I'll start by shouting, "Hey, I'm pregnant!" [Almost 18 weeks along.] One of the last blog posts I wrote was about us starting to try for child number two. Well, things truly happen on God's timing. I wasn't anticipating becoming pregnant right away, but it happened. Which really just goes to show me that all the promptings and feelings I had that the time is right were important to listen to. And I like to think that this child of God is a strong spirit, ready to come to this world. We are so excited! [And I'll add a side note that while we were trying for three years for number one, that didn't mean the timing was any less important than this one. We felt very strongly that we needed to be trying, and it was definitely a growing experience. If anything, I've learned to be patient with God and trust in His plan, no matter if it seems different than what my plan is.]
The past few months have been very trying. At the beginning of my pregnancy was my husband's last relapse. It was difficult to take that leap of faith and start trying again only to have the addiction rear it's ugly head. Talk about hormones. Then there was the severe morning sickness that seemed to never end (the barfing has finally stopped, thank goodness. Nausea still there, but it's getting better!). And taking care of an active toddler during pregnancy is really something special. Haha. I'm learning to live in the moment and not stress too much. This pregnancy is really beautiful, as is this short time I have with only one child.
Through feeling sick and overwhelmed much of the past few months, I really haven't done a great job at doing my "dailies"--namely scripture study and prayer. It's not that I don't want to take those moments to bring the Spirit into my heart; it's just been difficult. When I feel stretched too thin, I just want some space for myself. I've been binge-reading the Harry Potter series during spare moments of time, which has been lovely but also taken away from other things I could or possibly should be doing.
Yesterday I decided to take time every day to study my scriptures and ponder, Even if it's a brief ten minutes. I've learned over the past few months that I need this spiritual renewal every day. When I go longer stretches without studying or praying, I really feel the impact it has on my daily life. I'm much less patient and feel far more overwhelmed with everything. On the other hand, when I keep Christ an active part of my day, I feel less stressed and more capable, peaceful, and whole.
I decided to start the Book of Mormon again, and I came across one of my favorite verses:
". . . But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance." --1 Nephi 1:20
These words really spoke to me today as I was reminded of all the hard things Nephi's family went through. I've read the Book of Mormon countless times, so I know what's coming. This verse had a profound impact on me as I thought about how his family fled Jerusalem and lived in the wilderness for years. His mother even gave birth to two children while they lived in the wilderness. Nephi himself was bullied by his older brothers. And they were asked to sacrifice and give much of themselves during all this time. Nephi is abridging his father's words, so he wrote these words about tender mercies after all they had suffered.
I was reminded that life happens. It just does. Hard things happen because of other people's agency affecting our lives. And hard things happen just because it's a part of the process we experience to grow and potentially become our best selves and live with God again. But no matter the hard things or why they happen, the important thing is that God is always there. He is always watching over us and giving us "tender mercies." We just have to keep our eyes peeled and never forget that we are not alone.