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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

Monday, May 28, 2012

An Open Letter...

... to all those we pass ~ in the mall, on the sidewalk, and in other various public places:

We see you and we know you see us.  We love that you stop and smile at our babies (ladies) and stroller with the steering wheel (gentlemen).  We love that you are drawn to them.  We love your expressions.  We want to make eye contact, stop, and allow you to stare at our children.  The reason we may keep moving sometimes is not why you may think.  Instead of not wanting to talk to you, as you may feel by our brief pause, the polar opposite is true. 

We want to talk~ in fact, it feels entirely unsatisfying to respond to your kind comments with a simple, "Thank you" or "We are very blessed" or "God has been so merciful to us".  We want to tell you about the God Who created, sustained, and saved our babies from harm.  We want to tell you about the days we prayed for them along with a congregation of others.  We want to show you every picture so you can see how they have grown.  We want you to know about the others still frozen, waiting on a chance to be free. 

We want you to know how thankfully we are for their big brothers as well and that their births were also miraculous.  We want you to know them and the way they pridefully love their siblings and pray for them with the kind of faith only demonstrated by children.  We want you to know there are 8 more children waiting for us beyond this life who we cannot wait to meet someday. 

But more than anything, we desire you to know the God Who is more powerful than the combined energy of the universe but gentle with those whom He loves.  We are witnesses to His wonders and know that He is actively willing and working on the behalf of all those who are called by His name.  When you see the face of our babies, they bear His image.  Their smiles cause even a mournful soul to joy in new life.  But those smiles are only a shadow of the smile of our Father Who has reconciled sinners to Himself in His Son, Jesus.

We would love to say all of this every time we meet an awed stranger.            

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Provided For & Adorned

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.

The Proverbs 31 woman.  She is a fearsome thing to behold... or she would be if she ever existed.  By God's grace there are women I know that do exhibit those characteristics described in this famous passage.  It always puzzles me though, that the more I try to be like this gal that is perfect wife material, the farther I move away from showing why she is so God-glorifying.  Either I try and fail and beat myself up for days or I accomplish something I think compares and become puffed-up, unable to reflect a Greater Glory with the focus off of me. 

But I am here to bear witness to this Great Glory.  How do I do this in light of our present circumstances? It certainly doesn't feel very dignified to be kicked out of our apartment... even if it is for having three babies ~ miraculously born and beating all odds ~ at once.  It seems cruel and unfair and at times, embarrassing.  The amount of strength needed to refrain from entering into a pity party or seeking vengeance in a self-serving way is insuramountable.  And how do I laugh at such situations?  Having a safe place to raise our children is at the top of Micah's and my priority list. 

Of how much more value are you than the birds!

I remember when Micah became the owner/Operator of Chick-fil-a at Jefferson Mall, we had only a short time to move out of our corporate apartment and find something that better suited our family.  The place we found (where we currently live) has been the perfect location for us.  God planned for us to be just a few minutes from the hospital where our babies and I would spend so many weeks.  Now that we are in the hunker-down-at-home-and-raise-children phase, God has once again provided us a wonderful place to do just that.  We have been given many contacts for housing inquiries and the prospects seemed few and far between.  Apparently, Ford is bringing a very large number of employees in to our area and they need rental properties.  We have been praying about being more near our church so Micah contacted a gentleman about homes in that direction and found that a rental had just come open.  It was the perfect timing.  He had just been given the OK to show the home and had not even had time to list it.  There are so many things about this place that meet our needs so well.  So really, Jesus words are proving so true.  Even though moving is difficult, I believe it is a blessing in disguise... After carrying the babies up and down the stairs, in the rain and in the heat (sounds like an up-hill both ways story, huh?!?) I believe it is indeed a blessing.

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 
Luke 12:27

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Isaiah 61:10

But our story extends far beyond what is happening to us.  God is working for us.  I, as a daughter of the King whose execution of the ideals I see in Proverbs 31 are far from excellent, have been adorned in the One who is perfectly strong and dignified.  In Him, I have already died to controlling my future and trust perfectly in His ways.  Today, I resonate with giggling at the future and laughing off the thought that I am not taken care of~ whether strained, or evicted, or trying to make sense of current realities.

To evoke a good laugh, I thought I would share this picture of Andrew and Elijah reacting to all the babies crying the car at the same time:

"Look at all those babies!" ~ Andrew

**If you previously read this post, I used the word infamous to describe the Proverbs 31 Woman.  While intimidating, she certainly is not infamous.  Please forgive the error.  It was a mistake on my part. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Playing Dress Up and Other Photo Ops

It is really fun to dress the babies in coordinating outfits.  Usually I try to take a picture or two of them all cute and matching.  They don't always find it as fun as Mommy...  I am sure there will be more of these to share in the future.
Before the shoot

Sweet Bear and Doggie Summer Outfits ~ They like these:)
Eliana Rollin' on the River, Isaac with Tiger Claws, and Isabella doing the Sprinkler (I must have been playing 70's music)

Red, White, and Blue!

Eliana, practicing her Plie' while Isabella cheers her on ~ Isaac just wants to go play.
On Their Best Behavior

Not coordinating... just hilarious!

These babies are growing!  Last week at their well check, they weighed:
Isaac ~ 11 lbs. 5 oz.
Eliana ~ 7 lbs. 15 oz.
Isabella ~ 11 lbs. 14 oz.

Here are Andrew and Elijah in their current attire:
Andrew just lost his 7th tooth!
Elijah wearing the title "Big Brother" very well.

In this ensemble, Andrew is wearing Elijah.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Surgery and What???

Thankfully, Micah's bulging, ruptured disk in his lower back was repaired last Wednesday.  Even though he has had recovery pain, the nerve pain he was experiencing has been alleviated.  We pray his strength returns and he is able to resume normal activity in five more weeks.  It has been difficult for Micah to not be able to wrestle with the boys or hold the babies.  Needless to say, our house has remained busy.  And this gal has needed even more strength than usual (and usual for me is an enormous portion).  We have again had family to help which has been a blessing.
GG and the Great-Grandkiddos
But there is indeed more to add.  Even though I desire life to slow down a bit, that is not in the plans. 

A week or so ago, Micah and I began talking about finding a new place to move eventually.  We are very comfortable where we live but walking up stairs to our front door presents a problem when getting babies to and from the car and for men recovering from back surgery.  I thought I might see what it would take to get out of our lease a little sooner (say late this fall) so I gave our property agents a call.  This morning, they called back and I couldn't have been more shocked by their answer.  Not only are we able to get out of our lease, but we are being forced to move due to our family now exceeding maximum occupancy.  I responded to the news with "You have got to be kidding me..."  She wasn't kidding.  We are only allowed two persons per bedroom and we have three bedrooms in all.  We essentially have 60 days to move and only 2-3 weeks to find another place to live.  We had hoped to move soon... but not this soon. 

As you can imagine, this news presents major challenges. 

We have been through this before and should be equipped for such a challenge but it feels different with three newborns in tow and my strong-made-weak-by-back-issues husband on the mend.  But God is not wringing His hands or forgetting to move.  This is indeed going to be interesting.