Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Baby clothes and blessings

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My dogs and my big bulging belly

Expectations are a funny thing. We hope and dream and plan the future, and when it gets here we tend to juxtapose the reality against what we thought it would be like, and then assess whether we came out well or not. At least I know I do it. All. the. time.

Take my pregnancy for example. I had very firm preconceived ideas of what it would be like, and to be honest, they were very similar to the experience I heard from most of my friends. Where I would shop. What I would purchase. How much stuff my baby would have. What the nursery (gasp) would look like. How my (oh my goodness!) baby shower would be. It all would take a lot of time, energy, money and countless Pinterest-invested hours. 

And then all of a sudden, just as I got pregnant we found ourselves in a financial bind like we never had before. Praying things would get better, they actually got worse, and no extra cash quickly turned into debt. One by one, I saw my dreams of Carter's onesies and gourmet cupcakes, fancy strollers and hip maternity clothing go out of the window.

The first thing that I felt was sheer sadness. I understood and accepted God's will, and if I wouldn't be able to have all those things, I knew they were not good for me anyway. But still, the thought of not throwing a fancy shower or having pristine never-worn before clothes felt to me as a trial. I felt as if God was putting me through this. It was not something I had been made to enjoy, but to endure. 

Until He opened the floodgates. I literally purchased maybe three pieces of (walmart) baby clothes. And yet, baby Arthur already has more clothes, and soon enough shoes, than I do. They came from friends, family members, and church members I barely knew. They came in the form of loans, gifts and donations. And each time I opened a plastic bag to see a tiny baby boy outfit I knew God was smiling. 

God could have sent all we needed through our own finances. I would have treasured every purchase, every small pair of socks, every gorgeous smelling brand new shoes. But He worked it out in a way that glorifies Him the best. And He taught me such an important lesson in the meantime:

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
2 Corinthians 12:9