Early to Rise Challenge: Days 27 & 28

Last night's regularly-scheduled blogging was interrupted for a frustrating and ultimately fruitless four hours of contraction-counting.  I really hope this baby gets here soon, because the anticipation is driving me nuts.  For two hours, the contractions were extremely regular and just one minute away from when the hospital recommends trekking over to Labor & Delivery, and then they started slowing down.  So as a result, today's post is a double-feature.

Day 27: Turn Frustrations into Gratitude

The topic is extremely apt, given the evening of false labor.  I think the frustration was made worse by an almost superstitious belief that, per Murphy's Law, the fact that I used yesterday morning to get a crockpot meal all ready to go was going to virtually guarantee that real labor would start before dinner time.  Alas, no.  But the chicken cacchiatore was mighty tasty nonetheless.  Even when it comes with a side order of Braxton-Hicks.

Joy is something I have chronic difficulty experiencing, and lately it's been much worse.  The fatigue, the discomfort, and the fact that it now takes me forty minutes after waking up to navigate out of bed, dress, do a couple of physical therapy stretches, and migrate down to the kitchen are all combining to put me in a bad mood every morning.

But starting Tuesday, I have been bombarded by reminders to hold onto joy.  A Facebook friend as well as a fellow blogger each posted variations of the following quote:

Our MOPS devotional time was spent on joy as well.  And then, of course, there's the Day 27 topic.  Seems like God may be trying to tell me something...

It's an effort to be joyful.  But I really am grateful that, unlike many of my friends, my pregnancy is full-term and that none of the complications I am having are really threatening the immediate or long-term health of either me or the little girl inside my womb.  And I try to remind myself that each day that I'm not yet getting to hold my new daughter is another day that I can spend more time loving and listening to the two children running around at my feet right now.  Also, even though my reduced speed is cutting into my me-time in the morning, the early rising still lets me be ready to tend to their needs as soon as they tumble out of bed.

As for the rest of the joy, that really brings us to the next topic.

Day 28: Begin Your Day With Prayer

I confess that daily quiet times are a struggle for me.  I was doing well for a time, but it's worse again now that I finished up the Malachi study yesterday and have to fall back on self-directed study and prayer.  Distractions are a huge problem for me, and outside direction (like a guided study) often helps relieve some of that.

But when I do manage to have daily quiet times for Bible study and prayer, I can focus so much better on the bigger picture of God and His creation, and less on the relatively trivial frustrations of daily life.  (Such as the fact that little Sunshine didn't nap today and just wandered in to cheerfully announce that her clock is yellow.  And the disturbing trend that she has been failing to nap two or three times each week - I'm afraid she's about to grow out of her nap just as the new baby gets here...)

Until the baby gets here and throws everything into complete chaos, I'm going to keep trying to squeeze in a quiet time every morning.  And to pray for the joy that needs to come back into my life.


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