If you really knew me, you would know, I'm a planner. I'm an organizer, lover of events, go-getter, highly motivated, and all about the details. All pretty good qualities to be equipped with for life's journey. However, when my desire for efficiency takes over, when it controls me instead of me controlling it, things can get ugly.
I spent the first two trimesters of pregnancy employed at one of my favorite places. The preschool I worked at is one of those jobs people (who like kids) dream about: great community, good hours, healthy environment, even snacks! It was a really good gig, but as I logged in hours teaching, hugging, feeding, and wiping other people's kids, I was also counting down the days until I could begin preparing for my own baby boy. I was busy making mental and physical notes of all the things I was going to tackle when the third trimester rolled around and I left my teaching job to concentrate on preparing for baby.
My lists had lists.
Thankfully, the fog of exhaustion that pregnancy and teaching brought on began lifting around 22 weeks. My energy came back with a vengeance and I woke up that first Monday at home ready to get done as many things on my lists as I could get done that week, or in that 24 hours. I was finally feeling like myself again, even better than myself, like super woman! Thinking about it now, I must've looked like a wild animal, crazy eyes, toothy grin, unbrushed hair, craving the all the caffeine I couldn't have. I was ready to conquer it all.
Matthew, however, was not quite as energized or as in as big of a rush. (because he is a sane person!)
For days, then weeks, I hounded, even nagged him about all the tasks on my lists that were for him to do that weren't getting done on my time line. My pregnancy hormones were all kinds of fired up and I know that my sweet husband was wondering who the heck I had become. Efficiency and preparedness became my only goals. Not cherishing our alone time, even though that's about to become a thing of the past, not resting, not praying over our family, just micro-managing every last detail of our lives to ensure that we would be prepared a whole month early just in case McBaby came before his due date. I think this is what they call "nesting", only it wasn't sweet and cute like I thought it would be. It was more like a circus that let all the animals loose.
I quickly went from sane and capable efficiency master, to crazed and frazzled efficiency monster. Need further proof than the above paragraphs? I have not one, not two, no not even three, but FOUR types of schedules to keep track of all my "to-do's".
That's right, I'd totally lost it.
My planning skills are needed and greatly appreciated in day to day household and family operations, but my need to control how the next three months go were choking all the joy out of these happy circumstances.
Not coincidentally, my anxiety and fear about birth began to amp up around the same time. So did I slow down, talk to God, or begin to loosen my grip on all the control? You already know the answer is no!
Then one evening, it all became too much. I finally admitted I couldn't juggle all the things I had been holding on to. Slowing down was now my only option, letting go of all my lists was the only way to breathe some life back into this season.
God led me to think about when Matthew and I got engaged. The first thing we did before making any wedding plans was to pray over our engagement and invite God into the planning of our wedding day. We asked Him to lead us to plan the kind of day He wanted us to have and then we prioritized our desires for that day to see if they were in line with what He wanted for us. One would assume we would take the same approach when planning for the arrival of our baby boy, but we did not. We just blazed a trail with our own strength and when that ran dry only then did we turn to God. We definitely got things backwards.
Thankfully, our God is patient and good. He was waiting on us with open arms, excited to lead us through this journey. We started over, making a new plan with Him. Once I left my fears and anxieties at His feet, all the joy and excitement of becoming a family of 3 came back to us. No more rushing to get things done or waking up sweating at night worrying about what labor was going to be like. We surrendered all our plans to Him, trusting that His plan for us and McBaby is good.
Now, I didn't get crazy and just decide not to try and accomplish the things on my list, I just stopped holding tightly to them. We really do need the guest room cleaned out and the crib set up, but it doesn't really have to happen the day I want it to. So if you ask me, "Are y'all all ready for that baby boy to come home? Is the nursery ready? Do you have his closet organized?" I will take a deep breath and answer you with a "No". Because we don't and I don't really know when we will. Other life things are happening too and what was best for us was for me to CHILL OUT. That stuff will get done, McBaby will be born, and all will be well. Thankfully, it's not on my hands to control the situation anymore! It's in the hands of The One who created this little life and who sustains my every breath. We are free to stand firm on His promises and to believe that He is indeed a good, good Father.