100 Days, Round 2: 69-60

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Days 63-60 Saturday, July 28, 2012 - Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I have to apologize for not writing individual posts for the last few days--this sickness is just kicking my butt! Plus, we decided to switch watching the EEs from Tuesday/Thursday to Monday/Tuesday. The main reason is that I'm getting pregnant enough (31.5 weeks, or 7 months as of Sunday) that 8 hours with 3 kids is just getting a bit rough, so doing it for two days in a row on 5 days "rest" (funny that now I think of just chasing your big brother around all day is "rest" since there's not a lot restful about it!) is helping a lot. But that makes Mondays and Tuesdays very long and exhausting for your super pregnant mama :)

I do want to tell you one thing: I want to tell you how your daddy and I met. We celebrated 6 years of knowing one another on Saturday and I was reminded what a sweet story we have because we have such a gracious God!

I was a teacher who was supposed to teach summer school; unfortunately, that fell through last minute when I was already all set to sublet a friend's apartment for the summer. All of my friends left for the summer, I didn't know anyone, and to be honest I was rather bored out of my mind! As you well know, I love me some sports and I read an article in which a sportswriter for ESPN named Skip Bayless said horribly mean things about my beloved Adam Morrison from the Zags. That article linked to another one by Skip, this time bashing the Seattle Seahawks. You well know that Superbowl XL was one of the worst sports of experiences of my entire life. UGH.

So, then, it occurred to me to write to another sportswriter for ESPN, a guy I really enjoy and tend to agree with named Bill "The Sports Guy" Simmons. One night was re-searching for the articles I had read, so I googled "Skip Bayless, Seahawks, Adam Morrison" and one of the first results was to a blog. I knew it wasn't the article I was looking for but the blurb of the person's writing captured my attention so I clicked through.

The blog was awesome. I wasn't sure if it was a man or woman but I assumed man since not a ton of women have blogs centered on sports and politics :) Everything I saw just made me like the person more: he lived near Seattle--I was in North Carolina and homesick for Washington State, planning to move to Seattle in a year or two; he went to Gonzaga; he was a really great writer, articulate and smart; he was even a professing Christian! So I decided to send him a note that told him the reasons we should be friends, but that I sure didn't want any funny [read: romantic] business!

Long story short, hard as we tried not to like each other, we could hardly stay away. Two weeks after that very first note I sent we ended up having a long conversation via instant messaging. After that conversation, on July 28, 2006, your daddy thought, "I'm going to marry that woman." And marry me he did :)

Random awesome fact: we invited Skip Bayless, Adam Morrison, and Bill Simmons to our wedding, including a letter with each invite regarding how they played a role in our meeting. Skip Bayless not only sent a kindly written "no" RSVP, but he also showed our invitation and picture and talked about us on the air on ESPN on a show called Cold Pizza! How cool is that? We didn't see it, but a guy Jason worked with pointed to our wedding invitation on a bulletin board at their office and said, "Dude, I saw you and that invitation on ESPN this morning." So our love story is sorta famous :)

Our 5 year anniversary is exactly 3 weeks before your due date, one of many reasons I hope you don't decide to come early! We're planning our first real getaway, 2 nights and 3 days in a gorgeous room in the Columbia River Gorge with some time in Portland, for that weekend.

The best part of marriage to your daddy is that he's a much better man now than the one I first met and was enamored with. Just this weekend he was telling me how he sees that he's allowed his heart to begin to lean back toward works, feeling like his worth comes from the ways he serves at church and works hard for our family. He wants relationship with Jesus, the truth that he's desperately in need of Christ every day and not a single thing can make him deserve Jesus or blessings any more or less, to be at the center. And he meant it--he's already turning toward Jesus more and refusing to stay the same. He's relying more on the Spirit and repenting and that is the mark of a truly godly man. I love that you get to grow up with him as your daddy, sweet girl! I pray you marry a man like him, who treasures you, loves Jesus, and refuses to give into his sinful religious heart.

So, then, we're headed into the 50s tomorrow! Oy! We're almost halfway through this series and every day we're just a bit closer to meeting you in person. How I pray Jesus' will is that you grow and thrive and I get to hear your sweet laughter fill our home!

Day 64- Friday, July 27, 2012

This is a sad day, sweet daughter. It was hard for me personally, as a tiny catch in my throat escalated into a cough that today had me hardly able to breathe. After loving and gracious serving help from friends, a trip to urgent care and a prescribed inhaler later I'm breathing a little better.

Thankfully, you are continually showing all signs of health, kicking away as much as ever. For this I am very grateful. You see, today marked the birth of Samuel Thomas Hurst, the fourth son to Pastor Thomas and his sweet wife Angie, who is battling late stage 3 colon cancer. After only about two hours, today also marked the death of Samuel.

My heart is heavy with grieving with them. I had prayed you and Samuel, who would have only been likely a month or so apart in age, would play in the nursery at church together. Jesus' good will was to, I believe, bring Samuel into his presence to laugh and dance and play in heaven. Samuel's gain in knowing Jesus face to face beginning today is our loss at not getting to know him in this life. The tears shed are of inconceivable suffering and grief at his short earthly life mingled with inexpressible joy at the sweet grace Samuel gets to experience in already being with Jesus.

I praise Jesus for your continued health and life, darling daughter. I continue to ask for a long and healthy life on this earth for you, but pray that ultimately Jesus has your name in his Book of [Eternal] Life. I pray I would exemplify well to you what it is to weep with those who weep while not mourning as those who have no hope.

You are beloved, precious Juliet, and today I am reminded once again that your life is a gift, one which is held in the Father's good and trustworthy hands. And what a beautiful and treasured and beloved blessing of a gift you are.

Day 65 - Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hello, sweet girl. I'ma be straight up with you--I'm so tired I want to cry. So, allow me to simply share a verse that's on my heart today and I pray it speaks to you without me waxing philosophical about what it means :)

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. [James 1:5, ESV]

Amen and amen. Love you, Juliet.

Day 66 - Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Since yesterday was a doozy today will be short and sweet: we had your 30 week check-up. A few measurements of my fundus (aka uterus size, basically) and checking for your heartbeat we had the thumbs up that by all means you appear to continue to be healthy and thriving. This must make you happy to hear since you just kicked me! You're still riding quite high (have I mentioned that? After being lower than Roger you moved right on up, nice and high like he was) and we think your head is down and to the right, your bum up and to the left, and your legs / feet up and to the right because I feel the hardest movements on the upper right side of my tum and smaller movements to the bottom right. And sometimes I can feel you pushing your bum out to the upper left/middle, so I rub it and you seem to like that :) Pretty stinking cute!

And that is all--I just enjoy feeling you move and grow! You move tons and tons so it's a good thing I like it :) Love you, sweet Juliet!

Day 67 - Tuesday, July 24, 2012

This was a sweet day! We started our first evening of splitting our community group so that only the women met with one another while the daddies stayed home; next week we'll switch and women will stay home while the men meet. It was a blessing to be with the women from our CG, and I'm excited to see where Jesus takes us.

I was blessed by reading an article today about how wrong we are about sanctification. It was written by Tullian Tchividjian, whom I just love. He's a man who preaches grace according to the Bible--free, unlimited, and all about Jesus and his goodness and not a thing to do with us. For the longest time I thought grace was that Jesus died for me so I better obey him so I could deserve his grace. That's a false, false, false gospel. If we can do anything to earn Jesus' grace then that means his death is in vain.

The article itself is powerful, and I want to sum it up for you: any time you start looking at your sin and thinking you need to "work" on it, that in itself is sin and you need to repent. Any time you look at your sin and start thinking you've come so far and it's time to focus on something else, that is sin and you need to repent. Basically, any time your eyes are on you then they aren't on Jesus. It's not that you shouldn't be aware of your sin, but allow me to lay out two scenarios for you.

A: You see sin (be it because you just notice something you don't like, someone else points it out to you, or you're sitting and trying to figure out the ways you want to be "better," etc) and so you start "working" on it. Maybe you lay out some good plans for how to avoid the sin, or you start asking God to make you stop sinning. Maybe you meet with a "good Christian female friend" for "accountability" and she gives you all sorts of advice for how to stop sinning. Maybe you look up verses about why the sin is so bad and you memorize them and post them all over. But the moral of the story is at the center of all of this is your sin and how it's yucky and needs to stop.

B: You are drawing near to Jesus by consistently crying out to the Spirit to help you receive grace and joy and rest and freedom in Christ. As you're doing this Jesus reveals to you sin that has grieved him and he convicts you and calls you to repentance. You cry out to him for forgiveness and ask for the grace and awareness of his presence to continue to turn in repentance as you walk forward with Jesus. You may do some things similar to scenario A--discuss what Jesus showed you with someone you love who also loves Jesus, or meditate on scriptures that Jesus shows you as you're communing with him that directly relate to the sin he revealed in you. The moral of the story here is that Jesus, and not you or your sin, is at the center.

Sweet girl, I pray your consistent pattern is scenario B. I pray that your daddy and I model this well for you, that we don't teach you the false Gospel of "clean yourself up by loving Jesus enough to stop sinning." I pray that as Jesus reveals to me my own idolatry of trying to be mature and wise and sanctified and redeemed on my own power I will continually repent and cry out for Jesus to forgive my unbelief and give me the grace to repent and cleave to him.

This is a lot, darling, but it's important. I pray that always, always, always when you think of me the first words that jump to your mind are, "Jesus' grace!" May I humbly get over myself so that this may be true of my mothering.

Day 68 - Monday, July 23, 2012

I'll start with the good news: we have SO many adorable clothes for you! Suddenly I need to buy very little for at least the first 6 months. Sadly, that means LOTS of sorting is in my future! But as I imagine you in them I just get a wee bit giddy. So grateful for the grace of having a son and then a daughter, because it's just so fun to be doing everything different :)

The bad news is I'm super tired and grouchy. For one, Ichiro, arguably one of the best Mariners of all time, became a Yankee today. I know he's mostly washed up and a mere shadow of the player he once was, but Juliet, there are four things we DESPISE in our home: sin, Satan, the New York Yankees, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. To add insult to injury, we played the Yankees at home tonight and I had to watch him play against us in pukealicious Yankee garb. He even made the final out. The Mariners suck so bad that it's painful but seeing Ichiro, OUR Ichiro, as a Yankee is just depressing.

Beyond that, my body is just hurting and I'm worn down and I have a LONG week ahead and there's something wrong with my lungs. I have all the symptoms of a cold turned into a nasty cough...except a cold. It's the weirdest thing that's ever happened in my life. Odd. So...today is a day where I'm grateful that, Lord willing, there's a tomorrow. And I'm one day closer to meeting you :)

Day 69 - Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fact: this is the same picture I used in the 60s post for Roger's countdown. I tried to pick a better one but they're all either weird and psychadelic or speed signs. I have nothing against either but I'm just not feeling those so this is our best bet :)

Two things from today:

1. I was so grateful for your sweet daddy today. I'm feeling fat and ugly and I don't like how I look and truth be told I feel even worse. My back aches so much that at times I can barely walk, and then my hips feel like I'm about 90 years old and my abductor/groin injury is just awful. But you know what? Your lovely daddy saw me and instead of telling me to buck up or get over it or being law-filled he was tender and gracious and loving. How I pray you marry a man like your daddy, sweet Juliet.

2. You were DANCING earlier and it reminded me that this pregnancy being tough is ok. It's no less glorious or beautiful than your brother's (well, my pregnancy with your brother) just because his was easier. Serving you well as your mama will be hard some days and easy other days and a mess of the two most days. Serving you now with my body looking and feeling awful? That's hard. Feeling you dance and knowing that you're healthy and growing as my body serves you? That's beautiful. And truth be told, while I'd rather feel glowing and vibrant I rest in God's will that I be sanctified through a hard pregnancy.

I love you, daughter. Hard as this has been, I know I'll miss having you inside of me. This is a precious time, and I won't deny the hardship it has been but I will also embrace the joy of this gift, getting to grow you in my body. Pregnancy is a privilege that many women ache to know and I pray I will have a grateful heart.

I embrace these next weeks, however many there are, likely 8-12, of enjoying pregnancy with you. I do very much look forward to meeting you in person, though, darling girl. I am in tears as I rejoice in God's good grace of giving me an amazing husband and then a son and now a daughter. I am blessed and you are a blessing.

Love you, Juliet.

What's This About?

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.

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