Labor and what comes before

This is a particularly meaningful Labor Day.

I am coming off of a particularly work filled season of a July Assignment at Young Life’s Castaway Club and an August of preparations and planning for the “school” year of training 8 new Young Life Staff Associates.

Last week I spent 4 days away from my family at our Regional Fall Staff Retreat which was a great time of reconnecting after the summer, reflection, celebration, community, and the expansion of current ministry competencies. I was privileged to give a club talk on Wednesday afternoon about Jesus’ ability to use our spent exertions and empty ambitions to demonstrate his power and provide despite our weakness. An apt message for myself in this season and hopefully helpful to my staff peers in the room.

For a part-time job, the work load was heavy last week and I’ve very much enjoyed rest and time with my family this Labor Day weekend! Eli was at first unconvinced by the whole idea of NOT going to school on Labor Day’s Monday (it’s his new favorite day- computer lab day at school- why would the school close down on a MONDAY?!?!?!) However, he came around to the idea and is especially enjoying that Daddy doesn’t have to work today. Daddy beats computer lab any day!

Shoot- in my typically digressing habit, I wasn’t really sitting down to write about my job.

Labor day is connected to work, yes, and this year it feels aptly timed for me, but mostly this Labor Day 2012 is poignant because it hits me right in the gut. Literally, right now, Baby Booyah is kicking me in the stomach and wiggling with the energy of my breakfast and mostly decaffeinated coffee. This baby believes that since I’m sitting down, he/she should work some stuff out. It’s a sensation that wows, tickles, and encourages me. I have enjoyed this baby’s movements in a way I don’t remember treasuring with Eli or Andi. Only 5 weeks remain until my due date and the mysteries of how my delivery will play out and what gender of child we will receive will all be solved! (No promises that the name for this baby will be settled upon in 5 weeks time at our current rate of naming quandaries though).

I cannot wait to meet and see this baby. We are ready to labor towards birth and walk in the newness of what a newborn will bring to our family. Looking forward to labor reminds me of a classic story of a conversation we had with Eli about how babies came to be inside tummies.

Here is the account from the late fall 2009:

While driving on Barry Road almost daily, we would pass St Luke’s Northland hospital- the birth site of both kids. We would often tell Eli and Andi, “That is where you were born!” During one ride past the hospital, Eli asked how baby’s were born. I quickly and easily answered, “Babies grow inside mommy’s tummies and then come out at the hospital.” That day in the car he then asked, “But how does a baby get into your tummy Mommy?” I could still explain this to a 3 1/2 year old with relative ease. “God puts the baby inside a Mommy’s tummy. God knows that’s the best way for a baby to grow,” I said. Simple. Sweet. Eli was sold, “Oh. Ok.”

3 days later, we found out at dinner that his brain had not let the question go. At dinner, with Drew and I both sitting at the table, the conversation went pretty much like this:

E- But HOW did Andi get into your tummy Mommy? Really how?

L-  (after many other responses)- Ok buddy, well…there’s a part of daddy that connects to a part of mommy and then the baby gets into the tummy. It’s like a little seed and then it grows.

E- Oh.  But what is the part of daddy that connects to the part of you?

L and D- (nervous and suppressed laughing…trying to answer seriously.) “Oh, um, well…It’s down by Daddy’s penis”

E- Where?

L- Ok, It is daddy’s penis.

E- Oohhhh! So daddy has a  baby shooter tube inside his penis! And the baby tube shoots the baby into your tummy?

L and D- (Amazed. Shocked and giggling under their breath)- Yes in fact, buddy. That’s exactly right!

Luckily for us, that has been enough information to have held him over for 3 years now. He is secure in the knowledge that the baby shooter tube has once again functioned properly and that a new baby is growing just as God determined it should, inside my Mommy-tummy.

The upcoming labor for this third child, conceived in love and anticipation and because of grace, gives our whole family something to look forward to, wonder about, pray over, and anticipate as we celebrate this time together today. Thanks for letting me share the classic story of bumbling through a conception conversation with you on your holiday weekend!




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