So, I am officially past 31 weeks (which feels extraordinarily good). We are past when our second daughter was born. I now have around 5 more weeks to get past when our youngest daughter was born. I am praying Katie will surprise us all and come the latest of any of my girls! I know God can do a miracle here...and I am praying that one occurs. I am really enjoying feeling her move, although, she doesn't really kick, she squirms! I am anxious to have the pregnancy over with as I am fairly achy and uncomfortable, but I am nervous about six children. 5 seems to be working well....and 6, well, can seem intimidating at times. I am so grateful the Lord is blessing us again with a precious child and I can't wait to see what kind of dynamic she adds to our family.
As we near the end and I anticipate another c-section (something I dread and panic over, I find myself increasingly encouraged by Psalms as well as the focus of God's grace. This past year has been a journey for me in the area of believing what God's grace really means to me as His child and responding in gratefulness for this undeserved gift. I am finding that I am struggling with still looking for the pleasure of men instead of walking in the already given pleasure of God. His love is so much more amazing when I realize that all is grace given by Him! I am learning and loving this walk. The freedom is amazing and I am realizing so much how guilt easily can creep in where it ought not be. A month or so ago, I was listening to some missionaries speak and listened as they shared some of their guilt in failing in areas of their lives. That is where it ended. They shared no hope that God works in spite of our failures and faults. They kept the room so somber as they ended their time sharing with praying we would be "clean vessels because God doesn't use dirty ones". I literally cried and stated to my husband that I cannot be around places that spout these views. They are so steeped in works theology and not grace. Yes, we fail. Yes, we don't do things perfectly and we struggle with sin. However, the freedom of the hope of God's grace leaves us from living in guilt and fear and gives us the means to walk freely knowing that God's grace alone saved and sustains our walk with Christ. Does it mean we won't sin or struggle? Absolutely not! But I can walk in gratitude to the Lord for saving me and knowing He will complete His work in me. Amazing, isn't it? He is faithful to complete the work HE began....and it isn't because I am an easy, mold-able piece of clay! I feel often like I am the opposite. Stiff and unwilling. But He in His faithfulness and grace will finish the work. And accomplish all His holy will. Again, the freedom that it is not all up to me! Like Paul the apostle, I am one of the worst sinners and yet God uses me! I am not a clean vessel yet, but because of Jesus I am a vessel that can be used because of Christ's work on the cross for me. So, I am glad I don't need to have it all together. His grace covers!
Ok. Enough rambling! I am so grateful for grace and Jesus. I am learning and praying that the Lord would daily draw me to Himself and remind me moment by moment of grace and Jesus!