It's a Choice

This morning offered me several challenges.  My gut reaction is to get ticked off and let these type of challenges ruin my day.  But I've learned that I can CHOOSE to instead focus on the positive perspectives that Christ offers me and let that determine the direction of my day.

Like the sign over our door says: Attitude is everything, so pick a good one!

Challenge:  The guy who was Ben’s relief at work this morning didn’t show up on time, causing him to have to take two early morning 911 calls, making him 1-hour late getting home on a day when I really needed to be at work on time.
Gut Reaction:  That guy is so selfish to not show up in time to relieve Ben (he’s done it before).  Those 911 calls better have been legitimate emergencies (unlike the 90% that aren’t).  I hate that I have to go to work anyway—why couldn’t I just be a stay-at-home mom.
Perspective:  Ben and I both have great jobs that allow us the mental challenge that we desire, the flexibility to spend a lot of time with our daughter (and each other), and the funds to live a comfortable life.

Challenge:  Eden (usually a great sleeper) wakes up crying at the same time that my alarm goes off (5:30am).  While comforting her, a carbon monoxide detector beeps loudly telling me the battery is dying, causing the dogs go nuts and need comfort and reassurance as well.  Then the coffee grinder promptly goes off (which I programmed it to do) and its loud airplane-taking-off sound startles Eden and the dogs yet again.
Gut Reaction:  Seriously?  All of this has to happen on a morning when I’m by myself?  UGH.  How am I supposed to climb on top of the kitchen counter to reach the dying detector at 8 months pregnant?  And how am I supposed to comfort Eden and the dogs at the same time?  And how am I going to have time to shower and get ready for work, much less have my “quiet time” with God that I woke up early for in the first place?!
Perspective:  There isn’t any real emergency here—it’s just a dying battery in the detector and a bad dream for Eden.  I am blessed to have a baby in my home.  It sure feels good to be needed to comfort all of my “babies.”  God can still speak to me—even if I don’t have a defined “quiet time”—as long as I’m open to hearing Him.

I CHOSE to focus on the positives this morning, and gues what—it all worked out in the end…
-          Eden easily went back to sleep after her needed snuggle time with mommy.
-          I was able to safely (using a step ladder) get the detector down and take the batteries out, which calmed the dogs down. 
-          Because Ben was running late, I had plenty of time to shower, get ready for work, make my lunch, and still have my “quiet time.”
-          My boss had back-to-back meetings with other people this morning, so it didn’t matter that I was an hour late.

And the perspective of all perspectives that I received this morning came via text from my friend Lisa (currently serving in Ethiopia with my mom) while I was snuggling my baby girl:  “Just left Hannah’s Hope [where Eden lived for 5 months].  Special mothers [the ladies who took care of Eden during her time there] LOVED the pics of Eden and were kissing the pics.” 

Enough said. J

Baby Bump Update

Here is the 35-week shot...

Yes, my belly is THAT big! ;)

My Doctor, My BFF
I've reached the point in my pregnancy where I go to the doctor every week now!  It's a good thing that I only work a part-time job or I'd be missing a ton of work!  It's also a good thing that I really like my doctor.  She's extremely approachable, but still professional.  And she tells me that I'm a great patient!  She actually said these words at my last appointment: "Lauren, I just can't find anything to scold you about--you're doing everything I've asked you to do!"  Yay!  Just wait until she sees my very low pain tolerance issue come to life in the labor and delivery room.  Then we'll see if she still thinks I'm a great patient.  heehee!

My Other Doctor, the Specialist
Early on in my pregnancy, some blood work came back abnormal, so I was sent to a specialist for my ultrasound.  At that first ultrasound, he cleared Callie Jeanne of any abnormalities, but we still go to him for each ultrasound.  It's actually quite a blessing because we get the cool 3-D photos of Callie every time we go!  And we get to have a very experienced doctor conduct the ultrasound.  The downside of him being so experienced is that he is very busy and very distracted.  He's been known to text orders to his nurse for one of his patients in labor right in the middle of conducting my ultrasound.  I guess that's the trade-off, right?! 

All About Cal (at this point)
Miss Callie Jeanne is still measuring to be a petite little girl.  Doc says we're probably looking at approximately 6 lbs at delivery.  This first-time pregnant mama certainly doesn't mind that!  Her heart rate is in the 140's and she's doing great in every way!  She's still in breech position (has been the entire time).  Doc says that 90% of babies flip on their own, so I don't need to worry and I don't need to try anything on my own to flip her right now.  Because of her positioning, my belly is in a constant lop-sided state (her head is on my right side).  The good thing about that is that I carry Eden on my left side, so there is room for both of them.  haha!  The bad thing is that my right side is very tender because of the extra pressure from Callie's head. 

Not Ready to Meet Her...Yet
Although this part of pregnancy can be very uncomfortable, I still don't quite feel ready to have Callie be outside the womb.  So, we're praying that I go full-term so I get to "nest" more and spend more time making sweet memories with our family of 3.  Oh, and my mom would be very upset if she's still in Ethiopia when I go into labor!  Please pray with me.


To be honest, I am completely overwhelmed these days and seem to have become the type of person that I never wanted to be.  When I’m overwhelmed, I tend to freeze up.  I blame procrastination on perfection (i.e., everything has to be “just so” before I can even start on a task).  These are some of the ways that it plays out in my life…

NOTE:  Those of you who either have a personality (read: “issues”) like me or live with someone like me will understand why this is a big deal.  Everyone else will just think I’m even more weird than they thought. J

Rather than responding timely to emails and phone calls, I simply read or listen to them and file them away for later.  Since “later” never comes, I now have an inbox that is ridiculous and friends who think I’m ignoring them.

Rather than saying “no” to an event I’m invited to because my calendar is too full, I simply don’t RSVP.  And that is just plain rude to the person planning the event.

Rather than writing a thank-you note to a friend who helped me pack or move or gave a gift, I write it on my “to do” list and it keeps getting trumped by other things.  While I know I have very understanding and gracious friends, it really bugs me to know that I haven’t properly thanked them.

Rather than planning meals for my family in advance, I wait until a meal is upon me or an important grocery item is completely gone before I react.  This causes me to spend more money on eating out or last-minute grocery runs, and our family ends up eating unhealthy meals.

Rather than being grateful for the roof over my head, I complain about my house not being completely in order yet (we moved a month ago).  Because we still have unpacked boxes, I tend to not be as hospitable to others.

Rather than rejoicing in the life that is growing inside my womb, I whine about how my body aches.  And nobody wants to be around a whiner.

Rather than just driving to the social security office and handing them a form (that I already completed), I put it in the stack of things to do and it collects dust.  Now we will have to file for an extension on our taxes because Eden doesn’t have a social security number yet.

Rather than asking for help from the tons of friends who would help in a heartbeat, I let my pride get in the way.  And all that does is cause me to be even more overwhelmed rather than what I’m (subconsciously) going for, which is that I have it all under control.

Rather than being patient and sweet to my hubby, I snap at him over silly things.  Even though he is very gracious with me, it is not cool for me to treat him that way (even if it’s just “pregnancy hormones”).

And those are just some of the things that happen when I get overwhelmed!  As I analyze why I’m so overwhelmed right now (because that’s what I do—I analyze), there are several things that clearly are playing a role…

·        I’m 8 months pregnant.
·        My baby girl is 18 months old.
·        We moved houses a month ago.
·        I have an outside-the-home job every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
·        My hubby works 24-hour shifts two days a week.
·        We are passing a lot of year anniversaries for our adoption of Eden (March 13-April 22 was our time in Ethiopia last year).
·        My mom and friend just left to serve for 2 weeks in Ethiopia—and I’m not with them.
·        The fourth anniversary of my Dad’s death is on March 25th.
·        My good friends had to bury their Dad unexpectedly last week.
·        I’m already feeling the “mommy guilt” of having a second child.  You know what I’m talking about…Eden will never have my undivided attention again; Callie will never know what undivided attention even looks like.  Etc.
·        We are seeking guidance for our next adoption.
·        Did I mention that Callie is due in 5 short weeks?!?!?!

But I know that the thing playing the biggest role in me feeling overwhelmed these days is that I haven’t truly stopped and given God any of my time.  Seriously.  Since we moved a month ago, I haven’t read His Word, I haven’t truly prayed (besides at meal time and every now and then in the car), and I haven’t stopped long enough to listen to Him.

Now, more than ever, I realize what I’ve always known to be true.  I cannot do this on my own!  I need my Father!  I need Him more than I need that extra sleep.  I need Him more than I need to unpack a box.  I need Him more than I need to do my monthly budget.  I need Him!

So, I’m putting this out there in the blogosphere with the hopes that I’ll get more accountability.  Please don’t take this as a cry for pity or a twisted way for me to show you how much I have going on in my life.  I just needed to get it on paper so I have more accountability.