Preparing a Place…

Anyone who’s ever hosted an event or even had a few friends over for dinner knows there is an element of thought and good ‘ole elbow-grease that goes into the preparations.

Preparing for a baby to enter your home is that times a 1,000. Preparing your house to sell is that times a thousand again!

We took a break from the packing to catch the night zoo before it ended Labor Day weekend.

We’ve been doing lots of packing and purging 4yrs worth of accumulated stuff; sweeping cobwebs out of hidden corners; tearing down and rebuilding; sorting and reorganizing. It seems as if the endless loads of laundry have already begun as we pull tiny baby bedding and clothes from bins to get ready for Leboffe babes #3. Having both projects going on simultaneously is a lot of work and the verse from the gospel of John keeps running through my head during the sweat of this whole process – “Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live”.  It makes sense to me that Jesus had to duck out early to go prepare a place for us in God’s house. It makes sense that he reminded us there’s a purpose for the preparation. You don’t do all this work for nothing!

It’s amazing what gets accumulated over the years! We’ve made it through most of the nooks and crannies of the house, but I’m scared to start in on the garage. Why? Because it’s hard for me to throw away anything that has the potential to be recreated into something upcycled or toss anything that has to do with my kiddos. As if throwing out hospital tags or their first paci is going to make me an uncaring mother. Y’all, I found a used pregnancy test in a secret pocket of my purse…from Josiah’s pregnancy, not this one! Nate said it best when he asked, “Let me get this straight. You’ve been carrying around something you peed on for almost three years?” Yes, I understand that is gross. Clearly, there is a problem. It feels so good to clear things out, get rid of the unneeded, and make clean spaces. Why do we resist it?

Selah Grace likes rules. Josiah likes adventure. These two things aren’t always compatible. Here’s sis regulating as brother decides whether or not to put up with it. Mama sits with an iced tea from afar.

As we physically haul things away and lysol things over it’s hard not to think about the ways we have to emotionally prepare our hearts and minds for the entrance of a new family member. To do a total assessment and overhaul of any dusty corners and get rid of  unnecessary junk crowding out emotional clarity. Just like fixing our sticky door handle that won’t rotate and open, Nate and I have to work out stuck spots in our marriage where we’ve been previously unwilling to budge. Like shaking the dust off boxes stuffed in high forgotten closet corners, we have to shake out areas of our prayer lives that we’ve boxed up and left for safe-keeping for too long.

And now if we could just think of a name for this child! It may seem unfathomable to roll into the delivery room and still have no decision on what you will be naming your child. I myself didn’t understand how that was possible until this pregnancy. I keep waiting for inspiration and it keeps eluding me. So I changed approaches and dutifully read through every name on my baby name app and wrote out my favorites. We’ve still got nothing but potentials and possibilities, and I’m okay with that. I’m okay with waiting until we meet this child in the next few days and see his or her face. I’m hoping that I’ll looking into my child’s eyes and know what name belongs to them.  But maybe we won’t be swept by a tidal wave of intuitive knowing. Maybe we’ll just have to make a decision so they’ll let us out the hospital door.

Here’s the secret about preparing; it’s never finished. The list will never be done. There’s always more that we could have done. Instead of finding the disappointment in this reality, Nate and I are going to choose to find freedom in the boundaries and limitations of this fact. That it’s okay for us to do what we can do, leave some things undone, and play with our family as part of the preparations. To remember to actually look our children in the eyes, to listen to their stories, to play baby birds and mama & daddy birds with them making blanket nests on the floor, to enthusiastically cheer for the 2,034th jump off the bed that day because even though we’ve done it 2,033 times before they are still just as proud and looking for just as much affirmation.

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