6.28.2018

Hopes and Dreams, Round IV, for our Son [plus some]

For each of our children, we have chosen four traits to pray over them for their lives. [Click HERE to see those] Obviously we wanted to do the same for our son [SON! still weird? you bet.]. I also wanted to write him letters, just as I have done with the others at this point, but it just hasn't been feasible. However, I have taken pictures each week since 18 weeks, and I've written him a letter, so I figured I would just do one post with all of it so he doesn't miss out completely :).

Let's start with his traits:


Courage 
Steadfastness
Gentleness
Wisdom

Courage

1. the ability to do something that frightens one; strength in the face of pain or grief
In the bible, courage is often referred to as boldness and confidence. I love what C.S. Lewis said, "Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at testing point." Brent really wanted courage as one of our son's traits: he wants him to know the importance of "fearing not" when called into something bigger than himself.
What the bible says about courage: 
1 Corinthians 16:13 "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong." 


Steadfastness

1. resolutely or dutifully firm and unwaving

To be steadfast and unmovable is to be spiritually grounded; to remain at your post come what may. It is grit. It is knowing what you believe and not being swayed. It is enduring when the enduring seems the hardest thing. And we pray our son is steadfast in his relationship with God. We pray he is steadfast in holding onto what the bible says. We pray he is steadfast in his wait for his wife and in his time serving her and his family. Come what may.  May he be dependable and reliable and unwavering about all the right things. 
What the bible says about steadfastness: 
Proverbs 4:26
 “Give careful thought to the paths of your feet and be steadfast in all your ways." 

Gentleness

1. the quality of being kind, tender, or mild-mannered
Gentleness was a trait that kept coming to my mind as Brent and I talked, and when we decided on courage, I knew it had to be followed with gentleness. Sometimes the most courageous thing to do is be the gentle hand in the back of the crowd. This is a word I would use time and again to describe Brent, and it's one of the best fruits of the Spirit in his life, so of course I want my son to possess this as well. 
What the bible says about gentleness: 
Galatians 5:22
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."


Wisdom

1. the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise

2. the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgement. 

 I pray our son has wisdom that asks good questions, that reflects, that doesn't simply react to situations but has forethought, and that taps into the wisdom of God. James 1:5 says , "If any of you lacks wisdom you should ask God..." and we are asking God on behalf of our son. Years ago Brent and I did a study by Andy Stanley called "The Best Question Ever." And the best question? It was "What is the wise thing to do? In light of my past experience, my present circumstances, and my future hopes and dreams-- what is the wise thing to do?" And I pray our son will intuitively know how to ask himself these questions, and pursue the wisdom that "comes from heaven", and that through his wisdom that he will lead well.

What the bible says about wisdom: 
James 3:17
"But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere." 

Feel free to join us in prayer for this sweet son of ours as we all wait in expectation and prepare our hearts and minds for him to join our family. 
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And so he doesn't miss out on pictures of him and I together: [and yes, I labeled them all in my phone because I knew I wouldn't remember when or where or how or why. And yes, they were taken on my phone and not my "big girl" camera. Such is life these days.] 







mother's day 


so, funny story: I got selected as a maternity model and won a little photo shoot. The photographer was incredible [bsweetphotography for locals] but man oh man I felt super awkward to 1. be in front of the camera and 2. be "styled" by the photographer [no. I did not own nor did I buy this dress. duh]




She needs to be in a picture because I seriously could not do this pregnancy without this sweet and helpful big girl of mine



Never have I ever been more grateful to make it to 30 weeks of pregnancy, on so many levels for so many reasons. I am 31 weeks today [no picture yet]. I feel larger than I ever have at this point in a pregnancy, even though I'm measuring roughly the same as I did with all the girls. Physically being pregnant for the fifth time at age 32 is WAY different than being pregnant for the first time at age 25 and I apologize to every woman every where when I thought to myself, "I don't get why people complain about pregnancy? It's kind of fun." Oh, I'm laughing so hard right now. My pelvis, well, the poor old girl is just shot and each week that ticks by I hear her crying for joy. 

But also, being 30 weeks pregnant is a great reminder that yes, we all will walk through the wilderness in our lives, but the Gospel is a story that reminds us time and again that we are not a people called to set up camp there forever. There is a promised land on the other side of our time there. It will be resurrected. Now or then. It will be. He will resurrect. It's who He is. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a tangible reminder of that while living in the not-yet of this world, and I am profoundly grateful that, for whatever reason, we do. I just heard a podcast recently that talked about how God chose to leave the nail scars in Jesus' body, even after he was resurrected. Those scars were a part of the story-- a story of pain and death and betrayal-- but also scars that made the resurrection an even greater miracle. May we never make light of this part of our story, and may we always use it to point to the Great Redeemer. 

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And finally, I'll wrap up this massive post a little letter I wrote our boy while on our anniversary trip to Colorado when I was 23 weeks along. [And yes, he has a name, and yes, just like with the rest of our crew we will not be revealing it until his arrival :). But it is perfect and special, just for him, with a story and heritage. Okay! No, more hints!] 

Dear baby boy, 
I am currently sitting by a mountain stream, my feet in the icy spring water to cool my pregnant body from the unusually warm May weather. You are kicking and rolling in my belly and I just keep thinking how wonderful it will be to bring you here and share God's beauty with you someday. When I look up at the snow capped mountains [ which your dad is currently climbing], I can't help but be in awe that the same God what made that massive mountain is the one so tenderly knitting you together piece by piece, moment by moment, inside of me. Not just that-- but HE WANTS US-- you and me-- OVER the earthly beauty he has made. As majestic and powerful and stunning as that mountain is, those rocks cannot love Him and seek Him and serve Him in the ways we can. It's simply incredible.

There is an old hymn I always think of when I 'm in the mountains, and it says, "Were the whole realm of nature main, that were an offering far too small. Love so amazing, so divine, demands our life, our soul, our all." All of THIS, and He wants our SOULS. 

Yesterday when hiking/waddling up to a lake that was still covered in ice and surrounded by snow, I realized how isolated you can feel up here in these peaks. Yet the craziest truth is, God was the first one here and He still is so present. There is a scripture that says there is no where we can go to outrun his presence-- if we make our bed in the depths, He is there-- if we soar on the heights-- He is right there with us. Don't forget that, sweet boy-- those two terrifying yet beautiful truths: 
          We cannot outrun His presence.
                There is no where we can go that He is not. 

There may be days ahead your wish you could hide your face from Him, but know that instead He is asking us to bare our souls--He is asking us to run into Him. And may you always know the truth, sweet boy, that there is no shame in Him. 

I love you so much already. It was a journey to get to this point with you, and it was not my plan to have you along on this trip, but God foresaw it all, and in His goodness he allowed you to be a part of it. And I am so so glad you are. 

Love, Your Mom 


5.22.2018

Becks is FOUR!



Becks Lynae,

Four years old! I knew it would happen and yet, like every birthday, it leaves me a little breathless. You still sound so little, your high pitched voice carrying your toddler self with it a little longer. You still are so little, your tiny feet and tiny features and small stature leave some baffled at your actual age. But when I have the opportunity to sit and just watch you, and I look in your crystal blue eyes-- I see it then-- I see you are four, and you are growing up.


You are growing up in the way you observe and take in this world. You are more inquisitive, sometimes taking something in for entire minutes before forming a question about what you are observing. You are growing up in the way you process. I have watched you learn how to cope and deal with situations that aren't going exactly your way, far better than you used to. You have [a little ;)] more patience and can handle changes in plan so much better. You are, in fact, becoming a big kid-- you are four. And a couple of weeks before you turned four you came running into the room and bursting with excitement said, "Mommy! I'm FOUR!" I informed you would be in a couple of weeks and you said, "No, I AM four because I can turn on the light now!!!" You hadn't been able to reach the light switch and you kept asking me when you would be able to, and I just guessed and said, "When you're four." You took my word for it!

You are our feeler, in every sense of the word. You feel deeply about everything. You feel every emotion fully. Happiness. Excitement. Anger. Fear. Sadness. Compassion. Hilarity. You feel it all clear through to the tips of your toes and all I have to do is look at your face to know what emotion you are harboring. When you are fearful your body shakes. When your sister got a bloody nose you trembled and cried about it longer than she did. When you find something really funny your laugh cannot be contained and you cannot make it stop. When you're excited, or just happy, you hop around like you have springs in your legs. When you are angry, everyone in a ten mile radius knows about it because it spews out of you like a volcano. And when you're at peace, you are so very content to just be alone.

You are also a feeler in that you want to touch and snuggle and hug and kiss. Nan does not always appreciate this part of your personality, but you usually sneak a few hugs out of her by the end of the day. At least once or twice during the day, I'll find you curled up on my lap, and I don't even necessarily remember how you got there. But you found your way. You love to be scratched and give the absolute best and most sincere hugs.  I am not a big toucher, but you have taught me how to slow down and just sit with you; you've taught me how our skin next to each other can speak love. I think because of this physical closeness, you're also incredibly intuitive and sometimes a little prophetic [which can be creepy ;)]. You told me multiple times that there was a baby in my tummy, before I ever told you I was pregnant. When I miscarried Jordan, it was almost as if you knew before I told you. You handled these big, big things this year so well because there is something very tender inside of you, Becks.


Once of your favorite things to do with me is help me with meals. You scurry up on the counter and cross your little legs and help stir or pour or measure. You help me keep track of how many cups of flour I've put it [because I'm bound to lose track!], and you LOVE to plop a tablespoon or two of butter into a pan because you squeeze it really hard as it slips out of your fingers so that you can lick the residue. You are content on that counter with me, and you rarely make making a meal more difficult because you are actually helpful. You've started asking good questions about why I do certain things a certain way, and it's been a fun thing to share with just you.

You and I will start preschool together this year. This will be a thing of growth for both of us, I have no doubt. You have started to want to learn more though, and will let me show you letters and numbers, and teach you little things here and there. I did order more of a curriculum for you than I did for Blythe, because I think a little structure will be better for both of us when it comes to working together. And it's not because you're difficult, please don't hear that. Oh no, Becks Lynae, it's because you and I are cut from the very same cloth, and sometimes when two people are so similar it can be hard to be student and teacher together.

 

Becks, you are still the most determined girl. If you make up your mind about something, it can take almost an hour to bend your little will. That is a very long time. But I am praying that those hours add up to a big deposit in your heart that teaches you that there is Someone greater looking out for you. I hope you learn, through our hard fought battles of determination, that that Someone Greater has plans that will blow your mind and far exceed what you could come up with or make happen in your own power; that giving up what you want for something better is not just me "winning a battle", but it's so you can see with your own eyes the Something Better God has in store for you in this life. Relax your will, little one. I love your fire and your passion, but don't let it keep you from a God who will ask you to die to yourself daily. 

 
 You consistently make me laugh. Like the time we got in the car and you screamed from the back, "Mom! Buckle me up, you silly old woman!" Or when you are super literal and I ask what you're painting and you respond, "A big blob." Once you were running a 102 temperature and I asked if anything hurt. Never one to miss an opportunity, you responded, "Blythe hurt my feelings." Or when your dad was apologizing to you one time for losing his temper and yelling, you looked at him square in the eyes and said, "Try not to do it again." This age is one of my favorites, because you don't quite have the words for everything, and yet it doesn't stop you from forming any sentence. For example, a unicorn's horn will forever be a "une" in our family because you coined it that. You once asked if I had any socks the size of you, and you informed me you "knew what to spell if our house gets on fire: 991." I don't want to forget the time at lunch you told Nan she had a "short, little, pokey name," or when you were running around right before bed and then laid down and, with cheeks still red from exertion, grabbed your feet and said they were still busy. Oh I could go on and one. You are so funny. Just the other day you said, "Nan, moral of the story: this is mine." I can't wait to just listen to you all the days of your life.



Becks, you are so unique and beautiful. I love how you like to be alone and need space sometimes. You like to access new situations before you jump right in, and I will forever remember your head buried in my leg at this age when we are in public. And yet, you are so full of life and spunk and fun. I am so deeply thankful you are a part of this family. When they laid your so small body on my chest four years ago, I had no idea how you would make me into a new kind of mother I had not been before your arrival. You require things from me I hadn't had to develop before. You have made me look in the mirror and pray in ways I hadn't. And I will forever be thankful for these gifts you've given me and for what you've taught me and all the things I have yet to learn from you. We continue to pray you are full of integrity, and patience. That you be devoted to God and your people and the work He calls you to and that you live your life with purity.

As I always do, I will end this FOUR year old letter with this: Your dad and I hope you always understand the why behind our no-s. We hope you feel safe in the boundaries we set. We hope you feel freedom in the wide open places we leave for you. We hope you see God in our actions and words. We hope when you leave our little home for good and go out on your own that you'll look back on this simple little life we had together-- chaos and mistakes and messes and all-- and see that it was Grace that held us together; that you see that it was God's daily bread that provided it all.

Happy fourth birthday, Becks Lynae! There is nothing you can ever do that will ever make us stop loving you!