Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. --John Milton

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

When Life Isn't Practical

Should I pay attention to a pragmatic doctor, a concerned friend, or a mom who knows the gift of a child with autism? Listen with me to these moms and dads and grandmas and unplanned daughters who can speak from lots of experience.

Focus on the Family shares brief recordings from individuals who tell their stories.

When life isn't practical, life is always, always precious.

Monday, January 18, 2016

My Baby is in Good Hands

What about when the best choice is what I think isn't best? Lydia speaks straight to the tender place of our hearts with her story. 

Everything seemed to point to my son being a big baby. It wasn’t just the ultrasound estimations or the fundal height measurements, both of which were extra large and both of which I knew to be wary of trusting. It was also that my body was having considerable difficulty carrying him. I was having contractions that were one minute apart at 7 months along. I was weak and short of breath just standing still. My heart beat irregularly to the point that I was referred to a cardiologist to have it checked out. I had even been put on modified bed rest the last few months of pregnancy. I believed he was as big as my doctor said. And, as much as it broke my heart, I believed my doctor’s recommendation was correct. C-section was the way I needed to bring him into the world.

I wasn't sad my baby boy was big (10 pounds 7 ounces big). After all, that meant he was like his Daddy (6 feet 4 inches tall). I was just sad I wasn't going to give birth to him the way I wanted to, the way I had planned to, the way I was prepared to. I was sad I wasn't going to labor and deliver him in the way I thought would give him the best start possible - unmedicated, vaginally, skin-to-skin immediately…

As I began to work through my heartbreak over this, God revealed to me that I had been making my son's birth too much about me - about what I needed to do to give my son the best start possible. While they aren't bad things (I still believe they are wonderful, beneficial things), they are small things in comparison to God's ability to give my son his best start possible. God’s actions are much more powerful than any of man's (or woman's).
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD." Isaiah 55:8
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21
I had to let go of the control that I had been clinging to, trust that this was what was best for my son, and know that the Lord would be holding him, even when I couldn’t.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6
“This is what the Lord says – your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” Isaiah 48:17
"In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind." Job 12:10
God used a circumstance that I desperately did not want to remind me of a truth that I desperately needed to remember. And now here I am reminding you, Mamas. God's got you. And He’s got your baby. And there are no better hands for either of you to be in, ever.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Nine Months of Waiting

Stunning, Ladies. Have you thought of waiting as a great opportunity? My joy-filled friend is learning something marvelous and has been kind enough to write it out beautifully for us. Here's a few of Brooke's words. Please go to her lovely blog for the full post

This has been the longest 9 months of my life. I state this not as a complaint, but as a simple observation for which I am learning to be grateful. ... 
As for the nearly year-long journey of pregnancy, I suspect that the wait is less about growing the baby as it is about growing the mother. 
Moms, while you are busy growing a little life, God is busy growing you.  
While you are waiting and beginning to waddle, He is building the foundation for a life-long love relationship unlike any other in human existence–the bond between parent and child. 
Before we have ever laid eyes on our little one, we have learned afresh what it means to suffer for someone. 
We have been trained in placing the needs of someone so small and helpless above our own. 
We have discovered what it means to sacrifice for someone who has no means of repayment. 
Ladies, it is through our late night bathroom runs, perpetual hunger, and swollen feet that we become ready to enter this great, crazy honor called parenthood. 
And just when we are bursting at the seams, both physically and emotionally, we will be met with a love worth waiting for.

Keep reading ...  

When Your Due Date Seems So Very Far Away

Monday, January 4, 2016

Hello Little Mystery (two months pregnant)

Hello little mystery, tiny as a raspberry. How do you already have bendy elbows? Ears, eyelids, fingers, toes - your heart sounds like an eager steam engine. So lively for being two months old.

I thought this would be a path familiar, but you've never been before. I'm nervous and excited 'cause I've not glimpsed what's around the curve on this beautiful, new path with you.

I love you. And I haven't even held you! but I know I do. because you're mine.

Welcome, Little One. You are very loved.

More info on baby at two months old: Beautiful pictures in the womb at WebMD