For those who read my other blog (It Feels Like Today), you may have noticed my recent post with all the pictures of Elise sleeping. I was just looking back at those tonight. They are some of my very favorite pictures of her. It dawned on me while looking at some of the sleeping baby pictures...my memories of that time are slipping away. And all of a sudden I feel so sad. I am trying really hard not to be sad that Elise is growing up. After all - this is a great thing! I can have full conversations with my daughter now. She is blossoming and growing into a young girl. This is what I want for her! But at the same time, I am losing track of what it felt like to hold a baby. I have to really strain to remember what it was like to greet her each morning in her crib and pick her up & snuggle her. I know EVERY mother goes through this at some point - regardless of how many children she has. There comes a day when the oldest child is no longer a baby, and the memories begin to fade. It's a universal thing we all experience. I guess in my case, I just feel a little sad that I didn't grasp how important it was at the time. I really took for granted the fact that I would do it all again. Now, here I am faced with the fact that I may never do it again. And I just wish I'd cherished it a little bit more back then.
We had a really great sermon at church today. I've been thinking about it all day. Our pastor is beginning a series on prayer - and what a fantastic subject for me right now! God knows exactly what I need to hear. Anyway, the topic today was focused on some misconceptions about prayer as well as learning about what prayer is meant to be and what it can do in our lives. Something the pastor said has really stayed with me. He was talking about how many incidences there are in the Bible about God being ready and willing to answer prayers - just waiting to be asked. He is there and ready to answer many of our prayers - but first we have to ASK. It dawned on me as he preached that I have never directly asked God for a baby. I've prayed about our situation extensively, but I've never actually come out and directly asked Him for a baby. I guess on some level I have viewed that as a bit overly presumptuous. I tend to focus my prayer on other things - such as asking for strength or grace, asking for His will to be done in our lives, asking for clarity, etc. But maybe what God really wants to hear is my true desire for a baby? Perhaps I need to ask him directly?
I struggle with this concept quite a bit, since obviously God does not answer every single prayer in the affirmative. If this were true, my friend would not have buried her husband today - on what would have been his 34th birthday. She would not have been sitting in that church with her 3 boys under the age of 5 bidding farewell to their beloved father. So, part of me wonders...why bother asking for anything? At the end of the day, His will rules regardless of our desires. But then the Bible tells us to go to God in prayer and He will listen. I'm very torn on this issue right now. I want to be faithful and obedient, but at the same time, I am just not sure whether or not prayer can really change things in our case. Part of me thinks that it can't hurt and it might help - so why not? But I know this is the wrong attitude. Until I can get to a point where I truly believe that taking my wish for a baby directly to God can actually change things, it probably won't do any good to do so. Up until that point, it's just empty words.
So, I think this will take a bit more consideration on my part.