I have been poring over journals from the last year. I got really emotional before Heidi’s first birthday (February 8), thinking about all that God has done in my life in one short year. I spent most of her pregnancy fighting a really unhealthy fear of birth, wrestling with the decision to call five beautiful, happy, healthy children the complete picture or to leave the door open for the possibility of more. The days leading up to her birth were scary for me. God gave me a word to hang onto. And I clung to it.
And that is what he gave me. Complete mercy. We made it through. (You can read the story of her birth here.) This little child has our entire family completely wrapped around her tiny perfect fingers. Somehow, having her in our home makes us all more loving, as if everyone recognizes that there is something really special about a baby. She is such a beautiful light in this world. The moment she was born was probably the happiest moment of my life. Such deep relief. Such intense and pure joy.
Over this past year, when life felt really out of control, God has been gracious to give me new ways to deal with having a lot of tiny people to care for. We started quiet time (read more about that here), and I now have one solid hour to myself every day. This is huge. Randy got a new job, which has taken a lot of the desperation out of our day-to-day lives. We have created a schedule with our music students that is consistent and gives us a couple of days a week where no one is coming over to the house. We have begun to see our children settling into things that they are really passionate about. The rhythm of our days is generally more settled and focused. The girls are older now and are amazing helpers.
Greater than any of these things, God has done a miracle in my heart. He has used this year to soften me and prepare me for an amazing opportunity. An opportunity I came very close to missing forever.
He is giving us another baby.
I am 12 weeks pregnant. I am looking forward to once again seeing a face that has never before been seen. It is a face I will recognize instantly as part of this family. Belonging to God, given to us. And deeper and deeper, love continues to grow.