Do you know what it is like to have plenty? Sometimes it is so easy to get stuck in hard seasons. But there are also seasons of plenty. There are times when, like Elijah, we get to rest under a Juniper tree. There are times when, just like Elijah, we find ourselves saying, “God, it is enough” and then often you will find that He overwhelms you with good gifts that only He can orchestrate.
At times I feel like it has taken me a full nine months to mentally feel prepared for this new baby to join our family. In some ways it has been an easy pregnancy no swollen feet, not much heartburn. In other ways it has felt very difficult due to prolonged morning sickness, next level exhaustion (in part because of having two other kiddos in very busy stages of life), and then a low lying placenta resulting in the doctor saying that if the position did not shift it would be very likely that I would need to have a C-section. With my other two births my parents have been able to fly over and even one of my brothers came the last time around. Now boarders are closed to visitors, and we just finished a four-week lock down in the city where we live due to a rise in Covid cases.
This season has felt weary at times—more then I could handle physically and emotionally. The stress has often left me weary. So much energy spent trying to keep the house somewhat clean, trying to parent and yelling at my kids far too often, trying to find peace in a neighborhood that often feels chaotic. Trying to deal with heat rash, power blackouts and water going off while attempting (and often failing) to maintain a good attitude. It has been a season-a challenging season at that and then…
And then God once again has shown me that He sees, He knows, He provides in ways that are so beyond what I could even plan. A friend recently offered to let us stay in her flat for the next few months while she is out of the country. It is a beautiful three bedroom flat over looking the ocean with a veranda that is the size of the place where we currently stay. It has a hot shower, air conditioning and is in such a peaceful neighborhood. Honestly, it is the perfect place to prepare for and recover from birth. To top it all off, a lady even comes once a week to help with general house cleaning! I about cried the other day watching the sun setting over the ocean. I’ve missed so much the beauty of nature and just having space to mentally relax away from fist fights breaking out in our compound or literally wading through the giant mud puddle in our front yard to hang up clothes. Peace, a place to get away and rest is such a beautiful gift.
Life can feel at times like a string of endless challenges and yet so often there are places provided of sweet retreat. I remember after my twin sister passed away my mom’s aunt and uncle paid for us to come and spend time at a guesthouse they managed on Mombasa Kenya’s beautiful coast. The guesthouse’s name was Amani Acres. Amani is the Swahili word for peace and that guesthouse truly was a place of peace coming after an especially traumatic season.
I was reading Philippians 4 :12-13 this week which says, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” He gives strength. He gives peace. He moves, and He provides.
As my due date approaches this Saturday, I feel so surrounded by love and community. So many people have been praying all over the world for us and even helping carry us financially during this time of transition leaving us with a feeling of plenty after coming from a dry place. At my last doctor’s visit, the ultrasound even showed that the placenta has sifted enough that my doctor is now comfortable with me trying for a natural delivery, a relief to hear and yet another way that we see God working.
Just this week we settled on a name for our sweet baby girl—Abigail Jane. Abigail means “my father’s delight” and Jane means “God is gracious”. In this place, this space, this season we feel the delight of our Father so clearly, and we know that Abigail will bring so much delight to our little family. God has been so gracious to us, and we are so grateful for His love and care.