100 Days, Round 2: 100-90

If you weren't around for it, when I was pregnant with Roger I did a blog series when I reached 100 days remaining until his due date; I knew then and know that September 29, 2012 is really just a placeholder that means very little, but it was fun to count down with Roger. I decided that I'ma try to do it again with Juliet. Now that I have a lovely 15 month old keeping me on my toes I might not be able to hit every single day the way I did with Roger but I still plan to give it my best!

So here we go! The lowdown: I'll keep one post per "decade" of days, updating with the current day at the top each day. Day 10 plus any bonus days will get their own posts until the day our beloved Juliet Elise arrives! And, as with Roger, they'll be addressed to her personally.


Day 90 - Sunday, July 1, 2012
Hey-oh! Suddenly it's the last day of the 90s and it's July all at once--crazy town, baby girl! Today I want to share some sweet lyrics with you from a fabulous rendition of the hymn In Tenderness:

He died for me while I was sinning
Needy and poor and blind
He whispered to assure me
"I've found thee; thou art Mine" 

I never heard a sweeter voice, 
It made my aching heart rejoice!

Today we sang that song at church and as I was worshiping I was flooded with the inexplicable joy of knowing Jesus and belonging to him. A big, tough looking man in front of us raised his hands in heartfelt worship and it just broke me. I already was feeling overcome with my soul feeling the lyrics and seeing the man in front of us experiencing the same thing did me in--I cried like a baby.

Sweet baby girl, I pray you know this. As a long time leader in various ministries, what I hear repeatedly from people is that they don't feel like Jesus is there, like he's far away or doesn't care. I know you may go through times of struggle, and I do pray your relationship with Jesus goes far deeper than how you feel at any given moment. All of that said, I pray your relationship with Jesus is authentic, real, and life-giving.

I pray you know him in a way that goes beyond fleeting feelings and that you can testify from a young age that you have tasted and seen that Jesus is good, and when you talk about him with others that you would simply glow and ooze the peace that comes from a rest-filled, intimate, growing, genuine relationship with your Lord.

I pray you would love and adore his word, that you would pore over it the way you inevitably will with those first sweet love letters you'll receive from the man you marry and spend your life loving.

I pray you'll resist ending prayers much the way you won't want to hang up the phone after a heartfelt conversation with your eventual husband.

I pray that knowing Jesus is always growing, fresh and new yet mature and established.

I pray that you would, by God's grace, avoid living on a feelings-based roller coaster relationship with Jesus, and instead that it would be a steady hike. Sometimes, like I had today, there will be breathtaking vistas where he seems gloriously endless before you. Other times you'll be in the slog of a valley and you won't be able to discern when the path will clear. Either way, I pray that you'll always be aware of Jesus beside you, hiking with you no matter where you are, and that you'll allow him to carry your burdens while you keep sipping on the water of Life--Jesus' word and relationship with him!--that quenches your thirst.

As always, I love you, sweet daughter. I pray you do not fear emotion nor that you allow it to rule you. I pray Jesus uses me well to shepherd you in what it looks like to steward the emotions he gave you, to worship with them and through them and, at times, in spite of them. It won't be without challenge--the hormones I have while pregnant with you are just one example of how, as a woman, we can feel like worshiping while our bodies are set against us is a losing battle! But there is such joy in sweet surrender, repenting of our entitled attitudes and asking Christ to fill us, to rule us with his Holy Spirit and overrule estrogen, which is under his feet in his dominion :)

Love you, baby girl. Onto the 80s tomorrow!

Day 91 - Saturday, June 30, 2012
It's 1am, so it's technically Sunday morning, and I'm mega tired so this will be short and sweet! Today was a little hard because I was in a lot of pain. I don't blame you for it, as you can't help it, but the way my body is carrying you is very low compared to your brother. This leads to a lot of back pain, plus round ligament pain, and leaves your mama feeling exhausted. Pain is wearying! But honestly and truthfully, it's absolutely worth it. I'd rather have pain from being pregnant with you than no pain and no you. Plus, maybe you riding so low means you won't be all up in my ribs for 8 weeks the way your brother was :)

This evening we had our friends the Hinkles over and after a yummy grill session we put the boys to bed and they taught us Euchre. It was really fun! I'll confess, your parents tend to be a bit lame and turn to electronics (TV, computers, the Xbox) for entertainment and it was a good reminder that games are so much better for bonding than a movie! Hopefully we'll put this into practice with our family. Just pray your daddy will learn to hate games less :) He had fun tonight though!

Now, however, this baby mama needs sleep. Today we entered the third trimester--27 weeks down, 13ish to go! So very excited to meet you, baby girl! You're kicking away right now--probably trying to tell me to get some rest so you can grow strong and healthy :)

Day 92 - Friday, June 29, 2012
This was a bit of a hectic day. Last night I had a bit of a panic attack when I realized your due date is three months away--September 29!! I still fully expect to meet you in October, and even do hope to meet you in October (it's the best. month. ever. and I don't mind going a little overdue because it gives you a long time to get ready for the outside world!) but still...suddenly you're due very soon! It's not so far away.

Thus, today got busy because I spent the day finding "stuff" for you. We borrowed the Hinkle's van and picked up a dresser (to use as your changing table as long as you need one), a rocking recliner, and a nightstand to go next to your chair. We may put the glider in Roger's room into yours; we aren't quite sure yet. Either way, we don't need any more furniture. Yay! You'll sleep in a bassinet for the first few months, just like Rog did, and then when you get too big we'll put you in the crib Roger uses now and move him to a big boy bed. The only other "stuff" your room needs is a couple of lamps, your changing pad, humidifier, and the little accessories like that. Phew! It helped ease my panic mode :)

Since yesterday was so long, today's entry is short. I just want you to know that it's a joy preparing for you! I'm mostly certain I'll paint your dresser and night stand white, so they're much more feminine (they're so masculine now!) and they'll pretty much always "go" with the girl room even when you and and possible future sisters are grown. But doing these things is so much fun, because it makes having a daughter on her way so much more real! As always, very much looking forward to meeting you, sweet girl.

Day 93 - Thursday, June 28, 2012
Confession: I'm updating three days at once! Whoops! Thursday, which was "today," was a super busy day with the EEs, then Auntie Em and Clare came over for dinner. After dinner we got frozen yogurt and hit up Target, where I bought your first clothes!

Also, isn't your big brother so silly? He actually was just obsessed with the tags, but it looks like he's trying to put on your tutu :)

We'll see what your style is, but for girl clothes I like bright, bold colors in simple patterns with minimal text and pictures. I also prefer patterns that are shapes and lines, not objects like flowers and butterflies and the like. I suppose that is my preferred style with boy clothes, too, since anything we buy for Roger tends to fit in those same guidelines!

I do wonder what your personality will be, fashion wise. I'm not the most fashionista femme type. When I wear make-up I get plenty of compliments, and your Auntie Em introduced me to the wonder that is good quality make-up (MAC, Urban Decay, Stila, etc). But I don't wear make-up very much, I don't tend to do my hair very fancy (it's usually one of three ways: down and straightened, down and curly (it's naturally curly--SUPER curly during pregnancy with you, my darling!), or, 90% of the time, pulled up and back. Clothes wise I'm pretty simple. My favorite outfit is yoga pants!

But here's the thing: I don't think fashion is BAD, I'm just not super into it. I'm fine if you are! I just hope that you always know your beauty is first as blood-bought beloved daughter of God, and then it's the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit before him (aka a repentant heart, not a doormat or even a shy and quiet girl, necessarily--you can be bold and talkative and have a quiet and gentle spirit. Your mama is proof in progress!) that makes you beautiful. And while it's not wrong to wear cute clothes and pretty make-up, I hope you always feel comfortable enough in your own skin to wear yoga pants with hair in a messy pony tail and zero make-up and still feel just as secure in your beauty as dressed in your fave cute outfit with perfect hair and make-up that plays up your face in all the ways that fun with make-up can :)

Of secondary, though still a priority, importance is this: I pray you marry a man, be a husband God's will for you, who finds you beautiful and sexy and breathtaking whether it's all done up for date night or all sweaty at the end of a hard workout or exhausted after giving birth. I pray he's like your daddy--sometimes your daddy gets "mushy" when I expect it. I wear an outfit I know he likes and my hair is touchable (he loves it curly but he also really loves it touchable!) and my make-up is subtle but brings out my eyes and smile (his professed favorite features of mine). Other times it catches me off guard--when I'm in yoga pants at the end of a hard day and the house has been overtaken by your brother's toys and it looks like I haven't vacuumed in months (though in reality it was yesterday) and I feel frazzled...and your daddy will see me laughing with Rog and letting the mess just be and he'll get that look and tell me that I'm the most beautiful woman in the world.

Marry a man like that, darling. Marry a man who loves you whether you "need" to lose 5 pounds or 50 (more on that "need" another day) and marry a man who truly believes you are the most beautiful woman he's ever seen yet who doesn't feel a need for other men to feel the same way. If you and a man are courting and he puts any pressure on you to look a certain way, first I pray you always let your daddy and I know and speak into it, but most of the time you want to run far, far away from that man.

To be honest, sweet daughter, no matter how much you fight, you'll experience enough pressure from yourself and the world to look a certain way in order to validate your worth. Your husband should be the safest place after Jesus to be encouraged that you were created perfectly beautiful by a perfect God and you have nothing to prove to anyway. And always, always character counts above external beauty. As with (eventual King) David, man looks at the outside but the Lord looks at the heart. Plenty of beautiful young women are ugly in God's eyes because they only worship themselves. Worship Jesus. Believe that he fights on your behalf so you may rest in him. And know that no matter what the world esteems, God made you perfectly as he wanted you to be. He has already numbered your days and the count of hairs on your head; he is knitting you in my womb down to the most minute particles of your DNA and being and he isn't getting a single atom or tiny strand of genetic code wrong.

As for me, I just cannot wait to behold face to face the beauty he is forming that is you! I love you, daughter. I pray I would continue to be redeemed so that the very best example of a woman at rest in Jesus that you can behold is me.

Day 94 - Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Today was lovely! It was nice and sunny and warm, which hasn't much been true this summer thus far. After dropping off a meal for a sweet family going through a tough time Daddy and I took your big brother to the park. Instead of a lot of words to say how wonderful it was I'll just say I can hardly wait to see you toddling alongside him!

Day 95 - Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Today was such a busy day that I'm actually catching up a day late :) Mama was pretty sure her money earning days were pretty much done, but then an opportunity sort of fell in my lap to help out another sweet mama by watching her lovelies, a 26 month old girl and 5 month old (in 4 days) boy, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I prayed about it, because three kiddos age barely 2 and under is a lot of work for a pregnant lady (well, any lady!), and I really wanted to ask Jesus for peace about it. Honestly, I expected him to say, "Pass!" but he didn't.

This was the first day, but it went really well. Daddy and I dream of a big family, both more biological siblings and some foster-to-adopted siblings. I always think that's something I would enjoy, and this is good practice! I won't lie--there will be challenges. It's hard when multiple kids have needs and I have to prioritize,  or when the two toddlers are figuring out how to share (not a toddlers first instinct!). But, by God's good grace, the timing works out well, particularly because all three share an afternoon nap time and my aching back gets to rest :)

The best part is that if we do this long term it will not only help us have a little more room to be well prepared for you (I dream of owning this incredible seat/swing as well as finding a great dresser to repurpose for you as a changing table at first and of getting your big brother this for when you are ready for his crib, not to mention wanting to load up on plenty of cloth diapers) but also we can bless a dear lady in our CG by paying her to help me out with cleaning, which also REALLY blesses me! And we're in a better position to both get a family car (Rog is already cramped and there's no room for a second car seat) and pay off our yucky debt.

So far, I enjoy having lots of little ones around even though they aren't all my own :) We'll see how feasible it is to keep up once you get here (after a break to adjust to a family of four, of course) but maybe you'll get to know the two EEs (their initials) yourself!

After the EEs left I had just enough time to quickly feed your dada and Roger and tidy up before community group. We had 8 new people (three were very active boys just like your big bro) and our home was wonderfully crowded. It was encouraging after a long time of being a tiny CG. We're praying for those whom Jesus would have stick long term and really are just so blessed by the way Jesus has called us to live in community. This is already long so I'll save it for another time but I'll just state this: know that the Gospel isn't just for you! It's for the church body, the bride, and your faith is best lived out in active community with others. I pray Daddy and I model that well for you, my darling girl.

Day 96 - Monday, June 25, 2012
It's one of those days that hardly has anything to say as far as how the day went--pretty simple day, nursing your brother through a cold. I did make a super delicious dinner that had a quinoa recipe so good that I have to blog it so I don't forget it!

Today you were super active--you won't have room to keep doing somersaults for long, so enjoy it while you can, darling lady!--and I remembered once again how much I love being pregnant. I don't love all of it, and I will say that you haven't been as friendly to my body as pregnancy with your brother, but I sure do enjoy this. Realizing that only 96 days remain, give or take a week or two, until you come is both super exciting but I also kind of hope it takes it's sweet time. With Roger I was so antsy to meet him that I just lived for the next moment--when he would finally be here. I didn't take time to enjoy the pregnancy phase and then I really missed it when it was over.

So, I'm intentionally just enjoying this time when I get to feel you in my belly, doing your dancing thing, and hopefully I can enjoy you when you get here without regretting that I "wasted" pregnancy. Tomorrow's a busy day so I need to get me some sleep...if your dancing antics let me :)

Day 97 - Sunday, June 24, 2012
I love Sundays! This was a busy one...but hopefully our last busy one for a little while :) For the last 10 weeks your Daddy and I were taking a class on how to be volunteer biblical counselors, and that was really great, but made for crazy Sundays. Today we had a training to be a mentor couple for pre-marital couples and it was really wonderful to have the training but we really missed your big brother.

Because Jesus is a gracious God, we had wonderful friends who spent the whole day with Rog but it sure was weird being at church without him! In one of my many trips to the bathroom in our 5+ hours at the church (you sure love to dance on my bladder, baby girl!) I found myself staring wistfully at the children's room he's normally in (it has big, open windows) and wishing that he was in there, that I could watch him play and be silly.

Here's a not-very-well-kept secret, Juliet--your daddy and I just love being parents! We adore your big brother and we're already enthralled with you. Sometimes when I feel you kicking around I just get so excited to meet you! I can't wait to kiss your little belly, nuzzle your sweet neck, marvel at your teeny fingers and toes, smell your amazing newborn smell, and be amazed that we ever had a baby as tiny as you start out when we realize just how big your big brother has become since he was born!

Best of all, by God's grace, I really look forward to seeing how you grow into your own little face as God made you to look. I can't wait to see what color your eyes are, if you're quiet and calm or rowdy and rambunctious, and I pray we get to watch you grow to love and adore Jesus.

Today's entry is a bit long, but I want to finish with this: someone today was telling me how much they love your name, what a perfect name it is. I agree! I pray it embodies a woman who is delicate, feminine, and sweet but also fierce, firm in her foundation in Christ, and fearless in her faith. You, my darling Juliet, are beloved and I pray that your daddy and I allow Jesus to work through us as humble and repentant parents to raise you to be this godly woman God created you to be!

Day 98 - Saturday, June 23, 2012
What a busy day! It doesn't seem that big of a deal--we just did some unpacking (your mama and daddy might have left about 40% of our upstairs unpacked for the last 10 weeks that we've lived here!) and then your dada had an appointment at the Apple store to get his Macbook checked out. It was like going to the computer doctor :)

Here's the problem: unpacking wasn't so bad, but both your daddy and I agree that going to Bellevue Square is just about the most life sucking thing ever. We pretty much just hate it, especially on a Saturday. It's crowded and people tend to feel very entitled to not care about others  in everything from parking to cutting in line for the elevator (and we sometimes also feel very entitled, too, which doesn't help matters--we're sinners, too!) and so it can be not very fun. If you are a girl who loves shopping your daddy and I will pray and lean into Jesus to both shepherd you well but also bless you by going and asking Jesus to help us have a good attitude, I promise, but we are not natural shopping-lovers :)

I will say this: I am convicted that our world places SO much emphasis on looks. Darling girl, I pray that I am the first and best tangible example of embracing my looks and body as Jesus created me. I confess I care too much about my imperfect teeth, my flat facial profile, the size of my _____ (fill in the blank), how I wish this were smaller or that were straighter or this were slimmer or that were tapered differently...it's not wrong to desire to be beautiful. God delights in beauty! But, as a woman and as your mother, I need you to know that our God delights in the beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit (more on what that means another day! It doesn't mean doormat!), the beauty of a humble heart, the beauty of a tender daughter who delights in him and rests in how beautiful he says you are.

I am your mama and I'm certain you'll be gorgeous. I look at your big brother and I couldn't fathom a more perfectly constructed child and I have no doubt I'll feel the same about you. But the tragedy is that no matter how beautiful you are, this world will beat you and drag you down. It will tell you that your worth is in being so beautiful that every boy wants to make you his property and spend money on you and every girl will be jealous. LIES! I pray even now, Juliet, that not only does our God protect you from these lies but that he will by his grace allow your daddy and I to instruct you in how to combat them with truth from the Bible and surrender to what Jesus says about you no matter how "true" the lies seem.

You are beautiful. You are exactly as God made and intended you to be. He does not screw up or get things slightly wrong or horribly wrong. I pray you grow in grace and that I would allow Jesus to transform my heart in such a way that you will find no hypocrisy in me with regards to how I see myself, as if I say you are beautiful but I am gross then you will believe that you also are gross. I pray that when I sinfully listen to the world, and our enemy's, lies about my beauty in God's sight that I would repent. Most of all, I pray that you would delight in Jesus and believe him about who he says you are.

Day 99 - Friday, June 22, 2012

Today was pretty great! The weather was crummy but the people were delightful :)

First, your big brother and I got to meet the sweetest little girl and I have a cool story for you. Had Roger been a girl his name would have been Claire Elizabeth. Daddy and I thought that would be our first daughter's name no matter what, but then when we found out I was pregnant with you it just didn't feel right as your name if you were a girl. That's what led us to Juliet Elise, which is just perfectly your perfect name :)

Meanwhile, dear friends of ours who had been trying for almost three years to have or adopt a baby were able to adopt the most perfect little girl, and guess what? They chose to name her Claire Elizabeth! They didn't know that was the girl name we had, but then we knew at least one reason why Jesus led us away from that name for you :) Another cool coincidence is that baby Claire was born the day before Roger's first birthday so they're almost exactly a year apart--would be had it not been a leap year!

So, after a lovely late lunch on the Seattle waterfront with Claire and her mama, your daddy met up with us and we came back to the eastside to celebrate another Clare! This time it was our darling Clare from CG, and it was her graduation from Eastside Academy. Praise Jesus, it wasn't just a celebration of human achievement, of pomp and circumstance, but of grace and redemption! We love Clare and her love for Jesus blesses our whole family, especially Roger :)

After the graduation we came home and now your tired mama needs sleep! But my thought for you today is this, baby girl: you'll hear it all throughout your life, I hope, but your daddy and I always care first and foremost that you worship Jesus. This does mean that we pray you'll worship him in everything: heart, thought, intent, with your mind and effort, etc. Maybe for you that will include high grades and academic flourish. Maybe you'll work hard unto Jesus, not man or your own glory, and you won't have the best grades ever. That's truly ok--we only care that you passionately pursue Jesus, respond with a soft heart to the care and instruction your daddy and I invest in you, and embrace the girl and then woman Jesus made you to be. We pray you are humble, repent quickly, and love grace with an effervescence that is contagious.

As always, my beloved daughter, I ache to meet you. I do so praise Jesus that we're one day closer. Enjoy your acrobatic routine in the womb tonight :)

Day 100 - Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hello, sweet Juliet!

Today was lovely! Bruno Mars' The Lazy Song kept playing in my head. We've had a really busy week and face a busy weekend so today was my do nothing, go nowhere, see no one day. It was honestly quite grand! I needed it, too, as you are much lower than your big brother was and I've had a lot more back pain than last time. Being 18 months older and 15 pounds heavier hasn't helped much but I'm doing the best I can with it :)

I would like you to know this about today: there was a moment where I was playing with your brother and delighting in how much I just adore his smiling face. Suddenly a quick yearning washed over me--I imagined laughing and playing with you, and just how sweetly different it will be delighting in a little girl. I wondered what you'll look like--like a more feminine form of your big bro? Totally different? Darker hair? Hopefully more hair! But, darling baby girl, I realized just how much I cannot wait to meet you! You know I prefer you stay warm and cozy for a minimum of 100 days, but by the grace of God I sure look forward to getting to know you outside the womb!

Tomorrow we bust into the double digits!

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