(all photos taken by Lulu Photography)
This morning I've been thinking about what a sweet season of life this has been for me. My pregnancy started out really hard, as they always have, but even in the difficulty their was blessing. Before I found out I was pregnant, I was planning to go to a hermitage with a friend for a prayer retreat. A hermitage is a little cottage at a Catholic monastery where you can stay for a couple days of quiet and prayer.
I've been running hard for the last ten years. Babies, diapers, training, working a "part-time" job, homeschooling, keeping the house, the list could go on. This summer God called me home full time and when I found out I was pregnant, well, I was just plain tired even from the beginning.
My friends told me that when your baby turns five you round a corner, a sort of graduation. You've made it through the most labor intensive years. The younger years are fun, they are just very physically demanding. But when you reach the corner where everyone can bathe themselves, brush their own teeth, go to the bathroom by themselves and get dressed without assistance, well, that is a very big day in the life of a mama.
It is a little humorous to round that corner only to find that you are about to start all over again. I have been so amazed and excited that we are having a baby. I've always imagined we'd have four or five kids. After our third, it seemed like the wisest thing would be to stop where we were. I'm so thankful God had other plans. We waited almost 6 years for this fourth little blessing.
This has been my most unique pregnancy so far. Since my boys are older, and I am home full time now, I have had the freedom to take the rest my body needs. I'm a little, ahem, older now than when I started this journey of having kids. I remember this summer wanting to be done with homeschooling. I was so tired. So, so, tired. My husband felt like we needed to continue this year. God confirmed the decision with lightening speed. Within 24 hours, we'd been given all the curriculum we needed for the year.
Having my boys home with me during these slower, quieter days has been the greatest gift to me. We have slow starts to our day, eat lunch, sit around the kitchen table or pile up on the couch in the afternoon for our lessons, and in the evenings we eat and gather again in the living room to hang out as a family. I am not up and running around with a million things to do. I've been able to be present in all that is going on around me.
Although I am so beyond excited to meet our little Annie Gray, I am not in a rush to cross the finish line. The greatest gift of this season that I've been given is the absence of rushing and the gift of time. We have more peace in our home than ever. I am well rested. My boys hearts are full and content. They go around the house singing songs and playing and I'm doing the same. This summer when I obeyed God and came home full time I was terrified of what it would look like. I knew that the greatest treasure and blessing is only found when we are in the center of His will. It has blown me away at how much richness and blessing has been found by being completely obedient and saying Yes to Him.