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Video: Obedience

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These days when I tell Ella to obey, she often says, "Like Jonah?"  Watch Ella and Daddy read through this story.

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Happy Father’s Day!

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I hope yours is as good as mine.

Happy Father's Day

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Update on Ella’s Growth @ 30 months

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27.5 pounds or between 25th and 50th percentile for girls 

38.5 inches or greater than the 95th percentile for girls 

See the growth chart for girls here

Additionally, she's smart, prettier than ever, and very hard-headed! 

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Video: Scary Monster

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Ella is the scary monster!

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Video: Pick which one

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Mommy’s bath or Ella’s bath?
Click hereor watch below.

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Video: Bringing Seth Home

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It was a great day.  See the highlights.  

iPhone users can click here.

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I Am Strong in the Lord

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In the wee hours of the morning following Seth’s birth, I found myself alone and afraid in a cold, dark hospital room. Despite comforting words from nurses and doctors, and Joel being just a phone call away, I don’t think that I’ve ever felt so alienated. My only comfort came from clinging to God’s Word- and I mean that literally. I held my Bible against my chest while I tried to sleep, with fears, anxieties and stereotypes dancing through my head. At 4 am and with no chance of sleeping, all that I could think of was a song written by my sweet friend Star Smith that I clung to during dark days throughout our time of waiting- “I Am Strong in the Lord.” (If it’s not in your iTunes library, I highly recommend you download “I Am Strong in the Lord” by The Smith Band. It will bless your socks off.)

It's just the beginning for Seth and Ella

So, I pulled out my iPod and found the song. Turning it on and just opening the Word of God, I sobbed. I wept. I cried out to the Lord. “Why Seth? Why our son? Why does he have to have Downs? How am I supposed to do this? How can I give him what he needs when I feel like I haven’t even mastered mothering a perfectly normal toddler? How is this going to change Joel and me? How will people treat us? How will people treat him? I don’t want to do this, Lord. It’s going to be hard and it’s going to hurt.” I closed my eyes and with tears streaming I sang these words:

I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might
I confess that my strength comes from Him.
On my own, I am weak, and I cannot see to fight
But my strength- it comes from the Lord.

I lift my eyes up, where does my help come from?
It comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and maker of earth.
He is the fortress of salvation for His children as they cry
You are the Lord and you are the strength, the strength of my life.

You held out your hand and your healing power
Causing my eyes to see
You poured out your Word in my darkest hour
Teaching my heart to see

That I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might
I confess that my strength comes from Him.
On my own, I am weak, and I cannot see to fight
But my strength- it comes from the Lord.

Once again, I felt His supernatural peace and healing wash over me- I felt His presence heavy upon me as I sat there in my bed and just worshipped Almighty God. How humbled I am that the God of all the universe is interested in helping me walk through this. I am not alone- I am not alienated. No, I am even more aware now of His help and His love for me and Seth. I furiously scribbled these words in the back of my Bible, knowing full well these words were from the Lord and were direction for me in how to walk through the unknown days ahead. I searched my concordance for the word “strong” and reflected on the following:

Deuteronomy 31:6- Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of this, for the Lord your God goes with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Proverbs 18:10- The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

1 Corinthians 16:13- Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10- “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Ephesians 6:10- Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

Praise you, Lord Jesus! You are my strength- and I don’t have to try to do it by myself. You are my fortress that I will run to every day. It’s neat how the Lord prepared Joel and I for this in the months, weeks and days leading up to Seth’s birth. I was studying in Ecclesiastes 3 the days before delivery- where Solomon talks about how there is a time for everything. A time to weep and a time to laugh stands out (vs 4), appropriately. Surely, the Lord promises us in Psalm 30:5, “weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” With no physical strength to speak up, but certainly a renewal of my spirit by Jehovah Jireh- my provider- I buzzed the nurse and asked to be wheeled down to the NICU at 5 am….I had a very special little guy waiting for his mommy to come sing over him.

Still praising, Em

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Video: Ella playing hard

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Dad and Poppa enjoy the show and also ensure there is no bodily harm done. She did this for a good 45 minutes straight.

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What dad is thinking about

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Early days with my little guy

1. I’m grateful for Seth’s continued good health
2. I’m grateful for Emily’s tremendous outlook on the entire situation. She is definitely demonstrating godly character as she depends on the Holy Spirit for strength. She is living out what Paul says in Romans 5:13.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

3. I still have a feeling of loss when I think about the things Seth and I may not get to experience together due to some of his potential limitations. I can state it this way:

I have a pretty good idea of things that he and I will probably miss out on. I’ve looked forward to doing some of these things with my son years before I became a parent. However, I’m also sure I don’t yet fully understand what Seth and I WILL get to experience that we would not have otherwise. I confess that all of this thinking is quite selfish in some ways and reveals a lack of trust in God’s plan. So, when I get over feeling sorry for myself, I redirect my energy to praying that Seth would know Jesus and be a righteous man. What could be more fulfilling for a dad than this!

Proverbs 23:24
The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him.


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After Seth’s Birth

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I still hold fast to what I wrote on December 16th.

For now, my prayer is that the Lord would give our family exactly what we need each day and that we would trust in Him completely.

Psalm 13:5-6 (New International Version)

5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.

6 I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.

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