A Year Later

The past year, June 2016 to June 2017, has been a bit of a whirlwind. A lot of changes have taken place. First, I had my fourth miscarriage. That was a very unexpected event and was the hardest of all my miscarriages to walk through. I guess I thought since I had my daughter that having miscarriages was behind me. It was a long road to acceptance and healing.

In September 2016 we bought our first house! After four years our little duplex had gotten too small and crowded. We moved to a 1500 square foot house which has felt like a palace compared to the duplex! All of the extra space has been a blessing. My kitchen is twice the size of the old one. You would think I’d be baking twice the amount of baked goods but for the most part I have taken a break from baking.

At the end of November I was really starting to get frustrated with my weight. I knew I needed to make some changes but I had no motivation. I can admit that going through another loss of a baby completely depleted me of “giving a crap” so I ate what I wanted.  Much of what I wanted was junk food and sweets. Alllllllll the sweets. But of course with the holidays coming up I knew I wouldn’t get very far so I put the weight loss off again.

In December I had my yearly medical check-up and I weighed in at 170 pounds. That is the most I have ever weighed. I knew I really needed to do something. The motivation still wasn’t really there but slowly I began exercising. I still wasn’t eating great and my exercise was less than minimal. Between December and March, I lost six pounds. In March I finally got my act together and joined a weight loss challenge. That was the push and accountability I needed to get motivated and get to work. I started making healthier choices, watching my portions, and working out six days a week. At the end of the 10 week challenge I had lost 14 pounds! With the 6 pounds I had previously lost, I am down a total of 20 pounds. I’m not at my goal yet but I have definitely made a dent.

My kids have also grown a year older in the past year. Mikaela is 2 and Grayson is 5! Birthdays are emotional days for moms for so many reasons. It’s especially emotional for me on Grayson’s birthday because he was born premature. Looking at those pictures of him in the NICU always gets me choked up. And of course with birthdays and growing comes new stages of childhood and child raising.

Grayson has been in the “why?” stage for a while now. Everything is “why?”

“Why is that car going that way?”

“I don’t know, wherever that person is going is in that direction.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know. Just because.”

“But why?”

It’s exhausting. I love that he’s thinking and that he’s curious. Some of his questions are really great and give me an opportunity to teach him something new. But the random questions that I can’t answer are exasperating.

Grayson also just recently finished a soccer class. He learned the basics of soccer and has proven to have a natural ability and skill for the game. His favorite position was goalie even though there are no goalies at his age. At every scrimmage he stood in the net and stopped those goals. The coach was pretty impressed with him and I’m not just saying that because I’m his mom! He really is a good little player.

Mikaela is a sweet little girl who has become very verbal in the past few months. She is talking a lot and sings too! Her favorite song is The Wheels on the Bus. She also likes to color and play games. Her laughter is contagious and she loves being with her brother. They have a very sweet relationship. She is a joy but she also has an attitude and is quite stubborn. She is definitely my more difficult child. She has my independent spirit, my “I-don’t-care-what-people-think” attitude, my toughness, and my stubbornness. She’s blessed and she’s cursed, this one. Hopefully I will be able to teach her how to use her power for good and not for evil. 😉

Kyle is a private man so I won’t say much about him. He’s lost a lot of weight as well and has been rocking it as employee, husband, and father. He’s pretty cool I guess.

So, things have been changing and happening, most of which has been good. I have a piece of paper on my fridge that says, “The Lord is sovereign and does all things according to His purpose. Nothing is outside of His control.” It serves as a reminder to not only trust the Lord in everything but reminds me why I must trust Him. Even when things are good, there is always something that can be worried about or stressed over. As a young mom with littles, there are days that can be terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. But I’m trying to remember that the Lord is sovereign over all things. He’s sovereign over the good and the bad. What lies ahead for the rest of this year is still a mystery. So much is unknown and that can be unsettling. However, the Lord not only knows but decrees. If I can’t find peace in that then I won’t ever have peace about anything. So I must move forward, take one day at a time, and trust that He holds all things together for His purposes and for His glory.

 

 

 

His Love Endures Forever

Here I am again. I don’t know why I’m here. I don’t know the big picture. I don’t know God’s plan in this, or what His purpose is. But here I am, mourning the loss of another child. My fourth miscarriage.

I feel like my flesh and my spirit are at battle. My flesh keeps thinking “Does God hate me? Is He punishing me?” and my spirit is fighting back with the knowledge that God loves me, that I am His, and that all things happen according to His will and purpose. But I feel like this knowledge is just that – knowledge, and I’m having a hard time holding onto it as truth. I know the right answers. I know my theology. I know what I believe. But in times of sorrow it is so hard to move beyond knowing to truly believing and holding onto what is true. 
I feel like I am standing on the edge of a pit and the pit is calling me to fall into darkness, depression, and despair. And there seems to be one little string wrapped around me that is just barely holding me back. I keep looking at the pit and then looking at the string, inching forward and then back, my mind pressing me towards the pit and my soul calling me to keep holding on. It feels like the pit it bigger and stronger than this tiny little string. This string that reminds me I have been here before, that God was always there, and that He brought me through. He can do it again. He will do it again. His Word, His promises, His enduring love, is a life preserver. 

“If the LORD had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in silence. When I thought, ‘My foot slips,’ your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up. When the cares of my heart were many, your consolations cheer my soul.” – Psalm 94:17-19

Rylie – January 2013

Rylan – May 2013

Jesse – January 2014

Elisha – June 2016 

I hope and pray I will never have to add to this list again. But naming the babies that I have lost (for life begins at conception) is truly comforting to me. Every single time I have named the baby, a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I have felt a sense of peace. It may seem strange to name a baby that hardly lived, but for me it acknowledges that this baby was a part of our family and a part of our lives, even if for a very short time. I chose Elisha because it means “God is salvation” and I am needing that reminder daily. So now every time I think of Elisha, I’ll remember God is salvation, just like every time I think of Jesse, I remember that God sees. And even though Rylie and Rylan’s names have no special meaning, when I think of them I remember that God is hope and peace. 

My God is a God who gives hope and peace and is a God who sees and saves. That is what the Lord has taught, and continues to teach, me through these losses. It is hard to say it or even believe it right now, but God is good to use this sorrow and pain to sanctify me and to bring glory to His name, and in ways I may never know. 

One of the hardest parts of this miscarriage is having Grayson, who is old enough to know something is wrong, ask why I’m upset and why the baby is gone. It’s really hard to hear him ask these questions, even harder to give him an answer, but it’s been a great opportunity for him to see what faith in God looks like during grief. I’ve been able to tell him of God’s sovereignty and that even though really sad things happen, God is still in control and He has a plan. 

I heard him talking to himself yesterday while he was playing. He was saying “The baby in Mommy’s tummy is gone. God doesn’t want the baby to be in Mommy’s tummy.” He doesn’t know or understand the full concept of this but in his child like understanding, he does get that God is the One who decides and that it’s okay. Grayson has hugged me and comforted me when I’ve broken down crying and he has listened when I have tried to explain, in simple words, what has happened. He’s been able to accept that “God doesn’t want the baby to be in Mommy’s tummy” (his own words, not mine) and I always remind him that God might give us another baby someday. It has been a bittersweet experience to teach him through the pain and sorrow. And to see him grow in understanding and knowledge of the good God we serve. 

This miscarriage has had so many ups and downs for me, as you can see. I go from staring into the pit to rejoicing that God is good despite my pain. Both are true, both are real. The pit yawns before me many days but knowing, believing, that God is sovereign, that His love endures, that He is good and faithful despite what I feel, and that joy comes with the morning, is what will keep me from ever succumbing to despair. He has given me so much and He has never left me. Never. He will continue to sustain me. All is not lost. 

Because…

His love endures forever. 

Head Covering: What it is and Why I Do It

I would like to begin this discussion with 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 so that we all know which passage of the Bible this topic is coming from.

2 Now I praise you because you always remember me and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ. 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with something on his head dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since that is one and the same as having her head shaved. 6 So if a woman’s head is not covered, her hair should be cut off. But if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, she should be covered.

7 A man, in fact, should not cover his head, because he is God’s image and glory, but woman is man’s glory. 8 For man did not come from woman, but woman came from man. 9 And man was not created for woman, but woman for man. 10 This is why a woman should have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, and man is not independent of woman. 12 For just as woman came from man, so man comes through woman, and all things come from God.

13 Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair it is a disgrace to him, 15 but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her as a covering. 16 But if anyone wants to argue about this, we have no other custom, nor do the churches of God.

I have read this passage many times but it never occurred to me to question whether covering my head during worship was something I should be doing. I didn’t question it because no one I knew ever did and I was never told that I should. It is no longer a custom among Christian woman as a whole in America so when I read this passage I didn’t stop to think about it. It wasn’t until I met Christian women who do cover that it even occurred to me that I should study this topic for myself. I began by reading 1 Corinthians 11 and reading commentary on it by theologians whom I respect. I also spent a lot of time reading through the articles at headcoveringmovement.com which gave me an immense amount of insight on the passage. As I studied, I began to feel convicted. Then when I spoke with my husband about it I discovered that he too believed it was something I should do and that just confirmed it for me.

The argument against head covering is that it was a cultural thing during the time of the Corinthian church and that it is no longer applicable today. But in my study, I learned that what Paul (the author of 1 Corinthians) is saying is actually a command for Christian women to cover their heads during the corporate worship service. We should cover our heads when the saints gather as a symbol that we are under the authority and headship of our husbands who are under the authority and headship of Christ. I won’t give an argument here on why I believe the passage is giving a command (other than to say that Paul is pretty clear that this is something he believes should be done) as I believe that the articles at The Head Covering Movement website have done a fantastic job of explaining it. To read those articles, begin here.

Head covering from Garlands of Grace

Head covering from Garlands of Grace

I do, however, want to discuss why I personally chose to cover. First and foremost, I do believe that it is a biblical command and so I follow it because I want to be biblical and faithful to God’s Word. But a secondary reason, and an important one I believe, is because I want to display what head covering represents, which is to show that I submit to my husband as leader in our household. In this day and age, where feminism is running rampant, I want to show that I stand by my role as woman. As a woman, I came from man and as a wife, I am under my husband’s authority. I submit to him; I do not rule over him or emasculate him. I am to be respected and not walked over by him, but I am not in a position of authority over him. Covering my head when in worship displays that I submit to my role as a woman, a role that God ordained at creation.

Despite what feminist would have us believe, this is not degrading. This is beautiful. To be a woman, created for man, to take care of my husband, to bear children, and to partner with my husband in the Lord’s divine plan for His people, to further His Kingdom, is a privilege to be celebrated. It does not make me weak or inferior. To submit to God’s role for me as wife to my husband makes me strong. God made me for my husband and gave me to him as his bride and that is why I should be respected. Not because I am strong in my own right but because I need my husband and my husband needs me. We were created to work together, to bond together and become one. This is how God designed marriage to work and I love that He chose me to be a wife, to submit to my husband, and to stand with quiet strength under my husband’s guidance and authority. I want to display this beautiful role that God has given me (and in doing so displaying my husband’s role of authority) by covering my head, my glory, when we gather to worship and pray to our Creator. It is a reminder to me of who I am; a woman whose identity lies in Christ and not in herself.  

Teaching my Children to have Thick Skin

So many people today have such thin skin. We have to walk around on egg shells to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. We can’t speak out against something for fear of offending someone. And we have such a skewed view of love.

I want to teach my kids to be able to handle the bad things people are going to say about them and to them. I want them to be able to face a challenge and not run away in fear or go crying to someone to fight in their place. I want them to know what it’s like to lose, because the truth is, not everyone is a winner. They are going to hear honest and sometimes brutal truth from me because I want them to grow up with thick skin. I want my babies to grow into healthy, mature adults and not remain babies who cry about everything. They will know that I love them fiercely because I will encourage them towards holiness, no matter what they think makes them happy or what makes them feel good.

To further illustrate this idea, here is an excerpt from one of John Piper’s sermons:

In America, and in little circles where I function, love and how it gets expressed is in great measure controlled by how we think people are going to feel about what we say and what we do. America these days it seems to me, and I see book titles bearing witness to it, are a people, not entirely but in large measure, with very thin skins. Very given to feeling like victims, feeling like they’re offended and they’re wounded and they are easily hurt, and therefore it’s always someone else’s problem we can put our bad feelings on. Which means that the way we express love to one another and to people we might think need a tough word gets restricted because we feel ourselves held hostage by their bad feelings. In other words, if they can convince us by body language or by words or by lifestyle that if we say this then they are gonna feel bad and we say, ‘probably not the loving thing to say.’ So instead of the bottom line of love being a principle or a biblical rule or really what’s best for people, its just feelings. How are they gonna feel if we do this or say this? What I’m saying is Christians ought to be different from our culture. We ought to be different. We ought not to have thin skins. The church ought to be a place with thick skin. Why? Because we don’t get our significance and our stability and our security and our meaning and our worth from what people say about us! Do we? Do you? I fear many of us do. There is a constant temptation to want to be liked, to want to have people say nice things about us, we want to be approved, and to get all of our joy and strength from day to day by the echo of what is coming back to us in what we say. Bad news! That is bad, bad, bad! That is what human beings without Christ are. But we are different! Why? We are loved by God, we are chosen by God, we are forgiven by God, we are accepted by God, we are indwelt by God, we are strengthened by God, we are guided by God, we are secured by God, we are surrounded by God. He is underneath, He is on top, He is everywhere. What do we care? Or do we? Do we believe it, that’s the issue. Do we believe that who we are, where we are going, how we get there, is God’s thing, not the world’s or even other Christians? And so I just plead with you not to be apart of the cultural thin skinness, so that when some hard word lands on you, true or false, some ugly criticism, some slander, or some legitimate rebuke, you don’t do like the world. The world does generally one of two things: It shrinks into a little corner of self-pity and woundedness and ‘oh poor me, how could you ever do that to me, oh’ or it sues you for harassment! And they are both pulling from the same issue of thin skin. People who don’t have their bearings, who don’t have roots, everything is being governed by how you come on to them. Don’t be like that!

As a parent, I want my children to be happy. I want to see good things happen to them. But more than that, I want them to know Christ and to be holy. I don’t discipline my children based on how they feel about it. I discipline them because it is good for them, because I love them, whether they feel good about it or not. The discipline always hurts in one way or another and it doesn’t make them happy in the moment but that doesn’t keep me from acting out of love and teaching them that there are standards by which they must live. I love my children and so I discipline them, no matter that it makes them cry or unhappy with me. The motivation is that they learn and that their hearts are molded into ones of honesty, maturity, and integrity. I will not sacrifice that for a few moments of my child’s temporary happiness in doing what is wrong.

I want my children to learn to not live their life based on their feelings alone. Feelings can be valid, I can attest, but they alone cannot be the basis of our reasoning. I want them to take responsibility for their feelings and for themselves. I want to give them tools so that they know how to appropriately respond to how they feel, whether positive or negative. I want them to be okay with having their feelings hurt. I want them to be open to criticism. I want them to be humble enough that they aren’t completely broken down when people come against them. And I want them to be strong enough, thick skinned enough, that they don’t sacrifice truth for the feelings of others.

Most of all, I want them to know what real love is. I want them to love people by standing for truth, by pushing back against lies, against flippant feelings, and against this ridiculous belief that love is always consenting to everyone’s feelings. If they see a friend making a mistake, I want them to love that person well enough that they go to that friend and say, “this is wrong,” instead of saying, “whatever makes you happy.” Because in the end, real love wants what is best for others (now and in light of eternity), and not just happiness by whatever means possible.

Right now, my oldest is 3 years old. Eating as much chocolate as he wants makes him happy. I enjoy when he is happy but does that mean I let him eat large amounts of chocolate? No, because I want what is best for him which is a healthy diet. So that means I limit his chocolate intake even though it upsets him when I tell him he’s had enough. And one day, my teenage son will probably think that having sex with his girlfriend will make him happy. I want him to be happy but does that mean I give him a box of condoms and tell him to go for it? No! I will teach him how wonderful and powerful sex is when it is done in the context of marriage and I will encourage him to wait to make love to his wife. I will do this because it is what is right in the eyes of the Lord and because I know that it is what is best for my son. I know that those few fleeting moments of pleasure are nothing in comparison to a lifelong sexual commitment to your spouse. I love him and I want what is best for him so I will have those embarrassing conversations with him and I will enforce the guidelines that will be in place to help him abstain.

This should all be common sense and yet somehow we fail to translate this over to the rest of our dealings with the world. Homosexuality is against God’s Word and as such, is harmful for all. Yet I’m not suppose to say that because what about people’s feelings? What about what makes them happy? How dare I offend homosexuals! But I love homosexuals and because I do, I want them to find healing from their sin. I want them to know the Lord. I want them to know the freedom and grace that He brings to those who call Him Abba, Father. Yet somehow, I’m being hateful. I don’t support their lifestyle and I believe they are living in sin even though it makes them happy and even though they love their partner and somehow, this makes me hateful of them. But the truth is is that I want them to be happy and I want them to love and be loved, but not at the sacrifice of the Lord’s holy Word; not at the sacrifice of doing what is right. Repentance and forgiveness is what will bring them joy and true love; this is what is best for them, this is what I want for them because I love them.

I hope and pray that my children will grow up with this same view of love; that they will love others by staying true to God’s Word. It takes thick skin to stand on God’s truth and remain there in the face of judgement and hatred. I want my kids to stand strong so I will pray for their souls, I will teach them to love others, and I will thicken their skin.

Soli Deo Gloria

The things my husband doesn’t know 

But does now, now that I’ve posted them here for all to see. 

The things my husband doesn’t know about me as a stay at home mom.

He doesn’t know that I’ve started using dry shampoo because I don’t have the time (or the energy) to wash my hair most days. 

He doesn’t know that I let our son eat peanut butter sandwiches for lunch as often as he asks because I don’t always have the time (or the energy) to fix him something else. Or I don’t want to deal with the mess that other foods cause on that particular day. And hey, at least the kid is eating! 

He doesn’t know that I slept in pee this morning because our daughter’s diaper leaked and there was just no way I was going to wake the sleeping children to change the sheets, thus insuring that none of us would be getting more sleep. I need sleep and if that means sleeping in a puddle of pee then I’ll do it. 

He doesn’t know the roller coaster of emotions that I feel all at once every single day at every single moment. 

He doesn’t know that feeling that I get as a mother when I hear my baby cry but I have to leave her crying for a few minutes because my toddler is either trying to kill himself or getting into something that could potentially hurt him or cause a giant mess. 

He doesn’t know the irritation of having a big dog constantly under foot who behaves much like a child and doesn’t help with anything. At all. 

He doesn’t know what it’s like to have the pressure (self inflicted of course) of keeping the house at a certain, bearable level of clean while also not neglecting the children. 

He doesn’t know how much effort it takes sometimes to do even just the minimum that is required of me as a wife and mother. And even that minimum sometime feels like it’s impossible to accomplish. 

He doesn’t know how often I have to just shrug and say “good enough” because if I didn’t, I would be a psychopath and nobody would be happy. 

He doesn’t know how often I evaluate and reevaluate myself, finding myself lacking, and then fighting to remind myself day in and day out that I can’t be perfect, I don’t have to be perfect, and that I’m really doing just fine. 

He doesn’t know what it is like to feel like my body isn’t my own. He doesn’t know what it’s like to have a child (or two) hanging off of me, touching me, and needing me 24/7.

He doesn’t know how incredibly drained I feel at the end of the day. 

And he doesn’t know that all of this isn’t insane or just pure emotion and hormones. These things can’t be “fixed” or made all better when looked at logically. 

Maybe he does know how hard I try but he doesn’t know what all goes into it or how much of myself I have to sacrifice. 

And I know that he doesn’t know these things not because he’s a jerk but because he’s a man and he has his own role to fill that I couldn’t fill as a woman. I know that there are probably things about him as a man in the workforce that I don’t know about because I’m not in it. I get that. But sometimes I do wish we could spend a day in each other’s shoes so that we would better know and understand what it is really like. Because it’s not as easy or as simple as we think it is. 

The Day my Daughter was Born

January 3rd, 2015 was the day my daughter entered the world. It was a day that I had been waiting for long before she was conceived. It was a day that, at one point, I thought might never come.

You see, my daughter is my rainbow baby after three failed pregnancies. She is my miracle. She is living proof that the Lord is sovereign and gracious. She is the child that I prayed for and longed for after each loss. She is the child I thought might never be and yet is, all because the Lord is good. IMG_9584

At 6 weeks pregnant I saw that positive and I cried. I was afraid. I couldn’t lose another baby. I couldn’t go through that again.

At 8 weeks I heard her heartbeat and I cried. She was alive. She was growing. I was so thankful. I praised God.

At 20 weeks I found out I was having a daughter. I had known all along she was a girl. She was already so special to me.

At 38 weeks she was born. She had stayed put a whole four weeks longer than her brother. I was so ready to see her, to hold her, to have her home. Apparently, she was ready too.

On January 2nd I had had an OB appointment and I was 5 centimeters dilated! I hadn’t been feeling great but so far I had not been having any real contractions. My body had done everything to prepare itself for labor and I was so anxious to get this show on the road. But things ended up moving much more quickly than I had wanted! I began having contractions around 2:30 Saturday morning. By 4:30 I knew without a doubt that it was the real thing so I woke Kyle up. Within just the few minutes it took to wake him up and start getting ready to go, the intensity of my contractions went up a notch. They had me doubled over in pain. This should have been an indication to me that things were moving very quickly but at that point I had no idea just how quickly. By the time we had everything in the car and Grammy had arrived to watch Grayson, I was becoming more and more desperate to get to the hospital.

During the 15 minute drive to the hospital, my contractions became much more frequent and much more painful. By that point I was in so much more pain than I ever was with Grayson. Again, that should have been an indication that I didn’t have much time but all I could think about was getting to that hospital and getting some pain relief.

Once we arrived at the hospital they immediately put me in a room. I was quickly given a gown to change into but once I got into the bathroom I began getting sick everywhere. Then my water broke. If things were moving quickly up to that point, everything was about to kick into high gear.

A nurse helped me get into the gown and into bed. She checked me and I was at a 6. I asked for an epidural. I just wanted that epidural. That had been my focus ever since the contractions had started getting bad. “You’re going to get an epidural and everything will be okay. You can make it until then,” I told myself. Then the word “epidural” pretty much just played on repeat in my head, getting me through those intense contractions.

The nurses went through all the usual procedures and asked all the usual questions all the while my labor was becoming more and more extreme. “Where is the epidural?” I asked. “They have 30 minutes to get here,” a nurse said as she walked out the door. I was trying to be patient but I was in serious pain and I was feeling out of control. I was given pain medication that made me feel sleepy and completely out of it. Everything was moving so quickly and was so hectic that I couldn’t keep up with what was going on. All I knew was that I was in a lot of pain and I wanted, needed, that epidural!

I asked for the epidural again and I was told I wasn’t getting it. There wasn’t any time. I remember nodding and saying okay but my husband could tell that I was angry and upset. I knew there wasn’t anything I could do but at the same time giving birth without an epidural was not something I wanted to do. I am a huge whimp when it comes to pain and I was afraid of experiencing the level of pain delivering a baby would cause me. But here I was, contractions ripping through me, and my body getting to that transition stage of labor.

As it got closer to the time to start pushing, a nurse put an oxygen mask on me. I didn’t ask for it and I didn’t know why or if I really needed it. I kept pulling it off because it made me feel closterphobic. The nurse kept putting it back on. I would pull it off and she just kept putting it back on. Finally, I yanked it off and said, “I don’t want this thing on my face!” I think this was the only time I snapped at anyone. Considering what I was going through I would say I did pretty well. I even managed not to punch anyone in the face, even though I felt like I could!

Things quickly escalated to the point that I was screaming through my contractions. I remember gripping Kyle’s hands and then suddenly, I felt the strong urge to push. I had been told by a nurse to tell them when I felt like I needed to push so as soon as that urge became uncontrollable I said, “She’s coming!” “No, she’s not,” they replied. “She’s coming!” I insisted. “No, she’s not.” I don’t know what makes medical professionals think they know what is going on in my body but I knew they were very wrong. So I started pushing, with or without them, and that is when everyone started getting in place. I don’t know how many women were down there but it seemed like a lot. I wasn’t looking though because I was too busy screaming as I felt like I was being ripped apart. Someone yelled at me to stop screaming and push and somehow I was able to do what I needed to do. I gave two or three good pushes and baby was out. That’s when the doctor decided to walk in the door. It was good of her to finally join us. (Read sarcasm here.)

As soon as I had pushed my daughter out, the pain went away and I felt a ginormous relief. It was over. I did it and I wasn’t too worse for wear. I was still feeling out of it and sleepy but as soon as they placed my daughter in my arms everything else melted away and everything I had just been through was worth it.

After losing three babies over the course of a year, I finally got to hold another Kerby baby in my arms. I got to see her face and look into her eyes. I got to kiss her cheek. I got to take her home to her big brother. She was the perfect bundle of God’s grace, hope, and love towards us. She will always be special to me and close to my heart for many reasons but for this reason most of all.

We named her Mikaela Jean, honoring the gift from God that she is and the many women in our family with the name Jean (myself included). The name Mikaela not only means “gift from God” but also “who is like God?” Both of those meanings are so fitting for our little girl.

She is coming up on 2 months old now and every day with her and our son has been a joy. My joy has surely increased with her presence in our family. I thank God for her life and that He has granted her health. She is a blessing and a constant reminder that the Lord is sovereign and awesome. I feel undeserving yet honored that God has entrusted me with these two little souls.

The following song was one that I often listened to and sang during my pregnancy. It is now a song that I sing to my daughter.10479942_10152668296030897_5266844610128417919_o

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below. 
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Amen.