very happy news...
If you follow along at That's Pretty Ace (or on Facebook or Instagram), you already know that Chris and I are excitedly expecting our first child!
She (yes, she!) is a very welcome gift and we are absolutely over the moon. I'm now five months along, and my belly is slowly but surely expanding. Our baby girl is growing fast and furiously! We are incredibly honored to be mom and dad to this little girl. Her name will be Grace Lynn Knight and are prayerfully looking forward to all that God has planned for her life.
If you've followed along with us in the past, you know that the question of when we would be able to "settle down" and start a family has been a question in my heart and in our home for awhile. I shared some of that intimately back in November of last year, as my heart wrestled with God about all the moving we were looking to do for Chris's job and the uncertainty that came with that. We had grown closer to our families in the past few years, and I longed to be near them when we started a family. I also felt that we needed to have our ducks in order – house purchased and settled in, Chris at a steady job for a year or so – before we could even consider a baby.
While those things are definitely good, the more Chris and I talked about it, the more we realized that the things that were holding us back weren't necessities for us. Financially (by God's sweet providence), we were in a good place. Though spread out across many miles, we had a good support system. And both of our hearts felt ready (as ready as you can be, haha!). At the beginning of 2016, we decided to go ahead and try. God has continued to teach us, time and time again, that His timing – His plan – is nothing but perfect. If this year wasn't the year for us to have a child, He would have the last say in whether or not we would get pregnant. We began the year fully surrendered to whatever He had in store.
So surrendered, in fact, that it was Chris who pointed out that I should probably take a test (I hadn't even noticed I was late). One very early morning in late April, I took a test and confirmed Chris's suspicion – we were pregnant! It happened to be my mom's birthday, and as we drove to Arlington to surprise her, I processed my shock, as Chris sat next to me, mooney-eyed and at peace. I had always imagined it the other way around :)
One thing I've been surprised by so far is that, although Grace is always on my mind, I don't think of her as often as I had thought I would. Let me explain... I assumed I would spend every moment of my pregnancy prayerfully preparing for her arrival. And while that has, in many ways, been true, I've also been humbly surprised at how God has been putting other work before me. Relationships are like a garden – they take work, and sometimes, it's slow going. But every step of the process is more than rewarding. There are so many sweet relationships in my life – more than I expected there to be as we spent a temporary year in Austin – and I'm so thankful for all of the life that I'm getting to be part of. I knew it would be good for Grace to grow up with a mom who had a life outside of her daughter – friendships, work, and pursuits of her own – and I had feared I wouldn't do that well. God is sweetly already setting that up in my heart, and teaching me to let Him be in control of Grace's life. The thing I've most enjoyed praying about and looking forward to is the day that Grace knows Christ and accepts Him as her Savior. I have no idea what that will look like for her – or even if it's in God's plan for her life – but it brings me deep joy prayerfully anticipating that season for her, more than any other season and moment of her life.
Another sweet source of peace in this season has come from knowing that God loves her more than I do. How that is possible, I don't know... I love her so deeply and and she's not even in my arms yet! But this truth is sewn into me, and I find so much trust and surrender in that. Looking ahead, especially at figuring out how to parent our girl, I'm so relieved to know that in my brokenness and mistakes, or in moments where I can't help her, I can always point her to Christ and His love for her. He knows her more deeply than I ever will. He has planned each one of her days already. He wants to talk to her and for her to talk to Him, and for them to have an intimate relationship. He loves her greater than I can fathom. When she feels the world is closed to her, when she is scared or afraid, or when she feels "not enough" and unloved, she can look in awe to her Creator, who delights to be her Father and to grow the love between them.
What an eye-opening thing to realize that He feels the same way about me.
I am completely floored to realize the depth of God's grace in my life – after my years of rebellion, battling deep depression on and off again, my flimsy attempts to "make deals" with God to get my way, and my selfish, lazy, pride that always seems to creep in and pull me away from my Father, He still loves me greater than I can imagine. His grace reaches across all of my messes and mistakes and He sees me washed white through His Son. I can't help but think of the lyrics to one of my favorite songs in this season... "You shoulder our weakness, and Your strengths become our own. Now you're making me like You... clothing me in white. Bringing beauty from ashes, You will have Your bride. Free from all her guilt. Rid of all her shame. Known by her true name. And it's why I sing... your praise will ever be on my lips." Praise be to our sweet Father, who knows us more intimately than we can fathom, who provides to meet our deepest needs, and who delights to see us delight in Him.