Saturday, December 21, 2013

Man plans his way, but God directs his steps

"The mind of man plans his way,
But the LORD directs His steps."
Proverbs 16:9

Lately, I have felt that I am being tested in the area of patience and facing disappointments. I posted previously about having to be super patient with the building of the addition to our home.  Things have just not gone according to my plans there.  We have seen a little progress recently.  In fact, we are now able to walk on the foundation of the new section of our house!  I have had thoughts of how nice it would be if things were ready in our master bedroom before baby arrives in April, but I am accepting the fact that that most likely will not be the case.

Why do I sometimes feel like a whiny toddler when things don't go my way?  I have had a few days of feeling that way in the past several weeks.  This attitude has caused me to reflect on exactly what is going on inside my heart, and how to deal with everything emotionally and practically.

I have been particularly disappointed recently because of my hopes for the way that I want to give birth to this baby growing in my belly.  My last two babies were born at home, and I absolutely preferred my experience there to my hospital births.  I was hoping for another home birth this time, but the expenses of adding onto our home, running our little farm and of course, all that goes into raising 9 growing children, led my husband to feel that it didn't make sense when the insurance wouldn't cover any part of the homebirth. I thought my only option was the hospital, but I recently discovered that there is a wonderful birthing center in South Austin.  I found out that my insurance would cover the cost of a birth center birth, and I began to get excited about this option.  While my mom was visiting for Thanksgiving, we went together for a tour of the facility, and it was so beautiful!  I was pretty much ready to plan on transferring my care there for the remainder of the pregnancy, but then we received the financial estimate from the birth center.  It turns out that the birth center isn't contracted with our insurance, so when the insurance doesn't think a service is worth a certain amount of money, and they adjust the cost and set what they will pay, if the provider chooses to bill the patient for the balance, they can do so.  This isn't such a big deal except that this amount goes above and beyond our deductible and out-of-pocket maximum, meaning any extra money we pay to the birth center will not count towards our out-of-pocket maximum, whereas at the hospital it will.  When I finally understood what this means for us, I was so frustrated and angry that I just began to cry!  I was so sure this would be cheaper than the hospital and that it would work out great for us.  While it is cheaper than the hospital, the cost we would end up paying will mean if we reach our out of pocket maximum, we will still be paying over $1000 that we wouldn't have to have paid if it had counted towards our out of pocket maximum.  This makes it very hard to decide to pay so much extra for this birth center birth rather than going the hospital route.  I was pouting about it for a whole day last week.  I reasoned to myself that my husband should view this as a gift to me.  I thought if he really wants to make me happy, he should just agree to pay this extra amount and  that would be it.  My attitude was kind of like the attitude my younger children often display when they don't get their way.

We are attempting to negotiate something with the birth center to see if they will reduce our cost, but I just have no idea what the outcome will be.  In the past week, while I have been waiting to see if I will get a discount at the birth center, we have had a few more unseen expenses added to our growing list of expenses. Today I am trying to be more adult about this and view it from the perspective that God knows exactly where this baby should be born, and I just need to rest and trust in His plan.  Maybe it will go the way I want it to.  Maybe they will work out a lower cost that Todd can live with, and I will get my way.  But there is a very good chance that I will have to go ahead and have the baby at the hospital.  If that is the case, then I am praying that I can joyfully trust that this is just where God wants our sweet one to be born.  In the long run, all that really matters is that God has blessed us once again with a new little life to join our family.  I am so humbled and grateful beyond measure.  I get to do this again!  What a privilege.  It sounds so crazy to a lot of people since I have already had 9 children, but each one is a special gift and I am so honored to be their mama.  There is nothing I would rather be doing than raising my children and teaching them at home, watching my older kids become young women and men, and just enjoying who they are all becoming.  What rich times we have!  What fun!  And, oh what the future holds!  My heart is full.

So, while I am praying still for the birth center to work out, and while I also covet the prayers of any of you who would like to pray that on my behalf, I am also praying that I will be ready to accept it if I end up needing to deliver at the hospital.  God knows best.

I think about my children and all the things they want or think they want.  At times, I need to tell them no, because I see the big picture, and I understand the circumstances surrounding everything.  I can see that what my child wants may not be the best thing for him or her.  I'm trying to see things this way; perhaps God is directing this birth to the hospital for a reason.  He is sovereign, and He knows best.  He cares for me and for this unborn child.  I may have my plans, but I am trusting fully in whatever The Lord sees fit.

I'm always learning to rest in The Lord more and more.  I truly get to the point where I feel like I'm trusting Him, and then this type of thing comes up.  May I learn to truly rely on Him.

Blessings to all, and I'll update more on this as things become more clear.