I can't sleep. And I'm getting up early to fix my husband lunch before he heads off to work on constructing a dairy barn upgrade, and then I'm meeting a friend to chat. So I ought to be sleeping, but it's hard to sleep with a belly that feels as heavy as a wheelbarrow of lead.
My email inbox says I won the maternity hospital gown contest from awhile ago, which is very fun and interesting news to someone who hasn't really won anything since a grade school writing contest. So now you all can visit me while I'm in labor since I'll be fashionably attired. That was a source of encouragement today.
Some other sources of encouragement this past weekend that I want to mention to keep my gratitude in mind are.....
1. My husband and I had a great time setting up the new stroller, hanging pictures in the bedrooms and living areas, and unpacking our rock collection for the display areas. Yes, we have a rock collection. God did such an incredible job when He made the earth, and we find it hard to pass up some beautiful evidences of that whenever we are traveling. We love rock. Collecting it and climbing it. I love the fact that we are getting better at working as a team after 2.5 years of marriage. That says a lot about my growth as a human.
2. The baby clothes are all washed and put away. We have been so blessed with gifts. Some of the clothes passed down to us may be the wrong size for the season, so we may not be able to use them. But as I folded each item with care, I was overwhelmed at the thoughtfulness and generosity of everyone who gave. From a woman who would love to be a grandmother herself to a woman I've never even met who heard from my pastor's wife that we could use some clothes, we have been blessed.
3. Our dear adopted parents/grandparents did it again. This time they gave us tickets to our church Christmas banquet and told us they wanted us there as a part of their family. I love them and am just overwhelmed at how wonderfully God provided an incredible adopted family for me in a new country so far from my own family. I cannot get over His provision, and that's a good thing. It's nice to not be able to take this amazing gift for granted, and to know it for the treasure it truly is. This couple has taught us so much in word and deed, and we are not the same because of knowing them. What is even better is that their hearts are so big that they do this for many others in our church community.
4. This place is slowly turning into a home and a haven for me. It isn't perfect, and it's not our own. But it's definitely becoming a place of peace and provides a bit of brightness and shelter from the gloomy BC winter.
5. We have a new-to-us refrigerator that is a bit bigger than the one we had. It will be plugged in tomorrow, and the old one carted away to BC Hydro by our landlord.
6. We made a bit of headway with our landlord in the relationship/interacting department last night. My husband showed him the painting he had done in our bedroom and the nursery, as well as the insulation and pine tongue-in-groove finishing he is nearly finished with in the closet under the landlord's stairs. Our landlord was impressed with my husband's quality work, and it just seemed that his tone with me was more gentle and kinder than it usually is. We still have a long way to go, but I'm warming up to accepting that this is the person with whom we are essentially sharing a house. Sometimes I wonder if the letter to Jesus about peace for this place that I stuck in the insulation before the pine covering went up is being answered. I'm pretty sure it is. Someday, if someone takes down that wall, maybe they will find it, and maybe they will see how incredibly He answered each and every one of my heart's cries in that letter.
7. It's been really neat to watch my husband take time to study the magazines and books we have on pregnancy. I know he's going to be an amazing support in the birth process, and he's going to be a great daddy. Anyone who prays for his son, talks to his son, asks me in his sleep if I'm doing okay every time I get out of bed, and sings silly songs to my belly is someone to be treasured.
8. I may not have a "bosom friend" in this place, but God has really been growing the affection I have for the women in my prayer group. I feel loved and accepted there. It's been a long time coming, and I'm so grateful for each one of them.
Well, it's even later and I really should try to snag the remaining 2.5 hours of sleep available before our alarm goes off. It's been nice to focus on some good things just now. I may be sleepless, but I'm content despite that. That must be a God-thing, because it's certainly not a natural redheaded thing.