Monday, October 25, 2010

Birthday Eve

Lord-willing, we will meet our baby boy tomorrow.  I'm scheduled to be induced in the morning and we are looking forward to holding this precious gift in our arms.  We can't wait to see him, smell him, admire every inch of his skin, and smother him with kisses.

We feel a huge debt of love to our friends, family, and our church who have loved us through this pregnancy and have covered us with such sacrificial and sincere prayers.  We are completely blessed to have our son born into this world already drowning in the prayers of so many.  Gratefulness is at the forefront of my mind as I look toward tomorrow.

Before I bombard my blog with a million baby pictures, I want to post some pics of what the kids have been up to the past few weeks.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Much Of You

Saturday night, my heart tossed and turned a bit.  Each contraction made me realize that our baby would be coming soon and that we would know within a few months at most, what the Lord's answers to our prayers would be.  Anxiety crept in, which led me to ask questions that I really didn't need to ask:

"Will my heart be broken again?  Will I survive seeing another precious son endure challenges for the rest of his life?  How will I hold the pain?  How will we make it financially if we have to fund therapy and medical care for 2 children with special needs?  How will we be able to adequately care for these children, especially if our next is more severely affected?"

On Sunday morning, the Holy Spirit moved in my heart through the lyrics of a song we've sung many times before:

How could I stand here and watch the sun rise
Follow the mountains as they touch the sky
Ponder the vastness and the depths of the sea
And think for a moment the point of it all was to make much of me

'Cause I'm just a whisper and you are the thunder and

I want to make much of You Jesus
I want to make much of Your love
I want to live today and give You the praise
That You alone are so worthy of

I want to make much of Your mercy
I want to make much of Your cross
I give You my life
Take it and let it be used
To make much of You

It struck me that all my "What about me" questions the night before were very much like the first verse of this song.  I was essentially looking at God's work in this world and wondering how it revolved around MY wants and desires.  The chorus reminded me that God's work in this universe has more to do with magnifying His Son than in fulfilling my agenda for my life.

My friend Alice shared something during our care group several weeks ago that I haven't been able to let go of.  She shared her insights into passages in Ecclesiastes;  that there is nothing we go through that is new under the sun, and that God is God and He is the Lord.  He does what He does and our response is to fear Him.

This challenged me to avoid the temptation to glorify my lot in life and the particular trials God has handed me.  It's so tempting to see the world through the lenses of what I'm going through, rather than realize that perhaps God has His own intentions and plans through the things that go on in my life.  That perhaps there is a greater spiritual realm that I'm unaware of, just like in His dealings with Job.  (Not that my life can compare in any way to Job's.)  And that my life and trials are nothing too unique in the whole scheme of God's plan for the entire history of His creation.  Perhaps the details of my life are only  microscopic pieces of a huge puzzle that God has beautifully crafted to magnify the incomparable glory of Christ.  And here I am, thinking so much of my own life and wanting everything to go my way.

And yet, I also can't escape that my Father deeply cares about my most private cares and concerns while He holds the universe together in His hands.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.  ( 1 Peter 5:6-7)

As much as He cares about famines and earthquakes and floods, He cares about me and all the big and little anxieties that fill my heart.  So while He holds the world together and orchestrates all events in His infinite and transcendent wisdom, He also wants me to cast my anxieties on Him because He cares for me as His very own.  And He loved me so much that He he had the worst affliction poured on His Son so that any trials I own here are at worst, "light" and "momentary" and at best will prepare us for "an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison."  (2 Corinthians 4:17)

So all I can do is stand in awe.  My Father is transcendent and beyond comprehension and yet fully interested in the details of my soul.  He orchestrated the history of the world to put Jesus in our hearts.  And what a cost it was to Him!  Today, this is my prayer for myself and for my family: that God will loosen the grip we have on our own lives and that He will use our joys and trials to make much of Jesus.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Marcus Says

We are SO grateful to report that over the past several months, Marcus' speech has exploded.  Before, we used to say that he was "vocalizing".  Now, we can say that without a doubt, he is "talking".  He still has trouble with many consonants and his articulation isn't understood by everyone, but he is definitely talking.  Before, we used to have to teach him every new word.  Now, he's coming up with words spontaneously on his own.  Here's a short list of new things he's started to say as of late:

"I love you, too."

"Mommy, look!  Daddy, Look!"  (After doing something he wants to show us.)

"Noona (big sister) school, Daddy work."

Counting up to 10 and then backwards down to 1.

Saying his ABCs

Giving a play by play during meals:  "Mommy eat bread, Marcus eat cereal."

"Singing" his all-time favorite single, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".  Or in his words, "Winkle, Winkle".  He also knows many words to "Jesus Loves Me" and many other songs.

"My _____________ " (funny how you never have to teach kids to say "my)

Us:  Marcus, who's in our family?
Him:  Mommy, Daddy, Noona, Marcus, Baby

Due to his vision issues and his vestibular deficits, he LOVES seeing things that spin and being spun around himself.  So he says "Mommy, Daddy, round round" when he wants us to draw circles, spin toys, or spin him around in a swing.  Mike and I have declared this song to be his anthem.

Humor -

Us:  Marcus, who's in our family?
Him:  Popcorn.  (Grin and long pause.)  Oh my!

Potty Humor -

Us:  Marcus, what's your favorite color?
Marcus:  Poo poo  (Grin and giggles)
Us:  Marcus, count to 10.
Marcus:  One, poo,... (Giggles and can't continue on)

Going to a store, he thinks he owns the place and points to everything saying, "That one, that one, that one."

When he doesn't want to crawl or use his walker or trail along the wall, he says "Walk, two hands"  (please hold both my hands and help me to walk)

Hearing Mike's mix of R&B/Soul music playing, he says, "Daddy music"

Compared to his peers, his speech is still obviously very delayed.  However, we can't help but be extremely grateful that he's even able to communicate what he can.  It's a miracle.  But while I'm overjoyed at his progress, I think of other parents I know who have their own children with varying diagnoses and I know that some of them wonder if their child will ever be able to say "I love you."  I often wonder why God has allowed Marcus to progress this far while others are still waiting, and my heart is burdened for them.  I think that to the degree that Marcus' disabilities have afforded us incredible blessing, these other families' blessings are that much greater and that the Lord is allowing for greater riches than I could imagine for myself.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thankful Thursday

1. After two short stays at the hospital last week due to contractions, I've been better about listening to the doctor's orders to rest.  So since I'm out of commission, I'm very thankful that Mike has been such a huge help.  With full-time work and taking on my load at home, he's been doing double duty and so joyfully, I must say.  He is one rad dad!

2. I also have some awesome friends.  I'm so tempted to feel incredibly lame that I can't take care of my family, but very honored and humbled that others have SO generously stepped in for me.  We've received delicious meals, offers to babysit, and our friends Alice and Donna have watched Marcus during the day so that I can rest.  Our sisters have also been at our beck and call to help us out as well, especially during the times we've had to be at the hospital.  I'm so grateful for such undeserved care.

3. Marcus is in the middle of his 3-week fall vacation from his year-round school schedule.  And with his Mommy not being able to take him out, he has been stuck at home most of the time.  It's been a challenge thinking of different things to do with him that don't require physical exertion on my part.  But I'm thankful that he's going with the flow and relatively easy to entertain.  One day, we had a good half-hour of fun with a headband. We've found multiple uses for them.

The Classic Look

80's Sweatband



Backwards Halo


Nose guard



Star Trek



Double Earrings

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