Monday, February 27, 2017

The Joy of Expecting




Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, 
because her hour has come; 
but when she gives birth to the child, 
she no longer remembers the anguish 
because of the joy that a child has been born into the world.
John 16:21



I don't know about you, but I LOVED being pregnant!  Something my daughter can't quite fathom.  lol.  Her pregnancy was quite difficult as far as feeling nauseous all the time which made for an unpleasant nine months.  Yet, as the nurse in my daughter's delivery room said to her, "You make Labor look easy!"  And she did!  

I, on the other hand, pushed for four hours with my first delivery, lost a lot of blood, and ended up spiking a fever.  My second delivery was fast and furious with intense back labor.

Regardless of whether our labor and delivery was "easy" or intense, we all experience incredible joy when we hold that precious gift from God in our arms for the very first time.

I think most mothers are so caught up in the joy of expecting their first child, that they don't become paralyzed with fear over the certain pain to come with labor the likes of which they've never known before...  

And the fact that women will go through labor and delivery again and again indeed demonstrates they no longer remember the anguish of childbirth...  but the joy that a child will be born into the world...

Expectant:

having or showing an excited feeling that something is about to happen, especially something pleasant and interesting.

The very nature of pregnancy is described as expectant or expecting.

"My friend is expecting".

Expecting is not referring to "expecting horrible pain and anguish".

Expecting, in this context, is referring to "expecting a miracle from God; a beautiful daughter or son, created by you and your husband, to care for and love".


I think we could learn a thing or two from the joy of an expectant mother...

And I'm preaching to myself here...

Too often, we go through life expecting the worst.  And when things are going good, we wait for the other shoe to drop.  

How sad that we expect the worst in life rather than expect the best - GOD's BEST.

What if we lived every minute of our lives anticipating and expecting ALL that God WILL do for us. 

 God ALWAYS wants what is best for us.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, 
plans for welfare and not for evil, 
to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

And we know that for those who love God 
all things work together for good, 
for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

And the Lord will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong; 
and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Isaiah 58:11

Every day is a miracle. God has sustained our beating hearts through the night, and we have woken up with new tender mercies from God.

The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, 
For His compassions never fail. 
They are new every morning; 
Great is Your faithfulness. 
Lamentations 3:22-23



But what do we do when we are in the throws of fiery trials; whether it be for an hour, a day, months or years?  How do we live life abundantly when we feel that life has been sucked out of us?

We hope and we wait expectantly - anticipating all that God WILL do.

Deliverance may come quickly or it may tarry.

We can't see the future, but we can hope.  {I'll be writing more on Hope next week.}

It only takes a blink of an eye for a situation to change - that defining moment in the midst of sadness and afflictions when something changes for the better.  Even in chronic illness, you may turn a corner or you may wake up in the presence of your Lord and Savior with no more pain and no more suffering.

There is something about hope that makes us say to ourselves, "maybe this will be the day...".

Those who hope in the Lord say...

"The LORD is my portion,"... 
"Therefore I have hope in Him."…
Lamentations 3:24

Those who hope in the Lord can say this because even in the midst of pain and suffering, whether emotional or physical, those who continue to hope in the Lord are able to see how God is sustaining and comforting them minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.  They know that He is in the affliction with them and will not leave them.

It is the LORD who goes before you. 
He will be with you; 
he will not leave you or forsake you. 
Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Deuteronomy 31:8


Through the labor pains of trials, we can experience the joy of expecting as we wait in hope for God's deliverance...

 And WHEN that day comes, we will experience the incredible and unique joy that comes from healing, no matter what circumstance you have been delivered from.  Lowest lows yield highest joys...  {I wrote a post about this which you can read here.}

God never promised us that life would be easy, but He did promise us an abundant life of joy in Him.

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
John 10:10b


Our pilgrimage on earth WILL BE a life of labor pains, but there is no need to be paralyzed by fear,  because we have the joyful hope of knowing that ...

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,  as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. 
Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. 
But take heart, because I have overcome the world."
John 16:33



May we all live in continual, joyful anticipation of all that God WILL do for us each today...

This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24


And may we live in expectant hope for that great day when we will see our Savior face to face.


Be thou my vision

1. Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart; 
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art; 
Thou my best thought, by day or by night, 
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light. 

2. Be thou my Wisdom, and thou my true Word; 
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord; 
Thou my great Father, and I thy true son, 
Thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one. 

3. Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise; 
Thou mine inheritance, now and always; 
Thou and thou only, first in my heart, 
High King of heaven, my treasure thou art. 

4. High King of heaven, my victory won, 
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's Sun! 
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, 
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all. 
Eleanor H. Hull


You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me Grace, Testimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday, Reflect His Love and Glory  Words of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI SaturdaysSitting Among Friends Encourage Me Monday Words with Winter Essential FridaysSo Much at Home Family, Friendship & Faith House to Home  ,Wonderful Wednesday , Monday of Many BlessingsLiteracy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceSHINE Blog Hop Dance with JesusGive Me GraceBooknificent Thursdays UNITE Cozy Reading SpotMaking Your Home Sing Monday Social Butterfly Sundays  Let Us Grow Small Wonder Link-up Winsome Wednesday Growing in Grace Thursday After My CoffeeRewind Friday Fresh Market Friday Moments of Hope Wonderful Wednesdays Christian Blogger Link-Up Tea & Word Tuesday Heart Encouragement Thursday Hearts for Home Messy Marriage Link-up Friday at the Fire Station Link-up Tune In Thursday

34 comments:

  1. I had one natural birth and one medicated birth. I think the pain of labor is something we forget, but I won't forget how aware my second son was compared to my first. I think a lot has changed with medical advances, but the beauty of labor at its own pace and without medication is something so special.
    And I agree the expectation is on the joy that is coming not the pain that comes from giving birth!

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    1. Amanda, Thank you for sharing your story here and adding to the conversation. I appreciate it! :-)

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  2. This is a beautiful analogy on life. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you Amanda!

      You are very welcome! :-)

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  3. Thank you for this and for linking up at the Friday at the Fire Station link-up!
    Jen
    www.afiremanswife.com

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    1. You are welcome. Thank you for hosting! :-)

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  4. Ah, that's one of my favorite hymns--especially when Ginny Owens sings it!

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    1. Well I'm glad! I don't think I've heard her version of it. I will have to check it out! :-)

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  5. OH, how encouraging this was to me today! I just drank it in like a sponge...thank you, my dear, sweet friend, for always seeming to know what I need to hear. I know God knows and then He moves on your heart, and He speaks to me through your words. You are a treasure. I love the thought of expecting the best. I think most of us have become jaded by life's hurts, disappointments, and troubles, and we sort of build a protective wall around our hearts to guard them from more pain. We expect the worst because we know that if it comes it won't be a surprise, and if something good comes instead, we will be pleasantly surprised. But, this is so wrong...I love how you encouraged me to think the best. I got a sweet card in the mail the other day from a friend, and it said, "Something Good is on the Horizon." I have it sitting, propped up on the table by my living room chair, and I look at it often. I think you are so right...this is how God wants us to go through life...expecting His best and the abundant life He came to give us. Sending you much love and hugs today!!

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    1. Dear Cheryl, I am so glad you found encouragement here today. On the days I feel like giving up on blogging, the Lord always brings you to my mind. :-) Your precious words of encouragement always spur me on.

      "Something Good is on the Horizon". What a perfect sentiment for this blog post. :-)

      Thank you for sharing your insights here and for blessing my blog post with your words.

      Sending you much love and gratitude dear friend.

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  6. Loved this. I did not love being pregnant, and my birth story did not turn out the way I wanted it to ...but God. He is so good, and makes no mistakes. Happy Wednesday, from the #TestimonyTuesday link up!
    Megs

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    1. Megs, Thank you for praising God even in the midst of circumstances that did not turn out the way you wanted them to. Your testimony here brings such glory to God.

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  7. Thank you, Karen, for sharing these thoughts and verses. As someone who struggles with an anxiety disorder, I always, always expect the worst. Thank you for encouraging me to continue seeking the abundant life. #womenwithintention

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    1. Melissa, You are very welcome!

      Thank you so much for sharing your own heart here.

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  8. Expecting is so beautiful. ...still praying for another😉
    I enjoyed my experience and I'm grateful for it.
    Blessings to you Karen

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    1. Awe! Well that's an exciting prayer Ifeoma!

      Blessings friend.

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  9. Karen,
    Hope is my 2017 word so Thank you for an uplifting and hope-filled post :-) Blessings to your daughter, too :-)

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    1. Dolly, If I were to pick my life's word, it is "hope". :-)

      You are very welcome. Thank you so much for sharing with me here.

      Thank you!

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  10. Karen - I love how you shared on expectancy. I think you are so right - as expectant moms we usually don't think about the pain or labor we will endure at the end... I think we should live in this moment of expectancy everyday as we live.. Looking to God to carry is through. I found you today at #FaithNFriends #FreshMarketFriday & #DanceWithJesus all where we are neighbors!!! LOL Also, I would love if you would consider linking up to my NEW Thursday Party #TuneInThursday it stays open until Sunday. You can find it here: http://debbiekitterman.com/new-linkup-tune-in-thursday-1-who-is-your-god/
    (Please feel free to delete the link if you feel it is inappropriate to post here).

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    1. Debbie, Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. I appreciate it!

      And thank you for the invite to your new link-up. I went right over and joined in. :-)

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. I always benefit from a reminder to live in joyful expectation of all that God has in store for us!

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    1. Michele, The Lord was so gracious to send us the Holy Spirit to bring to our remembrance all things.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. :-)

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  12. Be thou my Vision is one of my favorite hymns... love that. And it fits with your ideas of expecting from God. I really like the analogy of expecting from God like we did when we were waiting for those things that we have set our hearts on like the birth of our children or the birth of ideas and plans. Great reminder!!
    Blessings,
    Dawn

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    1. Dawn, Mine too!

      Thanks for your encouraging words.

      Blessings,

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  13. This is such a wonderful time in a woman's life. Congratulations and thanks for linking up with us at the #LMMLinkup this week.

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    1. Mary, Indeed, it is always wonderful to expect all things good from God.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      You are welcome.

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  14. What a blessed time! Love your analogy here:)

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    1. Crystal, Thank you for your encouraging words! Praising God for the analogy He provided. :-)

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  15. Thanks for sharing this great reminder to expect the best at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com this week!
    Tina

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  16. Love this, Karen! Will be sharing with my online prayer group. Thank you for the sweet wisdom and encouragement. xo

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    1. Lyli, Awe, I'm so glad! And I am humbled that you would share with your online prayer group. All Glory to God!

      You are very welcome! :-)

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