suddenly last night as I gazed into that perfect girly room, I was able to envision a sweet baby sleeping beneath her name on the wall (which we left space for but is NOT there yet because we must meet her before naming her, though we do have a good idea), I saw myself standing at the changing table folding cloth diapers and listening to her coo while I put them away.

The Lord makes each of our children just as He sees fit. Some have red hair, some blonde, some have blue eyes and some brown, some have hot tempers, while others are mild mannered. Some have developmental delays, and some have physical impairments. Some are meant to stay for a long time, and others only a moment. He trusts these children, His children to us as gifts. They are not ours, but His and they each bless us in a different way and take up residence in a different part of our hearts we never knew existed. Even the children who are only with us briefly bless us with immense gifts that will never be erased or forgotten. One doesn't replace another and each one is as valuable as the next. I have been blessed FIVE times. I am still trying to wrap my mind around that and find contentment with the blessings He has bestowed upon me even when there is pain intertwined with the joy. I am learning that feeling joy for the NEW thing the Lord is doing in my life does not replace the loss that I feel daily.


Lisa said...

I am so glad for you that your baby is healthy. I'm glad we will never have to find out if you would feel content even if this baby was not healthy...that is a struggle I have as my husband and I talk about trying again (we have lost 2 daughters, have 2 healthy) I'm just starting to feel "content" with life as a family of 4, even though we should be a family of 6. I'm afraid that if we tried again and God took another child home, I would not recover and it would be harder to be content. Do you ever ask yourself if you would still be praising God even if He had given you another child that would only be with you for a short while like Asher and Isaac?

Susie (So Blessed) said...

Sweet Kristy,
This is a beautiful expression of your heart and it touched mine. Contentment is something we all struggle with. A heart that is thankful learns to be content and it trusts the One who created it, trusts His plan and His ways, even when we don't understand. You life is a beautiful testimony of your faithfulness to depend on the Lord. I am praying for you and your family as the time approaches for your newest blessing to arrive. I can't wait to see her!Love to you.

Stephanie said...

Oh you write so beautifully, straight from your heart. Thank you for sharing such deep feelings. All I can say is God must be so proud of you as you handle everything He gives you with such grace.You deserve contentment, and happy carefree moments.I pray when your little girl arrives, your peace and happiness will arrive with her. I'm sure Isaac and Asher are super proud of their Mama and close to you at this very special time. Keeping you and your family in my prayers

Unknown said...

I'm so glad that the u/s went good and her weight is up!! I can't wait to see some pics of her, I know she is going to be just beautiful! I'm still praying for peace for you, I can't imagine how you are feeling. When I was pregnant with Taylor, after having had Colin and his severe CHD, I was SO nervous, and that is nothing compared to what you have been through! SO, I'll continue to pray, because prayer works. :)
Millie and Colin-HLHS

boltefamily said...


I do ask myself if I would still be praising God if he had given us another child that would not be able to stay and honestly I really think I would. I think that there would still be anger and confusion and heartache to work through, but that is a chance we took when we got pregnant again. Everyone hopes for the best but we know all too well that sometimes pregnancy does not end with a healthy baby coming home.

I admit I was terrified at the beginning of this pregnancy and for quite some time and God has been so patient with me as I continue to follow Him. Isaac and Asher were just as much a gift as any other child and if He chose to bless me again in a similar way, while I assure you i would not understand or like it, I would praise Him because I have seen and experienced the comfort and peace that only He can provide. It would be tough and I hope that we do get to bring this baby home, but I am reminded daily that just the experience of being blessed with a child for ANY time at all is something many mothers long for and never get to experience.

Mashel said...

This is such an awesome post. I love it. You are such an amazing mom and an inspiring woman. I can't wait to "meet" (via blogland) your precious little princess.

Melanie said...

That's so beautiful Kristy, and well said. I am sure that Isaac and Asher are jumping up and down clapping for you, the proudest little boys in heaven because YOU are their mommy and you have loved them so well.

Cathy said...

I am so excited to see the pics of your new baby when she finally arrives. I know she will always know about her four older brothers and the joy each one of them brought to her parents in their own special way. I am praying for you as you wait for her entrance into this world and as you miss your precious boys.

Anxious AF said...

What a beautiful and honest post. I share many of your feelings, although some I dont know, but Struggles with prayer, and God, and envy, I know all too well.
I cant wait for your "were home post" :)

Cathy said...

Kristy, I could only cry when you said you could see your little girl in her nursery under the name on the wall. folding her cloth diapers and hear her cooing. So good that this will be soon and Praising God for the positive ultrasound.

Laurie in Ca. said...

Beautiful post from a sweet and honest heart. Contentment is something that we learn along the path of life, one disappointment and one gift at a time. We don't arrive, we journey through. We practice it, and I love you for practicing right here for all to see.
Only God knows how many are learning from your honest example. I know I am one of the fortunate ones still learning and you are teaching me:) I can hardly wait as I hold my breath to meet your fifth gift from God. My heart giggles for the moment.:) I love you big time.

Love and Hugs, Laurie

halograce said...

What a thoughtful, honest, warm post. Your sons are blessed, to have such a sweet, caring, loving Mama. God bless you all.

Your post made me think of a photo that sits on my mantle. A young girl of 8 years old, her two sisters 3 and 6 years of age, and two perfect little twins. Charles and Elizabeth 6 months old. The children are all five dressed in crisp white frocks, ruffled, buttoned and shined in their Sunday best finery. Hair curled and tied with ribbons, hands neatly folded, bright shiny eyes gazing into the camera.
It was Springtime, and the parents wanted to capture their precious children in a photograph, to hold and cherish always. Little did they know, what Autumn would bring their little family. Little did the know, that in Autumn of that year, a diptheria epidemic would sweep the land, and they would bury the six year old daughter, and both of their twin babies, within a 3 week span.

That picture is on my mantle, and I can not look at it, without a certain bittersweet feeling. The ten year old girl, was my great-grandma Sarah Susan. She and her three year old sister, the two lone survivors. How cruel, how unfair.

Yet, survive she did. She reared four children of her own, one being my Grandpa. She was kind gentle loving and wise. Sarah Susan herself, lost a six year old son to diptheria, some 30 years after loosing her own three siblings. Carl died at age six, in his Mamas arms, and I am certain she could recall the dark days when her life was changed, forever, as a child.

Love and prayers to you,
Take care,
and God bless and keep BABY GIRL!!!


Rachel said...

So good to hear you had another ultrasound of your precious baby and see that she is doing well. Glad you are able to now picture your sweet little girl in her room. Can't wait to see pictures of her room and more importantly her sweet face!

How have you been feeling? I am now 35 1/2 weeks pregnant with our third girl and by nighttime it is all I can do to waddle around the house at a slow pace.

Praying for peace, anticipation and hope for you during the next few weeks. May God continue to help you deal with the mixture of emotions you feel as you anticipate her arrival while missing you boys in heaven.

Hugs and Prayers
Rachel in PA

Ang said...

I am so thankful that God allowed your family to have another precious gift...just try and enjoy this last little bit because it won't be long and you'll be able to hold that little bundle of joy!! so happy for you all ((hugs))

Anonymous said...

Can I invite you for that children heart week

Denise said...

I'm up late and thinking about you and your baby girl. Praying that these last weeks are good and that you are doing well with the gestational diabetes. - Denise

Tammy On the Go said...

this was a lovely, wise and beautiful post...

Unknown said...

This is so beautiful and my comment won't do it justice.

I am so anxious about becoming pregnant again, and selling our house...and tonight, sitting across from my husband and two sweet kids throwing french fries on the floor, I thought, "God, you're right where you want me, huh."

Earlier in the day I had looked at photos of a college friend and her perfect new baby on Facebook. That really is an idol for me - perfect babies and non-c-section births...and then I started feeling jealous of her, wondering why everything in her life was perfect...

and then I felt a gentle nudge that she lost her mom in a freak car accident at the tender age of 12.

You just never know people's stories, you know? I needed this today, Kristy, more than you know.

Vanessa said...

Amazing post. That has been one of my hardest struggles as well as being angry with God b/c my daughter though still alive, suffers daily. It's heartbreaking. I guess i'm just letting you know we all feel that way... can't wait to see pictures of your little girl. I'm having a beautiful little girl June 25!

Kara said...

Thank you for sharing this. I just had my "rainbow" baby and I went through a lot of the same feelings. Such a roller coaster! I hope you don't mind - your last paragraph touched me so much that I posted it on my blog. It has since turned up on many others. So very well said and a very good point. Our babies were all just what God inteneded them to be. Thank you