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We are a family of fifteen: eight already with Jesus and seven in desperate need of Him. This is the story God is writing in our lives. Proverbs 16:9

Sunday, April 22, 2012

In Him

We have had a wonderful few weeks with visitors.  Having extra hands has been a blessing.  I actually slept through a few middle-of-the-night feedings!  Right now, sleep is my love language:) 
Auntie Cara meets the babies.
Aunt Chelsea, Mimi, and Papa
Micah's mom also visited, but we failed to get a picture of her with everyone!  We have so appreciated the help.

Thankfully, Miss Eliana is doing much better taking bottles than when she first came home.  She used to do all manner of things instead of breathe but now, she feeds like a champ.  Isabella and Isaac are effective eaters and that makes the every four hour shift go more smoothly... unless everyone is hungry at the same time.  Then, the big brothers come in... and the boppys. 
The babies continue to graduate from the threats of preemie issues such as Retinopathy of Prematurity.  They saw the Pediatric Opthamologist for the last time for several months and show no signs of damage to their eyes. 

Now that we are on our own with no more live-in help for a while, I have felt some pressure to find some rythym for our family.  God, in His goodness and sovereignty, was so wise to give us these babies at this juncture in our lives.  I know what kind of mother I was when Andrew was born ~ thinking I could do it all "right" for the sake of being a good mother... then feeling guilty of doing it all wrong... then impatient when my baby didn't follow what was "right"... wanting affirmation from others that I had achieved "good mother" status and simultaneously judging other mothers by a standard I couldn't live up to myself... ~  There is a seed of Identity in Christ that had to take root in me before mothering three babies and two big boys at once could even be a thought.  I am trusting God that He will forgive and fill in when my rightness-enthusiasm moves beyond loving my children.  There is freedom in the truth that grounds me in my in-Christ-ness.  For my life is hidden in Him.  It is not about doing it right because Jesus is right.  Does this give me license to do stupid, child damaging things?  Absolutely no!  But having it all together is not the point.  In Christ I am free to vulnerably mother the children I have been given out of a love for my Father and the way He loves me.  This makes days more peaceful and encourages me to enjoy these busy, never-get-it-all-done days.
Thankfully, for you and posterity, Andrew paused to capture this exhausted moment.
This is me at 11 a.m. three days after Micah became debilitated with a bulging disk in his lower back that has affected his sciatic nerve.  Yes, I used soft focus photo editing but I had on no makeup and bed head (I am still a work in progress).  There is beauty even in this... surviving on grace.  All the important things are done and nothing else.  What you do not see in this photo are the hours of tag-team fussing and crying (and I am not just talking about the babies:)) that preceeded this picture and the boys jumping around the couch in their undies.
This is a boy that loves his sister.
The reason the girls will no longer be sharing a bed:)
It has been very difficult for Micah lately.  He is in a lot of pain.  He has been referred to a specialist but we have no idea what kind of treatment he will need for the severity of his diagnosis.  You all have been so good to pray~ and we continue to need it. 

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The New "Normal"

I want to say thank you to all those who have allowed us to add them to our poem.  We are going to enjoy seeing your names and having the opportunity to pray for you for years to come. 

Going from four people in one house to seven has been quite an adjustment to say the least.  There are times Micah and I look at each other, surrounded by kiddos, and shake our heads in amazement.  Things are definitely busy.  I have never been more glad to let non-essentials fall by the wayside!  And while the sleep deprivation is taxing, the joy is exceeding.  We are sharing the joy and sharing the exhaustion.  Consequently, Micah has even joined me (after years of surpassing me in lucidity) in mixing up words in sentences.  Suddenly, "onesie" has become synonymous with other baby related paraphernalia and one might find refrigerator items in the dishwasher and vice versa.  There are plenty more examples but I shall resist.  We have learned however that in God's perfect design, delirious mommys understand delirious daddys.  So far, no one has tried to diaper the big boys or the dog... yet.   

Speaking of the dog, Anakin came home last week.  We thought we needed another eating-and-pooping being in the house so we added him back to the mix.  He had been with friends of ours since I went in to the hospital.  He has been so polite.  When we first introduced him to the babies, he was a bit concerned, but now he is just curious.  He maintains a respectful distance, but is getting used to their noises.  If we can just get him to stop barking when people knock on the door...

In a commitment to keeping everyone healthy, I had vowed not to leave the house for months~ or at least until RSV season is over.  What I didn't know is that life at home with three babies and two big boys can feel like a mouse wheel upon which one has to get off sometimes.  Getting out of our apartment is a challenge, since we are on the second floor.  This past Sunday, we decided to head to church~ during a small Kentucky monsoon.  Needless to say, I spent the drive drying receiving blankets in the floorboard of our enormous vehicles!  We were all soaked, but glad to be together again heading to worship Jesus.  When we go out other places, being out in public is very different.  If not for the three babies inside, our triple stroller (for which we had to purchase above-mentioned enormous vehicle) is an attention magnet.  Ladies appreciate the storage and the men love the steering wheel.  The cute little faces inside are indeed difficult to resist.  Just beware, we may spray you with Purell as you approach:)  We have ample opportunities to share what God has done in the life of our family with all those who stop us.  It is my prayer that all those we talk to leave saying ~ not look at that family ~ but look at the power of Jehovah, made flesh in Jesus, and at work today.  He healed and continues to heal our little ones today, but heals hearts everyday. 
Ashely Claunch of Ashely Claunch Photography was so kind and did a photo shoot of our family to help celebrate our new normal.  The photos in this blog post are from that shoot.  She does beautiful work~  Please visit her website here.  If you are on facebook, you can see more of our family pictures here.

So from here, we continue to learn this new and wonderful "normal" and are so glad you are one part.