We’ve Come a Long Way // An Update on Josiah

I can hardly believe it’s already July and this is only my fourth post this year!

Actually, well yes, I can believe it.  Because despite all of my good intentions and the many blog ideas that are recorded on my phone, my days are now mostly filled with this kind of fun…

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Don’t even get me started on the time I found him in the living room, in his birthday suit, playing with his diaper…the diaper I had just put on him about 30 seconds earlier.

Thank the good Shepherd there was no poop in that diaper! 🙂

Speaking of poop, a lot has happened since my last post about Josiah‘s progress after his last surgery in January. Read more…

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Reflecting on Immanuel

The last couple of days, it’s been harder to answer the question, “How are you really doing?”  The truth is, I’m okay, I really am.  And I know one day, this will all be part of the story.

But at the same time, I’m wrestling.  I’m struggling to contain the whirlwind of emotions and I’m not sure what to do when I find an unexpected leak here and there.

When we started calling and texting all of our family to tell them that Josiah had come early, my aunt shared with me something I didn’t know I needed to hear until I had heard it…and it’s been echoing in the recesses of my soul ever since…

It’s okay to cry.  It’s okay to ask God, “Why??”  It’s okay to face the wave of emotions that will continue to come.  Your tears and your questions are not coming out of a place of unbelief.  You need to ask.  You need to wrestle.  You need to process.  Because when you do all of that before the God who is full of grace and mercy, you will begin to hear His voice.  

I have declared the truth and I will continue to declare it all the days of my life – the promise of God is that He will heal Josiah.  And something immeasurably glorious is going to come out of all of this.

But some days it’s still hard.

The day before Christmas Eve, the NICU organized a toy shoppe event at the hospital where parents could come and receive toys and gifts for their child.  We browsed through the vast selection of donated items, imagining the day when Josiah will one day play with mega blocks and toy trucks.

We got back to his room to find the monitors beeping and Josiah crying in his incubator.

My heart broke.

How many other times has our little boy been crying in his incubator because his diaper is wet or his tummy is hungry and there is no mommy or daddy to meet his basic needs?

On Christmas day, we were making the hour long drive after church to the NICU when I started to replay that scene in my head again, asking myself that same question once more.

God…why?  I asked.  He’s alone right now in his incubator.  What if he’s hungry?  What if he knows that mommy and daddy aren’t there?  How is it okay that my child is 34 weeks gestation, should have been in my womb for 6 more weeks, yet he already knows what it is like to be lonely?

And that’s when I heard Him.  It was a whisper, but it was clear.

I AM with him, child.

The tears started to flow.

Immanuel.  God with us.  It was the word that I had chosen for my One Word for 2016.  It was the word that I had claimed for this year, not fully realizing just how perfectly it would come to pass.

This journey has only just begun.  Our first steps into parenthood have brought us into uncharted territory.  I know there will be more days that break my heart, but also more moments that will take my breath away and cause me to wonder how I ever could have lived any other way.  There is a whole future unfolding before us that we are only beginning to grasp.

But this I know.  Immanuel.  He is with us.  Today, tomorrow, and the next.  He will never leave us.  Through our treasured days and our dark nights of the soul, we are never alone.

God With Us // Reflections on New Year’s Day

It was just short of a year ago, on January 10, 2015.  We had finished a week of honeymooning in Cabo San Lucas and it was on the plane ride home that this then two-weeks-a-bride wrote these words with a bit of fear and trembling in her journal – “Lord, as we are on our way home, starting this new season of life…please, please…be with us.”

It wasn’t until this afternoon, finally winding down from the joy and celebrations around our first anniversary, Christmas, conferences, and the New Year, that I finally read through my journal from 2015.

Sometimes weeks had gone by without a single word.  Other days, there were pages and pages of thoughts, wrestlings, tears, and fears.  But the common theme that kept reoccurring through my weak words was that despite our track record or our circumstances, somehow, we would love Him more.  That we would know His presence in our daily lives.  That we would trust in Him.  That we would know that He was present with us.   Read more…

Learning How to Love // Reflections on Our First Year of Marriage

There’s a reason why marriage is meant to last for a lifetime.  I’m fully convinced it takes that long to learn how to love someone well and experience all the richness there is to being loved by another.

In a couple of days, it will be our first anniversary…finally and already, with all the emotions of both woven into our ordinary lives.

What we’ve learned this first year isn’t necessarily ground-breaking.  We also can’t claim that we always do it well or that we’ve figured it all out.  What we’ve learned is actually already pretty famous and summed up best somewhere else.  But there’s a reason why it’s called the truth.  And it’s made for an extraordinary journey.

So, what is it that we have learned this first year?  Well… Read more…