320769_191537294328924_1776560035_n-1 You can almost hear people form the thought before the words pass over their lips these days - "you're still pregnant?!"  I purposefully did not tell most people the due date this time, but the flip side of that is that by looking at me, everyone expected this baby to spill onto the floor mid-stride about a month ago.  My belly button is quite literally facing the ground.  But my due date is still a couple days away.  So yes, I'm still pregnant.  And I'm waiting.

The waiting was much tougher the first time.  I couldn't imagine not being pregnant.  I had nothing to compare the other side of pregnancy to.  Like many first-time moms, I felt as though I would never deliver my baby, despite what any sound logic may have told me.  In the days after I passed my due date with Ian, my cousin told me "don't worry, you won't be pregnant forever...and if you are then you will be the most famous pregnant woman ever!"  It was the laugh I needed at that time.

This time I am well aware that once this sweet boy is born, there's no "putting him back".  He's out to stay.  So I'm trying to enjoy this time as the three of us...and the moments that I have to myself right now which will soon take an indefinite leave of absence.

This is a very brief period of waiting.  There is a date at which he can no longer stay in there.  But sometimes we experience seasons of waiting when there is no cut-off date.  We have nothing to hold onto that can tell us when it's going to end.  Our senior pastor spoke to this thought last fall, describing times like this (waiting with an expectation of when it will pass) as anticipating...and times when we have no picture of the "end" as times of true waiting.  He said "when you've waited past the point that seems reasonable, that's when true waiting begins."

It's nap time right now, which means it's my turn to rest.  Laying on my bed, feeling this sweet baby wiggle inside me, my mind rolls over this idea of waiting.  The two verses that keep cycling through my head are...

"The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness.  Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9

"'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways Your ways,' declares the Lord.  'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."  Isaiah 55:8-9

When God asks us to wait, He is not putting us off because He busy with other things.  Waiting is not the precursor to the process.  Waiting is a part of the process...a vital part.  What happens in waiting shapes who we are when the next part comes.  It changes us and prepares us for what is to come.  Waiting is not idle time.  It is invaluable time.  Whether we are waiting for labor, an opportunity, change, healing, answers, relief, provision - waiting is an irreplacable step in the process.

We can waste that time by anxiously trying to drag ourselves out of it.  Or we can embrace it by surrendering to the One that brought us there, believing that His heart for us is good, and leaning into Him with deep trust.

So there's my little afternoon thought on the bigger picture of waiting.  And in the smaller picture, who knows when this baby will come.  Maybe tonight.  Maybe two weeks from tonight.  I guess he gets to set the pace for this one.  I'll keep you updated!