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Dominic’s Diaper Genie

Dominic’s Diaper Genie

We are selling our baby stuff.

I have kept the diapers that people gave me for Dominic in his closet. Until now. Thinking that we would imminently have more children and I would need them.

It’s been a year.

For a variety of very important reasons, the Lord has made it clear that we are not having more children imminently. And we need the space more than we need the stuff. So we’re selling it.

The car seat. The baby stroller. The kiddie slide. We’re keeping the girls’ baby clothes, and some of the important toys that are stored in the attic, but a lot of the major items that I was keeping to use with the much-dreamed-about baby Capuano #4 are going.

I am grieving it. Yes, I actually shed tears when the boxes of diapers, which were overflowing in the closet just taking up room, went into the car to go back to the store.

Oh, the things we hold on to.

I’m trying to let go.

The truth is, if the Lord allows us to have more children, it will be when we are in a position to be able to get new “stuff” for him or her.

Until then, it’s all just the residue of my own selfish plans sitting around, gathering dust.

“Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end.” Psalm 119:33

“Not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42

I fight it tooth and nail. As much as I try to submit to His will, it’s like a battle. This dying to self is a little like drowning – he wants me to just release and be engulfed by the water of His love, and I frantically splash and kick on the way down. I gasp for the air I know, then, after getting worn out from the struggle, I give in momentarily, only to crawl to the surface again.

When will I fully succumb?

Me or Him?

And sometimes, I’ve found, the lines of where “self” ends and “God” begins are just not so clear.

This desire for more children – Grief-laden? Idol-inducing? God-given?

Yes. Yes. And Yes.

Tricky, this life.

Having more babies has been a combination of all of that for me – a God-given desire, a yearning brought on by sorrow, and an idol that took the place of God in my life. Sometimes it’s hard to know what is the driving force behind that desire at any particular time – me or the Lord.

And it’s complicated by the fact that even though the “me” part of the desire has been so strong at times as to choke out everything else (including God), I also believe the Lord has given me hope that our family is not finished.

Many, specific verses, over the last year. Repeated over and over again, at just the right time. Crazy, uncanny “findings” of the same reassurances, usually when I’m at my wits’ end.

I’ll share one of them that He gave me again, recently:

“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.
He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven.

He blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased,
and he did not let their herds diminish.

 Then their numbers decreased, and they were humbled
by oppression, calamity and sorrow;

But he lifted the needy out of their affliction
and increased their families like flocks.

Let the one who is wise heed these things
and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord. “

– Psalm 107: 28-31, 38-39, 41, 43

Will He lead me to my desired haven and increase our family like flocks?

I don’t know.

Ambiguity and Balance

I go back and forth, sometimes within even the same day. He continues to give me reassurance through the Word that He will in some pretty spectacular, crazy word-from-God ways. (In true Rebecca fashion, I’m keeping a journal of them). And when I get those words, I am encouraged and at peace. But when I look at what life and reality tell me, I see the opposite message. If I didn’t want children so badly, I wouldn’t, from what I believe He has shown me through His word, have the slightest bit of doubt. But the truth is that I know just how strong my “self” can be – strong enough that when it’s something I want badly enough, it can interfere with my ability to hear Him correctly.

And therein lies the challenge…

How much of it is me, and how much of it is Him?

I don’t know. And I may not know, until we either have another child, or get too old to do so.

Either way, I have to trust Him and believe – truly believe – that whichever way it goes, it is His giving me the best for me, because that is always what He does.

And right now, that means releasing my desire, and, symbolically, my stuff.

Mostly.

I am keeping one important thing.

Dominic’s Diaper Genie.

Yes. The thing that you put dirty diapers in so they don’t stink up the room. We got it new, for Dominic – and obviously never used it. I don’t know why, but it has become the symbol of my hope in the Lord’s words to me about children.

(If you’d like to venture into the psychological and spiritual implications in that one, be my guest, but I’m going to just pass it right by…)

It sits unobtrusively behind the door in the used-to-be-nursery-now-guest-room, and nobody even knows it’s there. Except me.

Each time I clean around it I look at it and think – “It’s not over yet. It could be, and if it is – the Lord will help me deal with that, and find His good in it. But the Diaper Genie is still here. And I believe it’s not over yet.”

Selling the baby stuff, but keeping the Diaper Genie. Giving up my own desires and my own way, while holding on to hope that those desires may have come from the Lord – and that He will honor them. Succumbing to His plan and His timing, whatever that is, yet maintaining faith in who He is, regardless of the outcome.

It reminds me of what one of my favorite religion professors used to say: “The mark of maturity is being able to deal with ambiguity”.

I’m not mature yet.

I do think this ambiguity is indicative of the challenge of this Christian life. Deciphering how much is self and how much is God, and how to balance acceptance and faith and hope and hearing His voice over the noise of our own desires – and walking with Him and trusting Him through it all.

I don’t have the answers. But I do have Him.

And I know – whether I get to use that Diaper Genie, or end up selling it, too –

Having Him matters more than figuring out the balance of any of it.

2 Responses to “Dominic’s Diaper Genie”

  1. Mary Ann says:

    “Until then, it’s all just the residue of my own selfish plans sitting around, gathering dust.” Such a clear word picture of something we all do.

    Very thoughtfully written article about a subject that can be as clear as mud.

  2. Cindy Herald says:

    Very well written from your heart. Keeping you all in our prayers.

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