So, there's a new baby coming. :) God works....soooo mysteriously. If you had asked me 2 weeks ago about our move and Ben's deployment, and did a new baby fit into this at all, I would have answered in the negative. It just doesn't make sense for our family right now, I'd have said.
Huh. So, now I'm thinking about the next year. I'll have a 3 year old preciousness, a studio of a few students, I'll be pregnant (and hopefully *not* sick as a dog), and be bringing a new piece of preciousness into this "temporary" house of ours with its borrowed furniture. Ben won't be here, but when I do give birth, he'll probably come home for the delivery, and then a few short weeks later, he'll be back for good! Our newborn will get to know his/her daddy in a way Violet did not. Huh. It's just ....so......mysterious!
As my life unfolds before me, I'm struck by how utterly unpredictable it is, yet how retrospectively God-directed. There's always a variation of this thought: "So, wow, I never thought I'd be doing A, B, and C, but....yeah, I can see now how God would've worked that for us, and why He did! Thank you, Lord, for directing our lives!"
I'm looking forward to seeing old friends, I'm excited about getting back into teaching, I love having my sister just a mile down the road, available for coffee or the library at a moment's notice....I'm scheming about visits to long-unvisited family members, seeing places I've not seen in years......it's a good season. I miss my Ben, but again........I can see the Good Hand of the Lord at work in our lives. He is a merciful God. Merciful. I can see now, that He has *not* given our family more than we can bear. He has provided a Way.....and since the last deployment (the loooong, 15-month one) we are stronger, and we see His face more clearly through the fog of separation from each other.
I came across a letter I'd written Ben during the last deployment....and was reminded of how consistently sad I was, how very much I grieved over his absence (and ever-possible death) every single day. How different this time is. God has truly grown us stronger. Our marriage bond is stronger, deeper, our faith has the seasoned perspective of having a 15-monther under our belts.....Violet has made us closer, too. Having children does that to you. :) We both feel that Joy is actually available to us! Last time, I had not the strength to lift my arms in praise. This time, I know that I can, and while I don't do it consistently, I feel the strength to do it when God gives me the grace to remember!!
"Lift up the hands that hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed."
God has accomplished this in our lives. Where we were weak, He has made us strong. It has taken years, but He has done it.
I am looking forward to this pregnancy.
And Christ's Return, which is the True Source of Joy.