Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Our Boy is 4!

It is always a joy to celebrate another birthday!  Each year and each day with John is a gift.  Every day is a day we were told he wasn’t going to have.  But these days are here, and we strive to cherish each one!

In between these birthday pictures (from January 21st), I thought I would share some accomplishments that John has achieved in the past year.  We are so proud of him; he works so hard!

In the past year, John can bear more weight on his legs when we hold him under his arms and let his feet touch the ground.

John learned how to ride a pony in the past year!!
He also achieved over ten consecutive reciprocal kicks in the pool many times during swim therapy!

In the above picture, John is pulling out the tissue paper from his gift all by himself (with a friend and brother in the background)!
In the past year, he has certainly begun using his hands more... bringing them to midline, using them together, and alternating which one he uses.

While sitting in his high chair, John is now able to hold a car and "vroom" it back and forth on his tray.

At the conclusion of John's 4th birthday, he intentionally waved to my friend on FaceTime when she was saying goodbye to him!  Wow!!

And overall, John continues to win the hearts of all his new friends and therapists in his new city!

What a joy this child is; we are so grateful we get to share him with you!  And of course, precious little brother Daniel too!  Thank you for continuing to lift up our family in prayer and for praying for God's timing as He continues His healing work in John's life.

"He has made everything beautiful in its time."
-Ecclesiastes 3:11

Monday, January 21, 2013

Growing up....

Cannot believe John and Warren turn 4 today!!  
Here are some birthday shots over the years (hopefully some new ones for most of you).... 

 The Original Birth Day:
(John on the left, Warren on the right)

(Warren pictured above)
John's 1st Birthday:

John turns 2 and recieves some fun gifts:

On John's 3rd Birthday... bowling with Mommy!:

And tonight, we will take John's 4th Birthday pictures and share them in our next update. 

It was true 4 years ago, and it's true today.... John and Warren ARE God's masterpieces; they were created for the good works the Lord prepared in advance for them (Ephesians 2:10).  I certainly learn a lot from my sons and am inspired by the impact their lives have made!  Happy Birthday, John and Warren!  We love you and remain humbled to get to be your parents!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

To Know Him

It is incredibly FUN to watch our 19 month-old, Daniel, grow and change every day.  Every… single… day.  Fun is an understatement.  Thrilling, amusing, mind-boggling, show-stopping even.  We relish in getting to know our son. 

He is a gift.  A gift with two distinct settings: on and off.  He is all boy: climbing, playing, babbling in his own language, scampering through our house (life is short; why walk when you can run?!).  And he is a great sleeper.  Like I said, either on or off.  In both modes, his personality is emerging.  And it is a joy to know him.  To truly get to know him.

But with this knowledge, a sting can encroach. A little whisper.  A little tale.  The fear and the sadness that we do not get to know John in this way, at this time.  Feeling robbed, that we have missed out on these exchanges with John.  As though his precious life has been on pause.  That he is still the same, sweet boy I’ve known these four years.    Utterly irreplaceable, of course, but a life in slow motion. 

As Daniel grows and enters toddlerhood full force, I slip and backslide into wondering…. Wondering what it has been like for my friends with 4 year olds, 5 year olds, etc.  What they have been able to experience getting to know their children on that level as they grow, develop, surprise, disappoint, bless…  And it’s tempting to give into that old lie, “Why me?”   

I long to see the layers.  I want to perceive John’s personality unfolding.  I want to hear his voice, to grasp his thoughts.  So many thoughts I am certain, dear in his brilliant mind.  But trapped in so many ways.  What is behind those beautiful blue eyes?  I long to know him.

And the pressure…. The effort to give him a voice, ever so poorly through a simply choice board and paper letter board.  A voice that remains silent without our help.  He deserves so much more than our feeble attempts.   This is our present struggle; I’m sure yours surfaces too. 

And yet, when we grasp our struggles through God’s lens, this becomes part of the rightful mourning of the saints…. Part of looking toward God.  Part of placing our hope, our assurance in God’s rich plans for today and for tomorrow.  Plans that He is lavishing.  

Yes, there are things about John we long to know.  We want to comprehend his essence: what he thinks, how he feels, what he dreams.   I want to see him as a toddler, perceiving what he loves based on the toys or arms for which he reaches.  I pray to see him as a man, living the full life for which he was created, the masterpiece prepared for Christ’s works (Ephesians 2:10). 

And as this mother prayers, and as she dreams a dream for her son, I realize.  I do know him.  His smile. His laugh. His determination. His patience. His playfulness. His connection with the Lord.  I’m sure John knows Him in ways that most will never scratch the surface.  I am reminded of what is true.

John is our treasure.  As he is now.  As he has been created.  It is fearful, and it is wonderful (Psalm 139:4).

Yet we live in a world cursed by sin, not one of us unaffected.  A world in the stages of labor pains.  Waiting for rebirth.  Waiting for The Sacred Story to come to fruition.  But in our wait, we can remain faithful.  By pointing out that certain things are not as the Good Lord intended them to be, we acknowledge a good intention.  An intention that will come to be.  That God is pursuing His people and that He is making all things new…. Today and forevermore.

Oh, to know HIM more. 

P.S. I was greatly encouraged by the kind response to my last post on helping a grieving friend.  I want to make it clear that Meade and I have felt incredibly blessed by all the love, support, and prayers we have received over the past four years.  We are truly humbled and blessed.  Also, we do NOT expect flowers any more, nor will we be at our home to receive them on February 8th (but we have security, haha!).  So feel no pressure from my post about that!  :)  But thank you for remembering and for celebrating Warren's dear life on earth and in heaven with us as that day approaches.

Psalm 139
1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. 5 You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. 19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. 21 Do I not hate thosewho hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you? 22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.