Monday, October 24, 2011

Where I've been

Grading? Yes, lots.

Nesting? I guess, a little. 

But mostly, I've been hiding behind these lovelies:

Need to see a close up? Thought so. Here ya go: 

For the record, I did not pull these pictures off the internet; those are actually my cankles, my swollen legs, my nonexistent knees. Thank you, Baby Boy Johnson.

I went to the doctor today and her exact words were, "I mean, they're not the worst I've seen, but they're in the top ten. (Pause to look again) Maybe the top eight." Nice. And then this:

Me: "I mean, they don't even look like my feet!"
Doctor: "They don't even really look like feet!" 

You don't even want to know how much weight that much water retention translates into. I'm hoping it will translate into losing a lot of weight quickly when all this is over. I mean, I might be the first woman to get stretch marks on her feet. There's no explanation for this kind of water retention; I'm just one of the lucky few. :) 

While all this edema isn't bad for the baby, it is elevating my blood pressure and, obviously, giving me quite a bit of discomfort. I'm having to go in to the doctor a couple of times a week to monitor it. In fact, my doctor recommended several days of bed rest this week, but I don't think I'm going to take her up on it because I'm really feeling fine and I don't want to burn my sick days now just sitting around. She said the baby is healthy and measuring perfectly, so it was up to me. Honestly, it's just easier to be at work than to make sub plans, so I'm sticking it out for now. I might take off a week earlier than planned, but for now, Baby Boy is healthy, in good position, and ready to enter the world whenever he decides! 

Until then, I'm wearing pants exclusively to protect innocent eyes everywhere. See how cute and normal I look when my legs are covered?
You can imagine how many pairs of shoes fit me these days: exactly two. One is a pair of flip flops and the other is a pair of black clogs that are really too tight but I make them work. So, with the cold front and several more weeks of work ahead, I was lucky to find these at Ross this weekend: 
Super cute. Ugg brand (who knew they made clogs?). Most importantly, they fit AND they're comfortable. I'll be living in them, thank you very much.

So, THAT'S out there. Let's just say I'm learning about sacrificing for my child already. :) 

Husband points (again)

Two weeks ago. 
In the throws of a grading frenzy.
Fighting bronchitis. For the third week. 
It was only Monday. 
Came home to these:
And to groceries bought and put away. 
Best. Husband. Ever.
Most resilient flowers ever: $10 at Walmart 
(This picture was taken today, two weeks after they were bought!)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Media fast: Part III

Over the weekend, I found myself thinking, "I can't wait for this fast to be over so I can watch my favorite shows and have some brainless down time again." Clearly, my heart still needs some work, so the fast is still on. In fact, this paring down of media--especially during the week--may just become a new norm. I like the simple, the time to reflect, the time with others, the slowing down, and as hard as it is not to crave brainlessness, there are more meaningful ways to unwind that surfing channels or the Internet--at least for me.

In an effort to avoid the easy temptation of legalism, Phil and I have watched some shows lately, but only when we've planned on it and when we've agreed to turn it off after one episode; we're done with killing time by just seeing what's on TV; we're done with distractions...or are trying to be.

With that said, I feel like my heart has a long way to go before it's longing to use that time to really commune with God, but, in His gentle and gracious way, God has met me this past week. Here's a preview:

  • As strange as its sounds, God has allowed me NOT to sleep well or much this past week, but those wee hours have been some of the best reading/journaling/reflecting I've had all week. Tonight's one of those nights.
  • Thanks to God speaking through Ann Voskamp's book, 1000 Gifts, I'm learning to find the beautiful and redemptive in the ugly and mundane. I'm struggling with nights like tonight when I'm awake at 1:45 a.m. and am learning to not let go of that moment until I meet God in it. It's such a discipline and goes against my natural tendency to complain, but I'm learning to replace complaining with gratitude, and it's been transforming.
  • I'm learning more about my prayer life. Someone in Sunday school recently asked, "What dominates your prayer life?" My answer was two-fold: 1) praying for others and 2) praying for results. Neither of these is sinful in themselves, but they have the tendency to become so. For example, praying for others can become a way for me to avoid coming before God myself, avoid confession, avoid listening, avoid really opening myself up to Him changing me. Instead, I feel really good about myself for praying and praying for others and leave my time of prayer with a pat on the back but little actual communion with God. In the same way, praying for results ("Lord, heal ______'s marriage," "Lord, change _____'s heart," "Lord, help _____ go smoothly") causes me to miss the journey and the mess of the process, which is where God is. I miss the gifts and guts of now by praying for positive outcomes only.
In addition to more direct time with God through reflection/prayer/scripture/writing, I've also been able to enjoy life-giving activities like hanging pictures on the wall of baby boy's room (anticipation is such a gift), multiple walks with friends on late autumn afternoons, trying new recipes, finishing books and starting new ones, and dinners on the back deck with the hubs. Good things going on over here. I have a long way to go and my heart is still resistant, but I'm learning. And it's good.