Even if you're alma-mater is down by a serious deficit, you continue cheering them on during the second half. In fact, some of the best games we've all watched are those when the second half is an upset and the underdog comes back to claim the victory, when all odds seemed hopeless.
The second half of the movie is always the best part too. I can remember watching the newer released "Pearl Harbor" movie, with Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett. While most girls my age at the time were swooning over Hartnett, I've always been an Affleck fan, and turned the movie off after he "died" in the first half. About three weeks later, a friend was complaining about how "terrible" the movie was because Kate Beckinsale ended up with Affleck instead. I couldn't believe my ears because I had cut the film short due to disappointment. (All Affleck fans can agree, the second half was the best part of the movie!)
The second half of a marriage is always better, given that the first few years you're just learning to live with someone else just as selfish as you are, and you don't know how to communicate or coexist with another human without tearing them down.
Second halves are where dreams are made, victories are achieved, and the unimaginable is made possible.
Today, was a second half of sorts for Esther Jubilee.
I met with one of the most awesome midwives, I'm pretty sure, practicing this side of the Mississippi River. (Kristin will always be my favorite home birth midwife, but for a hospital working midwife this lady was baller!) her name was Barbara, and she insisted to me that nothing is ever as dramatic as hospitals seem to make it. That labs and needles aren't necessary for everyone. That intervention is over rated and over used. That everyone else's opinion the day of delivery doesn't matter except for mine. That modern delivery practices are more hype than they need to be, and that women's bodies and the whole baby-box tucked inside of every one of them, is capable of delivering babies on its own.
Needless to say, she agrees with and wishes for all the things we want for Esther.
She even said despite what other doctors have told us that "these babies can surprise you, and live for quite some time!"
So we are praying Mrs. Barbara is the Midwife who helps to deliver Esther Jubilee!
And you can too!
Today was the last of the "tests" as far as the pregnancy goes. Pray that the result is negative. (Which sounds bad, but a negative culture is a positive answer!) so long as the test comes back negative, we can proceed with no IV as planned- just like all the other kids!
This past week has been a "second half" as well.
Paco has been telling me how he is "trusting God" with every detail of Esther's life and arrival. (Which is a big deal because he hasn't shared much of how he's handling all of this!)
I experienced the first of what will probably be many, Braxton hicks this past weekend. It reminded me of where my faith stands, because with each one, I was reminded how fragile life is, and how Esther's life is completely out of my hands, and in God's hands! And as a mom, that's the only other set of hands that doesn't leave me completely terrified.
Even on my time-hop app, I'm being reminded of God's faithfulness. This time last year, our church was amidst a series called "hunt for hope" in which our Pastor taught on Hope amidst difficult seasons. I've been reminded of such truths each morning when I get the notification to check the app, with scripture from the Word, that not only builds my faith, but assures me that God had Esther Jubilee's life in motion and planned with purpose long before she was ever conceived!
I can't tell you how excited I am for her arrival! I've had people telling me how excited they are, but I can assure you, that as her mom, and the one who has been blessed to know her before all of you, that I am beyond excited! God has some serious plans for this girl. I don't know exactly what they include, but I know they are for a hope, and a future, and for the process of building others' faith, and making Jesus famous!
Since everyone continues to ask what to pray for, I am continuing to give specifics to those requests! God gives good things to His kids, and He is detail oriented. So we are praying specifically for a few things, so I thought I would update you all, who are praying with us and for us:
We are believing that Barbara will be the midwife available to deliver Esther. I know it's a superficial request- but God can work it out!
We are believing for the Group B strep test result to be "negative".
We are believing for Esther to come on her own without induction.
We are believing for convenience in the drive to Gulf Coast Hospital (as its nearly 40 minutes away from our home). That traffic is minimal, and lights are green (since I'll be in the middle of labor while we drive there!)
We are believing for favor at the hospital.
We are believing for the Glory of God to go forth in SW Florida and our community specifically, but to all the earth, as her story is shared and that credit is given to the Author of her Life: Jesus Christ the living, saving, healing, redeeming Savior of the World.
You know, I have scripture verses plastered all over my house. They build my faith and remind me to speak the work out loud. And one that I keep near the door of our master bedroom is from Zachariah 4:6. It says "‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’
Says the LORD".
And I have known that verse for a while now.
But interestingly enough, since I don't spend a lot of time in my doorway, I kind of glance at it, and will say the verse out loud as I pass the posted scripture.
This past week I slowed down, and continued to read it, even though I "know" it. The second half is the best part.
And we often forget it. I know I have.
The second part says "Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain!"
Because you see, the mountain of adversity, no matter how great, WILL BE leveled to nothing. To flat plain. Flat road. That is the same as any other. You won't loose your footing, you wont trip up on "uneven" pavement. There isn't a curb or a dip or a pothole or an incline- it's a PLAIN. it's just PLAIN in front of you. And God WILL handle it. Just like He will make everything work out for Esther.
We are praying for you, as you pray for us, that God would bless your families and keep you. That He would give you faith to move mountains, and peace amidst uncertainty. That He guards your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, and that you are bombarded by His Holy Spirit, and lead into all truth, as you go about your daily living and working and eating and sleeping and relationships! And we are praying the the mountains you are facing, are made PLAIN in front of you, as His word says!
God is so very good. And so very faithful. And we cannot wait to share the "second half" of Esther Jubilee's story with all of you!