Sunday, November 20, 2011

Our Gwynnie-pie!!

So much to say!!! We have been parents for nearly 6 months now, and I just haven't been able to find words to describe how much joy Gwyneth has brought to our lives. Every night we sing and pray over her before she goes to bed and my heart is often overwhelmed with gratitude to God for allowing us to be her parents.

Can you even handle that grin:)?!?

Parenting is not the only new thing that is happening in our lives! Steve's business (in-home care for elderly) is now up and running and God has answered our prayer that I would be able to be home with Gwyn most of the time. I LOVE my days with her. It is so fulfilling pouring my life and heart into her. Watching her has helped me to know and understand the love of God a bit better. For example, I love Gwyn so much right where she is at today. Though I look forward to her growing to maturity, there will be infinite joys and grace during the process. God's love for us is like that too! He is so patient and gracious with us, loving us more than we could imagine right where we are today. Awesome!!!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Life Change

Hoo-ey... well, with only 28 days (approximately) left until we meet our babe, let me fill you in regarding the joys of pregnancy:

1st trimester = never-ending nausea and fatigue
2nd trimester = wicked back pain and fatigue
3rd trimester = swollen ankles, multiple night-time trips to the bathroom and, you guessed it, fatigue

I have been at the mercy of this little one for the last 9 months and, though there have definitely been times of complaint, for the most part I've loved it. Sometimes the baby's kicks and jabs make me laugh out loud because of their force or timing. It's miraculous to see my whole belly move with new life. I love having little "bonding" times with my babe... just chatting about things or poking him/her and then he/she jabs back. Sometimes I put music on my belly and we have worship times together. Steve and I so desire our children to know and love the Lord Jesus. We realize that our kids will be our primary ministry focus during the coming years and this is exciting! We are contemplating these verses in Deuteronomy:

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:4-7

Isn't it amazing that immediately following what Jesus says is the greatest commandment (Mark 12:29-31), we are instructed to be continually about the business of teaching these things to our children. It's a high calling and I have to admit that there are times I feel terrified and unqualified. I have to trust that God will give us the wisdom that we need, and I'm so thankful for my husband's Godly leadership.

Side note... as pregnancy draws to a close I have occasionally found myself thinking, "it will be so nice to have my body back." While I was thinking this a few days ago the Lord brought to mind 1 Corinthians 6:19, which says, Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. It was a great reminder that what I often think of as "mine" really isn't. During this season God has chosen to use my body to grow a miracle, and I am so thankful. But during other seasons it is still not my own... He has given me this body to use for His Kingdom, so whatever He calls me to do, I need to do it! What a privilege.

In a few short days we will be holding our baby in our arms and that is thrilling! I tear up just thinking about it. Since I was a tiny little girl I have wanted to be a mother. I used to want only dolls that looked like real babies, and when my little sister was born I mothered her as much as I could and hoped people would think that she was MY baby:). We know that we are in for a massive life change, but we know that it's going to be good. Thank you, God, for allowing us to be parents. Every good and perfect gift comes from You!!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

First Pics!!

I'm so in awe of God. We have been counting down the days until we could see our sweet love on ultrasound, and today was the day! It was amazing. I cried and cried. Here are some pictures of God's awesome handiwork!!!

P.S. We're waiting until delivery day to find out our baby's gender. Any guesses?

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Let everything that has breath...

Praise the LORD.

Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.

Praise the LORD

Psalm 150

He is so worthy!!! I can hardly find words to express how powerfully we have seen God at work over this past year. It has been painful and beautiful all at the same time! After the loss of our first baby in May we both knew that the Lord was moving us from Colorado. So, with a combination of sadness and excitement we went off, halfway across the country to a new home in Wisconsin and many surprises! In addition to being very close to Steve's family and much nearer to mine, we have found here an amazing church family and have been challenged and stretched in our walks with Christ like never before. We also were so blessed to meet a couple who are actively involved with Hands at Work in Africa, the organization I spent a year with in Mozambique. Through this divinely orchestrated friendship and other things as well, God has stirred our hearts in a fresh way to be involved with the plight of the orphan and widow. We are praying about how this will be lived out in the years to come and trusting God to lead. We became licensed foster parents this year and are respite providers. This simply means that we help out other foster families when they need to be gone and can't take their foster children, or when there is a placement for whom a family cannot be immediately found. We desire to do more, but at this point our grueling work schedules do not allow it. But, very soon we hope this will change!!!

Steve and his brother are very busy working together on an awesome business opportunity that is most definitely the provision of God for our family. More on that in the future! We celebrated our first anniversary in September and are now eagerly awaiting the birth of our baby who is, at this very moment, making me smile with his/her busy activity in my womb:). May cannot come soon enough!

We feel exceedingly blessed, but it has not come about easily, and for this I am actually thankful. All of the change, the stress and the pain of loss and uncertainty this year has challenged our comfort zones and complacency in our walks with Christ and in our marriage. We have desperately needed God and found Him waiting for us to turn to Him. We have seen our sinful tendency to be more consumed with desire for the 'American Dream' than to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him. We have realized that more of our thoughts rest on football teams, shopping trips and our plans for the weekend than on loving God and our neighbor, and this is to our shame. We have so far to go, but are thankful that God is not leaving us alone but doing the work of refining. Have your way, Lord Jesus.

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.

Praise the LORD