ANOTHER GIRL?!

After my husband and I got married I would always daydream about becoming a mother and I just couldn’t wait for my dream to be realized. I would envision us having a ton of boys in the back of a Suburban, heading home from practice, sweaty and smelly. I would imagine what they would look like, tall like my husband? Glasses or no glasses? Fair or olive colored? I literally couldn’t wait.

Although it took longer then expected, nearly five years into our marriage we became pregnant with our first child. I remember knowing I was having a boy, not because I ever felt anything inside to indicate so, but because of my daydreams, of course I would have a boy, and not only would I have a son, I believed I would only have sons.

I’m not sure where this idea came from but I believe it was from a deep rooted fear of girls. Growing up I didn’t have great relationships with other girls, they were mean! What if my daughter was bullied? What if she was the bully?! And what if she hated me??  All these prospects terrified me.

So needless to say, mid- January 2013, when I found out I was having a little girl of my own, I was terrified. I was in such shock I actually paid $100 to have a second, private ultrasound to ensure that what we saw, was in fact what was there. $100 later, it was true, a little girl.

My fear slowly turned into excitement (with serious come to Jesus moment with my husband) and I began to prepare for my little girl. (Now let me just say, I love my daughters more then anything but this is the real reality of how I felt in the early stages.) Fast forward less then two years and I was pregnant again, and yet again, everyone assumed THIS would be my son. Well meaning friends and family would announce ‘hopefully it’s a boy this time!’ but to everyone’s surprise, yet another baby girl for the Burgos family.

Now two girls later in the fall of 2017 I was pregnant yet again. (We really like to have babies around here! LOL) ‘This has to be a boy!’ people would say, ‘Reuben needs a son!’ (I mean, no pressure right?!) And yet, we received the news that we were indeed pregnant with our third daughter.

I cannot even count the number of times I have heard the words ‘another girl?!’ over the course of the last nine months.

‘Three girls?! Good luck with that!’

‘I feel sorry for you when they become teenagers!!’

‘Poor Reuben, he’s so outnumbered!’

‘You’re going to try again, right? You have to try for the boy!’

The list could go on and on of comments I’ve received from well meaning friend and family, as well as rude and ignorant strangers. I have to be honest, these conversations have gone from light and innocent to offensive and obnoxious. Don’t even ask me if I plan to ‘try for the boy’ or tell me you feel sorry for me. ‘Poor Reuben?!’ Really?? Is that what people really think about raising daughters? That it’s something to be pitied? The idea that daughters are somehow less then sons frustrates me (No shade to the boys! I love the boys, boys are great but they are not in any way superior to the daughters). Daughters are lovely, daughters are beautiful, daughters are a special gift from heaven and they should be treasured not despised.

Another girl…

I’ve realized these words are not a reflection of our perceived future but rather a reaction to our very real, unhealed past. It hasn’t been easy for the ladies. After the fall of man, which according to many was ‘Eve’s fault’ (you can read more about my thoughts on Eve here) women have been on a long road to redemption. Striving, proving and desperately wanting to be seen as equals to our male counter parts. Why do women have to be the enemy? Why is it that even women are terrified of other women? And how could it be that we view daughters as ‘just another’ to add to the bunch as if some how they can be grouped away when God has called each of us unique?

Over the last five years I’ve realized now more then ever that this is not the heart of our Heavenly Father towards His daughters and if He can’t make the women see it in themselves, He’ll force them to see it in their daughters.

It’s easy to see in my daughters what I can’t see in myself. It’s easy to love and value in them what I hide and hate in me. It’s easy to call them lovely and cherished even when I feel broken and overlooked. If God can’t make the women see it in themselves, He’ll force them to see it in their daughters.

Having little girls has never made me more proud to be a woman. Having little girls has never made my husband look more like Jesus. It’s amazing how daughters have the ability to pull out the unhealed parts of their mother while simultaneously brining out the unrealized heart of Jesus in their father.

I remember the Holy Spirit whispering to me one day “I’m raising up a generation of daughters that will love me with ease’. The Lord began to show me that daughters, raised by strong father figures, would not struggle to love their heavenly Father because their earthly father would make it so easy. Daughters so loved and cherished, not resented or feared, by their mothers would be able to love themselves well and completely. As the words ‘poor Reuben’ ring in my mind, my heart screams out he’s not only blessed, he is highly favored to be entrusted with the hearts of world changing women.

I want you to know something, how we feel about others is often a reflection of how we view ourselves. And while I could be offended by the heart towards the daughters of this world, I’ve realized it’s a reflection of the hurt, fear and brokenness we carry. It’s a reflection of the ‘not good enough’ mentality we carry. It’s evidence of the ‘a man must complete me’ mindset.

Daughters, you’re not just ‘another girl’ to your heavenly Father. He treasures you, He loves you, He honors you and you were not a second choice. ‘It is not good for man to be alone’ said the Lord. You were created for completion, not competition. Women don’t need to compete for space when we complete the Father’s perfect picture of humanity. You complete the picture the Father is painting in our community, you complete the picture the Father is painting in our homes, you complete the picture God wants to paint of humanity. He loves you! I was surprised by my first born daughter’s gender reveal almost 6 years ago but God wasn’t. He chose her, just as He chose me and you.

Although at times we look at children as just another….  God doesn’t nor does He look at you as just another. I think when we realize this, internalize it, live by it, walk in it- we can and will be filled with grace to live and not strive. We will be filled with grace to complete the picture God is painting rather then compete for space in it. You are chosen, lovely and sought after. Never forget it. Despite how you feel or what you’ve been told, you are not just another to God.

Xo.. LB

MY BEST YES

Seven years ago today my life changed forever.

I woke up like any other day, to the sound of “Amazed” by Lonestar on the radio alarm. I went to work at my first job, planning to work at my second job right after. It was a regular Friday, or so I thought.

After talking with my sister-in- law that afternoon I knew my second job wasn’t an option.

“I’m preaching!” She said. “I really want you to be there, I’m really excited about this message.” She added. “And besides that, it’s Reuben’s first night playing the drums. I’m sure he would love for you to be there.”

Later I got a call from my best friend, “What are you doing tonight? I want to come to church with you.” The story was; her and her boyfriend were fighting and she wanted to get away. I still don’t know if that was even remotely true, but in the moment I thought “SURE. I would love for you to come with me!!”

My parents and brother wanted to join us as well; they wanted to see Reuben play the drums for the first time. How could I say no? This would be a family affair and a night to remember..

Just like that, I swapped shifts and I was getting ready for Friday night youth service. I didn’t go to many of these, being a waitress meant I worked Friday and Saturday nights, after working my regular office job during the weekdays. But tonight seemed different, so I went for it.

The service ended and the Pastor called us up “Reuben and Lori will be traveling this weekend, let’s pray for traveling graces.” With every head bowed and every eye closed (or so I thought) we prayed. Then, as I opened my eyes there he was; on one knee, box opened, ring shinning.

“Will you marry me?” He said.

“YES!” I exclaimed.

Camera flashes going off all over the sanctuary, clapping, cheering; a roar of excitement irrupted in the sanctuary. We had been high school sweet hearts and had the spent the last 5 years together. We had loved each other, hated each other, laughed, cried, grew and matured and now we stood there, as adults ready to make the biggest decision of our lives.

He hugged me as tight as he could, and as he held me as close as I could get, and then he whispered; “The real question is, will you marry me tomorrow?”

“WHAT?!” I said abruptly.

I think he could see the panic in my face and the concern in my voice. Before I could utter another word he said “Just trust me. I promise, everything will be ok.”

And just like that, I said yes. Again.

Less than 24 hours later I was ready to walk down an aisle I did not lay down, in a sanctuary I did not decorate, surrounded by people I did not invite, in a wedding dress I did not buy, to meet my soon to be husband at the end of an aisle where we would begin the rest of our lives together.

Now, if you know me you know I’m a planner and never in my wildest dreams would I expect to get married, with a less than 24 hour engagement and a ceremony and reception I had nothing to do with planning, and yet, here I was. Standing in a church where the sanctuary was decorated, the room was packed; I had a wedding cake, flower girls, food, a dress, a bouquet. I had everything we needed for a wedding and I didn’t have a single thing to do with it.

I walked down the aisle with my father where I met my husband, brother, mother and soon to be brother- in- law (who married us, his FIRST wedding ever!!) We said our I Do’s and that was it!

We were married.

I thought that day getting married was my best yes, my craziest yes, my scariest yes and the most important yes of my life.

Yet 7 years later, marriage has taught me that it’s not about the first yes, or the second yes or even the third, fourth and fifth yes. It’s all about the daily yes you commit to saying for life.

The commitment to say YES when life doesn’t go the way you planned.

The commitment to say YES when the job is gone.

The commitment to say YES when the house falls through.

The commitment to say YES when the dreams are shattered.

The commitment to say YES when the house is a mess.

The commitment to say YES when marriage isn’t the solution to loneliness as you expected.

The commitment to say YES when the picture you see doesn’t look like the “box” you picked up.

The commitment to say YES when money is low and bills are due.

The commitment to say YES when stress is high.

The commitment to say YES when the grass looks greener on the other side.

 

The daily yes.

Yes, I will honor you.

Yes, I will love you.

Yes, I will cherish you.

Yes, I will pray for you.

Yes, I will support you.

Yes, I will be there for you unconditionally.

Yes, I will be by your side when no one else is.

If you spend your relationship waiting for the next milestone, you’ll always be disappointed. You’ll always feel like something is missing. But if you learn to love intentionally and without reservation, you’ll find that the journey is better than the destination and the daily yes is your best yes.

Today I celebrate that marrying my husband was my first yes, is my last yes and will forever be my best daily yes.

YOU TOO ARE LOVED

It’s amazing how quickly time passes us by. To think just one short week ago I was sitting in the hospital with my little one, staring intently at her, in awe and wonder of her beauty.

Reuben had left for church, the room was quiet and I just sat on my hospital bed staring at Savannah, admiring every last detail of her.

“Savannah, I love you so much!” I said with tears welded up in my eyes.

“You are amazing. You are gorgeous in every way! Savannah you came OUT OF ME! You are a special piece of me. I hope you get everything that is good from me, and bypass all the bad. Savannah, there is nothing I wouldn’t do for you! To keep you safe. To keep you happy and healthy. I promise you baby, no harm will come your way as long as I can help it! You are a treasure, straight from heaven& I will always hold you close and dear to my heart. There is nothing you could ever do that would make me love you any more or any less. My love for you is limitless and unconditional. You have my heart baby girl and that will never, ever change.

Tears running down my face it suddenly made sense.

God loves me.

He really, really loves ME. It felt as if during that time I spoke over my daughter, God began to speak the same words of affirmation over me. In that moment, as close as she felt to me, I felt to God. I knew that He held me close, and sustained me in every way necessary.

Years of church, loving God and knowing He loved me suddenly made more sense than it ever had before.

GOD LOVES ME!!! Not because of what I have or haven’t done, not because I love Him or because He has to, He loves me just because I am His. I am a piece of HIM!

As I looked at my daughter, I felt such an overwhelming feeling, I literally felt swaddled in love. The new found love for my daughter as well as this revelation of God’s love for me rushed through me, over taking and filling every last empty part of me.

It’s hard to understand this love.. Even as I look at her, I think of my husband and how many years it took for us to truly, love each other the “right way”, I think of all the people I’ve encountered whom I wanted to love, or should love, but just couldn’t. Love hasn’t always come easy for me. It was something I knew but at times, the reality escaped me. And now, suddenly, in a split second, it made more sense then it ever had before!!

It’s amazing how one moment, one touch, one look, one encounter could change all of that. In one single instant, it all made sense.

I feel like with this revelation, another piece of heaven has opened up over my life. I am now not only aware, but convinced that God’s love for me is like no other love I will ever know. It is real, tangible, unearnable and irrevocable.

I am His. And He is mine.

It is my hope and prayer that in someway, God’s love for you will be exposed in a real, tangible way as well. Maybe you have children, and you can relate to this, maybe you don’t. Either way, I know that God is big enough to meet you in this moment, in the exact way you need Him to and speak to your heart in a way that will make sense to you, just to show you that you too are loved. You too are cherished. You too hold a piece of God’s heart within you that He will always love and hold dear.

You too are loved.