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Regaining focus

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. I guess this pregnancy is keeping me pretty busy! One more month until my due date!

For the last couple months, I’ve been keeping myself pretty busy. I’ve had a couple baby showers, I’ve been reading books about natural childbirth, reading books about sleep scheduling, looking at Craigslist for baby items, figuring out what else we need to purchase off of our registries, going to birthing classes. We’ve been switching around the furniture in our home, cleaning out closets, throwing away and donating items we don’t want anymore. We’ve also been hosting as many people as possible, and hanging out with people before the baby comes and we become socially inept.

Last night, Beland came to bed and told me that we really need to start thinking about selling our place. He will graduate from seminary in three months (May). My maternity leave will be over in four months (June), and we would love for me to not return to work (even though I work from home, it would still be our preference for me to stop working after maternity leave, or soon after). Our condo buy-down will also expire in May, which will increase our mortgage significantly. We don’t know if we’ll still be in the L.A. area after graduation or not, but either way, it seems like we won’t be able to afford the live in this place anymore. Even if he were to get a pastor job in the area, the likelihood the salary would cover our mortgage plus living expenses would be slim.

I could tell that Beland was affected too as he thought about all these things. I could feel his burden to provide for our family, to not drain our savings, to find a job, or just to figure out what we should do or where we should go. I quietly listened to him and let him know that I love him and that I know God will be leading us. When I prayed last night, I thought of how God has led us through each season of our 8+ years together and how He has provided each job, each home, and each ministry that He has wanted us to be a part of. He both gives and takes away at different times in life. That’s something I must remember with this baby also – I am only a steward of this child that the Lord has given to me.

When we bought this home three years ago, I knew I would let it go someday because Beland wanted to one day go to Taiwan. I’ve been writing things that I’m thankful for in my journal, and 6 days ago, I wrote down “Thankful for our home and for the opportunity to one day let it go for Christ’s sake.” Pretty timely, huh? I didn’t know when I wrote it down that I might be letting it go as soon as this summer. As I put my head on my pillow to sleep, I began to feel sad.

Saying goodbye to this house is not just saying goodbye to our address, but it’s a reminder to me that I will be saying goodbye to my family, my friends, my church. It could mean saying goodbye to speaking English in public, or having a washing machine AND dryer (people don’t really use dryers in Taiwan). Last night, as I thought about all things random things, I was filled with emotion.

I recalled this passage today in Matthew 6:  “Do not be worried about your life…But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

I think I’ve been focusing on all the wrong things. Not that it’s wrong to prepare for the baby, but when I think about what I want for my life, or maybe just think of the rest of my life here in Southern California, the first thing I think of is NOT being able to have a natural birth or that I have enough onesies in the closet.

I want to focus my attention on the following while we’re still living in this area, because I really don’t know how long I’ll be here:

  • Focus on my personal worship and relationship with God
  • Focus on sharing and living out the gospel with my dad
  • Focus on encouraging my mom in her spiritual life
  • Focus on encouraging and building up my husband

I want to try to remind myself of these goals everyday, so I don’t get caught up in all the other things pulling at me. I know that my natural instinct is to prepare for my baby, and rightly so. But I have to actively try to be purposeful in my relationship with my parents. And I have to actively try to encourage my husband, especially during this transitional stage in his life. And I always have to actively try to remember my God throughout my day, so that I can think rightly about everything else.

I am thankful for this house, and thankful for my family. And I’m thankful for the time I have now to mentally and spiritually prepare for leaving both – not everybody has the luxury of doing that. It is a gift from God, and I want to take full advantage of it.

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