Welcoming New Life

Baby Boy
Isn’t he such a handsome fellow? (photos provided by his mommy)

I have a friend who I admire deeply. She is choosing a path of faith and hope in the midst of what most would call utter darkness. She has recently brought into this world the precious life of a little boy; her son. Every mother knows the joys and challenges that a new baby brings, but her circumstances are rare. She has chosen life in a situation when many would have chosen death. I am proud of her and the choices that she has made.

Today, with her permission, I am sharing with you the letter I wrote to her for her baby shower. While this letter is written specifically to her, no matter who we are and no matter what our circumstances, we could all use a little reminder of some Truth:

Dear Friend,

Welcome to motherhood! This has been one of my favorite phases of life. There is something so special about seeing my babies grow and learn under my influence. There are times that I am stretched beyond my wildest dreams, and times that I sit back and think about how blessed I am to be entrusted with these precious lives.

God has designed for you to be this little boy’s mommy. Along the way you will face challenges and triumphs. Here are a few truths and promises that you can cling to as you navigate these new waters:

  • You are courageous. In a world that would lead you to choose a different path, you have chosen the hard thing. God will honor this. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6; NIV)
  • You have chosen to follow God’s commands whole-heartedly, even in overwhelming circumstances. There is no question that the Lord blesses those who seek His face and His counsel. “Praise the LORD. Blessed are those who fear the LORD, who find great delight in his commands.” (Psalm 112:1; NIV)
  • The LORD will be your strength. When the enemy comes to deceive you with lies, when it seems all of your circumstances are against you, know that God is good and He will be your rock.

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31; NIV)

  • By the very definition of his name, your son will be resolved to protect the innocent as he carries the name of Christ to the lost. He will not follow in the footsteps of his earthly father, but those of his heavenly Father. “God decided in advance to adopt us in his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” (Ephesians 1:5; NLT)
  • Our God is the giver of life. He has a specific purpose in mind for your son, and you are called to be his mother. He is calling your family to great things. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10; NASB)
  • God promises us so much joy. There are over 300 references in the Bible on this topic alone. Trust in Him and you will have joy. Cherish the moment you see your son for the first time, because His Word teaches that the joy in that moment is like the joy we will have when He returns for His people. “It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world. So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.” (John 16:21-22; NLT)

If you need anything, have any questions, or just need someone else to talk to, I am here for you.

Love,

Amanda

Baby Boy 2
Sleep well little one!

Thirty

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Photo credit: Alexa’s Photography

I’ll be thirty this month.

At sixteen I got to drive a car.

At eighteen I got to go off to college and vote.

At twenty-one I was old enough to buy alcohol. What I actually did was tell my waiter that it was my twenty-first birthday and then ordered a virgin strawberry daiquiri. Just because I could. I like to think of myself as a rebel in the oddest sense of the word.

At twenty-five I was a quarter of a century old, and for a math nerd, that was pretty fun.

Then it all blurred together and one day I realized, “I’m turning thirty this year.” Yikes.

My dad is the one who initially reminded me of my milestone birthday. So, when I do get a little depressed at the idea, I simply remind myself, “At least I’m not the parent of a thirty-year-old!” I’m kidding, but not really. Love ya, Daddy ;).

Truth is, I’m not really sure how I feel about thirty. I still think of myself as young, but the twenties are disappearing fast! Everyone says that metabolism slows dramatically the second you hit thirty, and since I’ve still got some baby tummy, that’s not exactly a pleasant thought. And then I think, “I’m almost a decade older than when I graduated college.” Wow.

On the other hand, thirty sounds rather intriguing. Have you ever seen the movie, “13 Going on 30?” It makes thirty sound exciting, fun, and even dream-worthy. I’ve also entered in to a whole new phase of life as a mom and I look forward to seeing how this new decade shapes my girls and my marriage.

Mostly, when I think about turning thirty, I’m evaluating how I’ve lived my life thus far, and how I can grow moving forward. How is my relationship with God? How am I doing when it comes to loving others? Is my life making an impact for the kingdom? Where should I focus my time and energy, and what things should I let go?

I am extremely grateful for so many things in my life. I truly feel blessed beyond imagination when I consider all that I get to call mine. For things like my husband, family, friends, church, home, and the opportunity to stay home. I pray that in everything, my response is always to cling to God and that He will use my life to produce more life.

So, here’s to thirty. May you bring more sleep, or at the very least, may I stop caring about sleep so much.

“But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the LORD’S own house.They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green.” (Psalm 92:12-14; NLT)

The Happy Everything Day

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One of the best things ever: The fact that my daughters’ birthdays are only 6 days apart. I am totally taking advantage of a single birthday party until they protest otherwise. And, I won’t exactly be probing them for an opinion.

What’s even better than one of the best things ever? When your youngest daughter is being dedicated a week before her birthday. So, let’s call this, “The Happy Everything Day”.

We started the day by cramming family and a few friends into our house to eat Salsaritas and a little bit of birthday cake. I’m a simpleton, so I didn’t really plan anything, but just wanted everyone to enjoy some time together and have an opportunity to talk about how much we love our girls.

Birthday Girls

By the way, Salsaritas was my husband’s idea, and boy do I love him for that. Having someone else be in charge of the party food really freed me up to focus on cleaning, cake, and decorations!

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That evening, we had a special ceremony at Daystar Church just for immediate family. This was our opportunity to focus on dedication details for our youngest.

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I love the dedication process at Daystar. When we dedicate our children, it is simply a way to say that we are choosing to raise them in a way that brings them up in the church and in the teachings of the Bible. We want to give them every opportunity to know God personally and be able to make an informed decision when they are old enough to choose to surrender their life to Him.

Parents are asked to:

-Listen to a series of parenting messages
-Choose a life verse for their child
-Write a letter to their child
-Identify their core family values

We shared all of this with our immediate family at the dedication ceremony. Then, Sunday morning, our church family acknowledged and prayed over all the babies being dedicated.

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I really can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend.

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” (James 3:13; NIV) – The life verse we chose for our daughter, whose name means, “one who is wise.”