It seems like we’re just now catching our breath after the wave of holiday (and emergency) travel that hit us from September until Christmas. Every thirty days, at least, we were driving or flying to North Carolina or Colorado from our home in the D.C. metro area. Only one of those trips – a last minute flight to see my dad in the ICU after he fell and experienced a traumatic brain injury – was not planned, except by God, and we were certainly made aware of our human limits each month in some way.
By some miracle, I (Jessica) managed to come out on the other side of our time in hospitals, airports, and a myriad of public restrooms without having caught anything more than a very minor cold and one trip to the emergency room with a bladder/kidney infection. Traveling longer distances while pregnant takes whole new level of planning and preparation of which I was not capable of at first, but (quickly) developed out of self-preservation. Skills I mastered include but are not limited to:
- Firmly-but-kindly waking up the person in the aisle seat of the plane every hour to go to the bathroom
- Making it on and off the moving walkway at the airport without losing my already-precarious balance
- Creatively packing lots of snacks and travel pillows in the nooks and crannies of our baggage
Thankfully, though, I don’t anticipate making any more road trips between now and baby time.
Devynn is feeling all the expectant dad feelings, and we’ve been trying our best to plan for our move to Colorado this April . . . though it’s hard when we’re already overwhelmed by planning for the baby’s arrival in early March. While he works and continues to deal with all my pregnant lady shenanigans, I try to keep myself busy by decluttering our belongings and embracing another minimalism phase in an effort to make the move easier. We aren’t sure what to expect except that it will be a season of change – which will, please God, grow us closer and mature us in a biblical way rather than embitter us.
The closer we get to spring and the more we get an early idea of baby’s personality, the harder it gets to keep the gender a secret. Many of our closest friends (and a few family members) know, but we’re trying to wait until the birth to make it public. Anyway, he/she seems healthy as far as we can reasonably determine. I’m starting to worry for the safety of my ribs and internal organs due to all of the enthusiastic movement we’ve been witnessing, but I keep reminding myself that bodies are capable of more than you’d think.
On that note, I’ve been reading Love Thy Body by Nancy Pearcey (my favorite author) this month, and I’m really impressed and benefitted by it. Each chapter examines a way in which our culture wrongfully views life and identity through a lens that separates the concept of personhood/selfhood from the realities of the physical body. It’s cultural apologetics at its finest and I highly recommend reading it, especially as these issues (euthanasia, abortion, sexuality, and so on) become more and more prominent in our culture.
Devynn has been doing plenty of reading, too. Currently he’s working through a novel and a book by John Owen. I’m actually quite certain he reads more than I do! Last year he finished around thirty books, maybe more, and this has inspired me to get more reading done myself this year. I’ve got a decent list started, and I’m sure I’ll add more as the year progresses:
- All the Old Testament books, because I’ve sorely neglected them
- How People Change by Paul David Tripp and Timothy Lane
- Lies Women Believe by Nancy Lee DeMoss
- A Walking Life by Antonia Malchik
- Do More Better by Tim Challies (recently completed via audiobook)
- Risen Motherhood by Emily Jensen and Laura Wifler (recently completed via audiobook)
- Labor With Hope by Gloria Furman
- What Did You Expect? by Paul David Trip
- Knowing God by J. I. Packer
- Every Body Matters by Gary Thomas
- Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas
- The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burrows
- Suffering is Never for Nothing by Elisabeth Elliot
Of course that means some time management habits and expectations need to shift around, so I’ve made “drastically reduce mindless screen time” one of my 2020 goals. Hopefully as I get more consistent and familiar with WordPress, I’ll have even less of a need for social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. YouTube eats away at my time, too, although it has also been helpful for exercise and recipe videos. Sigh. You win some and you lose some.
I guess that’s what I need to remember in the crazy days and months ahead.
1. That we would pursue wisdom in our earning and spending. Devynn and I are both praying and thinking about how we can better honor (and trust) the Lord – and love one another – in the area of finances, in light of our past failings.
2. That God would sanctify us where we have made a habit of trading simple, difficult obedience for grand gestures of self-righteousness. Pharisees, we are.
3. That we would both remain healthy leading up to the birth, whenever it will be; and that the labor and delivery process will be a smooth one, Lord willing. And if not, that we would be free from anxiety.
4. Providence and safety regarding our move to Colorado. There doesn’t seem to be any affordable or safe option for moving our (one and only) car, whether by towing or driving, and we aren’t sure how much more life we will get out of it post-move either way. It’s one of the bigger question marks we have and I honestly try not to think about it unless I’m being forced to.
5. That we would spend our remaining time in northern Virginia well, rather than squandering it in selfishness, fear, and ingratitude.
Verse of the Week
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
—Philippians 3:8-14 ESV