You’re pregnant! Congratulations! God is doing something supernatural. A mystery is taking shape within your belly. Such a joyous and beautiful time for a woman.
However, being pregnant in the summer months is not the most comfortable state of existence. When it’s 90 plus degrees out and you’ve already put on several pounds, the glow of pregnancy dwindles. You are constantly hot, your feet swell, you can’t get comfortable and you feel the stares. Oh, and did anyone say cankles? Yeah, pregnancy in summer is no walk in the park.
Nobody said pregnancy (and motherhood) would be easy. In the meantime, here are a few tips and words of encouragement to get you through the summer and closer to the day you hold your bundle of joy in your arms.
Choose a blessed pregnancy.
“May the God of your father help you; may the Almighty bless you with the blessings of the heavens above, and blessings of the watery depths below, and blessings of the breasts and womb.” (Genesis 49:25)
SEE ALSO: Praying Through Your Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time of blessing. No, it does not always feel that way, but it is. See each day with your child inside your body as a gift. Once you give birth, you will never have your child this close, or this dependent on you. It truly is precious.
Refuse to focus on the symptoms. Stop being negative and cynical. The first way to get through a long, hot summer is to believe your pregnancy is blessed (even in unbearable heat).
Let people pamper you.
“Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back to her own home.” (Luke 1:56)
SEE ALSO: Surprise Child: Finding Joy in Unplanned Pregnancy
You feel very conspicuous when pregnant. Everyone gawks. Everyone wants to pat your belly. You may be self-conscious but people look at you because they are genuinely happy.
Take advantage of it. Allow people to spoil you. Take the meals people cook. Accept that seat on the bus. Yield to the massage your husband offers. And if no one is offering, pamper yourself. Buy yourself a facial, hire a housekeeper, soak in a bath, permit the luxury of a sleep in. This is one time in life you have an excuse. Take it!
Refuse to worry.
“So refuse to worry, and keep your body healthy.” (Ecclesiastes 11:10 NLT)
SEE ALSO: 5 Things Being a Parent Taught Me About God
It seems that you can’t do much these days without being told to eat well, exercise more, and live a healthy lifestyle – especially when pregnant. The Bible also has a few things to say about being healthy. One tip is found in Ecclesiastes – don’t worry. Actually, the Bible says refuse to worry. You see, worrying is a choice. You allow yourself to worry, or you can refuse it place in your life.
Being worry-free is good for you and baby. Your child does not need to experience anxiety, and neither do you. You are a mother, but that does not mean you should be a worrier. You may not be able to turn down the heat or take off some pounds, but you can shake off the burden of worry.
“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvellous—how well know it.” (Psalm 139:14 NLT)
While everyone else is wearing a bikini, you are wondering if you will ever wear one again. The refreshment of ocean waves sounds so inviting until you remember you have to don a bathing suit. What happened to your body? It looks nothing like those pictures of pregnant celebrities. There’s a lot of fear and not much wonderful going on.
Even so, God sees you as His marvellous workmanship. He loves your incredibly complex, pregnant body, inside and out. He is pleased with what He sees when He looks at you.
So go ahead, look in the mirror. Admire your fearfully and wonderfully made body. Delight in the changes pregnancy has made, and praise the Lord. Your body is beautiful because it is you.
“If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:3 NLT)
When pregnant, you sacrifice your body. It does not belong to you but to a little person who will suck you dry if you let him.
And you can take advantage of that. You can tell everyone you meet how horrible and draining your pregnancy has been and wear it like a badge of honor. Or you can love it. You can love the swollen feet and the stretch marks. You can love the morning sickness and the pain.
You can choose the path of a martyr, or the path of love – the most excellent way. Don’t brag on the discomfort, brag on how much you love your baby.
“I’m fat, I’m tired and I’m a giant marshmallow, but I’d do it all over again, Baby, because I love you and I’d give everything for you.”
I’ve never met a mother who would not say amen to that!
Sarah Coleman is the mother of two boys and author of Expecting Daily Pregnancy Devotion – a daily dose of faith and hope during pregnancy. Visit her blog sarahcoleman.com.au for more words of encouragement.
Publication date: June 3, 2016