Friday, February 15, 2013

Tender Mercies for Tender Trials


Is it Valentine's?

Or Single's Awareness Day....

Happy [belated] chocolate and roses day.

It's occurred to me that a recent glimpse at the Wheeler blog paints an incredibly rosy picture, almost ad nauseum. The perfect home delivery of a beautiful pink baby, a miraculously quick recovery for Mom, home improvement projects brought to completion--why do some people get all the breaks? It's true. Our life is beautiful. On this day of love, I feel incredibly grateful for my caring family. They make life so rich.

It's also occurred to me that you can never really judge another person's life by the picture they paint online (or anywhere else, for that matter.) Yes, the Lord has been incredibly merciful in pouring out blessings upon our family recently. However, he has also been quite generous in doling out the trials. Such as, come March 1st, my sweet husband will start work in New York City, and I will essentially be a single mother for the next six months. (Oh yeah, that little hiccup. More details coming...)

So yes, the timing of Annika's birth was a blessing. Ask any woman who is 38 1/2 weeks pregnant, and she will certainly inform you that she's ready to be done with the whole thing, assuming that the baby is healthy and ready to be born, of course. Since Eli was a week late and the girls were a full forty weeks, I never expected an early delivery. However, it'd be dishonest to pretend that I haven't loved bypassing those final, cramped weeks. Far more than a matter of personal comfort alone, Annie Mae's early debut means more time to bond as an entire family. When Jason takes off for the East coast, at least he will be bidding farewell to a five week-old instead of a two week-old.

Even lovelier is the fact she didn't come a few days earlier still. After an overly ambitious day of nesting on the Friday before her birth, I noticed some significant contractions. Standing up, it seriously felt like the baby might just fall out. (Too bad it's not that easy...) The problem? Jason was in New York checking out the job situation. I texted him about my predicament and asked him to contact the airline, but the earliest flight wouldn't get him back to St. George until the next afternoon. Mercifully, the contractions eased up before then.

It wasn't until my doctor's appointment on Monday morning that we learned exactly how close I was to delivering our baby without my husband. (4+ centimeters and 90% effaced in case you really wanted to know, way too much information if you didn't...) It's hard to imagine laboring without Jason--I would have felt so empty without him. Can an epidural dull the ache of one's heart? I'm glad I didn't have to find out.

So the next time you or I feel a twinge of envy because of a neighbor's good fortune, remember that we all have challenges, both seen and unseen, to match the blessings. And when our own trials threaten to overwhelm, remember these small and tender mercies--evidence that the Lord continues to care. And if perchance you're lucky enough to have a special valentine, hold him or her extra close, because you never know when you might have to part for a while.


On a lighter note, the girls spent two days preparing and planning the ultimate Valentine's Day celebration. In retrospect, I'm glad that I let them take the reigns instead of imposing my own plans. After all, given the choice between labeling felt hearts and dumping laundry baskets full of balloons off the top bunk on your grandparents, which party would you choose?

Oh, how I love these munchkins!


Callie said...

LOVE :) Trials or no - your family comes through it all more in love with eachother and as great examples for the rest of us.
Happy Heart Day.

Anonymous said...

I am particularly enthralled with the four munchkins perched on your couch. There is a resemblance of order in the photo - at least they are each headed in the same direction. Love seeps through their smiles as well. Good work!

Crys said...

Six month!!!! Kara!!!!!! Ok I'm sure I'm not thinking anything you haven't thought! You will be in my thoughts and prayers and should you choose in a moment of crazy to just hop in the car to drive out to see him your family is always welcome to stop and rest here along the way! I loved having Sadie two weeks early! I wasn't expecting it and it was perfect, so I totally understand!

Susie said...

The balloon fest was a blast! Wonderful way to end Valentine's Day :)