Wednesday, October 12, 2011

These are the children the Lord has graciously given us

Truly, God gives the greatest gifts to those who let him choose. ~ Hudson Taylor
Each of us are called to live a life fully committed to Christ.  A unique and special life that He designed especially for each of us individually.  I desire to live my life faithfully seeking to serve my Creator, to search for Him and know Him.  Sometimes I seek for my walk to look like someone else's walk, or I question if I'm called to the very thing some one else is called to.  Who doesn't look around them and worry that their not doing what everyone else is doing, or their not being like some one else?
I desperately want to get to the point that I live my life in perfect confidence that I am exactly who God has called me to be.  I want to obey without hesitation and have faith even as small as a mustard seed.  I am not there, but I am striving to know my God deeper and to trust Him fully.
God called me to do something exactly 11 weeks ago, to surrender and allow Him to create.  Joe and I prayed.  I knew without a doubt that He was asking me to give Him the opportunity to do something and I kept asking for confirmation that this was really what He wanted.  As God only can, He confirmed and re-affirmed until His calling burned in my soul.
Burning callings can be ignored, I had a choice, but I wanted what was best, even though I couldn't understand it. {Isaiah 55:9 As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.}  My obedience didn't come with unwavering faith, the peace in knowing I was doing what was needed didn't accompany sure faith and yes, I was afraid.  But, I knew to choose anything other would be shutting God out and it would certainly become a regret.  I didn't want to miss my opportunity to live the unique life God has planned for me and my family.
Within days, I knew that God was going to do exactly what He wanted to do if I gave Him the chance.  In hindsight, I realize He had been preparing me for this over the past year, I hadn't really wanted to think about it, but somehow I knew this was going to be.
On August 29 it was confirmed.  I was happy.  I was scared.  I was sad.  I even had a little regret.  I was overwhelmed.  I doubted God.  I wished this wasn't what He called me to do.  I saw my selfishness.  I questioned.  I was honest with Him, we can always be honest, He desperately wants to be real to us and for us to real with Him.  I was weak and in constant need of His Word.  I was excited and then another realization would hit me that this life of mine was completely out of my control and I was in tears, again.  I've had many tears.
Beyond the tears and emotions, I know that there is no other place I would rather be called.  I am so happy and undeserving of the Lord's goodness to us.  I don't know why me, I don't know why now, but I do know that where God calls us, He is in control, He is fully sufficient, He is creating beauty, He is strong, He is compassionate, He is enough, and He is perfect.
So, big changes are coming.  My full plate is about to be piled higher than ever, my cup overflows with goodness.  I don't know how I will handle so much responsibility or grocery shopping or laundry or educating, but I am clinging to God's promises, especially this one; 2 Chronicles 16:9  The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.  
Within our deep need of Christ comes humbleness, reliance and dependence.  He calls us to live a life with Him and for Him.  He calls us to do things that we only can do because of His strength not our own.  It's the greatest adventure to walk with Him daily, it's not easy and I am the first to tell you I. am. learning. often slowly.
I obeyed and God truly didn't waste anytime creating a new phase of my life, of our lives.  I am humbled to say that Brady won't be the baby much longer.  Coming late April or early May we'll be crying tears of joy and welcoming Baby 5!
I'm 10 weeks pregnant and feeling very much so.  We all witnessed a little tiny heartbeat last Monday, thank the Lord.  Jenna told someone it was a spot, so it's affectionately named Spot.  All of the kids were over the moon excited when we told them, Jenna especially.  The morning after we told them I came downstairs and she was eating at the breakfast table.  She was grinning from ear to ear and the first thing she said was, "Mommy I'm so 'cited you have a baby in your tummy!"  That was the first of many happy sayings she has said.  She couldn't keep it in and told my parents before we could reveal Brady's onesie that read, "Gonna be a BIG BRO!" on the front, and on the back, "I know, CRAZY right?!?"
Jenna thanks God for Spot every time she prays before meals.  I'm sure that is pure sweetness to His ears.  She wants a sister.  Joe asked Joseph what he wanted and he asked where it was going to sleep.  Joe said if it's a boy in your room and a girl in the girls room.  He said, "A girl then!  I don't want 2 crying babies in my room!"
It's no secret that pregnancy and I aren't the best of friends.  I have never been a lover of the pregnant months and each pregnancy has progressively gotten harder and more complicated with aches and pains.  So far, this go around I've had terrible-knock-me-out headaches, I've been nauseous,  already had carpel tunnel and am wiped out with fatigue.  In the end it is all worth the challenges and struggles, I know that but some days the task seems so daunting.
Perhaps the hardest part yet has been me not being able to keep up with housework, cooking, cleaning and I've had to stop running, there is no energy for that.  Schoolwork and the daily necessities are all that I can muster up right now.  Which some days laundry, cooking and dishes make that list and some days they don't.  I really hate feeling like I can't do everything, I've felt like everything is caving in around me and I'm losing control.  But I know this pregnancy won't last forever and that eventually I will feel better again.  Though my responsibilities will grow and my self-discipline will have to be refined yet again, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Joe has been so much of a support and help to me.  I am so blessed to have such an encouraging husband.  Love is felt most when it can be seen and heard.  I hear his love and I can't count how many times in the past 6 weeks he's washed the supper dishes before going to work at 6 AM or caught up the laundry or cleaned the bathrooms or made the beds or bathed the children or told me that I am wonderful, when I feel anything but wonderful!  This life of ours is beyond me, it takes both of us and I'm so thankful we get to work together at it.  A better husband I could never find!
{A huge I love you and thank you to my sister, Carrie for shooting and editing these pictures.  If you were there you would be surprised any of them turned out, typical photo-shoot with my 4 children.  Biggest challenge of the year no doubt!}


Eleana said...

Oh Miranda!!! That is amazing news. I am so very happy for you - your family has so much love to share and Spot will be lucky to be a part of such a wonderful family. It will be so tiring and terrifying to think of but it will be so worth it. Congratulations my friend, sending you a very big hug.

Traci said...

Congratulations Miranda!!

Sweats, Nikes, and No Make-up said...

Beautiful pictures of the kids! Those are just awesome. SO excited for you guys!

Anonymous said...

Yay! Congratulations! It may seem overwhelming but God does know what He is doing! Lean on Him. I only have 1 little one and Lord willing hoping to expand our family in the near future. I've been reading your blog for a awhile now and thought I should comment :) My name is also Miranda!

Wanting What I Have said...

WOW! What exciting news! There is no better place to be that exactly where God wants you to be! I am rejoicing with and for you! :)

Sarann said...

Congrats, how wonderful and exciting! I love the photos too, you have beautiful children!

leah leah said...

I am so excited for u & ur growing family! I've told u before & I'll tell u again.... Girl! God is using u to touch so many people's lives with ur pure, example of surrender! Love reading ur blog! Love ya, girlie!!! <3 Congratulations Pike Family!!!!

Rutledge 7 said...

love the pics and love big families... congratulations!

SailorMoon said...

Congratulations!! I love reading about you and your family and there will be one more!! Woo hoo!! Come on little Spot!! ;)

Jillian said...

Congratulations Miranda and Joe! We are very excited for you and will be praying for your new addition!

BARBIE said...

Miranda, what a beautiful post and wonderful way to announce your newest blessing to us. Praying for much strength and grace for you.

P.S. - these pictures are amazing. Your children are angelically beautiful!

Sidnie said...

These pictures and words are beautiful.
Your babes are precious and so cute in their blue plaids.

Congratulations on Baby #5.
I've been praying and will continue to pray, dear friend.