Monday, December 19, 2011

A prayer for my daughter

Today I am 26 weeks pregnant. This pregnancy is flying by and I can't believe it is almost over, but I have a confession to make.

I have not enjoyed being pregnant. I'm almost embarrassed to say it out loud, but it is true. I have been very stressed out and emotional through most of it and I'm coming to realize that most of those emotions are out of fear and selfishness.

I am scared of losing myself, losing my relationship with my husband and not being the mom that I want to be.

Today, I was reading a blog post, that led to a blog post that led to another one (watch the video if you have time). Then I realized how blessed I actually am. Then I realized...I have not prayed for this child once in almost seven months--all because I have been so focused on me.

I googled some prayers for daughters. This first one is short, but it says:

The gifts I have are many,
not one of them deserved...
You, my friend, are always steadfast,
when chaos fills my world.

Then, You blessed me one more time,
and a daughter came to be.....
Oh! The depth of joy untold,
this gift from You to me!!!

I need to remember that this baby is a blessing--one that I've wanted for a long time too! My husband reminded me the other night that I am getting to experience something special that not many people get to experience. He said he was jealous that I get to have this built in bond with our child before she is even born. How selfish must I look to him to complain about being uncomfortable and scared of losing my identity?

This page also has pdfs of prayers for different family members including daughters. Some of the verses that he references really spoke to me. [disclaimer: I have no idea who Jesse Rich is nor do I know anything about his ministry. I have not poked around his site at all. I just read the prayer for daughters pdf].

One of the verses that he includes is:

Psalm 127:3-5

New International Version (NIV)

3 Children are a heritage from the LORD,
offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.

Offspring are a reward from God and blessed is the man who has many of them. This baby was not entirely planned by us, but I'm trusting in God's timing and not ours. I'm trusting that finances will work out so that I can stay home at some point to raise our children. I'm trusting that my marriage will only get stronger as our family grows. I'm trusting God will all of my fears so that I can enjoy the last 13-15 weeks of this pregnancy.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Best Books of 2011

I had set a goal for myself to read 100 books in 2011. I knew it was a stretch goal, but I thought I'd see how close I could get. I ended up reading 40 books total this year and probably started, but did not finish another 15 or so. They were not finished either because they were due back at the library and I could not renew them or I just could not get into the book and decided not to force myself to finish it. That 40 does not count the fact that I re-read the entire Black Dagger Brotherhood Series.

Lots of online forums are asking what was the best book you read in 2011. I don't know if I can qualify one book as being the best because I read books from many different genres, but I will summarize a few of the books I enjoyed the most.

Here is my list of books read for the year.

The book that suprised me the most:
Soulless by Gail Carriger--I started this book really not liking it, but I continued to read it to give it a fair chance since so many of my friends and ended up really liking it. I read all four books in the series this year.

Best Non-Fiction:
Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein--Over the course of reading information online about birth options, I saw this book and the documentary they also made mentioned several times. I decided to read it and see what I thought. The main premise of their book is that no matter what type of birth you have, have the one you want. Reading this book was really the turning point from me being somewhat depressed about the pregnancy to realizing I can do it and have a really good birth. I highly recommend it.

Enjoyable Historical Fiction:
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
Tamar by Mal Peet
I am not a historical fiction reader and I was really suprised how much I liked all three of these books. The Book Thief is told from the point of view of a young girl from the age of 10-13 during WWII, The Other Boleyn Girl is about Anne Boleyn, and Tamar is told from the point of view of a young girl in the early 2000s and her grandfather during WWII. They are all three very different, but they were able to hold my attention.

I read several other really good books including several popular books for the year (The Hunger Games, Room and Robopocalypse), but these are some of the ones that stuck out for me during the last year.

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