Let's start with his traits:
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."
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:
“Give careful thought to the paths of your feet and be steadfast in all your ways."
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:
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."
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:
"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.
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.]
|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.
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