Family

Pride and My Eyes

Be Thou My Vision

Last Wednesday, I woke up feeling rough. My last days of pregnancy have never been characterized as fun and refreshing. I’d say “trying and exhausting” would be a more accurate depiction, and maybe some other colorful descriptives I probably shouldn’t share here.

I don’t sleep well at all in my “terminal stages of pregnancy”, as Michael Scott would refer to it. I’m actually leaps and bounds more okay with this reality than I was 4 1/2 years ago, during my last trimester with Abe. I used to worship sleep well above pretty much everything else, and not being able to get enough of it seriously and literally would ruin my life. It’s still embarrassing to admit that. And what I find so absurd about that time, looking back, is that I didn’t have a young child to care for while I was pregnant. And by the end of my third trimester, I was on partial bed rest and had absolutely no responsibilities but to simply lay around and do nothing. What did I have to be so bent out of shape about? Nothing. However, I digress.

As my eyes barely opened that morning, I became immediately aware of the soreness imparted by the breath taking contractions from the evening before paired with a restless night in bed. I looked at my phone for a few moments to adjust my eyes to being open, and slowly forced myself to sit up. Our bed doesn’t currently have a frame, so it sits on the floor. This is fine, for a normal-bodied human. But for me, physically getting up out bed makes me feel as though my eye balls are for-realsies going to pop out of my face as I push myself in an upward motion. It’s making me giggle thinking about it, but it’s never funny when the ordeal is taking place.

I walked into the living room to get a glance at my tiny man, exchanged morning greetings, and then waddled my way into the kitchen for my usual glass of lemon water. I turned around and Daniel came up to hug me, and I told him I needed Abe to go to daycare for the day because I was just not going to be able to care for him. It frazzled him a bit, as getting Abe ready would put him a few minutes behind for work. Abe wasn’t happy about the sudden change in his routine, as he doesn’t go to daycare anymore, except for maybe once a month when I really need him to (our daycare is wonderful and always has a spot open for him). We managed to get him dressed through the groans and the objections, and off they went out the door, leaving me sitting on the couch wondering what to do.

Normally, I’d start making myself breakfast, but I’ve not been very hungry the past few days. Just nauseated, really. When I do get hungry, I just want to eat extremely sharp cheddar cheese and drink soda. I don’t know why, but that’s just what my body is craving during these final days. I would imagine the desire for soda has to do with my unsettled stomach, and the cheese for the fats and proteins. I don’t know.

I wasn’t going to drink coca cola at 8:50 in the morning, so I just sauntered back into my room and plopped down on the bed. As I huddled under the sheets and grabbed every pillow in arms reach to cushion myself, I could feel my body and my heart urging me to do the thing that always brings me rest: fall apart and spill into the hands of God.

The truth is, I really, REALLY hate giving in to “weakness”. Ha. As if being pregnant is a weak condition. What I mean is, I don’t like having to tell Abe that he’s got to go hang with some other people for a while so I can rest. I want to be able to watch him and rest, I want to do both. I want to be super woman. The night before, I was crying and venting over feeling so awful about laying in bed while Abe watched tv that day, as I just did not have the energy to get up and play with him.  Daniel had a put-down-his-foot moment and said he was going to take Abe to daycare in the morning, because I needed a break. I got more upset and came up with all kinds of excuses why he didn’t need to go, but I knew in my heart Daniel was right.

Sometimes, I need help. I thought I’d cleared that prideful wall, but I haven’t. There’s still so much left of it for me to climb.

I knew it when I woke up that morning, which is why I gave in. Wrapped up in my nest of sheets and pillows, I began to thank God for the day. I didn’t have much fluff to say, and got right into what I really needed to tell Him:

“Help me rest in your hands. I’m experiencing fear, anxiety and the feelings of failure. I want to hand those over to you so that I can find peace in You being in control. I’m afraid that the end of this pregnancy will be like the last one, and I’ll go in and out of labor for what seems like an eternity and be so incredibly miserable. If my body is meant to do that again, help me to see it with different eyes. Help me to see what You see.”

After I prayed that, the words “Be Thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart” flooded my mind. Just that first line and nothing else. I thought about it for a moment and was astounded by the lyric.

Replace my eyes with your eyes so that I can see everything the way you see everything.

As I let that simmer, I cried and released all of that tension. And then I felt the rest that I’d been needing. I found a piano/violin version of Be Thou My Vision on youtube and just listened to that for a few minutes as I closed my eyes and allowed my body to unwind.


There’s still a lot of pride left in these bones. God removes things from me in layers, and I suspect He won’t be done with the layers of pride anytime soon. If you’re reading this, and I’ve refused your helping hand, I’m sorry. I’m still learning that receiving is just as important as giving. Giving can become a foul thing, as it is easy to allow the act to be about one’s self and how good one can be. Receiving requires the terrifying choice to be vulnerable. Jesus received over and over in the new testament with gladness and joy; I don’t know why we ever try to believe we’re somehow different.

Be Thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart…

Webb Family Photo Shoot: Sweat and Lots of Laughter

Webb Family Photo ShootI was going to wait until the end of the week to share these with ya’ll, but since my body likes to go in and out of labor, I figured it’s better to get it out now before I push a baby out. After that, I’ll probably be out of commission for a little bit. So, in lieu of Middle School Megan today…

About a month ago, our good friends, The Macarages, drove down to Florida from Washington. Yes… they drove clear across the country for some vacation time with family and friends. We were dying to see them and their two little girls, Harper and Finley, and had a really great visit. Ashley has a photography business, Olive and Mae Photography, and wanted to give us a little family photo session. We’ve never done one before, as all of our “familly” pictures are either phone shots or ones we’ve tried to take ourselves. I was really looking forward to this photo session, as Ashley is great at what she does.

Webb Family Photo ShootThe shot above is probably my favorite out of all of them. I love that she captured the true nature of our little family, as we do laugh a whole lot together. I think Abe was talking about poop and it got us all going.famshoot7
Webb Family Photo ShootWe decided to take the pictures at Alligator Lake Park, where Daniel and I had our wedding ceremony. It’s a beautiful park, but the tricky part was that it closes early, and we needed that good golden hour light (which in the summer, is at like 7:30). It was also raining ALL DAY that day, but the sun came out just in time. We managed to get some really sweet shots. Daniel and I exchanged vows under that tree above in front of all of our friends and family. I can’t believe that’s already 5 1/2 years ago. famshoot6

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Webb Family Photo ShootI think a year and a half ago, I would have DIED at the thought of putting pictures of my huge, pregnant belly up on the internet for all to see. I think that explains why our pregnancy picture we shared with everyone from Abe’s pregnancy was a goofy one- my insecurity was so strong and I needed it to be funny to distract from the large-ness of my physique. But I wanted to go for it this year. There’s nothing to be ashamed of- I’m growing a human being in there. I looked up pregnancy photos and found a lot of cute outfit options (and a lot of not-so-cute/gross options as well), but I went with this dress from H&M. Green is my favorite color, and the dress was simple and comfy. I got Abe that cute little jean button down shirt at H&M as well, and those moccasins his Mimi brought back to him from North Carolina last fall. They are almost too small, but he was a sport and wore them for me anyway.

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Webb Family Photo ShootIt was so hot outside that day, even at 6:30 in the evening. We were all dripping with sweat by the time the owners came around to kick us out at 7. Abe was not the happiest camper, as he thought we were going to just snap some photos and then let him play on the playground- but we didn’t have enough time. I wish they would keep that park open a little later in the summer! Obviously the sun is still way up in the sky. Alas, it’s still one of my favorite places in Lake City.

You guys, this pregnancy has been completely different than my pregnancy with Abe, by far. Except for the recent going into labor a little early (which is what my body did last time as well), I’ve felt a lot less stressed out this time around. I know that comes with being familiar with the territory, and I’m so thankful for that. The first child is hard and scary because from pregnancy and on, you have nothing to reference and no idea what to do. Every decision feels like the fate of your child’s life is in your hands, down to the diapers you decide to use. I know there’s going to be plenty of new challenges I’m met with, as having two kids is completely different than having one (so I hear… I wouldn’t know). But I’m looking forward to meeting squishy Emery Levi and starting yet another new adventure.

I’m also really looking forward to normal pants and whiskey again.

 

 

Dan Writes: Starting Over

Dan Writes

 

Abe took that picture. I think it’s sweet to see what Daniel looks like from his little perspective. It’s also a picture that I think captures my husband perfectly. This post is the first of many, as Daniel will be sharing with us his thoughts from time to time on life, love, science, God and being a man. 


 

Last week, Megan asked me if I’d guest-post for her. Obviously, I agreed to do it. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this. When she presented the idea to me, I figured it would be easy to write a few hundred words about something, but when I started thinking about what to say, I drew a blank. I’ve drawn a blank everyday since she asked. It’s funny because I used to have my own blog on which I would post almost daily. I had a lot to say at that time in my life, and I wanted people (ahem… one person… a girl) to see it. I was an early-20s knucklehead fresh out of a relationship, and I wanted people (one girl) to know how good I was doing at being a grown-up. That was an interesting time in my life. I wanted to be noticed and appreciated. I figured if I could type out the things I wanted to say in a well-articulated and interesting way, and get people to read them, I could feel better about myself. My writings were dripping with arrogance and ignorance. I tried to disguise that fact by packing my posts with, what I believed at the time to be, this insightful wisdom that clearly no one had ever heard or read before. You could say my whole blog was like one giant humble-brag. I was posing as some great theologian of whom no one (that girl) had ever heard. It worked in making me feel important for a while, I guess, and eventually I ended up abandoning it because it had served its purpose. I look back at that time, and I don’t really like who I was. I appreciate that time because I made some valuable friendships and learned a lot of what not to do, but I am definitely not fond of the person that was writing that stuff. I guess a better way of putting it, is that I’m embarrassed by that person. So, when Megan asked me to write something for her, I obliged, but when I started brainstorming on what to write, my mind was flooded with thoughts of those days. Obviously, I don’t want to be young, dumb, early-20s Dan again. I have a lot of things I could talk about, I suppose, but I like personal interactions. I like conversations. Those are things I’ve grown to value deeply. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t share some thoughts with you folks from time to time. It just means that when I do, I’m doing it with a different purpose than I once did.

It’s funny, I used to end all of my posts with “I love you”. In the days of Myspace blog posts, I read something on an acquaintance’s profile one time where he ended a post with that. I liked it, so I started doing it. That was the one thing in those old posts of mine that wasn’t really aimed directly at “the girl”. It was in a sense but not in the sense of me hoping she would read something I wrote, get to the end, see those words, and think “Oh my God, I love you, too. Let’s get back together.” I wanted people to think, “Man, this guy, like, really loves people. Like, he’s genuinely concerned for peoples hearts and souls.” And I wanted “the girl” to think, “Man he’s so awesome at loving people. Why did I ever let him go?” It was completely fueled by a selfish desire to be accepted. I didn’t truly love people. I just wanted them to think I did. I figured it was in my best interest if people thought I was some wise, kind-hearted soul, whether or not I actually was.

Now, things are different. I’m different. And I can say with great confidence that the reason I’ve changed is not simply because my circumstances are different. No, I found out very quickly after I married Megan that young, dumb, early-20s Dan had simply turned into young, dumb, mid-20s Dan. There have been plenty of I-don’t-want-to-do-this-anymore times for both of us in the past 5 years, but God has been patient and gracious with us. The more I’ve grown in submission to the Creator of the universe and surrendered my life more and more to the Gospel, the more I can look back on old Dan and not be as embarrassed. I can see it was just a silly part of my story, and I can be confident in the fact that I’m not writing this for any personal gain. I can honestly say that I’m doing it because my wife asked me to, and I love her… and I love you.