gracie truly is my "saving grace". her pregnancy came at a time that i had all but given up on it. and i didn't have the stamina for it. my health wasn't good - physically or emotionally, and i was really struggling to keep up with my four kids. really struggling. we had in international move planned, and baby was due right when we had planned it, and right after my parents were planning to be on an international service mission for 18 months - so this would be another time that i couldn't have my mom's help. i hadn't slept through the night for nearly 2 1/2 years because of noah's sleep troubles. and brock had just decided to strike out on his own and start his own business in japan - very brave because we may have lost the lease on our home, and our japanese visas, without an employer to back us up.
in spite of all this, i was grateful to be pregnant, after all, it was an answer to over 9 years of fervent prayer. and although i have severe sickness throughout pregnancy, and threaten pre-term labor, i found myself very blessed. i discovered that so many things that i thought were requirements for life, are actually very dispensable, as i rearranged my priorities and let many, many things go. i had spent 14 years regretting that i hadn't relaxed and enjoyed my previous pregnancies more instead of stressing myself out feeling guilty that i couldn't accomplish as much, or more, as i did when i wasn't pregnant. i was determined not to make that mistake again. and in fact, i didn't have the energy to make that mistake again. so i slowed down to a snail's pace and savored each moment.
i thought that baby noah had taught me to let go of things (sleep, schedules, timeliness, anything valuable & breakable, etc) but i learned the lesson on a much deeper level during gracie's pregnancy.
i learned how much my husband and children can step up to the bat when they need to, and how the things they don't take care of take care of themselves or fade away into oblivion.
i learned how much more i enjoyed my children (and they enjoyed me) when i slowed down and spent the day on the couch where they could climb on my lap or sit and talk with me whenever they felt like it.
i learned how much joy could be found in life by sitting still and savoring the moment. i learned to be at peace with imperfection, messes, and not having things the way i wanted or planned. and most importantly, i learned to hand everything over to the lord and trust him completely. i am so grateful for that.
brock did have to postpone his business plans, but his business worked out just fine, probably better. our international move worked out better than we could have hoped. and the pregnancy worked out perfectly, with a healthy baby born right on schedule. and my mom was there, because their mission was unexpectedly postponed. gracie even made the international move easier because i focused on keeping her safe during the pregnancy, instead of rushing around japan doing every last minute thing i was afraid i would regret not having done. i didn't over-analyze the move or create unrealistic expectations. i didn't have a tough adjustment back to american life, because i took it slow and easy, and just enjoyed the miracle of my new baby.
as i made it through the first few weeks of the post partum period, i began to realize that some of my heath problems previous to the pregnancy were now gone, and i was 10 pounds lighter than before the pregnancy. and i found that after gracie arrived, my life was actually easier with 5 kids than it had been with 4. some of this is due to having a yard for noah, a simpler lifestyle, family living in the same state, brock working at home, but ALL of it is because of blessings from the lord. blessings that i know i don't deserve. blessings that are too great to count. blessings that bring me joy.
this is the miracle of a new baby, a new life, a new member of our family.