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Monday, March 28, 2011

Full Circle

My heart has come full circle today.

Yesterday I was so deeply impressed with the preciousness of life, in particular with the miracle of the birth of a new life, of a child. This idea of preciousness is innate and yet it has taken root inside me in ways I cannot adequately put words to.

It has been a season of our own loss of a baby and the subsequent season of waiting for a healthy pregnancy and a child to hold in our arms. However we are not alone. It also has been a season of sharing in so many other journeys of women and families, losing the baby they have already grown to love, of women and families longing for the birth of a child. I suppose as one watches that life slip away and as one waits for that life to be given it creates time to reflect on what it means to wait for the arrival of a child into one's life. I have come to truly acknowledge that the blessing of my children will be from my Lord alone, the giver of both life and abundant, fulfilling life. And as I wait, I hear God's quiet voice speaking to me, telling me how beautiful a gift it will be when I hold my child in my arms. And as I wait for a child I am growing to love that child; I feel my parent-heart growing within me, a heart so full of passionate love and protection that all I can do is pray because I feel so helpless to do all I want to for my child.

It is in my prayer for my children that I feel such a thankfulness for my ancestors. I am thankful for my parents who were diligent in guiding me to know God. I am thankful for their passion for the Lord. I am thankful for my grandparents whose teachings through their characters still live on deeply in my heart. And for Mrs. Peters who was a friend like no other (how wonderful to have a 80 year old friend when you’re a teenager). I thank you God for Ryan’s parents and grandparents that have become my own. I want their stories to live on, because their stories long for children to love You. Bless the godly faithfulness of our grandparents in the lives of our children and their children and beyond. May I honor my parents and grandparents by teaching my children well. I thank you God for the gentle faith of my Grandma Elias, for the bold faith of my Grandma Krahn, for the meek faith of my Grandpa Krahn, for the diligent faith of my Grandpa Elias, for the generous faith of Mrs. Peters. I thank you for the tender faith of my father and the devout faith of my mother.

From grandchild and child, to hopeful parent and future grand-parent. My heart has come full circle today.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Brother in Law

So my brother in law (my sister's husband) gave me a hard time after I wrote my blog about my sister: "when are you going to write nice stuff about me on your blog?" I joked with him that I would write nice things when enough had been accrued to warrant a blog and in that case he might be waiting a while. He's the joking type of person, in fact it makes him easy to be around, and so I'm certain he's long forgot about that conversation. But being the kind, compassionate, thoughtful sister-in-law that I am, I've been thinking about that conversation I had with Jason. So while I'm not sure how he figures he's next in line to get a blog post (sorry Mom and Dad, I do realize you are my next of kin not blogged about thus far), I thought perhaps I ought to set the record straight right here in public. You see, I do love my brother-in-law and he is a great husband to my sister and a good "second" brother to my husband. It's wonderful to have Jason in the family; his spontaneity is refreshing. Though I must mention that sometimes his lack of planning nearly pushes me to frustration. And of course he does make playing word games with the family much more irritating. Strike that, he makes playing word games with the family irritating. They were never irritating before he entered the picture. And honestly, couldn't my sister really use someone who helps keep her car clean, as opposed to multiplying the grime? (Though I suppose his promotion of her cooking as gourmet makes us for that a bit; except for the fact that Carmen is now too nervous to have company for dinner because Jason touts her cooking as gourmet to all their friends!)

But, I do appreciate that Jason has taken me under his wing. He enrolled me in his MIT program in August when we were camping in Revelstoke and I fell absolutely smitten with my niece. I have high hopes that I will soon graduate from my Mother-in-Training program since I am anxiously awaiting to be an expectant mother. (Though I think perhaps Jason is equally as excited as us for us to have a baby sometime--hopefully--soon. Indeed he was the person I was most excited to tell that we were expecting, back in fall. And now that the secret that we're ready to start our family is out of the bag, well the pressure for us to procreate has subsided. It is my hope, however, that Jason's prayers for twins or multiples for us have also stopped. I think he and my sister said that they hoped we had twins or more just because Ryan and I plan life too much and some things (aka children) are not always supposed to planned to such a T. Well here I declare that I fully acknowledge that having children does not go according to plan. My plan has been thwarted and twins would, I think, be just too much :)

There you have it. My brother-in-law Jason, is a stand-up guy. And if any of you readers live in the Calgary area, he's also a phenomenal finishing carpenter. And he sells these snazzy garage cabinetry. See Jason, I've got glowing things to say about you and indeed, I, we (Ryan and I) would absolutely love it if you moved out our way. We can't get enough of you! (and your children are adorable and perhaps I'd progress more quickly in my MIT program if I had more hands on time with the kids)

So Jason, you get Auntie Cheryl's big stamp of approval, and a blog post to go with it. And I think you deserve it.

Go Roughriders!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Congratulations Dr. Erin!

I've been very tired for the past couple weeks; perhaps going too hard at life all at once or just the result of enjoying a nice full schedule. Whatever the reason it has been very nice to enjoy a 4 day weekend. My friend Erin arrived from Saskatoon on Wednesday night. Friday was relaxing as I was able to show off a bit of Chilliwack with a hike up Teapot at Cultus Lake and a stroll along the Vedder Rotary trail. In the evening, I tried to hone my skill at the game The a-MAZE-ing Labyrinth, to no avail. Erin remains the champion of her game in our relationship! Saturday we unknowingly decided to fight the crowds on a trip to the Seattle Premium Outlets; I was absolutely shocked at the hour and a half wait at the border - that's what spring break does, I guess. However, the "stress" of the line-up dissolved on Sunday as we soaked all our cares away in Harrison Hot Springs: a great mini retreat (and a congratulatory one-night trip for Erin) as both Erin and I have come through a bit of stressful times lately.

Now I will send (well, drive) Erin to her next destination on her little getaway (hello Vancouver). How wonderful to be able to celebrate with friends in their accomplishments. Way to go Erin, PhD!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Awfully Confusing

I think I get now why some people wait a long time to try again to get pregnant after a miscarriage. Having a miscarriage hurts deeply. And then there is the fear that takes root thinking of being pregnant again. I have fear of going through the same hurt again. Fear of not being ready to be a parent. And then there is the feeling that it’s just not right, because I should be allowed to be so excited to get pregnant, but that uninhibited sense of joy and excitement has been zapped. It’s not the same. No matter what. I am excited in a very guarded way now. I want to be pregnant, but I want to be excited to get pregnant, and then I’m fearful of the pregnancy and of the idea of being a parent (those feeling weren’t there in August when we started trying!) and then to top off these feelings that I don’t know whether I really am ready to get pregnant, I look at the number 29, my age that is getting bigger and so I better get on it regardless of how I feel, and then I have moments of jealousy that pop up when I share with others in their pregnancy and when I hear others talk of their pregnancy. How can I have this hesitancy inside about getting pregnant and still have jealousy? It’s awful and awfully confusing. I want to be excited about my own future pregnancy and at the same time I am excited for those dear people around me who are pregnant. And just weeks ago I had this sense that in the waiting for a baby there is greater joy in the blessing of that child. I’m waiting for that greater joy, patiently. In the meantime, what can I do but trust God and use my head when my heart feels so mixed up.

So amidst this confusion this is what I know. My God is good. My God is love. My God provides. I love my husband. I trust God will give Ryan and I wisdom in raising our family. I want children. I love my family and friends. I love the unborn children of my family and friends. Children are a blessing, whether mine or not. I have been blessed with such amazing support and I am confident that I will continue to be blessed with support as life unfolds. I will love my children regardless of whether they are born in 9 months, 2 years, 5 years, or beyond. I have learned much in the past months about myself, about human emotions (it is interesting that the number of emotions I am learning about continues to grow), and about God. I continue to learn. God was there in the disappointment, hurt, frustration. Certainly He is here in the jealousy, the fear, the confusion. Certainly He is here to remove the jealousy, the fear, and the confusion.

Ps 51:8,16

Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me- now let me rejoice. Unseal my lips, O Lord, that I may praise you.

I have to share what I read in scripture today and what I learned from it.

Numbers 13 and 14 discuss the scouting expedition that Moses sent out to scope out the promised land of Canaan. This is the land that God has promised his people of Israel. It was his promise to them as He brought them out of Egypt, out slavery, out of the place where they cried to God from because they were oppressed. From this expedition there were 2 reports. The first said:

“We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” 32 So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: “The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge. 33 We even saw giantsb]">[b] there, the descendants of Anak.

The second states:

“The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! 8 And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey. 9 Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land.

This is the Promised Land they speak of! God has promised these people this blessing and the first group simply sees the giants in their way of getting there. It makes me think; what blessing does God have in store for me that I only see the giant hurdles required and miss out on what is behind those obstacles? God wants to bless me. God will give whatever assistance is required to overcome giants. Right now I see my land of milk and honey being the family I believe God will bless Ryan and me with. There are some obstacles to getting to that “land”, including the “awful confusion” of the present which I have discussed above. But in reading this story of Canaan, I don’t want to focus on the giants before me. I want to focus on that rich land ahead and the dependence on God that will get me there. (Besides if you read the whole story in Numbers, by not trusting God to take out the giants, those people who voiced response #1 never did get to step foot in the promised land. I think this story parallel a very real reality for today as well: focus on the giants in your road and you may get detoured that you may never see the promised land God intends for you further along the road.)