March 16, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Mom!

The term "mother" takes on a whole new meaning when you're about to step into that role yourself... suddenly the responsibilities, joys and heartaches of being a mother move out into a new light. I already find myself bemoaning how fast our baby will grow...! (talk about jumping the gun!)

It must be rather surreal to have your firstborn become a mom herself... when time flies by so fast that it doesn't seem that long ago you held her in your arms, and now you're preparing to hold your first grandchild.

I'm sure over the coming years I will continue to have a fresh appreciation for my mom and all the work she did for us over the many years of growing up... a fresh appreciation for a mother's love that I know I have taken for granted far too often.

Mom was a piano mom... For seven years she drove us an hour (both ways) to the city for our weekly piano lessons, sitting through two classes with me and my sister. It wasn't until we moved to Summerside that travel eased up and she only had to drop us off and pick us up (or send a taxi!) for our classes... I only realize now that during those earlier years, the group classes with other parents likely had her in a bundle of nerves depending on how well our written homework was done and how well we had practiced our songs, etc... Every spring there was more travel to the city for our piano competitions and exams. She was the faithful one who ensured we practiced, pushing us when we whined and complained... I am thankful she did, because as much as I'd be a nervous wreck for the piano competitions, they were highlights of my childhood and teen years. I only wish I would keep up with the practicing...

I suppose you could also say Mom was a beach mom... we lived in a haven of gorgeous beaches so our hot sunny summer days were usually spent at one... *bliss* Sometimes even when it wasn't hot and sunny... I remember our Red Cross swimming lessons falling on rainy chilly days, and mom sat wrapped in a blanket while we did our thing for a couple hours. But I don't ever remember her complaining about it.

Mom may have spoiled us by not having us do many chores growing up, but she knew how to let us be kids. To let us play and expand our imaginations. She accepted that with letting kids be kids, she might have messy areas in the house. She welcomed our friends in and everyone loved her. Often, they'd prefer playing with HER over with us! :) Mom didn't hover over us to make sure we were doing everything 100% safely – we climbed trees, fell out of trees (thankfully no injuries worse than having the wind knocked out of us… maybe it was just me), rode our bikes with no hands, climbed under the old church building, and got DIRTY. We grew up in the best place a child could grow up – a quiet little town where you could ride your bikes around the neighborhood, play in a graveyard, run around bare feet, chat with neighbors and enjoy big yards all spring, summer, fall and winter long.

Mom was a stay-at-home mom who blessed us with all the comforts of being there… she baked homemade bread – the best smell to walk into when coming home from school! Homemade cookies were a staple in our home… Growing up it was a novelty for me to have BOUGHT cookies and BOUGHT bread at my friend’s house… if only I knew then how good I had it. (My poor children will encounter much more bought goodies than baked goodies I’m afraid…) Mom was there to listen to our stories, put band aids on our cuts & scrapes, hug us a million times a day and ensure we knew without a shadow of doubt that we were loved.

I'm sure she also helped us with homework, but I really don't have many memories of DOING homework, so.... ;)

We grew up knowing our parents loved their Lord and that giving us the opportunity to hear the gospel was a priority. They prayed for us faithfully. When Dad's work kept him from driving us to a gospel meeting, Mom always stepped up to the plate. These weren't short drives - these were hour long drives (both ways) summer, winter, fall and spring... I'm sure she was exhausted most days, but she made sure we were sitting under the gospel... praying that we would each come to know Christ as our personal Saviour. You don't appreciate these efforts as a kid, but it means the world to me now...

Mom is a giver. She hates being in the spotlight - even with just her family. She much prefers to be in the background - working and serving. She has a heart for others and is always pointing out the good qualities of someone or something. She is a true example to me of someone who loves unselfishly. This isn't always easy for her - especially when her family pulls in other directions and she's caught in the middle. But it will always be said about her - "She Loves. She Serves. She Cares. She Gives."

I know there are a million more things I could say about my beloved Mom... stories I could tell that would cause her to say, "Janna! Don't say that!" ;)  But I'll stop and just say:
I love you SO much Mom!!
Happy Birthday!

March 14, 2011

Beautiful Day

Help! I can't concentrate at work...

It's a gorgeous sunny day here, with that "spring-is-on-its-way" feeling. While it's not overly warm today (only +1), it is supposed to briefly reach double digits this week... we shall see, as the forecasts are usually wrong! But we can hope... *smile*

We went to our first prenatal class this weekend... it is a 9am-4pm class two Saturdays in a row. I was absolutely dreading it, so my experience could only go up from there... thankfully we both found it useful enough that it didn't feel like a waste of time.   Plus, we made use of our evening at home and set up the crib! We still don't have anything on the walls yet, so when that happens I'll post a picture showing you the progress.

I had my 28 week appointment this morning... from now until the end, they are no longer 4 or 5 weeks apart but every 2 weeks. And of course, always during work time. It will feel like I'm never in the office! Apparently babe is sitting pretty high, but so far not impacting my ribs... baby is measuring just fine and moving lots. So thankful!  Mom on the other hand has gained 20 pounds already, and by what I'm reading online, should only be gaining another 5 lbs by birth... that's 11 weeks (ish) away... don't think I'm going to be able to meet that standard...  need to cut out some of the chocolate, sour patch kids and sour keys, and ... CHEESE...  oh, and maybe get MOVING. I hope that will be a bit easier now that the weather is slowly getting nicer. Just wished I enjoyed my veggies and salads more! :)

Quickly changing topics... the devastation in Japan is heartbreaking... we can get so numbed to tragedies that we sometimes view the footage with a very aloof reaction... but may it not be so. In those cars and homes being swept away, under all that building rubble, in those swiftly moving waves and currents are mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, grandparents, husbands, wives and friends... souls are being swept away. In the last handful of years there have been so many of these natural disasters... disaster doesn't even seem like a strong enough word. It seems the whole earth, the whole creation is groaning... groaning and longing for the Lord's return... and yet, while seeing my Saviour's face brings thoughts of rejoicing, my heart cries - "Just a little longer please Lord... my loved ones are still not saved..."  Each wave of crisis in the world - whether it be an earthquake, tsunami, or these current rebellions and wars - brings such a sense of urgency that Heaven's Door will soon be shut... let us pray more urgently for our loved ones who are still without Christ as their Saviour.

On a completely different note, I have some company coming in May that I find quite exciting! I mean, some seriously special guests! *smile* The May missionary conference brings Mr. Marcus Cain into the city and I begged and pleaded to have the privilege to host him... and not just him, but his parents are flying in from Halifax! Yay!! It will be a busy weekend, but I'll take any visit I get with them... we may not share a blood line, but this family definitely falls into the category of "friends who are like family"... so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing their lovely faces! :)

March 9, 2011

What's the Point of Marriage?

Shock 'n awe. Sorry - figured that title would shake up my more recent ones... ;)

I didn't come up with the question on my own - it's the title of an article you can read here. A friend posted the link on Facebook yesterday, and the title did what it was intended - grabbed my attention. So I read the article and found it quite interesting...  I'm not sure there's anything new in the article, but sometimes things hit in a fresh way, and this was one of those times. It has me thinking...

Here's a short excerpt:

"The Book of Genesis, for instance, takes us back to God's drawing board, where we see what He designed for man and woman. Marriage was meant for companionship—"It's not good for the man to be alone" (Genesis 2:18 NASB). It was meant for raising children—''Be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 1:28 NASB). Most Christians would agree on those two goals. But Genesis assigns a third meaning to marriage: joint, fulfilling service. God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden and said: "Take care of this, you two. It's a big job, and you'll need each other. Together—till, plant, replenish, create" (see Genesis 2:15; 1:28).

We hunger for this today: cooperating together, meshing, working like a mountain climbing team, ascending the peak of our dream, and then holding each other at the end of the day. God has planted this hunger deep within every married couple. It's more than a hunger for companionship. It's more than a hunger to create new life. It's a third hunger, a hunger to do something significant together. According to God's Word, we were joined to make a difference. We were married for a mission.

Marriage expert Dennis Rainey says, "One of the missing ingredients of couples today is they do not have a mission; they do not have a sense of God having called them together to do something as a couple."

I love my Man and have no doubt that God brought us together. We are companions, lovers - best friends. We enjoy being together and rarely look for those opportunities to have the "girls or guys night out."  I realize it's healthy to have some time apart, but... it's just not something we look for. I guess we're still honeymooning after 3+ years! 

So that covers Gen 2:18.

We are both so excited to have our little family of two grow to three...and to whatever size God plans for us. That covers Gen 1:28.

As for our mission? This is what has me thinking... and praying. Sure, I have many vague ideas, even convictions, of what we're to work toward together as a couple... but does God have something more specific for us?  Something to ponder. To pray about. To ask for God's wisdom and guidance in this...

If you're married - do you know what your marriage mission is?

March 8, 2011

27 Weeks down...

June 5th still sounds like a long ways away, but when I look at how many weeks are "left" it doesn't sound that long at all! I have 27 weeks under my belt and can officially say I'm into the third trimester. Whoa. My countdown says I have 12 weeks and 5 days to go... know what that means??
9 weeks of work left!! N.I.N.E.

So excited about that... it's not that I have a bad job... On the contrary!  God has blessed me with a great administrative job, but for now... my head just isn't in it. I know I'm heading into a full-time-24-hour-around-the-clock position as a Mom, but... it sounds a lot more appealing at the moment than heading into my day job and sitting at a desk.

Technically I have 13 Saturdays left before my due date... that includes June 4th - the day before the "D" Date (that I said I wouldn't obsess over... ha).  2 of those Saturdays are written off because we're attending pre-natal classes. *sigh*  Another 2 of those Saturdays fall on conference weekends (Easter & Missionary Conf)... so that leaves me with 9 Saturdays to be productive and be ready for this Little One to join us.

That's if this Little One doesn't decide to come early.  Not that there's a big fear of that, but I do hear it happens. Apparently I was born ON my due date, which I had no idea about until recently. Thought that was cool. :)

Speaking of pre-natal classes... this Saturday is actually our first one. Should be interesting... I just can't picture my Man and I sitting through these classes, but a million other couples do, so I'm sure we'll survive!

I had another ultrasound yesterday... this babe is chubbin' up! SO CUTE.  The 2D images are finally starting to look like a baby and not some alien creature... if I wasn't so conscious of how much this Little One is costing before she/he even arrives, I'd spend the dough and get a 3D/4D ultrasound done. I'm getting more and more curious about what this Little One looks like!!

Wow... all I talk about is this pregnancy. My apologies! 

Apparently my thoughts aren't going much deeper than that lately...