A Follow Up

I think I’ve begun to recognize this feeling as the beginning of a change in my heart. My past year has been spattered with this same unsettled emotion that would not go away until I acted on the feeling for change. It’s amazing when you pray that God would give you His heart, sometimes, it actually happens (I know, I’m a doubter).

The first time last year was at the very beginning of the year. I was struggling with the timing that Jason and I had set to become parents (I was thinking around 28 or so, not 26). Not because I wanted to hurry it up, mind you, but because I felt that something was wrong with our my motives for wanting to wait. And what I’m about to say cannot be broadly applied to everyone, this was something I experienced in my own heart. I felt like I was just being selfish. I didn’t want to have a child because I wanted to do things on my time: I wanted to travel (specifically to Europe), I wanted to buy toys, I wanted to do things for me and did not want a child to get in the way of that. What I began to recognize as I struggled through our plan of child rearing was that children are a blessing, we are not guaranteed that we will have tomorrow and that Jason and I are equipped (well as much as anyone can be pre-child) to be parents. We love each other, we love God, we have a desire to raise a child, we don’t have any serious debt, we both have jobs (for now), so there was no reason to wait except my own selfishness (which was largely influenced by our society saying children are a burden, you should do what YOU want to do, you’ve earned this time to be selfish. . . etc). Now this was a realization that took from January to August for me to pray through, process and understand. It pervaded my thoughts on a regular basis. Needless to say, what I was working through obviously came to fruition since I’m now pregnant and pretty content with the idea of being a mom (although I still have moments of “Oh my gosh, what did we DO?!”).

The second time last year was reevaluating what being ‘green’ and being a Christian looked like and how closely the two are interlinked once you begin studying what the Bible says about creation and how your habits affect other people. I was so deeply affected by this new thought process that I couldn’t stop thinking about it – I thought about it everywhere I went and wanted to talk to everyone about it. I know some still think I’m crazy for making my own deodorant and trying to reduce our trash, trying to recycle everything, living with less (etc etc) but now it’s become integrated into my life and it’s part of me. I’m still learning, of course, but I’m not overwhelmed by the need to change.

My last post wasn’t supposed to come across as down or depressed, as I’m afraid now that it may have appeared that way. I do appreciate all the words of kind encouragement and wisdom – they were precious to me in getting through the end of a tough week. So, thank you for your sweet words, I was encouraged. I just want you to know that that last post was just a way of sharing the direction that my heart is being pulled and the emotions through the life change that I pray will come about. I’m excited because I know that this feeling is the beginning of change for me and it will be interesting to see what comes of it.

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8 Comments

  1. Posted January 19, 2009 at 11:14 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for your posts! I don’t think I was able to comment on the last one because life has been a little crazy…but I really resonate with the struggle of pursuing the American Dream. Part of me hates the idea and part of me craves the security of it. I so appreciate the way you are trusting God as he is leading you to take big steps of faith. I know for some the idea of having a child may not seem like a step of faith, but I’ve been so encouraged by seeing you work through putting aside your own desires for what you think God is asking you to do. You’re going to be such a great mom, and your decisions and willingness to let God change your heart are a part of that!

  2. Posted January 19, 2009 at 12:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Elizabeth:
    I’ve been reading your blog for about a month now, but never left a comment. I had to today! My husband and I just went through the exact same senario. I wanted to wait until 29 (i’m almost 26) to have children. We’ve been married for about a year and a half. I started struggling with the fact that I had everything planned out, but I never took the time to ask God if that’s what He wanted for us. We decided to go off birth control this fall and I just found out we’re expecting. I am freaked out, but know that God is in control and He will take care of us. Thanks for your post. It was nice to be able to relate with someone about this. Take care!

  3. Posted January 19, 2009 at 4:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Congrats on being a mommy! I totally agree with your rational; it’s why we already have a baby even though my husband is still in school. It does demand self-sacrifice and isn’t always easy, but the daily joy and delight that comes from being a parent far outweighs any hardships it brings.

  4. cooperella
    Posted January 19, 2009 at 7:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Excellent excellent excellent series of posts, Beth.

    Another nasty thing that society does is tells us that we can’t be open or honest about these sorts of thoughts (or else you risk damaging your chances at the “american dream”, right?) Thanks for putting it out there and for being honest with us, but more importantly, with yourself.

    I wonder if selfishness is a very primitive notion that we’ve evolved past needing (to a certain degree). I think that at some point in our evolution as humans, we had to be selfish in order to survive – whether that meant looking out for ones self first in food, shelter, or something else. It seems that we’ve unneccessarily carried that selfishness with us, and with it came greed, materialism, and a slew of other yucky characteristics.

    Another random though: isn’t it funny to think that for some women, “selfish” family planning might mean having children younger or too early rather than later in life? I think it’s entirely possible that some women have kids before they’re really ready, to either secure a husband or secure a family or create false security… who knows. But interesting to consider it and think about how our feelings affect our decisions to start a family.

  5. cooperella
    Posted January 19, 2009 at 7:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    ps – sorry for the longest comment EVER! eeks!

  6. Posted January 19, 2009 at 7:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I so appreciate what you had to say in both posts. Thank you for opening your heart, and sharing with us your wants/desires, how God is changing your heart, and the things you continue to seek to change. You are an inspiration to many of us. I pray that God will richly bless you (and I don’t mean $$ necessarily) and that you will continue to grow in faith and following after God. Please continue to keep us posted. Praying for you!

  7. Posted January 19, 2009 at 9:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for writing these posts – they are resonating with so many of us… and please continue the journey. I think we’re all learning and struggling.

    Sometimes I feel like I have such a long way to go in simplifying my life, putting others first, while juggling my own family. We feel torn a lot.

    You have made so many wonderful changes in your own life. I’m sure God is pleased with all that you have done so far, and will guide you in your decisions as you both move forward in life.

    I’m excited to see what God has in store for you both.

  8. Jenny DeMarco
    Posted January 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hi there,
    I just found your blog not too long ago because of your insights to Austin, as my husband and I are also moving there this next summer. But also way cool is that I see you are a landscape architect too! Its a great profession. Congratulations on becoming a new mother. And thanks for the personal posts as these issues of being a new mom are important for us women to share. I certainly understand and sympathise the internal conflict, one of desires and societal expectations, but most importantly listening to your heart, as it always leads the way. Best wishes on your new adventure.

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