All you incredibles out there,
This morning I am waking up in my own wonderful bed...interestesting that I still consider it wonderful after spending two and a half months glued to it, but I do. Our little family of four arrived home last night, after traveling five and a half hours from Manila, by van, boat, and jeep. Our boat made its way over the choppy waves toward home after the sun had gone down, no lights, only the faint glow of the moon behind the rainclouds to guide us. I think this is my favorite way to travel-- by boat after dark. Our boat was filled to capacity, tourists and Filipinos crammed together like sardines in a salty can, rocking back and forth... but after dark, the talking stops, and everyone just listens to the waves lapping the sides of the boat, the spray of the sea misting our faces. I watched the outline of Jules' little Pebbles Flinstone pigtail bob against her daddy's cheek until she fell asleep, the sound of her finger-sucking filling the boat, and I smiled. I like going home.
We traveled to Manila over a week ago to see a Neonatologist and Obstetrician, and to check on our little baby Kicky pants. (We may actually name her that. It has a nice ring to it.) We have been praying for these several months, surrendering our baby to Jesus so many times throughout each day, and trusting Him to heal, protect, and make things glorious.
We arrived at the Philippine General Hospital last Tuesday and met with the Neonatologist, who did a detailed ultrasound. Our baby is kicky, and happy, and beautiful. Yes, beautiful. By all appearances, things are looking girly in there. We like girl babies around here.
The first hematoma (large blood clot) is now gone, and the second hematoma is about the same size, possibly shrinking a bit, but is definately not growing, meaning there is no new bleeding occuring. Wahoo! This is great news.
The doctors are a bit concerned about my placenta, as it looks lower than it was on all the other ultrasound scans. It is now considered a grade 2 Placenta Previa, meaning it is implanted low in my uterus, and the edge is nearly touching the internal OS of my cervix. Among the risks of a placenta Previa are significant loss of blood if the edge of the Placenta separates or covers the cervix. We are not overly concerned about this, as I have seen many cases of the placenta moving up as the uterus stretches and grows. We are praying that this happens, and we can have a natural delivery when the time comes. There is also a concern that I am losing amniotic fluid, but right now our fluid levels look good, and we will continue monitoring by ultrasound.
We were asked to come back to Manila in 3-4 weeks for another ultrasound and checkup.
Until then, I am to be on bed-rest alot of the time, with intervals of baking cookies with my girls, showering (yes, an actual shower, not involving a dish of water with soap floating in it on my bed..) and playing with my baby on the floor. No stair climbing or shananigans.
So here we are, confident that our God who fearfully and wonderfully created this baby is holding her safe, and so incredibly peaceful as we too learn to rest in those arms.
These past few months I have had the gift of rest-- Of coming away from the craziness and striving, and staring into Jesus' face. At first I sat here, slightly uncomfortable, and said, "I'm not really sure where to start. I have been trying so hard to do enough stuff for you, that I have forgotten what your voice sounds like, and how to just sit with you." Tears came then, lots of them. God whispered to me from Song of Solomon 2,"My beloved spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come away with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me. My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. "
We don't often read this and say, "Yep, that Jesus loves me like I am His bride, and just wants me to come away from it all and run through the fields with Him, so that's what I will do." It feels a bit scandalous and, well, goes against our grain of working so hard to achieve His grace, even though we know He says to be still and Know that He is God.
So I have spread out my hands, and leaned back into those strong arms, and asked Him to teach my heart to be still and know. I have accepted the invitation from my lover to come away with Him and have found that the caresses of His whispers over me are the sweetest honey I have ever known. I am being captured by His heart all over again.
So as I continue to rest, I have a smile on my face, not begrudgingly, or painted on, but a soul smile.
My darling husband is loving and serving, and working so hard. We are finding our strength and joy renewed as we spend more and more time on our knees together. Our staff are growing and blossoming more each day, and we are so honored to work beside them.
And so I encourage you today, to come away with Jesus, to sit with Him, stare into His face, and ask Him to re-prioritize your life. He says He has an abundant life for us, and I am starting to believe it.
Grace and Peace over you today,