15 Months & 15 Weeks Equal Big Changes


Our Crazy Crawler

For Evan's first birthday, he went to the zoo for the first time and really enjoyed it. He's definitely our little monkey!

For Evan’s first birthday, he went to the zoo for the first time and really enjoyed it. He’s definitely our little monkey!

It’s hard to believe, but the last update I wrote on Evan was 10 months ago in November when he was a wee five-month-old.  Time goes by so quickly and now he is a big one-year-old who’s a crazy-but-cute crawler (he crawls with one leg out and one tucked under) who gets around quite well.  While some think his crawl is weird, I think it is quite cute, and my brother appropriately called it the “pirate leg crawl” because it looks like he has a short, wooden peg leg like a pirate who walks around with a limp.  :)

So while I’m glad Evan is at last crawling, it has definitely made life more challenging as he likes to get into everything and be everywhere I am.  Even if I simply start leaving a room, he will start screaming and crawling after me.  It is like his newfound freedom has oddly enough made him more discontent.  And no, we cannot close a door or put up a gate without a major meltdown as he does NOT like being confined or separated from people.

Sometimes it really feels like I have no rest or alone time or time to really concentrate and get things done, especially since he is still terrible at taking naps.  On average, he will nap for one hour a day, maybe two hours if I’m really lucky.  (Do you understand why it’s rare I write on a regular basis now?)  With such a track record, we have definitely been trying to put him to bed at 7 or 7:30 each night, and thankfully, he goes down rather well overall and sleeps through the night until about 7 or so in the morning.

As far as walking, he has not accomplished that feat yet, but he did not even start crawling until the Sunday after his first birthday in June which was quite surprising knowing how active he has always been.  He is so close to walking though as he is always pulling himself up and moving along the edges of things.  I am ready for him to walk in some ways, but I know that he will keep me even busier once he does start.

A Challenging yet Surprising Eater

So how has he changed over the last 10 months other than that he is now crawling and sleeping through the night?  Well, he has 11 teeth now, and he is slowly but surely becoming better at eating foods.  Getting him to eat foods and not formula and now milk all the time has been a challenge.

His favorite food or the easiest one to get him to eat consistently though is BANANAS!  If he sees you just pick them up in the grocery store, his face lights up, or if you just say the word, he looks to where they are kept on the top of the refrigerator and instantly wants them.  It is crazy that even when he is throwing a fit about other foods and you pull out a banana, he’ll immediately calm down and become all smiles.

Evan also surprisingly likes his green vegetables like peas and fried zucchini of all things.  And just this past week Evan started eating and enjoying broccoli, a vegetable you’d think most kids would hate.   I just made it for dinner one night and upon seeing it, he went crazy with delight!  Maybe he has something for the color as green is mine and Micah’s favorite color.  :)  He also does very well with eating meats including everything from chicken and beef to salmon and tuna.  Even yesterday he had his first gyro (lamb) meat and did not spit it out as he’s known to do when not liking something.

An Energizer Bunny

As you can see, Evan is also quite flexible.  He can even clap his feet together!  He's also quite expressive.  This was in April when he was going through a cute stage of going off into these babbling sermonette discourses.  It was quite entertaining as he'd wave his arms around and everything.  Maybe he will be an evangelist like his name sake!  :)

As you can see, Evan is also quite flexible. He can even clap his feet together! He’s also quite expressive. This was in April when he was going through a cute stage of going off into these babbling sermonette discourses. It was quite entertaining as he’d wave his arms around and everything. Maybe he will be an evangelist someday like his namesake Evan Roberts! 

Physically, Evan continues to be a very strong child full of vigorous energy and force.  Since he was a newborn, he was always kicking his legs or moving his arms–never wanting to be still or contained, thereby, earning himself the nickname of “Captain Squirm.”

Well, in February, we discovered one way he could put this energy to use in a way he loved–by kicking or throwing balls!  Not only did we discover that he loved balls but that he also has a really good pitch.  People always comment on it and how maybe he’ll become a baseball pitcher someday.  The hard thing is that he likes throwing everything though–from his food and books to even cans and cars.  So you really have to be careful of what you give him.  :)

We also have to be careful where his head is in relation to our faces as he has always been a terrible head butter, meaning he likes to forcefully throw his big, hard head back, and when he does, he can really hurt you as it often comes unexpectedly.  Just this summer, he threw his head back into my nose one morning and made it bleed and bruised it.

Micah and I often comment on how there needs to be a Parent Protective Service, not only because of his head butting but also because of a thing he has for biting us since about 11 months old and for pulling our hair, whether on my head or on Micah’s face or arms.  These things have worried me of him being a bad child, but praise the Lord, I think I have noticed some improvement in these areas lately.  :)

An Interesting Combo

Now you probably don’t remember when I wrote an update on Evan back in November, but even at five months old, I could tell he was a social child who loves being out and about and with people.  Well, to this day, he is like that which is interesting seeing how he also an affinity for books which you’d think a more quiet or unsocial child would take to.   I think his love for books started when my aunt gave him a bunch of baby books for Christmas, and since then, it has continued to grow.

Evan looking through one of his books

Evan looking through one of his books

Before he started crawling, I’d often find him surrounded by books and quietly, contentedly looking through them in our living room for rather long periods of time which was so cute and precious!  And now Evan will often bring us a book to read . . . sometimes again and again!  :)

Recently, his favorite two books have been ABC Look at Me, a book on different emotions, and God Loves You, and I Do, Too!, a very sweet book my niece and nephew in Florida recorded themselves reading back in December as a Christmas gift to Evan.   Even though he has always liked this book, lately he LOVES it and wants it read/played almost daily.  It is so sweet.  I am very thankful Evan seemingly has a love for learning, and Lord willingly, it will only continue to grow.

A Cognitive Sponge

I must say it is exciting and awe-inspiring to see your child develop a vocabulary and understand new things.  Evan started off mindlessly babbling “Ga-ga” at nine months; “Bob,” “Bub,” and “Ba” at 10 months; “Da-da” at 11 months, and then “Ma-ma” at last at 12 months.  Since turning one, however, he has been saying words with more purpose or thought.  The first two words I noticed him saying with such intention are “O-kay!” and “A done.”  Now he is also saying “Cole,” the name of his Grandma Patti’s dog who he loves, and “two,” “Whoa,” “Wow,” and “ball.”

He can also point to things in a book which you ask him to identify, and he can definitely understand commands like “No” and “Don’t touch” even though he does not always heed them like not pulling out cords from an outlet or not pulling out pinecones from a basket on our kitchen floor.  He also understands concepts like blowing kisses and clapping which he loves to do.  Something very interesting is that even whenever we tell him “Good job!,” without any training, he starts clapping his hands.  That amazes me that a child so young can understand that is a sign of something worth clapping for.

An Easily-Delighted Child

Oh, I will never tire of his smiles and laughter!

Oh, I will never tire of his smiles and laughter!

So I could probably go on and on about Evan, but just on a quick note about this amazing little boy God has given us is that I love his capacity to be easily delighted in simple things.  When he was five months old, it was a ceiling fan or a flying monkey above his play mat, but now it is baths, which he LOVES, or just splashing in the water whether in a tub or the lake.

He also LOVES throwing sand on the beach, playing with a plastic cup, swinging outdoors, tearing up a napkin into little pieces, sitting up front in a grocery cart, being thrown up in the air or onto our bed, going on stroller rides outdoors or around and around the track at the gym, being tickled or chased around on the floor, visiting his grandparents, and just playing with a simple plastic straw or silver spoon.  For example, just in the last few weeks, my mom and I spent an hour or so talking outside a coffee shop one afternoon with Evan on the sidewalk just playing with a napkin, a plastic cup lid, and a straw.  It was amazing but such a blessing, and I pray he is always so easily delighted.

After all, I think that is how God our heavenly Father wants us to be . . . To be easily delighted with the simple things of life and those things given to us right now because that is “pure” or unburdened joy not dependent on having lots of fancy material things, friends, or busy activities to entertain us and quench the loneliness in our hearts.  God just wants us to delight in simply being alive and in being content with what we have knowing He cares for us (1 Pet. 5:7), will never leave or forsake us (Heb. 13:5), and will meet ALL our NEEDS in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).

Big Life Changes

Now just to let you know for those who are interested and care, while Evan is 15 months old as of last week, today I am 15 weeks pregnant with his new baby brother or sister.  With that being the case, I am due the end of February.  Yes, we are excited about this new baby, and I think and really hope Evan will be too knowing how social he is.  However, he has definitely become more attached and affectionate to me and Micah since he turned one, which is so odd by the way seeing how he was never cuddly with us a baby, so it will be interesting to see how he responds to a sibling.  You can please pray that it will go well!  :)

Micah, you are our super hero, and Evan will do well to follow in your footsteps!

Micah, you are our super hero, and Evan will do well to follow in your footsteps!

Along with that change, we have another big change coming even sooner.  In just a couple weeks, Micah will be starting a new job at a big company not close but not too far from our home.  This is a big praise as he has really wanted and prayed for a new job the last several years as he has been at his current one for eight years this month.

He has worked from home the last few years, so it will be very different to not have him here all day, and we will really miss him but wish him the best with his new job.  It has truly been such a BIG blessing to have him here to help, encourage, and comfort me with Evan over the last year especially.

Just in general, I appreciate all Micah has done and all he continues to do daily to help me out at home and with Evan.  I do not know what I’d do without him as he’s not only a great father but a great husband as well.  God has truly blessed us!


In conclusion then and in light of sweet Evan helping me to find more joy by partaking of life’s simple pleasures with him, I’d just like to encourage you today to delight more in life’s simple pleasures yourself because life is a “gracious gift” from God (1 Pet. 3:7) and not meant to be a burden.

If you need help in learning how to be easily delighted, go spend a day with a baby or a child.  Tickle them, read to them, chase them around, blow them bubbles, or take them to a zoo, and I’m sure you’ll feel much better by the end of the day as their joy is contagious.  :)

And in the meantime, may you take great comfort and courage from Jesus who yearningly calls to you, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30).  So be blessed today and go be a blessing! 

Even though being a mother is stressful and hard work, it is one of life's greatest joys.  It definitely makes me realize more how much I need the Lord's wisdom, help, and grace to rear a child for His honor and glory.

Motherhood is definitely one of life’s greatest joys yet most sober, difficult callings.  Knowing my responsibility is to raise children who love and serve the Lord, my sense of desperation for God’s wisdom, grace, and help has only increased!

Easter’s Newfound Meaning


Similar & the Same

Easter-Dove-Image-Download-GraphicsFairyI know I’m a little late, but since Jesus’ resurrection, and thereby His conquest over sin and death, is worth celebrating every day and since we are still in the Easter season, happy Easter!

Talking about Easter though, have you ever wondered what that non-descript, vague word “Easter” means or what on earth it has to do with Jesus’ resurrection?

I have, so I did some research and discovered that through its symbolism and place on the calendar, it is actually linked with the Jewish Passover, a week-long, widely-practiced holiday, that was even being observed in Israel during the week of Jesus’ crucifixion.  Not only that, in many languages the word for “Easter” and “Passover” are very similar or even the same.

A Celebration of Life

Now you may be wondering, “What exactly is this Passover holiday then?”  it seems like our curiosity, or perhaps confusion, keeps mounting, doesn’t it?  Well, to begin with, the Passover is the celebration of the Israelites’ freedom from slavery and their exodus from Egypt after 430 years.  They were set free only after God sent 10 awful plagues upon the people, with the last one being the death of the Egyptians’ firstborn sons.

As for the Jews, their firstborn sons were spared only if the parents killed an unblemished, male lamb and put its blood upon their doorposts.  As the Spirit of God then moved throughout the land that dreadful night, He would only “pass over” those homes marked with blood (Ex. 12:13) because “the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:12).

So just as the blood of those innocent lambs “saved” those precious Jewish firstborn sons from physical death, which would bring about separation from their earthly families, so Christ’s blood saves all of us as God’s dearly-loved children from spiritual death, which would bring about separation from our heavenly Father for all of eternity.

The Lamb of God Foretold & Freedom Behold

Lamb-Vintage-Image-GraphicsFairy2In light of all this then, those slain lambs foretold of Jesus who is referred to as none other than the “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:29).  However, unlike those lambs, Jesus came back to life and continually saves or cleanses us by His shed blood because “Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many” (Heb. 9:28).  And “if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 Jn. 1:7).

You may wonder though why Jesus, the perfect Son of God, had to die.  Why not more innocent male lambs or another human being?  Well, the Bible states that “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats [and lambs] to take away sins” (Heb. 10:4), and “no one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them” (Ps. 49:7).  Therefore, Jesus alone could save us by purely showing us the Father and His love for us, living perfectly on our behalf, satisfying God’s wrath for our sin, and conquering death for all “because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” (Acts 2:24).

So what does the Passover, which is basically the meaning of Easter, got to do with Jesus’ resurrection then?  Well, first of all, it foretold of Jesus, long before He came to this world, as being our innocent sacrifice and loving Savior from death–our one and only “pass over” Lamb.  Secondly, as the Passover celebrates freedom from physical slavery and bondage, Easter today celebrates a much greater freedom, our freedom from the spiritual bondage and slavery to sin.  “Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2).

A Much Greater Purpose

So as much as the world makes Easter out to be all about cute bunnies, brightly-colored egg hunts, yummy chocolate candy,Victorian-Easter-Bunny-Egg-GraphicsFairy pretty dress-up clothes, and big meals with families, Easter is not really about those things as nice as they are.  Sadly to say, the world has literally sold people a “bag of goods” or turned yet another holiday/”holy day” into a means of mass consumerism for their own profit.

Thankfully, God is not about His own profit but about our profit, and I hope you’ve seen this and believe it, along with the fact that Easter has a much bigger, richer, deeper, holier, happier purpose than those empty things the world sells.

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.  Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God” (1 Pet. 1:18-21).

Our Greatest Fear but Greatest Good


Suffering: Our Fear

While we often fear suffering the most, it leads to our greatest good--eternal glory!

While we often fear suffering the most, it leads to our greatest good–eternal glory!

Suffering . . . how many of us like it or want it? Not many, if anybody!  Realistically, nobody wants to get sick or injured physically or emotionally,  We are creatures of self-preservation through and through when it comes right down to it.  After all, this life is all we know and have at the moment, and we want it to be as comfortable and as happy as possible.

As for me, suffering has always been something I’ve tried to avoid whether that has meant staying away from sports or driving cautiously or eating less sugar.  If there is one word that has described me throughout my life, it would be “careful.”  Now that has been good or beneficial in so many ways as it has made me a more conscientious friend and daughter, responsible and thorough worker, and God-honoring follower of Christ who wants to live righteously and truthfully knowing this life is not all there is and that I will stand before God one day and face judgment.

At the same time, however, this carefulness or cautious self-preservation mentality has also been bad in that it has entailed a lot of fear.  Why?  Because ultimately, we cannot and do not control our lives or its outcomes.  We can drive cautiously but not be guaranteed to not be hit by another careless driver.  We can eat healthy and exercise but not be guaranteed we won’t become or stay overweight or get cancer.  We can be kind and thoughtful to others but not be guaranteed we won’t be rejected.  We can work hard and honestly but not be guaranteed a successful career.

Suffering: Our Calling

I share all of this though, because I sense with the rise of evil or Satan’s foothold here in America, our suffering is going to only increase as followers of Christ.  I sense this in part hearing how many Bible-believing preachers have been speaking on this topic so far this year.  Even in my own experience, I heard three sermons on suffering from three different preachers on three different Sundays in three different cities in the short time span of just one month.  Now that is unheard of!

But the thing that we have forgotten is that as Christ’s followers, we are called to suffer

  • To unjustly suffer for doing good to others who don’t deserve it . . . “But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps” (1 Pet. 2:20-21).
  • To humbly suffer by living for Christ instead of for yourself . . .  As Jesus told His disciples back in the day and still tells us today, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matt. 16:24).
  • To cruelly suffer by being hated and rejected because you’re not a part of this world as Christ wasn’t . . .  “The world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world” (Jn. 17:14).
  • To righteously suffer for believing that God’s Word is absolute truth and righteousness vs. siding with the world that truth and morality are relative and subjective . . . “For the word of the LORD is right and true” (Ps. 33:4).  “The decrees of the LORD are firm, and all of them are righteous” (Ps. 19:9).
  • To uniquely suffer by believing that there is one God and that Jesus is God’s Son and the only way of salvation . . .  “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me'” (Jn. 14:6).  
  • To supernaturally suffer for living by the Spirit and for the spiritual, eternal, unseen world . . . “The Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you” (Jn. 14:17). “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18). 

Suffering: Our Good

Now while all of this suffering may sound depressing, may you encourage your heart to stay true to your faith in Christ by remembering that you “must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22) and that even Christ was perfected through suffering just so that He could bring many sons and daughters to glory (Heb. 2:10).  So first and foremost, suffering is for our good eternally.

Secondly, while suffering is painful, it is very temporary in light of eternity and very fruitful for those willingly trained by it and not resistant to it.  Not only can it produce “a harvest of righteousness and peace” (Heb. 12:11) but also “an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Cor. 4:17).  So often today, we ignore our spiritual lives and focus on the physical, and knowing that, God has to bring hardships into our lives to redirect our focus onto Him.  After all, our spiritual lives or how we relate to God matters most as it is the true essence of who we are as people.

Lastly, in light of all this, just think about why today is even called “Good” Friday when it was Jesus’ day of utter humiliation, cruel crucifixion, and agonizing death on the cross for our sins.  It is called “good” only because in suffering God brought forth His greatest good–defeating Satan, sin, and death once and for all and restoring us as His creation to fellowship and eternal life with Himself.  Now what can get better than that?!  Happy Good Friday!


“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:1-3).



Rejected & Not Perfected

61142_154119_block_cancel_deleteDo you remember those days in school when two kids got to pick teams for a classroom or outdoor game, and you waited in worried anticipation about whether or not you would be eagerly chosen or be embarrassingly left as the last one standing?  Did you ever walk away feeling the sting of rejection telling you were not good enough, smart enough, or popular enough?  I don’t know about you, but I did occasionally feel that bitter sting nobody wants to feel.

But those games were minor in comparison to the sting of personal rejection in the overall game of life.  You see, I grew up feeling rejected a lot by others and myself.  Not only was I a middle child who often felt left out and like I didn’t fit in, but I was also a perfectionist who felt I had to look pretty, act nice, and always be secure and confident for people to like me and really want to pursue me to “be friends.”  I mean, who wants an average-looking or ugly friend to hang out with as it may make them look bad?  And who wants an insecure, needy, shy “wall flower” following them around?

Much to my embarrassment though, more often than not, those negative things are exactly how I saw myself.  I know this did not give my peers a good starting point because since I had already rejected myself, I really struggled with viewing not only them, but also God, as accepting and loving me unconditionally.  After all, seeing how I didn’t measure up to my own “likability” standards, I was sure I didn’t measure up to theirs of probably being cool or holy enough as well.

Constantly Stalked but Chosen

Now you’d think that as an adult, I’d outgrow these things, but unfortunately, that perfectionist and rejection mentality has continued to closely follow me, keeping me its prisoner and slave.  And sadly, it has often times made me feel rather lonely, depressed, and rejected because still so few intentionally pursue me in friendship or community, let alone have time for me, because they are too busy with their own family, friends, and activities.

Knowing this all may sound rather depressing and like a self-pity party, I must say I feel hesitant and rather humbled even sharing these things .  . .  but I share them primarily because my frustration with others’ seeming rejection and busyness has made me realize how God must feel about my often being too busy to pursue and really spend time with Him.

Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."  (John 10:11)

Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)

Too busy with the life He Himself has given me and too busy worrying about why others have not chosen me when He–the God of this great, big, magnificent universe–has CHOSEN ME out of the billions of people on planet earth to be HIS CHILD.  For He says, “I have chosen you and not rejected you.  So do not fear(Isa. 40:9-10).  And “brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved . . . that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 2:13-14).

So why did He choose me to be His child?  Well, why do we as parents usually have children?  So that we can do life with them and have a growing, close relationship with them over the years, and that is exactly what God our heavenly Father and Jesus His Son want with us as well for “He [Jesus] died for us so that, whether we are are awake or asleep, we may live together with him” (1 Thess. 5:10).

All Grace but Good News

But why do so many not choose God?  Or in other words, not receive His free gift of salvation and live for and with Him in relationship?  I think it is because it is so hard for our simple, faithless hearts to really accept and believe these insurmountable truths that we are actually desired, loved, and pursued by a holy, almighty God and that He’d want to make us His own cherished children.  It just seems too good to be true or often times even too foolish to believe in our human understanding.

And God reminded me on Friday through Galatians that there is a bigger reason we often struggle with. You see, of our flesh there is a strong desire to be loved for who we are or what we do because we are so performance-driven and worshipers of self.  We want to feel and be seen as beautiful and good in and of ourselves, and we want the glory instead of giving it to Christ.  But in the gospel, Christ gets all the glory because He’s the beautiful, perfect One who rescues us from God’s just wrath over our sin.

So God did not choose me, love me, and make me His child because I was measuring up to my perfectionist standards of pretty, nice, secure, and confident.  Or even measuring up to His holy, perfect law of righteousness because “a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ . . . because by observing the law no one will be justified (Gal. 2:16).  And “if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (Gal. 2:21).

Did you get that then . . . the gospel or good news of Jesus Christ that is?  He chooses and accepts us simply because He loves us, and He makes us right with Him all because of grace, not works!  Our only requirement is to “believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved” (Acts 16:31).

The Ultimate Insanity

Now you may want to fight the simplicity of it all, but you know what?  We’d be insane to reject God’s offer of salvation as unworthy as we might feel or as much as we want approval for what we are or have done.  After all, once you accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord, “you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has also made you an heir (Gal. 4:7).  And who wouldn’t want to move up in life from a slave of self and Satan to a son and heir of God Most High?  Only a fool.


So today I praise and thank the Lord for choosing me as His child, as underserved and humbling as that is, and Lord willingly, I will start doing a better job of choosing to spend more time with Him as well as choosing to value His perfect opinion of me more than the imperfect opinions of others because “if God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things” (Rom. 8:31).

Our Gift from Heaven


A Most Precious Gift

Evan in his sweet dog hat which he gets many compliments on

Evan in his sweet dog hat which he gets many compliments on

“You’re such a sweet and precious gift, such a beautiful, wonderful gift from heaven, O Evan, I love you.”  These words I have often sung to my greatest blessing of this year–our new baby boy Evan Robert.  I was never really a baby person before, but he has definitely captured my heart and attention over the last several months.

It is hard to believe but as of November 2, he is now five months old. He’s doing well and growing seeing how at birth he was 6 pounds, 12 ounces and 20 inches long, and now he is somewhere between 14 and 15 pounds and 24 inches long.

He’s a happy, sweet, good baby overall although he can be challenging in the fact that he has not napped well from early on. So without those good, long naps that I’m sure every mother longs for her baby to take, he not only keeps me from getting much done at home but also keeps me wondering what to do with him as he becomes fussy or discontent and very hard to please.  Some days I truly feel accomplished if I just get to make my bed and take a shower as crazy as that sounds.

Praise the Lord, Evan did start sleeping through the night though in early September which was a big relief and blessing because I never felt so exhausted in my life as those first two or three months of his life.  I used to have problems sleeping but not since my pregnancy and post-pregnancy days for some odd reason.  I am not complaining though as it is so nice to be able to sleep more than three or four hours a night!

All Energy & Excitement

Anyways, Evan continues to be very alert and active as he was early on, with much movement of his arms and legs.  It is really fun to watch him move them back and forth so quickly and with such pure excitement and forceful energy.  He looks like he is having the time of his life, with his eyes beaming forth delight and with his laughter or shouts filling the room, that I have to wonder what is going on in his little mind.  Micah and I find our favorite things about him are his smiles and laughter which happen often.  These precious gifts really help make all of the hard moments melt away believe it or not.

Evan also will often look at the ceiling  as he doing all of his moving around as if there is something up there catching his attention, but I couldn’t tell you what most of the time. It is very amusing that babies are so enraptured by the simplest of things like ceiling lights, ceiling fans, blank ceilings, or a flying musical monkey that goes around and around over them on a play mat.

New Skills & Development

As far as new skills or abilities, Evan can hold up his head quite well, and he is grabbing things like my hair (and boy, does he have a strong grip!), small toys, and his feet.  He is turning over now from his back to his tummy but not so much from his tummy to his back.  That is about it, so no crawling yet.

He is also teething, and therefore, he has been drooling and blowing bubbles a lot and kind of sticking out his tongue.  In the last month or so, he has also been talking a lot of baby gibberish and making throat noises.   He really is too cute!  :)

Interests & Disinterests

And for Evan’s main interests?  Eating, moving his body around, being out and about, being with people/socializing (I wonder who he got that from?!), laying on his little bouncer seat in the kitchen, or sleeping in his car seat (but if at home, it has to be rocked or swung and if in the car, we need to be moving . . . No stop signs or stop lights, please!).  I really don’t know what I would do without that wonderful invention!  Since he refuses to take naps in his crib during the day, most of them actually take place in his car seat even though they can be short, as in less than 30 minutes at a time.

Evan on his bouncy seat in the kitchen

Evan on his bouncy seat

As for those things he really does not like?  Tummy time still but he has been doing a little better with it lately.  I just hope he does not get a really flat head in the back, but the poor child acts as if we are tormenting him by putting him on his tummy for five minutes or less.  He just does not know how good he has it, does he?!  He also has taken a strong disliking to his swing which baffles me because it’s like a car seat in constant motion or a dream come true, but I guess not.


So there you have it . . . an update on the baby, something I have learned that draws the attention and interest of both the very young and the rather old as well as family and friends and strangers and foes.  Is it any wonder then that Jesus came to this earth as none other than a BABY?!  After all, babies are definitely great bridge builders or conversation starters at least.

And as a new mother, who can be rather stressed and very discouraged at times, I would still wholeheartedly agree with King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived and the author of Psalm 127, that “Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward” (vs. 3).

So thank You, God, for this most precious, fearfully and wonderfully made gift named Evan!  “Your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psa. 139:14).

Doesn't he look so beautiful?  I love how he looks when he's asleep.

Doesn’t he look so beautiful? I love how he looks when he’s asleep.

No Greater Sacrifice


My Veteran Heroes

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  (Jn. 15:13)

IMG_0973aBeing that today is Veteran’s Day, I just want to say a big “Thank you!” to all of those wonderful men and women, living and dead, who served in our country’s military in the past to protect our freedoms in the present from outside threats.  You are my heroes!

What stands out to me the most about you is first of all your courage because you were actually willing to die–and grievously, so, so many of you did die and pay the ultimate sacrifice–for the good, happiness, and life itself of others.  There are very few people today who are willing to do that, so I stand completely amazed.

Secondly, what stands out is your self-sacrifice because you gave up all the comforts of your home and family to undergo hard training; probably deep loneliness and sleepless, fear-filled nights; and horrific, heart-wrenching wars for the sake of your fellow countrymen.  To think you were given only one life to live, and that you chose to live it in this way, is just incredible!

Our Ultimate Hero

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”  (1 Jn. 4:10)

At this time of honor though, may you also consider what Jesus Christ, God’s one and only Son, sacrificed for you, His precious creation made in His image and for His glory.

  • Because we had an outside threat (Satan and his demons) trying to destroy us, Jesus left the comforts, glory, and praises of heaven for this darkened, decaying planet to rescue us, its sin-stricken, sickly people destined for an eternity apart from God in a horrific place called hell.
  • Because He knew we needed to connect with Him in a personal way, Jesus left His role as the Almighty Son of God to become a lowly Son of Man by becoming a mere baby to becoming a child and then a man.  Jesus did not have to come in this extremely humble way, but He did so that we would not fear but come near to Him.
  • Because we needed a perfect substitute to take away our sins and satisfy God’s wrath, Jesus vigilantly lived out a holy, perfect life in our place and then took our sins upon Himself as He was unjustly put to death on the cross.  But He willingly and lovingly gave Himself up for us though.  In other words, no man took His life without His permission.
  • Because He knew we needed hope beyond this life and the grave, Jesus rose victoriously three days after He was buried to bring victory over sin and death and eternal life and peace with God for all men and women.

Honoring by Believing & Following

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.'”  (Matt. 16:24-25)

Following in the footsteps of Jesus and our veterans will always involve a cross or death to ourselves for the life and freedom of others.

Following in the footsteps of Jesus and our veterans will always involve a cross or death to ourselves for the life and freedom of others.

So in light of all this and doing what our veteran heroes could never do for us–by living perfectly on our behalf and fully taking our penalty for sin and all–why not remember Jesus’ self-sacrifice and honor Him today as well for all that He did.  And how can you honor Him most?  Simply by believing Him and thereby following Him because “faith without works is dead” (Jas. 2:26).

And while you are at it, honor our veterans in the greatest way you can by believing that what they sacrificed was good, honorable, and true and thereby following in their footsteps of courage, self-sacrifice, and fighting for freedom for the generations to come.

“The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  (Gal. 2:20)

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.’  He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.”  (Gal. 3:13-14)

“Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.”  (Rom. 5:1-2)

A Marathon Like None Other


My Almost 20-Hour Marathon

I don’t know about you, but I have never been a marathon runner because I do not like the discipline, energy, endurance, and pain a marathon requires.  But beginning Sunday night, June 1, and ending Monday, June 2, I “ran” and completed or endured and succeeded my first one and an almost 20-hour one at that.

Kristen, the assistant midwife, was wonderful!

Kristen, the assistant midwife, was wonderful!

You see, on that Sunday night, now almost a whole month ago, at 7:00 p.m. my pregnancy labor officially began with contractions starting every five minutes for a complete hour.  As the night progressed, the contractions grew worse so that by midnight or so, I was having intense ones in my lower back and lower abdominal area every three to four minutes.

There to help me through these intervals of the uterine muscle tightening and relaxing–and thereby trying to push my baby out into the world–was my friend and Bright Lights co-leader Katie who arrived around 10:30 p.m. It was such a big blessing to have another woman I knew there with me, especially one who had just gone through a natural childbirth the year before and could relate to what I was going through.

Katie was so gracious too to stay with me until Kristen, my midwife’s assistant arrived to our home around 2:00 a.m.  Shortly after Katie left then, my midwife Jeannie arrived and sent me and Micah to bed to get rested up.  Believe me though, the contractions soon had me jumping out of bed and up for the rest of the night.  There was no way I could stay still, but every movement, even going to the bathroom, became a labor of pain.

Praise the Lord that Kristen was there to so lovingly and patiently encourage and help me through the contractions the rest of the night.  I don’t know what I would have done without her!  Seeing how we had a home birth, no drugs were available, but that was okay because I was determined to go all natural all the way through until delivery.

A Surprising Sign & Alarming Situation

Well, around mid-morning, I started feeling this urge to “poop,” and when I told Jeannie this, she surprised me by saying that is what she was waiting to hear.  Unknownst to me, that desire is a sign of delivery soon approaching, but who would’ve ever guessed that a precious baby’s birth would be associated with waste elimination?!  :)

So Jeannie checked my cervix’s dilation and found it to have opened to about nine centimeters.  However, it needed to be at 10 centimeters, and my amniotic sac or “water” also had not yet ruptured which indicates as well your baby is about to be born.  The sac was so tight that around 10:00 a.m. or so, Jeannie went ahead and broke it, and then she proceeded to go out and get something from her car.

She soon returned to my bedroom horrified though because her car, parked in our driveway, had been broken into overnight, and her purse, including a large amount of cash, was stolen.  Understandably, she immediately called the police, but having never had a child before and not knowing what to expect next, I was kind of freaking out inwardly because I thought I could be delivering anytime soon without a midwife on hand possibly.

I really felt that this was just another spiritual attack of our enemy Satan because the whole preceding weekend seemed to  dish out to me unexpected conflict situations in regards to my labor as well.  They were emotionally difficult for me to deal with most of all, but by God’s grace, I made it through them.  This was just another time to trust that God was ultimately in control and working for my good as He did in each of the other situations.

Endurance Is Key

Jeannie, our main midwife, did not look like a midwife as I imagined.

Jeannie, our main midwife, did not look like a midwife as I imagined.

So while Jeannie was distracted and discouraged by a broken car window and stolen goods, I became very distracted and discouraged with an unexpected new level of pain and labor.

You see, after my water was broken, my cervix dilation went back down to seven centimeters because the tight sac made it dilate more than it actually was.  Thereby, I had to start exercises–such as squats and rolling my hips in a circular motion while being draped over a yoga ball–to bring the baby’s head down more and more to open up the cervix more so that I could officially “poop” the baby out.  And  because my water was broken, my contractions became even more painful than they were before.

Now the exercises in and of themselves were not the worst of it though but the increasing urge to “poop,” and not being able do so, was.  By this stage, I thought for the first time that I was going to end up in a hospital and have to undergo a C-section which I did not want at all.

I kept asking the midwives if I could quit these tormenting exercises though, but they would not let me.  I don’t know how long all of this went on for, but finally, Jeannie said she would check my dilation once again.  I was back to nine or nine and a half centimeters, so she finally gave me permission to try pushing.

Evan was quite alert since the moment he "came to"

Our precious Evan was quite alert and wide-eyed since the moment he “came to” which was not too long after Jeannie worked on him.

Well, come to find out, I did not have what it took to push the baby out.  I could not believe it, but praise the Lord, Jeannie thought to try pulling up a lip in the cervix.  This made a big difference because after doing so I tried pushing again, and much to my relief, she said I had the power needed to push now.

So for the next 30 to 45 minutes (I really have no idea of how long but that is how long it seemed to me), I started pushing with all that I had.  I was nearing the finish line and just wanted our baby out no matter the pain.  The pushing was nothing though in comparison to the contractions.

Micah, in the meantime, was cooling my face with wet washcloths as I was sweating like no other time in my life probably.  Suddenly, at 2:45 p.m., as a thunderstorm was going on outside, our new baby boy Evan Robert suddenly popped out head and all.  I was amazed that his whole body came out so quickly but thankful it was all over so soon.  And surprisingly, no blood and guts went flowing all over.  It really was a rather clean experience overall.

Baby Scare

Upon Evan’s arrival though, a new dilemma arose.  Seeing how Evan didn’t cry upon coming out, Jeannie began frantically patting him all over and taking a nasal aspirator to his nose and mouth to suck out all of the “gunk.”  While she was crying out, “Oh, God!  Oh, Jesus!,” Kristen, who had closely monitored Evan’s heartbeat after every period of pushing, was exclaiming that the baby’s heartbeat had been just fine.

Our little man Evan Robert weighed in at 6 pounds, 12 ounces, and he was 20 inches long.

Our little man Evan Robert weighed in at 6 pounds, 12 ounces, and he was 20 inches long.

You would think that by this time I would be freaking out, but honestly, I wasn’t.   I had a peace that I can’t explain because normally I am an easily-fearful person.  God is truly so gracious and meets us in our time of need by giving us His gracious strength which is “in quietness and trust” (Isa. 30:15) or waiting upon Him and His goodness and tender care.

As the verses that often comforted me before my labor and delivery state:  “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isa. 41:10).  And I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil. 4:13). 

A Double but Troubling Surprise

Well, another big surprise to top off the whole birth experience was to learn that our little Evan had a twin!  Kristen, as she was taking out the placenta and all, found a wee four-week-old baby who had died along with a dead part to the placenta.  It would be so interesting to know what caused this little one to die, but we shall never know this side of heaven.

What makes this all so very interesting too is that both of Micah’s brothers have twins, and Micah’s cousin has twins as well.  Is that not all so crazy?!  And to think that I literally have three children now, although two sadly never lived to see the light of day here on this earth.

My After-Birth Thoughts

Now someone asked me if I’d do a home, natural birth all over again, and my answer was and still is–absolutely YES!  First of all, I LOVED having a home birth with a midwife, and I cannot imagine giving birth anywhere else but home now.  It was just so much more comfortable because . . .

  • I did not have to worry about going anywhere in the middle of the night.
  • I did not have to worry about forgetting anything I needed at home.
  • I did not have to worry about what doctor I would end up getting at the hospital as there is usually more than one who work together nowadays and usually one that you really do not care for.
  • I did not have to worry about going through difficult contractions and groaning  in an unfamiliar environment with unfamiliar people.
  • I did not have to worry about doctors trying to rush me or nurses trying to give me drugs.
  • I did not have to worry about how long the hospital would want to keep me and about a mounting hospital bill.
  • I could sleep in my own bed that night with my baby in the same room.
  • I could have visitors right away the same day the baby was born.
A big praise was finding out the Sunday before I delivered that I finally passed the Strep B test so that I did not have to deliver at this birthing center a little over an hour away.  God was so good!

A big praise was finding out the Sunday before I delivered that I finally passed the Strep B test (after three tests and two remedies–a natural one and then an antibiotic) so that I did not have to deliver at this birthing center a little over an hour away. God was so good!

As far as going all natural, labor and delivery really was not as bad as I might have imagined or as people even described it so I did not even feel a great need for intervening or numbing drugs.  Yes, it was hard and painful, but for me at least, it was not “horrible” as one woman described it or a time of screaming or hating my husband as others described it. Those all sound like torture, such as having a body part cut off, but it did not even come close to that.

So in spite of the car being broken into, the extra work to bring the baby down, the baby scare, and the lost baby, it was all in all a positive experience and such a blessing.

I just praise the Lord that I and Evan made it through safe and sound and that women like Jeannie and Kristen dare to be different today.  How’s that?  Just by their courage to do what they believe God has called them to do and that is simplistic midwifery at its best and home births of all things.

My Hymn of Praise

Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible,
  The only wise God, the only wise God,
Be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. Amen.
  Be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen
“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.  Amen.”  (1 Tim. 1:17)