Thursday, July 31, 2008

Patience and God's Timing

Tonight was Dave's and my very last pre-natal class. It brings to a close that stage of our journey. However, tonight was a challenge for me. Not the class exactly. More the fact that there were two lucky couples who weren't there because they gave birth to their babies early. One of them gave birth to a baby girl at 36 1/2 weeks and the other was a real premie little boy and was born at just over three pounds. I know that it is a good thing to have your baby when the time is right and the baby is big and strong but I found myself jealous all evening. I turned to Dave after we got home and said," I want Matthew to come." Dave was quick to tell me to stop complaining.

He often remembers what I forget. God is in control. His timing is the perfect timing. Dave is very excited to meet our little boy and wants him to come out as much as I do (although he isn't doing the carrying or feeling the heat the same way as I do) but he was right to tell me to stop complaining. Patience is one of the fruit of the spirit and so often I forget that it's not so much us learning to practice the fruit of the spirit as much as it is knowing that it is God who is in control of these situations. We need to have the faith to give us the patience or the joy or love... They all must come with faith that HE is the ruler of all situations and we need to give up the attempts to control the situations.

I feel ashamed as I think about how, just several months ago I was discontent because I wanted to be pregnant. I wanted to have a baby and start a family. The Lord answered my prayers and gave me the desire of my heart. And here I am complaining again that it isn't going fast enough? What sin!

Scripture has passage after passage commanding that we be patient and although many of them are speaking of our life as followers of Christ, I believe it also speaks of the overall need for us to control our minds by giving it all over to HIM to control and letting things happen at the perfect time.

So, I sit here with a very round belly, a sore back, swollen hands and feet and full of fatigue desiring my little bundle of joy a safe and hasty arrival to our family. That desire in itself is not sinful. But my lack of patience and faith that God knows best is. My little Matthew will be here in no time and it will be on the perfect birth date that God has chosen for my little one. That idea brings a smile to my face. His birthday will be when God has said, "Matthew, it's time."

The Lord is faithful to all his promises
and loving toward all he has made.
The Lord upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing."
Psalm 145:13-16

The Story of Matthew's Birth

Here is the mad lib created by friends and family that I spoke about in my last post.
Toward the end of her pregnancy, Kate was feeling like a ( animal) pig. Finally, on the (number) 18th month she felt a sudden painful contraction in her (body part) head. Of course, the first thing she did was go to (location) Florida and (present tense verb) shop, to keep her mind off the discomfort.

When the contractions became more frequent David suggested that she ( present tense verb) run till she knew for sure if she was in labour. She (adverb) gargantuanly declined. She was sure it was time to go to the (location) beach and give birth to her (adjective) hideous baby.

Before leaving, Kate called the (professional) artist and said she would be leaving right after she (past tense verb) slept. Withing (number) 6 minutes of hanging up the phone, she was to the point where she could not even (present tense verb) jump during a contraction. When Dave walked into the (room) kitchen and saw Kate on her hands and knees (verb ending in -ing) kissing he said "We are going NOW!" and quickly packed up the (vehicle) motorcycle and got everything ready. The drive to the beach was (adjective) lethargic. When Kate arrives, the artist examined her. She was number) 21 cm dilated and the baby's (body part) toe was right there. The artist suggested she try (verb ending in -ing) skinny dipping through a few contractions. It worked! her (thing) chair broke. (number) 100 more pushes and a loud (exclamation) YEEHAW! later, Matthew was born.

Baby was so perfect, with a (adjective) fusia (body part) navel and (number) 2 fingers and toes. Liz and Carla agreed that Matthew had Dave's (body part) earlobes and Kate's (body part) arms. Katie sang (song title) Achy Breaky Heart as she rocked Matthew and the both fell asleep dreaming of their new life together.

Not Just a Shower

Baby showers are so special. There is something about them that is so much better than bridal showers or birthday parties. Probably because it isn't you being celebrated, but the little life growing inside you and getting ready to enter the world.

This shower was more like a heavy rain storm (in a very good sense of the word). People blessed me with so many wonderful things that Dave and I really have very little left that we need to buy.

Let me see if i can lay out the evening of events along with some pictures.

7:00 pm was the arrival of all the guests. The room was very nicely decorated with baby onsies, blakets and balloons. I was asked to sit in my designated seat with balloons above my head and all the presents were put next to me (so many gifts!!!).

napkins and baby onesies

Blankets made by a friend named Karin

A pile of gifts and Matty's name painted by my sister, Jo.

Around 7:15 people were asked to get some snacks and then have a seat for the beginning of the present opening. There was suppose to be a game at the beginning but the two people who were in charge of the shower both had little ones and Vanessa ( who was in charge of games) had a bit of an upset baby. So people helped themselves to punch and treats and we all sat down to begin tearing through the mountain of gifts.
From 7:20 to I don't know what time I was going through a number of gifts and loving every single one of them. Clothes, toys, books, useful items...

After what seemed like forever, I began to feel a bit odd. I was sitting here opening all these gifts but none of the guests have been able to play a game or anything. They were just watching me open gifts. I felt like it was time for a little break so I shot my sister a look and asked her for a game and she got Vanessa to explain the game. It wasn't quite what I was hoping for because it was a game that I was the center of. It ended up being a lot of fun and left me with a whole lot of useful baby items. Many people were laughing and having a good time.

The game worked his way. I had to be blind folded and someone handed me something from a bag. I had to feel it and try to guess what it was. Now, if i couldn't guess, there was a hint on each item that was read to try and help me figure it out.

This is Vanessa and my sister (Jo). Vanessa is explaining the game.

This is the game in progress. I was able to guess the socks pretty quickly.

There were a few items that I didn't guess but that were interesting. One was a set of baby toothbrushes that were rubbery and bumpy, another was lubricant which i believe made some of the guest feel uncomfortable but others laughed. And the most difficult but also the funniest were something called Pee Teepees. Can you guess what they are for? They are meant for baby boys when you are changing them. You lift your boys legs, put a teepee over their pee pee and if they pee, it doesn't go everywhere. Clever?

After the game, I resumed gift opening. This time there were a lot fewer so the end came fairly quickly. To my surprise, Vanessa had another game. It was a mad lib. For those of you who dont know what that is, it's a story missing content words and you ask other people to fill in the blanks without knowing the story. Once you read the whole story with the new words you end up with a very hilarious story. While it was being read, people were laughing so hard. I was even crying I was laughing so hard. It was a great ending to the evening.

Vanessa filling in the blanks to what turned out to be "The Story of Matthew's Birth"

The evening was so wonderful. People showered us with so much that I didn't even know how to say thank you. The Lord has placed so many wonderful people in mine and Dave's lives. A simple thank you just isn't enough. I went home with a vehicle packed up tight with so many wonderful things. And every time I will dress Matty, put him to sleep or even change his diaper I will remember the generosity of my family in Christ and my actual family.

* I will be posting the mad lib as soon as I can get my hands on it. Its a real hoot*

Monday, July 28, 2008

From One to Two to Three

It's amazing how life can change. All the beautiful blessings that come our way to make life richer and better. In less than a year my life has had such blessings rain upon it.

On September 28th, 2007, I was married to the most wonderful man on the planet. We had perfect weather and we had a perfect place for the ceremony and the reception. Our family and friends were present and it was a nice, relaxing day. Odd for a wedding day but I have to say, I had no worries or nerves at all. Simply bliss!

My mother and father walking me down the isle to become a van der Meer.

My precious almost husband giving me the symbol of our unity.

A moment with each other at the reception.

Only two and a half months after this beautiful day did we find out to our absolute pleasure that were expecting our first child. I remember finding out and popping my hear into the shower where my husband was showering and saying, "We're going to have a baby!" The expression on his face was enough to tell me he was very pleased.

The early stages of our little boys life.

Dave and I went to Upper Canada Village with my sister and her kids and our friend Karin and her daughter. A pregy picture.

Some may think it isn't a good idea to bring a baby into a new marriage, but the Lord has blessed us with this little, growing baby boy and we are so excited to meet him. He is due to arrive on the first of September. Fitting that that day should be called Labour Day.

"Your wife will be like a fruitful vine withing your house;
your sons will be like olive shoots around your table.
Thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord."
Psalm 128:3-4