I am a planner. I like to map things out, make lists, and basically, be in control. In the last 31 weeks of pregnancy, I have seen God in so many ways as He has just stepped in and shown me how much HE is in control of everything in my life. Not only does He provide, but He also provides GOOD THINGS (Matthew 7:11 & James 1:17). A few years ago, a pastor at our church challenged us to bring all of our needs before the Lord in prayer, by praying for specific needs/things and not just for the money to get those things... So over the last couple of years, my husband and I try to pray for things specifically, not just for more finances. :-) At the beginning of this pregnancy, I made a checklist of items we would need when this little girl joined the family. God would have to provide many of them, because I'm a stay-at-home mom, and we're committed to staying out of debt, paying with cash for all purchases.
God has just blown us away with His provision. It has gotten to the point that sometimes we just laugh when we get a phone call from a friend or someone stops us in church to ask if we could use a certain item. My heart has been given so much hope that God is indeed in control in everything. I have been reminded again and again that the Lord provides GOOD THINGS for us, not just what we could "make-do" with!
I started keeping a list of the ways God has provided, so that when I have hormonal, emotional days (and I have those quite often during this pregnancy, which I didn't have during my pregnancy with Levi, so it definitely must be a girl thing!) I can pull back out the list and say, "God is working. He loves us and is taking care of us. He is so good!" Here are a few things that He has provided (and there is a story behind every item and every giver, but that would make this blog post way too long!):
- Crib (Levi still sleeps in his)
- Changing Table/Dresser combo (we didn't have a changing table in the nursery before, since it's so tiny, and God dropped one of these in our lap! So excited!)
- Crib Mattress
- Changing Pad (& several like-new covers!)
- Clothes (and very few duplicate items... sleepers from one person, onesies from another, little sweaters from another... it's been crazy watching everything match up!)
- Cloth Diapers, gently used (6 Bum Genius AIO's, along with 3 dozen infant pre-folds! HUGE blessing since Levi will still be in diapers!)
- Baby Monitor
- Pink Carseat Cover (not a need, but just something we got blessed with as we enjoy a girl!)
- Double Stroller, brand-new
- "Baby Fund", fully-funded!!! (we live on a cash budget, following many of Dave Ramsey's "Financial Peace" principles, one of those being saving up cash to pay for big expenses. As anyone who has had a baby knows, there is a pretty hefty chunk of money that goes with bringing that baby home. I have worked part-time and seasonally to set money aside for our "baby fund", but we were less than halfway there when we found out we were expecting, and I wouldn't be able to work over the holiday like usual. Around this time we filled out our tax returns again, and this time was able to get child credit--Levi was born in 2010--, and that amount almost perfectly met our need! Another HUGE praise!)
"My" checklist is almost completed, but all because of God and His provision. You're probably facing a different circumstance, a different story going on in life. But I can say that God is working. He is providing. He wants to bless all of us with GOOD GIFTS. So talk to Him about what's going on, put specific things before Him, then leave them there, knowing He will take care of it in His way, and surprise you with His goodness!