Friday, September 14, 2012

the best and worst thing about being pregnant (hint: it's the same thing)

I think about it when my shoes are hitting the pavement -- when I'm running up that hill or through that long stretch of sun.

I think about how they say you can totally exercise up to the level of intensity that you did before you were pregnant.  "Up To" must be the key words here, because I'm a pretty athletic, agile person, and there's no way I can exercise at the level of intensity that I did before I was pregnant.  If you are one of those women who can, I would love to know who you are, because right now, I'm not sure they exist.

And I know it's normal to huff and puff a little bit more; I know it's normal to stop and rest and little bit more; I know it's normal to have to pace myself a little bit more.  It's normal, but it doesn't mean I like it.

Why?

Because I'm not in control.

And that's the worst thing about being pregnant.

Photo from Flickr by h.koppdelaney

And in some ways, it's just as frustrating as the last time to come to this reality -- to accept my limits as an athlete, as a mother, as a cook, as a wife, as a cleaner, as a child of God.  In all areas, I cannot push myself the way I did before I was pregnant.  I have to say no to some workouts.  I have to put on Sesame Street some mornings.  I have to put the veggies aside for a few months in order to eat something.  I have to take a nap instead of spending an afternoon with my husband.  I have to let the house go to shambles a little bit more than I'd like.  And I have to admit that God is in control.

And that's the best thing about being pregnant.

The whole process centers on the beautiful reality that nothing is in my hands -- not this little life whom I have yet to meet, not my daughter, not my own life.  I have responsibilities, yes -- but ultimately, God is and has always been the One conducting the symphony here.

In general, I would say that this pregnancy has been slightly more difficult physically, but worlds better mentally.  Because mentally, I knew what to expect.  Last time, God taught me in leaps and bounds how much fake control I had to relinquish, and I've carried that every day of being a mom.  So this time, before I even got pregnant, I knew what I was getting into.

It's still hard.  It's still frustrating.  It's still discouraging.

But also it's beautiful.  Exciting.  Life-giving (quite literally).

So as I have to stop myself on a run for the fourth or fifth time, I call upon the Lord and ask Him for the strength to accept my limitations -- physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

And I thank Him for the opportunity to carry life and (re-)learn that life is His to give and take away -- that I am not in control.

  • How have you learned to accept your limitations?
  • When was a time that God taught you that you are not in control of your life?

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