Tuesday, June 28, 2011

you are mine

My daily bible reading this month has been in Psalms. It's such a refreshing way to start each morning- to hear the heart of the writer as he cries out to God in pain and heartache and as he rejoices in God's goodness and faithfulness. The one overwhelming thing I get from the Psalms is that God loves us... a lot. A lot, a lot. 

I've mentioned before that God usually gets something through to me by repeating it over and over. Apparently I don't always follow direction well the first time. The last time I remember feeling something so strongly from the Word was the months leading up to my parents' house fire. Everything I read in scripture and in devotionals repeated the same message. God was telling me to remember that He is always faithful and always good. I knew deep in my heart that I was going to need to remember that. I even told Tevie that I felt that God was preparing me for something bad. That He wanted me to trust in the fact that He was always good and always faithful. When my parents lost their home, I finally knew what He'd been preparing me for and I hope used what He'd taught me to minister to not only my family but others as well during that time. So, now as I read over and over again that His love is all I need, that He longs for me, that He keeps me protected from my enemies and provides all that I need, I'm listening. 

Saturday, Tevie was attending his last grad class of the term and I was home by myself. I'd washed Dane's cloth diapers and sat in the floor of his room to fold them and organize his drawers (PS: How to make sense of all those tiny socks, hats, and outfits?!). I love being in his room. I love how calm it feels and what a special place it's become for Tevie and me. I'd grabbed two books off his bookshelf and sat down in his big comfy chair to read aloud to him. He doesn't know I'm reading a book, but I know he can hear me. :) One of the books I chose was Max Lucado's You are Special. I'll admit, as the story opens it sounds pretty corny, but within a few pages the depth of the message hit me and I was in tears. Little Punchinello is different from all his peers. He doesn't believe in himself and isn't happy with how looks. He goes to visit the woodworker who created him and just minutes after walking into the wood shop feels too inferior to be in the presence of his maker, so he turns to leave. 

"Punchinello", a deep voice says.
"You know my name?" he says as he turns to face his creator.
"Of course I know your name. I made you." 

Tears were streaming down my face. As I held rubbed my belly and thought of how much I already love this baby boy, I finally realized how much I am loved by my Creator. I don't know what color hair Dane will have, how tall he'll be, if he'll be athletic or smart, funny and charming. Will he like Broadway or prefer ESPN? Will he like to sing like me or have a great sense of rhythm like his daddy? Does he have my nose? Will his feet by wide like mine or skinny like his daddy? I don't know anything about this little boy growing in my belly and I love him to the moon and back. I'll beat up any snotty-nosed kid who bullies him and would even give my life for him. 

If I already love him this much- without knowing anything about him-... how much more does my Creator, who knows everything about me, love me? 

Wow. That has to be a whole lot. It may not take becoming a parent for most people to realize just how much our God loves them. Maybe it's the junk I carry in my trunk that has inhibited me from comprehending it. It's finally beginning to come together in my brain. The Great God who created everything, who designed solar systems, thought up funny animals like the platypus, inspired Bach to write the Brandenburg Concertos, placed the earth a perfect distance away from the sun, and causes the leaves to change in the fall and flowers to bloom in the spring- the SAME God loved me- loved YOU- enough that He spared no expense in purchasing our freedom and eternal life. His love for me is so overwhelming He KNOWS MY NAME, He protects me from my enemies, hears the cries of my heart and sent his Holy Spirit to live in me so that I may be a light to the world. He loves me so much He inspired someone to create Diet Coke, hot fudge sundaes and Broadway musicals so I could enjoy them. When He created cantaloupe, baby kittens, hydrangeas, and dark roast coffee He smiled knowing they would bring His beloved child much pleasure. 

Do you realize how much He loves us? He is jealous for us and he loves like a hurricane- as my current favorite worship song says. I'm totally and completely overwhelmed by this today... and I can't imagine when I hear that first cry and cradle that sweet boy for the first time how my heart will overflow with love for him. It gives me a small glimpse of the joy God felt the day I accepted Jesus as my savior... and a tiny picture of the joy that will fill the room the day we enter into Glory. 

Oh, how he loves us...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

34 weeks

We're halfway through week 34. I've been warned that this stretch feels the longest, and so far I believe it! This morning our Great God fulfilled another amazing promise as Kate Elisabeth Sexton made her entrance in this great big world! You may know her momma from here. I can't wait to snuggle that precious girl. 

Since Kate's due date was July 2- exactly a month before ours (Aug 2) I have been beyond excited all day realizing that in just a month we could be welcoming our little guy! This morning we had our 34 week appointment and all was great. His little heart rate is a strong 153. He measured large at the last ultrasound- 80th percentile for weight and 95th percentile for head circumference, so the doctor ordered another ultrasound at 36 weeks to check for growth. We also pre-registered at the hospital and took a quick tour of labor and delivery and the nursery.

This weekend I'm steam cleaning carpets, we may get to finish up work on our back deck (thanks to my very helpful in-laws!), and I think it may be a good idea to buckle that carseat in and pack our bags... just in case. :)

Here's the 34 week belly. My mom said I've moved from baby bump to baby mountain. :)

This hurrry up and wait part is going to be difficult. I haven't been able to shake this anxious feeling. We're nearing our fiscal year end at work which means lots to do to meet goals and deadlines, couple that with wondering every day if these are just Braxton Hicks contractions or the real thing and you have a momma who doesn't sleep well anymore. We're so excited to snuggle our little boy. 

I would have never believed it until I saw it myself, but I'm definitely convinced that men have some weird instincts that kick in when they are about to become fathers. Tevie has taken on every project with excitement and a determination that I've never seen in him before. He eagerly rips out boxes and assembles baby items and every night he sits in Dane's room... just because he likes being in there surrounded by his stuff. Doesn't that melt your heart? It does mine... I tear up just thinking about it! He also has some crazy dreams about rescuing/protecting- everything from saving baby kittens from sharks to protecting his boyhood home from that big termite from the Terminix commericals! The counseling major in me sees all sorts of psychology in those dreams. Our weekly baby update e-newsletter says that baby can hear and will recognize simple songs, so Tevie has taken that has his permission to sing silly and loud. :) Which really isn't all that different from how he normally sings, now he just aims his songs and baby talk at my belly. 

Dane's room is just missing a few things- namely a mattress and bedding, but we'll get to that. The amazing paintings from his Uncle Jess need to be framed, curtains bought and hung, and his new stash of gDiapers washed and prepped.

Hoping the next 40 days pass quickly!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

puji bear

Nearly four years ago, we lost this precious boy when he was hit by a car. 

One moment we're moving things into our new home... and the next I'm watching my strong, masculine, seldom-emotive husband lay in a puddle of tears on the ground as he holds our sweet boy. I wouldn't wish the heartache, pain and long healing process on even my worst enemy. 

Last week, my little sister felt the same heartache, fear and panic. We don't know how it happened, and it doesn't matter, all we know is that this world is now short one precious, loving, scared-of-his-own-shadow, Scooby Doo of a dog. As a big sister, I want to be able to relate with my siblings and know what they're going through. This was one time that I hated knowing exactly how Brynnie was feeling... and hated even more that I was seven hours away and couldn't hold her as she cried. 

Puji, named in honor of Albert Pujols :), is one happy boy today. He's laying at the feet of our amazing Papa, the patron saint of stray animals, and eagerly waiting for his family to join him. We love you, Puji Bear. Thanks for making life fuller, for your crazy antics and cuddly spirit. 
snuggled on the couch with mom as a tiny pup
taking a break in dad's lap
Puji, Brynn, Ryan and Axel in Brynn and Ryan's engagement photos

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

it's beginning to look a lot like...

we're having a baby! I guess because we are having a baby. Daily we are assembling, washing and organizing more baby gear. Dane's room is now just short his bedding and the curtains. 

Those precious paintings were done by Dane's amazing Uncle Jess. They'll be framed in cherry frames and hang there above the changing table.
Tevie wanted to be sure he got every corner of the room. Notice me trying to stay out of the picture. :) Elphie is every picture, she loves Dane's room and rolling around on his big, cozy rug. 

Thanks to my amazing aunts and uncles and Gramma Chuck for the travel system! Which, btw, is Consumer Reports best safety rated for infant seats.
Thanks to the Prathers for our super-cool swing :)
I'm not worried about being uncomfortable during those late night feedings. The rocker/recliner has now been sleep-tested by Papa J and Elphie. :)
I found some random article on the internet the other day that said a woman's pregnancy is usually the length of nine menstrual cycles- the average is 280 days, but for some women, based on the length of your cycle, it could be shorter. For me, it would be 261 days... which means he could arrive as early as July 14- that's ONE MONTH AWAY!!! Of course, I began googling this concept and could not find a SINGLE other credible source, so I shouldn't put much stock in it. However, I would be 37weeks which is considered full-term, so he could make his appearance around then. 

There are soooooo many decisions to make when it comes to having children. The first one is WHEN to have them. Then you spend the next few months researching healthy eating, ways to boost fertility, etc. Once you're pregnant, you research what foods to avoid, stalk Consumer Reports for items with the best safety ratings and write a birth plan and find a pediatrician. Now that we have a few weeks before he arrives, I'm overwhelmed with all of the choices we have to make for him- immunizations, circumcision, day care, toys, paci or no paci, TV or no TV. While some of these we decided on a while ago, the shear weight of knowing I am responsible for the moral, ethical and psychological development of this precious little person is a lot to carry. 

In pregnancy-hormone-induced tears I looked at Tevie and said, "What if we screw him up?" To which my dear, loving husband said with a smile, "We will screw him up..." Thanks, dear. My sweet neighbor and friend made my day by giving me a little article about raising boys. The main idea was being a modest mom to model modesty for your son and to protect his purity, but one line in particular hit home with me because of the thoughts that have been racing through my mind daily. Whatever he sees me do, I send "the message that it's the norm for Christians, too." 

And, with that, God again removed the stronghold satan continues to try to heap on me and (as of this moment!) I am no longer afraid of making the wrong decision when it comes to raising my son. My chief goal is to raise him to love God, love the least of these, and to live radically according to God's word. Whatever I do, I send the message that it's the norm for Christians too. Am I going to screw up? Yes. Am I going to screw him up? Probably. What I pray for is that Dane sees a momma who prayerfully considers all options and decisions, a momma who tearfully and humbly admits when she's made a mistake... and a momma who always had God's glory and my son's best interest at heart. 

And that load is a little easier to carry.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Baby Dane

Here are some precious pics (okay, we're a little biased) of Baby Dane at our appointment yesterday. He is about 5lbs 1oz, which is the 80th percentile for weight. If he gains the half pound all the books say babies gain in the last bit, he'll be at least 8.5lbs when he arrives! His head is in the 95th percentile! Oh boy! Hopefully that means high test scores in a few years! :)

We're interested in hearing who you think he looks like. And we're starting to take bets on his arrival time, date and weight. First bet is from my mom who is guessing July 29th and a weight of over 9lbs... for my sake, I hope she's wrong about the weight!

Friday, June 10, 2011

my best friend

Five years ago today, two 20-year-old kids said "I do". 
What we thinking getting married at 20 only the Lord knows... but I wouldn't trade those early years together for anything in the entire world. As young married college kids, we had NO money... and I mean none. We never carried cash because we needed to keep every cent we could in our checking account to keep from overdrafting. Our idea of "date night" was to scrounge up all the change we could and get dollar sundaes from McDonald's- if we had enough, maybe a Redbox movie. We'd bring our sundaes home and play "Phase 10" on the couch while we watched TV. It was during those times, when God provided for us in ways I can't explain, when there was no money to be found, as he had to suffer through me learning how to cook... it was through those times I fell in love with my best friend. I praise God He was a part of those times because we couldn't have made it without Him. 

Now, five years later I am astounded by the fact that we own our home, just bought a new car, we've graduated from college, tried our hands at grad school, we've vacationed in NYC, Chicago, Orlando, skied in Colorado... and in a few short weeks we'll welcome our first baby into the world. And do you know, even with all that "stuff", what my favorite thing in the world still is? A Friday night on the couch, in an old Barren County football t-shirt, $1 hot fudge sundae in hand and mean game of cards on the table- just me and him. 

Happy Anniversary to my partner in life, marriage and ministry. I love you, Tevie Scott. Hope the next five as a great as these were- they have some big shoes to fill! :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

seeing the finish line

with just 8 weeks to go... oh my gosh, did I say that, 8 WEEKS?!... I feel like we're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Usually 8 weeks feels like plenty of time, but when you're expecting your first baby, it feels like it's no time at all. I recently had the realization that I am somebody's mom... who decided that was a good idea? In a few short weeks, a sweet little boy will be calling me "momma"... well, I guess that will take a few months, but he'll recognize me as his mom, right? :) 

I read an article the other about soothing your newborn and that's when it hit me... I've never soothed a newborn. I always pass fussy babies off to their mommies. Now when I hold a fussy baby I'll be the one responsible for soothing him. Someone will walk across a crowed room and hand me the fussy baby and expect me to know what to do with it! 

I realized the other day that I can't remember the last time I received a Southern Living or Better Homes and Gardens. How on earth did I let that happen? I never let those subscriptions expires. I had to laugh when I looked through my stack of magazines in the rack in the bathroom this morning...

That's why the usuals have disappeared and I haven't noticed. My mind has been filled with articles about breastfeeding, buying the perfect stroller, decorating your nursery, etc. My bedside reading looks pretty similar.

I do try to sneak in a few pages of The Hole in our Gospel"by Rich Stearns from time to time.

I can't believe the timing is coming when we'll hold this little guy in my arms. We had the realization that if he comes early we could have a baby next month. What?! Even on days (like today!) when even my flip flops don't fit, zantac doesn't touch the heartburn and it hurts to breathe become someone has a foot lodged in my lower rib, I can't help but be excited and feel oh so blessed. Just 8 weeks, little man! Fatten up those cheeks and get them ready to be pinched and kissed by dozens of adoring fans. 

We have the privilege of spending the next few days with the greatest friends God ever made and their two precious kiddos, being spoiled with two baby showers and getting the final 3D ultrasound at the doctor. Check back for pictures of our adventures and our little man!