I already feel like I won’t have the words to say to describe my feelings. And I guarantee it’s not going to come out perfect and won’t say everything I want. But I’m going to just write.

Oh, and it’s super sappy.

Last night was such a great night, full of love for Ryan and me and baby H. Here’s how it went.

I got home from my PT aftercare job at the school, grumpy and annoyed. I was bossy, I was demanding and I was rude. I was just done. And I thought I had a good excuse – I mean come on…I’m full-term PREGNANT. But we have our small group Bible study on Tuesday nights with five of our couple friends so I was doing my best to get over myself. However, I was *this* close to giving in to my bad attitude and telling Ryan to go it alone. Because who wants a sour puss for company? But I really wanted to see everyone again since it had been a few weeks, so I bucked up and managed to turn that frown upside down (on the ride there…).

And group was great. It was intense, it was challenging and it was so, so encouraging.

We talked about how we are all “lukewarm” Christians in so many ways, and were challenged to live more God-centered lives as well as be a light for others. What a hard thing to do in this self-centered, busy world we live in. I won’t get into it here because it won’t do our conversation justice, but if you want to be challenged as a Christian, go ahead and pick up the book, “Crazy Love,” by Francis Chan. You’ll see what I mean. Intense.

Anyway, when it came time for prayer requests, we had more deep conversation about what was going on in each others’ lives. So much to be thankful for, yet so much people were battling against – sickness, work issues, family crisis, etc. After everyone was heard, we each went around and prayed for each others’ concerns. Then they asked if they could lay their hands on Ryan and me and pray just over us, specifically for the health and birth of little Hart.

Guys, sometimes I have a hard time praying out loud. I have an even harder time when the youth pastor asks us to pray over our youth during the Sunday service. It just feels awkward. But can I just tell you what an amazing thing it is to be prayed over and just feel the LOVE pouring on you? So awesome. Ryan and I both admitted we need to try harder to break out of our comfort zone and do this for others because it really does make a huge impact. It does so much more than praying on your own or even in a group. It’s powerful and touching and humbling.

And not only did our group pray for the health of baby H and for a safe and smooth delivery for me, but they also prayed for how they could best support us and give us what we need – even as babysitters. Holla! What an amazing support system we’ve found here. And had I given in to my selfish want of just sulking home alone, look at what I would have missed out on.

But I’m not finished.

So after an emotional and special night with good friends, just sharing our hearts with each other and God, I came back home and jumped online only to discover another amazing community and support group – my Twitter/mom blog peeps.

Go ahead non-Twitter/blog nerds…snort and shake your heads – all our Bible study friends did (as did Ryan…hrm). But the friends who’d given me support earlier that day by calming my fears of a weird and painful contraction I’d had the night before, greeted me that night with concerned questions of “where is Laura?!” “do you think she’s in labor??” “i hope she’s okay!” because of my nighttime absence.

Okay, so that may mean that I already spend too much time on Twitter… But to know that they were concerned about whether or not I was in labor, at the hospital, giving birth, etc. meant the world to me. They know how excited I am to meet the little nugget and they knew my worry about what was going on with my body the night before. And they were genuinely excited about the potential birth of a child of a girl they’ve never even met. !!

(I even saved a screen shot of the tweets because I’m a giant, self-absorbed nerd. whatever)

Oh, and something ELSE amazing I just remembered – I’d [accidentally] been copied on an email earlier that day from the school (where I only work 15 hours a week, or a little more if I sub) asking people to contribute money toward a large gift for little Hart. This was really touching to me because I mostly work after school hours, so a lot of these people I have never even talked to and yet they were wanting to show their support for our little family. So sweet!

Not to mention, tomorrow night I will be out with some more friends who will shower me with love on our “girls’ night” honoring the belly…er, baby. I don’t know what’s in store, but it’s been planned for over a month and there have many sly grins and allusion to a fun night, so it’s gotta be good.

And OF COURSE I certainly can’t forget the continued love and support of my wonderful Midwest community of family and long-time friends. Every day I talk with someone who is anxiously awaiting the good news or sending a care package or writing me an encouraging note. It’s awesome.

Man, it seems I could go on for DAYS! I feel so blessed and loved.

This is what it’s all about – community. People who build us up, love us and truly care for us…even if they don’t all totally “know” us.

I’m always amazed at what God provides and how He is always working in our lives. We may not have everything materialistic we want, but we certainly aren’t lacking in friendships.

I love all my communities and am so, so grateful. Don’t know what I’d do without you.

Thanks all,
Laura