In the Valley

valleyYesterday, sitting around feeling quite sorry for myself and all that I can’t do or be a part of right now (like this huge conference our church hosted this weekend!), I decided to turn on some Sovereign Grace music.  I’ve learned in the midst of trials that music seems to be a surefire way for the Lord to re-center my swirling thoughts on Him, His goodness to me in sending His Son to the cross and even His nearness in the face of suffering and hardship.  “In the Valley” came on and tears starting pouring down my cheeks.  The words, which I’ve listened to hundreds of times, took on new meaning as I looked at my pregnancy and the sickness that accompanies it as my valley.  While God has crowned my life with this precious little one in my womb, I must first pick up my cross.  There is a low which must be endured before I have the joy of experiencing the heights.  And in this low valley of facing every day with severe nausea, vomiting and fatigue, God is performing the glorious work of making me more like Christ.  He’s purging sin that’s been hidden under layers of self-sufficiency and revealing in greater depth how He, Jesus, is my everything.  And He is all I need.

If you’ve never listened to this song, click here to purchase and download.  The beautiful lyrics are below…

When You lead me to the valley of vision
I can see You in the heights
And though my humbling wouldn’t be my decision
It’s here Your glory shines so bright
So let me learn that the cross precedes the crown
To be low is to be high
That the valley’s where You make me more like Christ

Let me find Your grace in the valley
Let me find Your life in my death
Let me find Your joy in my sorrow
Your wealth in my need
That You’re near with every breath
In the valley

In the daytime there are stars in the heavens
But they only shine at night
And the deeper that I go into darkness
The more I see their radiant light
So let me learn that my losses are my gain
To be broken is to heal
That the valley’s where Your power is revealed

Another Little Pair of Feet

 

 

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Our little family of six will, Lord willing, add another sweet pair of feet  to our home this August! When we made the initial huge jump from one to four children in under four months, I really thought our family was complete.  For one, I doubted the enormous task God was calling me to, shepherding four little souls, two from an entirely different continent! If, by God’s grace, we managed to survive the huge transition, I didn’t see any way possible to later add anymore children.  While this made logical sense, my heart was so very unsettled.  I love babies…I love the miracle of meeting your new little one for the first time, I love late-night feedings with my babies snuggled close, and I love watching each stage slowly unfold until you have this little person, full of personality and joy.  Once we moved to Georgia and it dawned on me just how settled we had become in our family life (as in the boys were completely adjusted to life as Cuthbertsons, home school was now just a normal way of life and our children seemed to be doing better than the “barely surviving” picture I had envisioned…in fact, they were thriving!).  And in the settledness, a godly discontentment began to creep in.  I say godly because I believe there are times in our life that the Lord allows us to feel discontentment with our current situation, precisely so that He can lead us in His purposes and plans, when we might otherwise be content to stay right where we are.  This godly discontentment that began to creep in centered on a desire for more children.  I prayed for several months before initiating a conversation with Kevin, knowing his response would mean everything.  I was still uncertain as to whether this desire was “of the Lord” or “of Laura” and I knew Kevin’s answer would give me clarity.  So, you can imagine my delight when he looked me straight in the eyes and said “I don’t feel like our family is complete either”!  I’m so thankful for the wisdom God has placed over me in my earthly head…my husband has grown so much in his ability to interpret God’s plans for us and I trust him whole-heartedly.  With that, we began to pray that God would open my womb and that in His time, He might again bless our family with life.  On December 21st, I spied two faint pink lines on a pregnancy test and was overjoyed at God’s goodness to our family.  Our children had also been praying for several months that God would put a baby in mommy’s tummy.  Molly Kate would often come downstairs in the morning, only to report to me that she had just finished praying for a baby and that God would make it a girl! It was such a sweet moment to share with them that God had heard their prayers and answered by creating life.  They are still excited and ask daily what the baby looks like, how big it is, etc.  And now that my sickness is in full swing, they have also been so precious to serve me and show grace to me in a season where I’m limited in my abilities to perform my regular duties.

I know the next few weeks are going to be long…memories of my pregnancies are now realities and I’ve seen the toilet more times than I would like.  But that’s the beauty of God refining us through trials…I’m quite confident of His ability to carry me through this and so instead of despair, I have hope.  And maybe, just maybe, I’ll get around to blogging a bit more 🙂