Monday, December 14, 2015

the day we met Walter Thomas

On June 17, 2015 at 10:22 in the morning we laid our eyes on you for the very first time. You are, just as your older brother, a good and undeserved gift from God, our Father. But your story starts much earlier than that rainy day in June...

Your Daddy and I dream of having a home full of children, a quiver full! So after your older brother Owen was born we were hopeful to conceive again with no trouble. Time passed and month after month we were eager to know if we would be given another child. Month after month we were dissapointed. This waiting was something we did not experience with Owen and proved to be a test of trusting the Lord. 

Each month I would battle with numbers in my head...

How many months have we been trying?
We won't have a baby by that holiday. 
Owen will be this old before he has a sibling.
They will have this many months between them.

Some months we were just sure it would happen. We had confidence in ourselves.
For 10 months we were taught the hard lesson that God's plans are not our own.
His timing is perfect, His plan is good.

On October 5th we found out about you! God had heard our prayers! From the beginning, this pregnancy was harder than my first but I'm positive it was because your older brother wasn't giving me a moment's rest. At 15 weeks (my first appointment) the ultrasound tech was able to tell us you were a boy, from that moment on you've been called Walter. 

From early on in this pregnancy I was plagued with fear. A hard 36 hour labor with your brother who weighed in at 11.1 lbs left me anxious as to how you would come + how big you would be when you did. Humanly speaking, I did everything I could to keep you from growing too large. Coffee stunts growth they say, so I steared clear of it with Owen, but was sure to have a cup every morning with you. Excercise? I can count on one hand how many times I did anything of the sort while pregnant the first time, but I made it a priority this time around, even if it just meant a sweaty dance party with your brother in the living room. I did not have Gestational Diabeties in either pregnancy, though that is the first question I'm always asked when they hear those big birthweights.

Beyond all of those things, we prayed! I remember praying the day of the positive pregnancy test that you would be smaller. But I did it for the wrong reasons. I was concerned for my pride. I wanted to prove that under average circumstances I could do a drug free birth-I could be that strong. It took 30 hours of intense labor to reach 8 cm with Owen before I got on pitocin + subsequently got an epidural. Turns out, he was just huge and that's why he was taking so long to descend and depleting me of all energy to go on naturally. But maybe, just maybe, his size was a fluke? 

So while I feared you would be too big, my fear was fueled by pride. Track with me as I try to explain- we prepared for a natural birth with Owen to the max. We read every book on drug free birth-everything by Ina May, Penny Simkin, Bradley Method-the whole nine yards. I labored at home for 19 hours before going to the hospital where I labored another 11 hours unmedicated, making it to 8 cm but was physically completely spent. Without an ounce of energy left to muster we tearfully decided to start pitocin accompanied by an epidural to get Owen to move down the birth canal. And I bawled. I felt like a failure. Another two hours of labor, 25 minutes of pushing and he was in my arms and all those thougths of failure were the furthest thing from my mind. He was here and nothing else mattered. But fast forward eighteen months later, looking at that positve pregnancy test, all those stupid thoughts came rushing towards me again. Was Owen's size a fluke? Would you be smaller so I could prove I could do it?

The fear stayed with me through most of the pregnancy. Some nights I would toss and turn with anxiousness. We prayed. My close friends were praing also; "Lord, let him be smaller, let him come early, with a smooth delivery." Near the end, God graciously made fearful thoughts less frequent and paralyzing. 

At 38 weeks a doctor at the practice thought you might be breech + scheduled an ultrasound to find out. Here we heard you were an estimated 9 lbs and measuring off the charts, similar to 42 weeks gestation. But in His kindness, God kept me from panic. I was dilated to between 4-5 cm at this point, I thought you were coming soon. That Saturday night, May 30th, I woke up to consistent painful contractions, lost some mucas on a trip to the bathroom + my body started shaking. This was identical to the beginning of Owen's labor. I called out to Jonny, "I think were going to have a baby in May."


Almost every night for the next two weeks I had strong contractions that would cease in the morning. My heart grew weary of all the false labor. I grew ancious-wanting to hold you, wanting to know when my last moments with Owen as my only would be. Your due date came and went (I actually went on a hike, dragging your brother up and down hills on your due date!). I had my membranes stripped after 39 weeks and one other time on June 16th. Dr. Evans was shocked I still had not delivered and I really was too. At that Tuesday afternoon appointment we set an induction date for Friday the 19th, 40 weeks 6 days (same as Owen's gestation, figuring you didn't need more time to grow than him!). But as I left her office I started to realize that an induction wouldn't be needed.

The day labor began.
That afternoon (June 16) Owen and I walked around the mall waiting for your Daddy to get off work. I felt very crampy and moved at a snail's pace. Jonny wanted to order dinner from Simply Thai- pad thai, spice level 4 to get things moving, and I complied, though I normally woundn't get hotter than a 3. We sat at the dinner table that night, eating while I bounced on the birthing ball through strong contractions, undeniably different than any contractions I'd had for the last few weeks. I'd been on the ball for about an hour and didn't want to stop for fear the contractions would quit and labor would stall again. It came time for Owen to go to bed so I got up and rocked my sweet boy for the last time as my only baby. I savored it because I knew.  

Once he was asleep, your Dad and I started walking laps of our apartment complex parking lot to get things going again and oh boy did it work! The contractions were so strong, starting 2-3 minutes apart, but soon they were every minute. The sky was a dark purple + a storm cloud was coming in the west, the air smelled so intensely like rain. I made your dad carry an umbrella for the first lap but it only ever sprinkled on us so we ditched that quickly. We were so unsure of what to do. The doctor had told us to come to the hospital as soon as I had consistent painful contractions, thinking you would come quickly being my second big baby. But the weeks of false labor kept us guessing when they would stop. For an hour and a half we walked, stopping for every contraction that took over my whole body. But it's so much nicer to labor outside, it just feels right. A contraction comes like a burst of wind-violently shaking the leaves of a tree, but in a moment it stops and all is calm again. We kept mentioning going to the hospital but we'd talk ourselves into walking a bit more. Finally, around 10 pm we came back to our apartment to grab our things. A friend of ours was staying with Owen until my parents arrived, who had preemptively started their 9 hour journey to Louisville that morning. 

As I feared, contractions stopped once we were in the car. We kept going though, thinking that if they started back up as strong as they had been, we'd want to be there. My doctor had said to me the entire pregnancy, literally at every appointment, "You have a proven pelvis, when it happens, it will be quick." So we got to triage and I felt really silly because I didn't feel like I was in labor anymore. Dr. Evans was on duty and checked me in at 6.5 cm dilated. Unlike with Owen, I was positive for Group B and per standard, was to be given two rounds of antibiotics before delivery. Dr. Evans thought it best if I stay and get the antibiotics since I was so dilated. She was confident that labor would pick back up and we'd "have a baby by 4 in the morning" she kept saying.

The nurses were coming in and out, prepping me and setting up my IV port. Before I knew it we were walking the all too familiar halls of labor and delivery. They are etched in my mind. Your father and I walked hand in hand, round and round the nurses station wanting desperately for your brother to decend. Now I was there again, wondering how you would come. So many unknowns would be answered as the night/morning preceeded.

We came to our room, I was pleased to find it had windows! Seeing the sky really gives you bearings on the whole experience. There were no windows in my room for Owen's labor- it was fancy, with a tub and lots of space, but I'd pick a room with windows any day. I really was so pleased with the room. The nurse came in with the first round of antibiotics around 11:30 pm. Jonny got comfy on the couch and I sat there in bed, head buzzing about the possibility of meeting you soon. The nurse had heard me say I wasn't having contractions so she looked surprised when the monitor showed I was having one. "So you don't feel that contraction?" To which I replied, "I'm having one?" "Uh ya, a pretty big one" she said. I had no epidural at this point so I don't really have an explantion for that.

Four and half hours passed just like that, I didn't sleep, though I know I should have, but how do you calm down enough to sleep when you know you're meeting your child for the first time? Really, how? The nurse came in with word from Dr. Evans to start pitocin. We weren't taken by surprise by this, she had mentioned in my last few appointments, suspecting you were similar in size to Owen, that pitocin would be helpful in bringing you down the canal. Knowing I would prefer less inteverntions, she made it clear she did not think I would need it for long, just long enough to move you down a bit. So at 4:30 am pitocin started. There is a crazy difference between natural and augmented contractions. They literally do feel so very unnaturally painful. Shockingly painful. They kept building in strength and intensity. Your father stayed by my side, breathing with me through them, shaking my legs and hips and lower back through each one. That brought the most relief. I breathed into my lavendar washcloth and exhaled like a horse, flapping my lips, Ina may would have been so proud. But after 3 hours of feeling like each contraction was literally going to rip me in half and split me open, I was done. I was 8 cm and asked for the epidural. But the greatest part about it wasn't knowing that soon the crazy pain would be over, the greatest part was the complete peace I had about it. There was no shame like I had experienced the first time. And in an instant all those fears for my pride were exposed as the silly, God dishonoring thoughts that they were. He banished the fears and the peace I felt was a perfect example of His kindness that leads to repentence!

The epidural was effectively relieving pain by 8 am. Dr. Evans had to leave at 7 and introduced us to Dr. Dutton who was now on duty. She was a very sweet lady, very petite. "I hear you have big babies" she said. I remember thinking "One, I've had just one baby." She relayed that Dr. Evans thought you would be just as big but stressed again I "have a proven pelvis." She left with a smile letting me know she'd pop in again to check on me. From 8 to 9 am I dilated to 9.5 cm, and wouldn 't you know that's when I finally fell asleep! Between bouts of shut eye (I could still feel contractions which kept me from deep sleep) we called my parents to check in on Owen and let them know it should be soon! Another hour passed and at 10 am, I was at 10 cm.

The room started buzzing as nurses came in and out preparing to receive you. I noticed everything with such detail-I looked at Jonny with the realization that in moments we would have two boys to hold and love, protect and train. A few years ago we were just kids who met and fell hard in love + now we were raising kids, kids (plural)! I was a little nervous but mostly just really excited to see you finally. Dr. Dutton came in smiling. She asked about Owen and what he was like...little did he know his world was about to be rocked!

The nurse asked if I'd like a mirror and I said no, I find them a bit distracting. She and the doctor tried to convince me otherwise. I don't actually remember changing my mind but the mirror was put in place despite my hesitation. Before I knew it we were talking about pushing with the next contraction. It was 10:10 am, I'd been in the hospital for 12 hours, and in labor for about 22 hours.

Dr. Dutton was so peaceful and calming. After fighting fear for most of the pregnancy you'd think this moment would be the height of it, but fear was far from me, praise be to God!

Pushing with each of the next three contractions, we were able to see your head, with one more push your head was completely out. I continued to push as coached but soon the Dr. fell silent and whispered something to the nurse that started with "Go..." Her face that had been so pleasant all morning was struck with terror. In seconds the number of people in the room more than doubled and I was laid flat on my back. No one was talking to us and we didn't ask any questions. My nurse was back at my side, along with three others. She pushed hard on my abdomen while the two others pushed my pelvic bones. Your Daddy's face was directly above me, he was staring at the doctor with what looked like a million fears in his eyes, I'll never forget his face, the most scared I've ever seen him. He looked down at me and I'm sure I told him, but without a word, that I was scared and didn't know what to do. With his next breath he spoke out our only hope, "Please God." I squeezed my eyes shut and prayed the same. More than a minute passed in slow motion and I noticed the deepening concern on everyone's faces. My nurse told Jonny to lift my head up and push on my shoulders and told me to continue pushing "with all you've got!" How many times I pushed with all of my strength I can't be certain, but it felt like forever. In reality 2 minutes had gone by. The two most terrifying minutes of our lives. Suddenly, Dr. Dutton's eyes gave me a glimmer of hope. She had managed to hook her fingers around your armpits and bring you out. 

You were a deep purple, your face was swollen and bruised. I heard no crying as you were quickly put on the baby bed and the other doctor in the room examined you. So many thoughts were ringing in my ears, questions, concerns, things seemed to still be in slow motion. I was holding my breath until I built up the courage to ask if you were okay. The pediatric doctor with you looked up and right at me and said "He's okay." Tears poured out of my eyes. Every fear I had was let loose in a flood and replaced with sobering relief. I didn't stop crying for the rest of the day. Dr. Dutton was busy dealing with some excessive bleeding from the traumatic delivery. Afterwards, she came to hold my hand and tell me that I remarkably only had a second degree tear but I would likely experience PTSD. I'm sure my crying had something to do with it but she just kept apologizing over and over again. When I could control the crying enough to speak I tried to convey how grateful I was that you were here and alive. The doctor and nurses were checking your vitals and making sure your shoulder or collar bone were not broken. Once they determined you were okay, they put you on the scale. Your Daddy was holding my hand, so torn between comforting me and checking on you, standing between me and the scale. I heard a nurse say "11.15"

Bigger. Bigger than your brother. It didn't register to me just then, that you were nearly a pound bigger! I was in shock, but I heard you crying and that was the sweetest sound to my ears. You were brought to me and laid on my chest. God had heard our prayers, you were safe and I wept with thankfulness.

Click here to read the birth story of our first son, Owen. 

Thursday, August 07, 2014

in the shade

Stumbled across this from an anonymous writer featured in a devotional by Joni Eareckson Tada. 

"If God has called you to really be like Jesus in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility...and put such demands of obedience, that He will not allow you to follow other Christians, and in many ways He will seem to let other good people do things which He will not let you do. 

Other Christians may push themselves, pull wires, and work schemes to carry out their plans, but you cannot do it; and if you attempt it, you will meet with such failure from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent. 

Others will be allowed to succeed, or having a legacy left to them or in having luxuries, but God will choose to supply you daily because He wants you to have something far better than gold...and that is a helpless dependence on Him.

The Lord may let others be honored and yet keep you hid away in obscurity...because He wants to produce some choice, fragrant fruit which can only be produced in the shade.

God will let others be great but keep you small. He will let others get the credit for the work you have done, and this will make your reward ten times greater when Jesus comes. The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch on you and rebuke you for little words and feelings which other Christians never seem distressed over.

So make up your mind that God is infinitely sovereign and has the right to do as He pleases with His own. And He will not explain to you a thousand things which may puzzle you. God will take you at your word, and if you absolutely sell yourself to be HIs slave, He will wrap you up in a jealous love. 

Settle it forever, that you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit. Now when you are so possessed with the living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this peculiar, personal, private jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of heaven."

Monday, July 07, 2014

big things and small things

Well, Owen turned 1 year! 

Also 13, 14 and 15 months. But who's counting?

Spring came and went. 

Jonny turned 27 and graduated with his M.Div. at SBTS.

We took a trip to Nashville to celebrate our 3rd Anniversary; Lots of touristy things happened there.

Now we're well into summer here in Kentucky. 

And we've spent several golden evenings grilling and eating together on our porch. 

Many hours have been spent poolside and kicking a ball around with Dad.

There are lots of new things on our horizon; 

A lot of unknowns.

A couple different job possibilities have been presented to Jonny.

We are excited to see what may unfold but are asking the Lord for contentment even 

if nothing were to change.

We started Foster Care training back in April.

Lord willing, we'll be done with training by the end of July.

There are still a few logistics to be completed, (home studies, background check)

 but in the meantime 

we are praying the Lord would prepare our hearts and minds as our family

 seeks to open our home and battle for the broken and vulnerable.

Please pray with us in the waiting.


Meanwhile, Owen hasn't let a week go by without growing a tooth!

Somedays aren't so bad, but...

some. days. are. rough.

His eating goes in spurts depending on the pain in his gums.

BUT* I cannot go without mentioning a huge grace from the Lord.

With as poor of a sleeper as Owen was in the beginning

(cough, cough, first 11 months of life, cough)

I had prepared myself that everything


would be a battle.

The beloved paci.

He's been sucking on one since about 3 weeks old.

Jonny and I have spent too many hours of our lives concerned with the whereabouts of pacis.

I've heard from friends of horrible attachment issues with pacis and

was bracing myself for the parting of the paci to be an issue.

But the Lord is kind.

A little over a month ago, Owen's teeth bothered him so bad that he did not want anything

in his mouth, including the beloved paci.

He had chewed a hole through it, I'm not sure if that made it lose it's suction,

but whatever the reason, he didn't want it anywhere near his mouth.

He held it in his hands for about two weeks during naps and at night.

But we haven't been able to find it and he hasn't missed it at all!

I'm kinda shocked that it wasn't a big deal.

But mostly thankful.

Saturday, May 10, 2014



It's a trending topic in the month of May.
Thoughts have been whirling around in my head about motherhood.
Owen was about 2 months old last Mother's Day.
My life had never been jolted so much than with becoming a mother.
I'm not sure I had ever wanted anything more than to be a mother.
I remember spouting it off to my classmates at the age of 17. 
And Jonny didn't need to guess if I was "ready" to be a mom just a year after getting married either.

But was I really ready?

Sure, I thought I was.

People ask all the time now, "Are you ready for another one?"
And I wonder what they think being "ready" would mean?

Are you ready to be needed 24 hours a day?
When you're tired? When you're sick?
Are you ready to put someone else's needs above your own, always?

I just don't think anyone can say they're really ready for that.

Our flesh won't let us be.

One day in May last year, I'd been at home all day (as everyday) with my newborn. 
Things had gone about as smoothly as possible with a tiny human who eats and poops continually. 
Not much sleeping happened in Owen's newborn months though. 
He's never been a fan of naps, and for the longest time, sleeping in general. 
It was a warm day, we'd stayed inside and made it to the 4:00 hour. 
Jonny wouldn't be home until 9:00. 
This was during that unexplainable period when babies like to cry hours in the early evening for seemingly no reason at all.
He had been fed, changed, swaddled, rocked, listened to music, 
taken to the window to watch the birdies and the tree branches sway. 
Nothing was going to make him content. 
I desperately tried to nurse him again and again just to see if he would be satisfied with more to eat. 
But he wasn't. 
And as I listened to his persistent wailing all I could do was cry myself.
I'd do anything to get him to settle down.
But I couldn't.
And I balled my eyes out.
I called Jonny and couldn't get any words out, he just listened to me sob.
I just needed someone to know I was on the brink of what I thought was the end of my world.
Really, truly, in my sleep deprived, not-thinking-straight, focused-on-my-own-strength mindset 
I wasn't going to be able to go on. 
With a few more hours of listening to the cry that makes your heart ache and head split at the same time, Owen settled.
I got him bathed, swaddled, fed and fast to sleep.
My head was numb from its spinning and my heart was broken from the angry and selfish thoughts I had had during the evening.
And there, laying on the couch, as all was silent and I started to fit the pieces together, the Lord showed me that I had been relying on my own stamina and few physical comforts to get through motherhood up until that point.
I had been broken in those hours.
Broken and weary and desperate and lonely and scared and so so very aware of my weakness.
Broken of self reliance.

Where do you turn in your weakness?
There is nowhere to turn apart from the perfection of Christ and the lavish love of the Father.
I have this hope.
That he who saved me, also brings me to and through each season of life, with every joy and trial, for my sanctification.
For my good and His glory.

I was told over and over growing up that I'd make a great mama one day.
And I wanted to be a great mama.
The one thing I wanted so badly from an early age, to be a mother, is where I consistently see my desperate need of Christ.
The sin of selfishness and pride, encompassing self-pity and entitlement, can so easily sneak up and strangle all the joy to be found in the good gift God has given me in motherhood.

I wasn't ready to be a mother in my own strength.
God has lavished his rich mercy on me in my many moments of failure.
And He has given me the strength for each new day.

Owen is a tremendous and underserved gift.
Being a mother is both a million times harder and more joyous than I could ever have imagined!
But the greatest gift of all is knowing, really knowing, that I have a sure Hope when I fall.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

eleven months

 Very hard to believe the picture below was taken just about a year ago.
Just looking at it makes me uncomfortable.
Pregnancy is a miracle.
I was carrying Owen around the seminary last week and I had a thought... 
He weighs maybe about 25 pounds (I'm guessing)
and I was getting pretty tired of carrying him, for how heavy he is.
Then I remembered that I was carrying nearly double that weight by the end of pregnancy.
See for yourself.
Thankfully, the weight loss that comes with breastfeeding is nothing short of a miracle either!
I weigh less now than what I did before Owen.
Different shape, though. 
But, tis life!

I'm feeling so nostalgic as of late realizing how quickly time is passing.
Like, whoa.
He's going to be 
I just can't even expound upon that.
Just, whoa.
This month has been different, so so different than all the rest.
What's the biggest change you ask?
We're sleeping through the night!
but he did it.
They told me this day would come.
And I'll admit it, I was skeptical.
But it's here.

Occasionally he demands some attention (milk) in the night but it's rare.

We have a fireball on our hands.
He is very observant, always watching.
But when he decides to do something, he does it with everything he has.
For example:
He's loved using his walker since he got it at Christmas, 
but now that he's gained confidence he tries to "walk" with everything.
Most recently, his high chair.
He gets behind it and pushes it all around with a big grin on his face.
Not walking solo yet. He's pretty scared to try.
We've been calling him "scaredy cat" lately.
If anything happens he's not expecting his eyes get big, 
eyebrows furrow and he lets out an exclamation like, "Oooh, Oooh!"

He's starting to show affection more.
Sometimes he'll cuddle with mommy and daddy now.
I've been waiting for this!
It may be teeth coming, but I am cherishing this time with him.
He's started to mellow down a bit.
Before, he would always fight tiredness at all cost.
Never give in to the urge to shut his eyes.
But now, he'll be playing and all the sudden just lay down for like 5 minutes for a rest.
Jonny even rocked him to sleep at church last Sunday for the first time since he was a newbie.
We're having food issues as of late.
Before he'd eat anything and everything in sight.
Like, he could put it down.
But he's not so interested these days and is wanting to nurse more often.
I don't want to force feed him if he's not hungry,
but the tantrums he throws are not okay.
It could be teeth coming (he still only has the 6).
As this is our first, Jonny and I are in uncharted territory everyday.
I need the reminder of God's lavish grace on me every hour 
to be able to parent Owen through the good times and the tough.

He's doing a new squishy face smile lately and we can't get enough of it.
Thankfully we caught it for his 11 month picture.
One more month until we are parents of a 1 year old.
How time flies.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

the very best

I'm currently reading a little book that gives a glimpse into the lives of five "faithful" women. 
Today I began reading about Lilias Trotter. 
I haven't finished her story yet but I was struck by some of her words and wanted to share them.

A little about Lilias Trotter:

Lilias, born in England, lived from 1853-1928. 
She had an incredible talent for art, particularly painting. 
Her mother sent Lilias' work to John Ruskin, known to be "the voice of the art world"at the time. 
He took her in as a pupil and claimed that if she would devote herself to her artwork 
"she would be the greatest living painter and do things that would be immortal."

Here are her words:

"Never has it been so easy to live in half a dozen good harmless worlds at once --art,
music, social science, games, motoring, the following of some profession, and so on. 
And between them we run the risk of drifting about, the "good" hiding the "best.". . .

It is easy to find out whether our lives are focused, and if so, where the focus lies. 
Where do our thoughts settle when consciousness comes back in the morning? 
Where do they swing back when the pressure is off during the day? . . 
Dare to have it out with God . . . and ask Him to show you whether or not all is focused on Christ and His glory.

How do we bring things to a focus in the world of optics? 
Not by looking at the things to be dropped, but by looking at the one point that is to be brought out.
Turn your soul's vision to Jesus, and look and look at Him, and a strange dimness will come over all that is apart from Him."
. . .

Life always has and always will be full of "harmless worlds" to devote ourselves to. 
Be it books, fashion, fitness, music, movies, or "motoring". 
Our lives can be divided and dispersed between so very many interests. 
Or maybe not so many. 
Maybe we just have our one thing that we are intensely passionate about. 
It drives us, it gives us self worth or purpose. 
For Lilias, it could have been painting.
For me- 
In high school it could have been music.
In college it could have been finding a spouse.
Presently, it could be motherhood.

A spouse.
Those are all certainly good things. 

But Lilias warns, don't be caught drifting among the "good" and miss the "best"!

How do you know if you're doing that?

Lilias gives this challenge;

What's your first thought in the morning?

What is it you can't wait to get to when your to-dos are checked off at the end of the day?

Be honest.

Is your aim Christ and his glory?

Are you preferring good things when you could have the Ultimate?

If your answer is "no", like mine in countless cases, what do you do?
I know I have the tendency to begrudgingly try to "let go" of these things.
But with that mentality my focus is still on that very thing, by trying to focus on it-less.

Which doesn't work by the way.

I had to read that last point she made again. 
Optics. She's talking about the eye! I imagined a camera and that helped.

"Not by looking at the things to be dropped, but by looking at the one point that is to be brought out."

Focus doesn't happen by erasing the background. 
It happens by illuminating the main thing.
The "best" thing.

The best thing is always Jesus.

"Turn your soul's vision to Jesus, and look and look at Him, and a strange dimness will come over all that is apart from Him."

Illuminate Jesus by taking time to look at him.
And then look at him some more.
The Bible gives us the ability to do that. 
We can meditate on the truths of Scripture that show us God's goodness, 
ultimately in His son Jesus, and He alone is worthy of our devotion.
 . . .
Lilias' last point almost read like a song didn't it?
That's because it is.
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus was written in 1922 by Helen H. Lemmel,
inspired by those very words of Lilias Trotter.
Have a listen, just press play.
. . .
Lilias did not choose to devote herself to art as the renowned John Ruskin would have it.
She chose to devote her life to Jesus and making him famous in the world.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

10 months & I quit.

Two weeks ago Owen turned ten months old.
That makes him ten and a half months old,
in case you weren't sure about how those things work.
Weeks and stuff...they can be tricky.

Well it's hit me like a ton of bricks that he's about to be one.
ein Jahr alt.
That's German for 'one year old'. 
Because we're learning German. 
Jonny & I.
He's learning it for a Ph. D. that is on the horizon and I'm learning it for fun.
And in hopes of traveling and putting it to use one day.

Can you tell my husband has been gone all day and I'm a little loopy?
Spending all day with a crazy, adorably crazy, 10 month old will do that to you.
But he's in bed now.
And I'm sitting here with a slice of whole foods pizza and gonna just spew some words out, k?

Owen's appetite has grown tremendously over the last month and a half.
In early January we went on a trip to see family in Missouri, Arkansas and Texas.
It was then that I started to notice his increased appetite.
I'm sure it has to do with the fact that he's moving a lot more.
Practically running from furniture piece to furniture piece.
He cannot be contained!
He's not walking solo yet.
But could if he got over the nerves.
I feel it too.
He is heavy. Packing on the pounds.
He's fluctuated between 95th-75th percentile most of his life.
(With the exception of his birth and first month where he was considerably above normal)

Some of his favorite foods:
green beans
meat of any kind
toast with coconut oil and cinnamon
He likes bananas but I only give them in moderation (constipation is an issue).
This kid can have fun.
My absolute favorite thing is to watch Jonny and Owen play.
They are such boys.
Owen even laughs after tooting now.
He looks at you and raises his eyebrows like, "Did you hear that?"
But yes, they rough house, like boys do.
Sometimes more than I'd like, 
but I have to remember to chill out a bit.
And if you've made it this far and are still reading you'll get to know what I'm quitting.
Or going to try to quit.
Today, for what feels like the first time, I let Owen make messes 
and instead of following his trail of messes and
picking them up,
I got down on the floor and played with him.
A lot.
And we had fun.
Now I'm not saying I will always resist the urge to tidy up behind him.
But I am saying I'm going to try and be more intentional to stop.
There's a time and a place for cleaning up.
I think realizing he's almost a year old is making me relish the time I have with him.
I want to remember the way his face crinkles up 
and eyes sparkle with delight at the newness of a toy he hasn't seen in the last five minutes.
I want to remember the funny noises he makes.
The way he purses his lips to say "words"
The way he stretches out his arms and rotates his hands when he gets excited.
Things change so quickly.
And I want to see them happen.


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