Monday, February 28, 2011

He makes the man before He makes the ministry

Warning:  This is a long blog post....But soon, I imagine, many of our posts will be pictures of the twins.  So, for those you who read this, bear with us!  Put in the work now, and soon you can enjoy the pictures :)

Well, the time has come.  Only 1 more day until these babies make their entrance to the outside world!  I feel like there is still a lot to do, but it's not going to get done and that's OK.  I hope my dad wanted twin grandsons for his birthday present, b/c that's what he's getting!  Dad is actually having prostate surgery this Wednesday as well so it's going to be a day to remember in our family.  Please keep us all in your prayers, especially my dad and the twins.  I am a little nervous about the C-section, but thankfully, God is in control!  
Here's one last prego pic for ya, this is about 36 weeks.  I think this picture makes me look pretty good, 
I am fairly confident that I look larger in person :)

The past few months have been a blur.  We found out in October at 20 weeks that we were expecting twin boys, we found a house we wanted to buy about a month later and about a month after that, we moved.  Just after moving, we found out about Dad's cancer (prostate and bone) and well, in about 35 hours, we are going to be a family of 5!  When it rains, it pours, eh?

Tim and I were having a "heart to heart" the other night (we're trying to be intentional about connecting with each other right now before things really get crazy :) and we ended up reflecting on the past couple years.  There has been a lot of change.  For most of our married life, things seemed to move ridiculously slowly and then, just like that, they kicked into hyper-speed.  

Half of the time, when I think about it, it almost seems like I am living someone else's life.  Where did this house come from?  I have how many children?  Did you just say twins?  I drive a minivan now?  What is going on here and when did I move "home" from Africa?  Oh wait, I never left...  

Up until October, Tim and I were still fairly heart-broken, still in the midst of learning painful lessons about truly, legitimately trusting in God in ALL things when we were suddenly catapulted into a season of preparation for something we never saw coming...twins!  (In case this isn't assumed, I want to also say that we are SO excited about these babies!  I am thrilled to be blessed of God to be able to bring two little people into the world at the same time.  What an honor.  Tim and I cannot wait to add two more sons of righteousness to our family!)

That said, whose life is this?  I am pretty sure the life I "picked" had more to do with sitting on a thatched mat, sharing the Gospel in another language while drinking attaya (West African tea).  Thing is, I gave up that right to "pick" my life a long time ago.  Praise be to God.  I may not feel like I hand selected the life I'm living right now, but I have never been more certain that the One who did pick it, did a perfect job.  He knows me better than I know myself  

We may still feel wounded over the change in direction that God has lead us to, but soon these wounds will heal and then they will become scars.  They'll be scars that tell our story of heartbreak, trust, obedience, perseverance, redemption and restoration.  That's how God works.  He is leading us on a path of righteousness and He is making the man (and woman) before He makes the ministry.

Yesterday, we heard a great sermon on the troubles of life and our ability to overcome.  I love it when ministers preach out of Job.  There is so much great stuff in there.  It's heavy, but personally I think the Church could use a little more heavy.  I was blessed by the reminder that God only allows us to face trials that we can handle.

Tim and I are learning that as the restoration process begins, that's when the fire really heats up.  Thankfully, I think we are learning well from the past 2 years and are facing up to the trials at hand with greater faith and perseverance.  This I know:  God is good and God is true and you can believe His word.  


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2011: And we're off!

What a month.  A little over weeks ago my dad was admitted to Abbott NW Hospital and was diagnosed with prostate and bone cancer.  Wowza.  That's almost enough bad news to send a lady into labor.  Almost, but not quite.

He has started radiation treatment and will soon start chemotherapy.  He has remained in good spirits and I think my family is dealing with everything fairly well, all things considered.  We covet your prayers though.  His oncologist is optimistic and we rejoice in knowing that God is in control.  While I am doing my best to avoid thinking about it, this news has hit me rather hard.  My dad and I are close and he has been a HUGE source of strength to me over the years.

This is the man who has always had a word of encouragement for me.  Who has always had a word that has spoken directly to my heart when I needed it most.  As I have struggled with chronic pain over the last almost 7+ years, my dad has been the rock that I needed time and time again.  He has been my strength and hope for healing and restoration at times when I had no strength to hope or believe for healing.  I praise God for a godly father and look forward to many more years with him, seeing him pour into my sons as he has poured into me and my brother.  Good fathers can be hard to find.  Thank you for your prayers.

In other news, I had my first contraction last week.  I think it was just a warning:  either slow down or get ready!  Since I am not ready quite yet, I am choosing (theoretically) to slow down.  At least Dad is out of the hospital now, I really wanted to wait until he was out before I went in.  Since my mom was going to be my primary source of help, other than Tim, with the twins, the news of chemo has rocked my little family a bit.  We are resting in the knowledge that God knows and apparently He thinks we can handle all this.  So....I guess we can.  Pray for us!

I am 36 weeks along tomorrow and it looks probable that the twins will come next week, one way or another.  I will keep you posted!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

a January update in pictures

Tim and I were so thankful to have friends who were willing to help us move on New Year's Eve.  Here's a few pictures of all the work they did.

We had no idea how much stuff we had until we filled up a 26' truck.  Yikes!  I am pretty sure it was all baby stuff......

Peter and Julie moving my beautiful, "old lady" couch that everyone hates.  I love it!  Too bad we had to cut the legs off to get it in the house....

Stan was a rockstar fitting everything into the van with expertise.  Stan in my favorite!

Since Jackson's birthday was right before we moved, we waited a few more days to celebrate after we moved and then took him to Nicolodeon Universe.  We had a couple mystery tickets and one of them had 100 points!  We only used about 30 before it was bedtime, so we blessed another family with the rest of the tickets.  It was pretty fun giving them away and seeing the look on the little ones faces.  

It was his first time on rides and he loved them!

I was only able to go on 2 of the rides with him, but it was pretty fun to see him enjoying himself so much.   

We ate at McDonald's before the rides, which was a big hit, as always....

I also tried my hand at cake decorating and make Jackson a puppy cake.  From the look on his face, I think he liked it.  Or maybe it was the roomful of people singing to him and clapping for him that produced such joy!  We are so blessed to have this sweet little boy as a part of our family, I can't imagine life without him.  He has brought so much joy to us these past 2 years.  Happy 2nd birthday, love!