Monday, July 30, 2012

Multitude on Mondays: Finding Joy in the Journey

When thankfulness flows freely from your heart and lips, let your gratitude draw you closer to Me.  I want you to learn the art of giving thanks in all circumstances.  See how many times you can thank Me daily; this will awaken your awareness to a multitude of blessings.  It will also cushion the impact of trials when they come against you.  Practice My Presence by practicing the discipline of thankfulness." 

-Jesus Calling by Sarah Young


Thanking and glorifying Him today and everyday as I draw closer to His Presence.....


719. Levi's oh-so-soft and new skin...especially the bottom of his feet, his kissable cheeks, and his shoulders.

720. His hair that seems to be blonde just like his sister's!  I love the "peach-fuzz" look after a bath.

721.  The smell of Johnson's baby wash on my freshly bathed newborn

722. His eyelashes that keep getting longer and fuller

723. Baby boy whimpers, grunts, and squeaks

724. The way his tiny self melts into my arms - a cuddly baby is an answer to prayer!

725. His complete contetment as he nurses

726. A tiny little hand that wraps around my finger

727. Watching his chest rise and fall with each breath

728. His sweet, content, easy-going personality -another answer to prayer!

729.  Wearing him in the Moby wrap and feeling almost pregnant again (minus the hip pain and heartburn!)

730. The classic "O" face, among many others

731. Post nursing lip creases

732. Cookie Monster diapers were Addison's favorite. Now she always finds the Cookie diapers for her baby brother.  So sweet!

733. Addison asking to hold Levi.  As I gently place him on the pillow on her lap and support him, she kisses him, hugs him, talks sweetly to him, rubs his belly, and then looks at me and says, "You can go do your Bible study now."  haha  She is smitten with him and apparently wants to soak in his sweetness all to herself.  I don't blame her!  One day the two of them can play and play together.  How I pray that they will have a life-long bond and be the best of friends!

734. Newborn-sized diapers and clothes getting snug.  He is healthy and growing!

735. The first hint of arm and leg rolls appearing

736.  Being reminded that the "joy is in the journey" as I get sad about him already growing (thank you for your comment, Deborah).

737. The occassional times Addison says "baby butter" instead of "baby brother."

738. The green stepstool.  It follows us from room to room all day so she can be involved in whatever I'm doing.  Most often this little stool takes up residence in Levi's room.

A common "post-Cookie-diaper-search" sight!

739.  Bright, awake eyes following his Mama

740. Sleeping smiles

741. The tender strength of My Hero as he gently holds and talks to our son and then effortlessly transitions to the silly, active Daddy that our 2 year old adores.

742.  Fitting into my normal clothes again!

743. A joyful big sister

744. A 2-year old's grumpy mood....a perfect opportunity to extend patience because "Love is patient."

745. Fully embracing the independent, defiant 2 year-old stage as I love my daughter and God uses these difficult moments to teach and grow me. 

746. Ann's wisdom...

"Patient people dare to gratefully accept people where they are. Grateful for who they are now, appreciative of works of art not yet finished, but still deeply loved."

Patient people dare to receive the present always as a present — grace.

Patient people dare to live only in the present. Because they know that is where God is.
Lack gratitude — then lack patience — then, ultimately, lack love. To be love-full, I’ll first need to be grateful."

747. Hearing My Hero and Addison repeat this truth several times each day...

Daddy: "Daddy loves Addison..."
Addison: "No matter what."

748. Motherhood making me feel inadequate and like I am not enough.  Being reminded that I never will be enough, but God is way more than enough for me and for the precious little ones He has entrusted to us.  (Thank you Alicia!)

749. Laundry - a constant reminder that my family of 4 is full of life and a tangible way for me to serve them

750. Anticipating and celebrating the miracle of new life with several friends!

751. Levi sleeping on my chest - his and my favorite way for him to be held

752. My prioritiy today being all Things Unseen.

753. Continually learning to give thanks in every situation and at all times

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Welcome Levi Andrew!

Can't believe you're here now
Tiny dream come true
The answer to a prayer now
I'm so in love with you

Couldn't wait to meet you
Hope you like your name
I get the funny feeling
Life will never be the same

Safe & sound
You're here with me now
Like I hoped you'd be

Safe & sound
You're here with me now
And that's all I'll ever need

-Matthew West, Safe & Sound

Levi arrived, safe and sound.  We are completely in love and in awe of the tiny 7 pound, 7 ounce gift God has so graciously entrusted to our family.  He is breath-taking and as sweet as he can possibly be.

His birth, though long, intense, and seemingly impossible at times, was a sacred time between My Hero and me.  I honestly have not been able to fully grasp and put into words all of the emotions I felt that day.  Thankfully, my sister captured those long 8 hours beautifully and in a way no words could ever depict.


We are now home.  All 4 of us are home and there is no where else I would rather be.  

Savoring these sweet, fleeting days while counting gift after gift after gift...

Counting gifts continued...

702. Being able to have another natural birth.

703. The fact that he is here and that I do not have to go through labor and delivery again.  Whew!

704. Levi's first screams - those first few moments are miraculous!

705. Falling in love with My Hero on a whole new level as he loved and encouraged me every minute of labor, delivery, and each day since.  Looking back over the pictures makes me tear up seeing how in-tune he is with me.  Thank you, Father, for the man I call my husband.  He is more than I ever prayed for or imagined.

706. Levi Andrew...everything about him- his soft, oh-so-kissable cheeks, button-nose, tiny arms and legs, darling lips, light brown/blonde hair that reminds me of Addison's newborn hair, dark blue eyes that follow me and look deep into mine, his yawns, baby whimpers, and squeaks, his fresh newborn baby smell, and the way his tiny body cozily snuggles into my arms.

707. Standing in awe of our Creator and the works of His hands.

708. Addison meeting Levi for the first time.  Her enthusiasm, joy, and wonder of her little brother is almost more than I can take!  She is so sweet and tender with "Little Buddy."

709. My mom taking such good care of Addison while we were at the hospital.  

710. Nursing and the bond that is so naturally formed from the very first few minutes after birth.

711. Watching him sleep in my arms and not wanting or having to put him down.

712. Not having to go back to teaching as I did with Addison.  How incredibly thankful I am to be able to stay home all day, every day with my two blessings.

713. Friends and family who have celebrated our miracle with us and showered him with love.  The meals they have prepared for us are such an expression of love and a tangible expression of Jesus.  How we treasure their friendships!

714. Quiet times together as a family of four.

715. Middle of the night feedings.

716. A long, uninterrupted shower while My Hero loves our sweet babies.

717.  Amazing pictures that we will treasure forever.

718. Sleep.