I'm truly awed by God. I keep having this old secular idea that I want to be "prepared for pregnancy." If things were up to me, I would have moved into a new house. Had some time to unpack. Paint the house. Make some friends. Figured out homeschooling, and grocery shopping, and picked out our church. Gotten my life "squared" before being open to new life.
Instead, I got pregnant with Abigail during our month long moving process. Once I arrived, I had exactly ten days to unpack a family of six, go on my first a Carmelite retreat, and before I came down with my worse case of morning sickness yet. I pretty much spent 9 months on the couch, followed by six months of cradling a young princess who often screamed herself purple with pain from infant reflux. Everything felt horrible. My prayer life felt like me often telling God "Seriously?"
To top it off, I was living in a new home (my first ever non-rental) so many things felt uncomfortable or ugly or vague dangerous. There wasn't any money to fix things up. There wasn't any time. I just wandered around in a sleep deprived haze thinking "things are so messy. I must really be a poor housekeeper or something."
Suddenly, post-Advent--the Lord is what I call "throwing down." All kinds of these horrible, hopeless home improvement projects are getting finished in the blink of an eye. It's amazing. It is so clearly "not us."
On my birthday (Dec 31) I told Jon, instead of going out to eat, I'd like my kitchen painted. We were just going to paint the kitchen. Instead, my husband went to a new store and found vinyl flooring that was on sale for $40--for the entire floor! I went from having a black kitchen floor with that annoying floating tiles that trap dirt in the crevices, to a clean wood-like finish. It's like something went from "poke you in the eye ugly" to beautiful.
While he was preparing the floor, Jon started tugging on this original fixture from 1950--a metal radiator. He broke it. Water started leaking out on our floor. He said in shock "I've ruined your birthday." Usually I get pretty tense at stuff like plumbing leaks, but that day I had supernatural calm. I was just sort of matter of factly said "well, it's 3:30 on New Years Eve. So if we need to call a plumber we better call soon before they are closed for New Years Day."
Long story short, these amazing HVAC people come. They turn off all the heating plumbing stuff in the house. They come at 8 AM on New Years Day to rip out the ugly heater in my kitchen so we can finish the floor. The best part is that now that my husband has watched them remove a radiator from our house--he can removed these ugly things himself.
So Jon has deleted these horrible metal fixtures from my home that I imagined were "immovable." I have more space in my dining room. I have space in my living room.
It's crazy because I would have never justified spending $300 to remove some unused heaters from my home--but it was a plumbing emergency. We had to spend Jon's precious bonus money on removing the heaters. Now, I can't believe what a difference it makes. I have tiny kids and those things just collected dust and clutter. Now it's easy to clean because my home makes "sense." It's finally set up for my individual family.
This weekend, Jon caught "the fever." He took down an ugly iron awning from our front porch. He gave us "curb appeal." He removed this awful never "should have been there" tan pain from the doorway. Now the door columns are white and our shutters are black. I found these crazy pineapple lights on sale for 80% off at Lowes. My husband figured out how to wire electricity so he could install them on our front porch. They are incredible.
Pineapples were a sign of hospitality in Colonial America--now our little brick Cape Cod says "Welcome! Please Come In!" Twenty-eight dollars for the pair and a husband with a few hours of spare time. The results finally say "This is Abigail and Jon's first home!" I feel like a blushing newlywed!
In the end, you've got to trust Him. In my world, I would have fixed up the house first, before the fifth baby. But God keeps telling me --do it as you go! Don't think everything has to be perfect before adding onto your family tree--just add another kid and I'll help you catch up even ahead of where you dream of going.