What to Expect...
In 1999 I received the most wonderful book; What to Expect When You’re Expecting. It was a description of each week of pregnancy. The text included images of what our baby looked like, how moms should expect their body to change, suggestions of what to eat, what should be purchased; a variety of topics of what to “expect.” The guide is intended to read along at each specific phase of pregnancy, but I was so excited, I read the entire book the first night. I read in awe of what was to come. I was filled with tears of hope, joy and excitement for this new life God granted me to carry. I still have my book, it’s battered, marked and highlighted as I used it 4 glorious times.
When our baby was born we found the follow up book, What to Expect the First Year. Again, the intention is to read the chapter as they are that age, to be able to compare notes with the author and their research, as many new moms are nervous thinking, no baby has ever cried this way, crossed eyes this way, coughed this way, or showed their love this way. Rest assured, I was still nervous, but this book gave me so much peace. I again read the entire book in one sitting. I was tearful of the fun steps to come and how blessed I was to get to experience these moments with another human being. I had received the greatest gift in the world!
As we moved into What to Expect the Toddler Years, I still loved my guide, but we had other babies to care for and our busy life took over. I’m not even sure I read it in its entirety. We were off and running and felt like we had a great handle on What to Expect; laughter, tantrums, meals, runny noses. Everything seemed less life-changing once these amazing little people could walk and communicate.
As I reach the college drop-off moment, I beg for my favorite guide and they’ve failed me. I have not seen a What to Expect When They Graduate; someone please advise them this is needed! I’m so blessed to have rooted our family in an amazing neighborhood of families and friends and realize we set our guidelines together. College tours, travel advice, bedding suggestions, so many offers of What to Expect. My favorite moments are seeing smiles and hugs of my friends and their families as they say goodbye to these wonderful young adults. Just like pregnancy, people do this everyday!
I have found my guide and know that this is the ultimate gift for my heavy heart. Psalm 4:5 says "offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord," Matthew 6:25-34 says "do not worry, look at the birds, they are not stored away in barns, and God provides. Do not worry about tomorrow as today has enough trouble of its own." And one of my favorite verses that I refer to often is Philippians 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
Join me to follow His words and follow the greatest guidebook of all time, as he already knows the path we are heading down. He knows exactly What We Should Expect. He knows the difficulty in our heart, and the excitement a parent has to release their flock, as he releases us to go and do great works ahead.