It's a... no baby yet! haha... Did I surprise you? Because I'm sure surprised! I'd been telling everyone that I was sure little Gio would make his arrival around Thanksgiving, judging from my other pregnancies, but this one has definitely been completely different! In fact, this entire last year has been completely different, and evolutionary for me, as I've shared several times. I have been struggling in the last week with the unknown, with what's to come in this pregnancy, labor, and beyond that... feeling overwhelmed already with the kids and everything they need each day, unsure of how to handle more, wishing everything around me felt stronger, more sure, more finished, more ready.
Then again, I guess the perfect conditions for childbirth have never really existed on this earth. I can only imagine how Mary must have felt. She had to have put complete trust in Heavenly Father, and in her husband as well, in very imperfect circumstances. I wonder if there were times when she felt alone, despite her great amount of faith in all that was happening, and in all that was to come...
A few days ago, I was reminded of certain things I should do and be mindful of in regards to recognizing the great blessings of this growing family Nephi and I are creating. I was reminded that even when the day to day tasks feel lonely, I am not really as alone as I feel sometimes. There are loved ones seen and unseen surrounding me always, that I can call on whenever need arises, there to lift me up and help me feel loved.
The lyrics of a childhood song have come to mind several times...
"You're not alone, even when you're feeling on your own,
You are loved in ways that can't be shown; your needs are known;
You're not alone." ("You're Not Alone", Michael McLean)
I am so grateful to feel that love in this moment. The love of those who came before me and the very distinct love of the Savior. I know that when I can't see clearly on earth, I can close my eyes and feel that love that transcends this earth and it's imperfections, all around me.
With that peace comes a reassurance that everything happening in my life right now is going according to His plan. "What is, is right." He does not make promises and break them. "For he will fulfill all his promises which he shall make unto you, for he has fulfilled his promises which he has made unto our fathers." (Alma 37:17)
As I remember all of this, I'm given an eternal perspective about my family. I feel comfort in knowing that while Nephi is often busy, he is doing the work of his life's purpose every day. He is doing what God has called him to do, and I can find patience and peace in that reassurance I feel right now. I remember that my children's energy is a gift, a sign of their health and vitality and promise, and that if I pray for how to channel that energy each day, I will see more and more the blessing of it, and how to help them fulfill their potential.
This morning I woke up around 4:30, and had a strong desire to return to my journal, prayer, and scripture studies that I had been doing before our sleep schedule got so crazy these last few weeks. Both of the boys had found their way into our bed to snuggle, and I could hear Lili talking in her sleep from the kid's bedroom. I decided to join her in there, and now I am in Leo's bed, next to a window where I can feel the crisp, cool breeze of the morning air. It's refreshing, and these quiet mornings to reflect give me the energy I need throughout the day.
I can see the Christmas trees outside their bedroom door, placed in the hallway to give a warm glow throughout the night, and how they perfectly highlight the giant canvas Nephi painted for me about five years ago. It is of me as a ballerina, at a level that I have never quite achieved yet (in my mind) since I first started attending classes. But I know exactly what I need to do now. It has been a struggle since I started, balancing time in the studio and time with my family. This pregnancy has given me time to reflect on that and refocus, and I realize I have more of what I need here than I thought. I have a space at home that was converted into a dance studio, but then forgotten about, deemed "not good enough". If I again clear it out to make way for dancing, it will become a haven for expression and growth.
I've felt inspired to also create a little space in there with dance shoes and clothes for the kids- so they know they are always welcome in this space with me. This space where I come into my own, but ultimately where they will know, I am always their mother first, always close by, accessible to them when they need the guidance I can provide. They can even dance with me if they wish, and together we can discover the beauty, the purity, the joy found in it.
I know that my Father in Heaven has a plan for these underdeveloped talents within me, and as I continue to develop them, I will draw nearer unto Him. I will not feel alone when I dance in praise to His name. And I know He will guide and direct me in these pursuits, and use these desires and talents to shape me into the wife, mother, dancer, daughter, friend, person, I have always longed to be.
In the past, what has held me back from my potential every time has been fear. A fear of not being good enough, a focus on comparison instead of just doing the things that light my soul on fire. And letting the fears and doubts lead me... to question myself, my training, my validity... and not just as a dancer. But I feel the time coming soon, and the last year has been one big lesson, a practice, on faith. And I know that if I lead and make my decisions with faith over fear going into the next year, I can do anything I am called to.
As always, I write to remember these things when doubts arise within me. I've felt them and I know them to be true, and I hope you can too. "...for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." (Matthew 17:20)