Monday, February 21, 2011

Introducing Jonas

He's finally here. The sweet baby boy whose arrival we've been awaiting for 9+ long months. And he's beautiful.

Jonas arrived the night of February 8 at a surprising 8 lbs 12 oz and 21.75 inches long. He is a big, healthy boy.

My husband, stepson, and I are thrilled to have him here. We can't stop looking at him and we "argue" over who gets to hold him next. This little boy has no shortage of love.

In these first two weeks I've learned a few things:

  • As I expected, I really miss my sleep.

  • Crying is much easier to handle in daylight hours than nighttime hours.

  • Patience is a virtue.

  • Love is abundant.

  • Though it takes a little longer, I can do a lot of things one handed.

  • I can also pick things up with my toes.  Hooray for flexibility returning!

  • Recovery can't be rushed no matter how much I want to be back to "normal."

  • I find myself at a loss for words when I want to talk to the baby.  He must have heard me say a million times in a choked voice "Hi Jonas" and "You're beautiful."

  • Men don't have the same problem in finding words.  My husband and stepson have educated the baby on many topics, including how to survive a zombie attack.

  • On any given day I worry about whether he is getting enough to eat, how sad I will be the first time he falls off a bike, and how I can prepare him for a future that will undoubtedly be much different than today.

  • Hormones suck.

Motherhood is a big, scary adventure. I have a lot to learn and still need to find some sort of routine. It's pretty amazing, though, to look at my nearly 9 pound baby and think that two weeks ago, he was living inside me. Now he's here and we have a whole world to explore together.

Welcome little one. I will always be here for you.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Touchy Topic of Religion

Religion.  There, I said it.  It's one of those taboo topics, like politics, that we aren't supposed to talk about unless we're looking for a debate.  So let me be clear when I say I'm not looking for a debate (though you are certainly welcome to comment about your own thoughts and beliefs).

I come from a long line of Christians (mostly Baptist) and a lot of my extended family continues to go to church faithfully every Sunday.  Some have taught Sunday school and some have served as missionaries.  That works for them.  My own experiences have been different.

I was more of an on-again/off-again Christian, attending church when my mom made me, when I visited family, or when I felt a particular desire to do so.  I've questioned God, the church, and the Bible.  There are some things that don't make sense to me and perhaps never will.  I guess that's why the notion of faith is so strong in religion, right?

Part of my issue was that there were always so many rules of the "if you don't do this then you're not a good Christian" variety.  It felt impossible to live up to.  If you're in trouble before you even start, you kind of wonder what the point is.

One thing that has been fairly constant is I have continued to pray for most of my life, even in times when I was questioning God.  I guess it's comforting to feel like we are connected to something greater.  At the very least, I don't think any of us wants to feel alone.

A few weeks ago I started reading a daily devotional book called The One Year Women's Friendship Devotional by Cheri Fuller.  Some of the verses I like, some of them I don't, and while I understand her accompanying anecdotes, they don't always move me.  I do, however, like the suggested prayers based on the lessons.  That part of the message resonates most with me each day.

So why do I bring this up now?  I'm not sure I even know.  I thought about discussing it here, but wasn't clear on what I would say.  Perhaps it was Connie's post at Dirty Footprints today that helped the words flow out tonight.  "Flow" is the wrong word.  More like stuttered.

It's actually scary for me to talk about religion here because I know my family and old church friends will likely see this post once it feeds into Facebook.  Hopefully they won't flog me for it.

The thing is it's been on my mind for the last two years or so as I've wondered where I stand while reading various books (the Left Behind series and The Year of Living Biblically, for example) and interacting with religious friends and family members.  In this latter case I've often admired their unwavering faith, even while my own faith waved (still waves?).

I'm also a fan of Deb Owen's blogging from the days when she used to write about human resources.  She has since started a blog called Future Smiling focused on her own religious experiences and studies. It was there that I first heard of another Christian blog called (in)courage, which I've been following for the past few months.

That brings me to the point of this whole post.  (side note: In moments like these I laugh to myself as I remember Ellen DeGeneres' book titled My Point... and I Do Have One.)

At (in)courage, they have a book club called Bloom that is starting up a new session this weekend to read Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.  My copy of the book came yesterday.

According to the description, Ann talks about where she has found examples of God's grace throughout her life.  She is a farmer in the Menonite community with her husband and six children. She also writes for the DaySpring division of Hallmark.  I'm curious to see how she lives and what she has to say about her own faith.  From the introductions at Bloom, including the below video with the book club leaders and Ann, she has already broken my notion of what to expect. She isn't what I would have pictured.

I feel like I made that sound dreadfully dull, so pop over to the Bloom page to find out more about Ann, her book, and the plan for the book club.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Past Due

This photo is me today.  I just took it a few minutes ago.

I've been a little quiet here for the past week while anxiously preparing for our little one's arrival.  It seems, however, he has decided to sleep in.  Maybe he's decided it's warmer where he is than out here in the cold winter world.  I can't blame him there.

And so we wait.

My first due date (January 26) and revised due date (January 30) have both come and gone.  After months of thinking we would likely have a January baby, now we will be having a February baby and I'm pretty darn excited about that.

February is love and amethyst and violets.  February was named for the Latin word februum, meaning purification.  February celebrates the birthdays of my dad and two of my uncles.  Glorious!

For now, though, I'm uncomfortable.  I'm ready to have this baby.  I'm not prepared to go to my stepson's basketball game tonight and sit on the bleachers where everyone will roll their eyes and say, "Why are you still here?" as they've already done for the past month.  Believe me, I'm trying, people!

The baby and God will decide when it's time.  Until then I'll do my best to be patient.