09 November 2011

a quad

 “The prayers we weave into the matching of socks, the stirring of oatmeal, the reading of stories, they survive fire.” Ann Voskamp

I love the truth of this quote.
A promise for steadfastness in the mundane.
Being a mom is quite possibly the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.

I don’t have patience; I continue to learn patience thru parenting four tinys.
Every tiny meltdown or crazy mess is an opportunity for me to show self-control; and I don’t always make the most of that.
Every loss of self control is a chance to apologize, confess and talk about how even my own sin.
Every tiny lie and bad attitude is a chance for me to extend discipline in love; mend with the fruit of the spirit.

Being a mom is quite possibly the BEST thing I’ve ever done; and I am grateful that God has used parenting as a tool to show me how desperately I need HIM!! It’s a beautiful mess!

I love the pause that the arrival of a newborn brings.
even within the chaos of three other tinys.
I don’t have a problem saying no to things that come across our calendar; there is extra grace in drawing our family inward. and maybe its not really the grace of others as much its the freedom we give ourselves to not do it all. . . or maybe that’s just me. ….
I don’t have sadness over being semi hermit-like.
the mess I am already comfortable with just gets messy-er and I don’t care . . I just want to sit and hold a baby, and sleep, but holding a baby.

I really love the slow pace of it just being us. I believe its really how family is intended to live . . . unharried. unfrazzled. focused on growing. I mean we’re also focused on not going crazy. the adjustment of a new baby has manifested itself different in each tiny.

we had our first family dinner out last night:: chick-fil-a
we conveniently chose the booth next to the playroom so Andy and I could actually make eye contact and share a few words . .

so :: I finally have some shots of my 4 tinys together!!

Here’s another truth from Ann Voskamp
I love this !!
“The state of my space doesn’t mirror the state of my soul and Christ Himself was born in a barn.”
gives me that extra bit of freedom to love on tinys and leave the mess!! someday . . my house will be clean again and tiny toys will be off my floor and a part of me will be sad.

08 November 2011

one week :: London Elinor

these first few weeks home are my favorite. 
i can say that after four tinys. only because I know how quickly it passes :: snapping photos any free moment i have!!

I will be attempting to actually take a photo with all four tinys this afternoon!! wish me luck

a full nest

my girls meeting for the first time!!

 to say Lillian is smitten is an understatement! she is sad every morning she has to leave for school and can't stay home with her tiny sister!

the boy has a hard time containing himself....he LOVES to hold her....so much so that he starts to shake with this big smile on his face..like he wants to just squeeze her!!! 

 headed home :: already sleepy, but so excited!

timing is everything

amazing how this side of baby, time flies! isn't that always the way it goes.
its so hard to be patient. but sweet reward came with this waiting!!

so as I sat on my couch saturday and posted THIS blog post, even after several days of start-stop labor, i had no idea that a handful of hours later we'd be making our way to the hospital to have a baby!!

i definitely woke on that saturday morning discouraged..which prompted some study, alone time and that blog post i mentioned earlier. felt like the Lord gave my heart such sweet comfort and continuing to be patient. That's really what this whole year has been for us . . . waiting, learning to pray thru the waiting without control in any of it.

so in addition to that study time, my sweet friend Meredith sent me an email of encouragement, and attached a video. it was of a woman, giving birth and singing during her contractions.
it was a home birth..you don't actually watch her give birth... its just a few minutes of her singing while her husband plays the guitar...

and...she is singing psalm 23. . . .her voice is amazing, still, calm.
the significance of this for me. . . still leaves me speechless.
i was struck by the worship in the moment of giving birth to new life.
the miraculous blessing that babies are.
the true worship that the moment deserves.
my anxiousness and impatience turned to excitement and peacefulness.

so i put together a worship set list to listen to while we labored and on saturday evening between slicing chicken nuggets and getting tinys to the dinner table, contractions started again....  . . .

so i started singing. yup. it was a little weird. . . but I was making the decision again to go without an epidural so breathing and calm are a huge part of making that succesful. i was amazed at the pain relief when i was singing.

we arrived at the hospital around 945pm. i was skeptical they were gonna keep us. i hadn't had a contraction in 14 minutes. labor is supposed to follow the 'longer, stronger, closer together' contraction pattern. mine clearly was not.

after a walk up to labor and delivery, paperwork and some questions, we were admitted at 1035pm, at 5cm!! The next hour was amazing. I paced our room, earbuds in place, worship music playing; singing.
Andy was on the couch in the delivery room, just two paces away from me, reading.

i could see his journal and bible open. we made eye contact every few minutes or so and exchanged a smile. it contained mutual understanding that this was a moment we'd looked forward to for months. really, for years. i thought back to dating and talking about having a family and how we always saw four little heads around our table!! we wouldn't do this again. . .there was great peace in closing the door to this season of having babies and get about the business of raising them. we were about to welcome our last tiny into the world!!! it was much anticipated and an close to a sweet season that I will never forget.

so as i walked figure eight patterns in the floor  one of my favorite songs started playing ::  Kari Jobe's 'Singing Over Me'
. . .the words "there is freedom in surrender" and i remember thinking about Mary in labor with Jesus.
Andy and I shared another glance. i thought of Mary hovered near the ground. in pain. in surrender of what was taking place.

there is a song, by Jill Phillips and Andrew Peterson. . . Labor of Love.  if you haven't heard it....you need to. it  paints this amazing picture of the arrival of Jesus. 

i was grateful that my body knew what to do! thankfully it had been here before! at 1130 i was 8cm. 
midwife broke my water at 9 1/2 cm! and at 1225am it was time to push! 
two contractions later, at 1232am London Elinor Guthe was filling our delivery room with her sweet cry!
7lbs 12oz!

Elinor means "my light is God". I am in love with her name.
we've prayed over the arrival of each tiny...and their names. 
Lillian Drew means "Purity & Strength"
Liam Jennings "unwavering protector" (fitting now with 3 sisters)
Lucy McKenna " Light, Abundant"

London isn't a family name or have significant meaning. but there is this picture that hangs on our family photo wall. its been there since Lucy was a baby. I bought the frame without paying attention to what was in it. I just needed a black frame and white mat.  I had the intention of taking out the photo; until I got home and realized it was sealed from the back....so I hung it anyway.  Its the only non-family photo on the wall..well besides a photo of a cross. Its a picture of the tower bridge in London. neither of us have been there; so its been a bit odd that this photo has such a prominent place on our family wall. ...well, when we found out we were pregnant at the beginning of this year, Andy's first words were, "It's a girl, and we should name her London" we had wrestled and prayed through adding to our family and it was like a little hidden secret that she's been a part of us all along!!!

 morning two :: love fresh tiny snuggles!