March is, basically, over.
I keep looking at the calendar and thinking, for one, that there are not that many weeks left between tomorrow and my slated due date (which, for the record, I don't think baby will hit. I'm pretty sure he's going to be an early bird). I'm going on 35 weeks, now.
Secondly, when I look at the calendar, I see lines through every week of this month, marking how often and how long my husband has been gone. He's busy learning the ropes of his new job and I'm doing my best to be grateful, optimistic and happy at home, day in, day out, with an active toddler and a surprisingly all-hours-of-the-day (and night) active unborn child.
I am tired. I won't say I'm not. I'm soaking up Joel's nap time right now like it's a lifeline. I think I think that the more I sleep when I can, the less likely I'll turn into a freak of nature once this baby arrives and changes life as we know it. The crazy that accompanies bringing a new life home is unavoidable. I'd just like to not be a total disaster if at all possible. Trust me, you don't want to see me that sleep deprived. It's scary.
Oh yeah, and of course we'll be moving soon after. Change, change. Turn, turn.
A few days ago, I had a serious, serious pit day. It didn't start out that way. I didn't wake up intending to twirl a bad attitude around my finger, reminding me constantly of all the things that were hard and unsavory right now. I didn't intend to feel isolated and lonely on a gorgeous, sunny day. But that's what happened. Combined with a poor night of sleep (told you, fatigue is a bad, bad thing) and just plain weariness over not having my husband home... not to mention just the wear and tear it takes on a body to create a body... I was over that day before that day had even begun.
And when Joel threw a tantrum because his Crayons wouldn't lay "just so" in the box and proceeded to pitch a hissy fit, I tried, at first, to console and reason and eventually I turned away and left him to cope with his color dissatisfaction... and I cried. I sat on the floor with my two-year-old, stared out the open deck door and just cried. It was 9 a.m. and the day stretched before us, not with possibility and opportunity, but just plain old hours. So many until bedtime would return. And no relief, no break, no hug, no consolation, no one else to depend on in sight.
I shot a desperate email off to my best friend, because as a stay-at-home-mom, if I didn't have access to the internet I would turn so many different shades of crazy that you would all stand in line to form an intervention proceeding. I wrote massive, rambling, poor-grammatically-formed paragraphs and added a desperate, "Pray for me over there!" plea to the closing before I almost angrily punched "send". There. Someone else in the world knew.
An hour or more later, my phone buzzes with a text. I actually thought it might be her, telling me she got my email and she loves me and is praying for me. What I didn't expect was to see that yes, it was her, but she wasn't just giving me a faraway virtual pat on the head. She told me that she and her little girl were on their way to see me and to hang out with us for a few hours. And she was bringing me Starbucks (can you believe I live in an area where a Starbucks is nowhere in sight?!) I will also add that she lives a good 2+ hours away. I stood at my kitchen counter and bawled my eyes out.
It was an ugly cry.
It was a relieved cry.
It was an, "I can't believe I am so loved." cry.
And as I felt my heart lift and hope stir around, I was reminded of what I had read in my Bible earlier. About how our names are written on God's palms... how He doesn't forget us. He doesn't get too busy. He doesn't fail to recognize when we're worn thin. And it's so beautiful when a simple human relationship between girlfriends reflects God's heart. That a human relationship points our eyes back to the Creator of friendship and the need for connecting and caring and standing in the gap for one another.
It makes me think how important we are to each other. How valuable and precious friendships are. How valuable taking advantage of those moments are. How sending a card is never a bad idea. That if all you can do is send an email or a Facebook message, then you do that. You ask how people really are and you really bite your tongue until they fully answer and dump it all in front of you and wait for you to tell them that something in that is still beautiful and worthy. We need each other. We need each other so much.
I think it's just beautiful all the unique ways that God finds to meet our needs.
Only God can use a simple but deeply rooted friendship and an emotionally charged bad morning to remind us... to remind me... that He sees. That when I feel forgotten and on my own and just can't take another waddling step - that He's still there, willing and able to meet my needs in ways that will have me hunched over and crying my eyes red with gratitude. I'm so thankful for the deep, deep love of my friends.
And in giving thanks, my eyes are pushed higher and I find myself so humbled and so thankful that God loves me just that much.
It is not because God isn't big enough that we need community. He knows our frames and it's because of His love that we love. That we want to give and meet needs and have needs met and be given back to in return. We were built for relationship. We were built for relationship with God and that love, that communion with Him, overflows into our interactions with one another. Jamie loves me so much that she didn't even finish reading my email before she shut things down, grabbed the diaper bag and her adorable toddler and hit the road. But it's because she loves God that she loves me that much in the first place.
We love because He loves. Because He first loved... I am so thankful to have been so specifically and carefully and thoughtfully reminded.
"Earthly love... is temporal and slight
so that it has to be given again
and again in order for us
to feel any sense of security;
but God's love, God's voice and presence,
would instill our souls with such
affirmation we would need nothing
more and would cause us
to love other people
so much we would be
willing to die for them..."
~ Donald Miller, "Searching for God Knows What"