Monday, August 31, 2009

My Wish Come True

We received this adoption book as a gift last fall. It is so precious that I have given it as a gift as well.

It's called "I Wished for You." You can see it on Amazon here. The author, Marianne Richmond, is local here in Minneapolis and her store is just a couple miles from me. All of her books are GREAT for kids or friends or life celebrations!

The book follows a conversation between Barley Bear and his Mama as they curl up in their favorite cuddle spot and discuss how they became a family. Barley asks Mama the questions many adopted children have, and Mama lovingly answers them all. I love the message presented in this book - love is what truly makes a family!

The beginning starts with Barley saying, "Mama, tell me again how I'm your wish come true."

And she goes on to share how she had wished for him for so long. It talks about the mama that grew Barley in her tummy and how she wished for a family for her baby.

One of my favorite lines is:
"One day...." said Mama, brightening as she spoke, "One glorious, special, wonderful day, I found out my wish was coming true."

Samuel I wished for you and you are always and forever my wish come true.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Dear Samuel

Dear Samuel,
Today you are 10 months and 25 days old. Any day now you will become a big brother. While that is very exciting for our family, it's very scary too.

You are still so little. I'm not ready for you to be BIG anything. Everyone is telling me to be prepared at how big you will look next to your little sister. I don't know how to prepare for that.

Your sister will be little, and you will be bigger. But you are still my baby Samuel Lee May. You still cuddle with me, and laugh and drink from a bottle and clap and smile and read books and rock.

I can't wait to see you with your sister. I can't wait to watch you love her and care for her and stand up for her. But I know that won't be for some time.

I wish I could communicate to you what's about to happen. I wish there was some way I could tell you how your world is about to change. Soon you will no longer be an only child.

But today you are still are. And we love you more than ever little man.


Every day this little girl waits to make her entrance into the world, is one more day that you get to be my baby. I'm cherishing every moment.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Words on waiting: Seeking gifts or the giver?

If time would so allow I would read every book out there on waiting. I have a number of books on my Amazon wish list on waiting and look forward to the day when I can read all of them.

From time to time I pick up my copy of Andrew Murray's Waiting On God, and try to digest a nugget of truth written in those pages. His words are so insightful, yet they require much thought and meditation to really understand.

As a follow-up to yesterday's post, today I read one of his chapters on waiting and, as usual, it gave me so much to consider.

What spoke to me more than anything else is that Murray says that waiting is not one among a number of Christian virtues, but waiting is a disposition that lies at the very root of the Christian life. The reason? Because waiting require absolute and complete dependence on the Lord.

Here's an excerpt from what I read today:
"At our first entrance into the school of waiting upon God, the heart is chiefly set upon the blessings which we wait for. God graciously uses our need and desire for help to educate us for something higher than we were thinking of. We were seeking gifts; He, the Giver, longs to give Himself and to satisfy the soul with His goodness. It is just for this reason that He often withholds the gifts, and that the time of waiting is made so long. He is all the time seeking to win the heart of His child for Himself."

Isn't it ultimately so good of God to withhold gifts from us so that we learn to seek Him rather than His gifts and blessings?

The gift and blessing I'm waiting for is the arrival of this baby girl. 38 weeks of waiting. The last few have been consumed by purchases, organizing, preparing, cleaning and finishing home projects.

I'm trying to 'keep myself busy' to pass the waiting.

But what if God chooses to withhold this gift, just for a bit, so that I will set aside my busyness and spend time with Him? In the weeks to come my time with the Lord will be very limited. And yet, somehow, I fill my hours with my to-do list rather than being still before my God.

So after all my years of waiting, and seeing my prayers answered, I still need to be reminded of the lessons of waiting: Ultimately I am not waiting for God's gifts or His blessings. I am waiting on God Himself - for my soul can only truly be satisfied by Him and Him alone.

Monday, August 24, 2009

My thoughts on Waiting Well

This is an e-mail sent to me in December 2007 by my mother-in-law. I often talked about Waiting Well with her and encouraging others to do so. She sent me this e-mail and it so touched my heart. I came across it the other day. I am not posting it as a way to say "look at how well I waited," but rather to encourage all of you who are in a waiting season of life to strive to wait well and make the most of your time of waiting...

My Dear Stacy,

I see you waiting across the room, everyone is congratulating your friend who just announced that she is pregnant. I see you smile and busy yourself.

I see you hold the newborns and lovingly coo and rock them.

I see you proudly show off photos of your best friend’s baby girl.

I see the delight in your face as you meet your husband’s cousin’s baby for the first time

I heard that you helped your friend make her birth announcements.

I know you traveled miles to visit your new nephew and congratulate your brother and his wife…many times!

I know you are a great support to a friend who had to give up her 2 foster children.

I know you spent a weekend with a friend and her new baby to help her out.

I know you have cried along side others who have lost their babies

I know you have written notes and cards

I know you have shared on the ‘blog’ to moms who benefited from your encouragement…even when you needed the encouragement.

I know you have stood by the grave of a new born and cried as if it was your own.

I know you have felt pain, anger, lost, confusion, disappointment and sadness.

I know…that I don’t know…

But I know you are waiting…


and I know you are ‘Waiting Well’.

You couldn’t be doing all these things that I know about or have seen in you if you weren’t ‘waiting well.’ You are “numbering your days aright, you are gaining a heart of wisdom.”

Don’t discount that you are also ‘living’ as you are waiting and because of that you are making an impact on others. You are not avoiding the pain or ignoring the loss, you are acknowledging the fact that God is in control every time you reach out and help a new mom. Every time you put your pain aside and rejoice with another’s happiness, you are loving one another as Christ loves you.

You are living and I am so proud of you. You are present in the moment…waiting, hurting, wishing, but you are present and that is what life is all about. Being present in the moment and living for others. You are of great worth.

I am waiting, too. I am waiting to see what God has in mind for both you and Ryan. Your maturity and love for one another is so rare these days. I can only think that even God is waiting to see just how He will best make the most of you and Ryan…a couple that loves each other and is committed to walking a journey that is so painful.

I love you,
Barb

Thursday, August 20, 2009

When God takes something...

"When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something else." ~ Author Unknown

I read this quote on a blog last week. It pretty much says it all. May we all open our hands to receive whatever the Lord has in store for us.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The best is yet to be

9 years ago today he got on one knee.

He asked me to marry him.

I said yes.

What a ride its been.

Grow old with me sweetie, the best is yet to be!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ask or Imagine

I keep reading and re-reading Ryan's post from yesterday. Every time I read it, I can't help but cry. To have a memory that is so so sweet, while being so painful and heartwrenching at the same time...well it's making my tear ducts work overtime.

In talking about August 16 and what that date represents with both my husband and mother-in-law, we all found ourselves in awe of what the Lord has done in our lives in the past 365 days.

One year ago today I had a baby in my womb that we would never get to meet. One year later I not only have another baby in my womb, but we have one in our arms as well.

Could we have even imagined what God had in store for us this past year? Could we have even imagined that we would have TWO babies in one year's time?

I have always loved the following verse, and I have seen it come to life in the past 365 days for the May family:

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine...." Ephesians 3:20

Not only is God able to do more than we can ask or imagine, but He wants to do more than we can possibly imagine or comprehend with our human minds.

Ask Him dear friends. Ask him to do immeasurably more in your life than you can even ask or imagine. Keep asking. Keep trusting. Keep waiting. I believe God desires to answer that prayer in a way that will rock your world. It might not be like you expect...and that's the best answer to prayer of them all.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

One year ago today

One year ago today, my wife and I had just moved into our new home here in Minneapolis. Stacy got up early in the morning to go to the bathroom, which is unusual, and she woke me up on her way to the bathroom. I laid awake in bed waiting for her to return.

I waited. And waited. And waited.

Eventually, I grew concerned that something was wrong so I quietly called my wife's name. "Stacy?"No response. "Stacy?" Still no response. One more time. "Stacy?"

The bathroom door opened. I could see my wife's silhouette coming toward me, but she said nothing. She climbed into bed on top of me. I couldn't see her face but within seconds I could feel her tears on my cheek. "I am pregnant," she whispered.

Oh how I had longed to hear those words. My heart leaped for joy. I don't remember much after that but I know we did not go back to sleep. We laid in bed and dreamt about how God is good and how faithful he is in everything. We had waited two years to get pregnant again and the first month in our new home, God had answered our prayers.

If you read this blog enough you know the rest of the story and that God was not finished writing this chapter of the book. He chose to take our baby before we ever had a chance to meet her. I miss my little girl and I am sad that she is not here to love. But I am thankful too. Because God is faithful and I have Samuel Lee in my house to prove it.

As I reflect on August 16, 2008, it remains one of the greatest memories in my entire life. Rejoice when it is time to rejoice. Grieve when it is time to grieve. Today I rejoice.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Beyond Blessed

That's all I can think today.

I

am

Beyond

Blessed
.

Truly I am.

Today I am so overwhelmed by God's goodness in my life.

Yesterday was a day of fun, relaxation, memories, blessings.

After dropping Samuel off at grandma's house to play for the day, I spent the afternoon shopping with my friend Kari. She has an eye for decorating so we hit 9 different stores (I waddled behind her most of the way!). We shopped until I nearly dropped and got a bunch of things I had been looking for to decorate our home....I'm not one to take time to shop for and purchase window coverings so I was very appreciative to have her shop for me!

Beyond Blessed.

Then I met my sister-in-law Megan and my friend Liz for pedicures. The three of us are all expecting so it was a treat to get pampered together. Liz is due just two days after me and Megan will deliver my niece or nephew in late October/early November.

Beyond Blessed.

Then (as if I hadn't tried to accomplish enough in one day at 36 weeks pregnant) we headed off to my friend Betsy's house for a craft night that she holds once a month. I always look forward to craft night....treats, girl time and a fun craft that Betsy plans for us.

But last night when we walked in the door all the ladies yelled, "Surprise!"

And I stood there dumbfounded trying to figure out what the surprise was. I was quite confused for a bit :) Turns out the surprise was for me and our little baby girl. The rest of the night included a very 'pink' party, food, dessert, laughter, stories and gifts. All because of the precious miracle growing inside of me.

As I was driving home last night I could hardly comprehend that I am actually pregnant, having a baby girl and had a party to celebrate her. I feel like I'm walking in someone else's shoes.


Thank you dear friends. I cherish each one of you and the role you play in my life. Thank you for taking the time to celebrate my baby girl. God has given me amazing, wonderful friends with whom I get to journey through life with.

Beyond Blessed.

Here's a photo of my cherished friends who came to celebrate me and my miracle:

















Beyond Blessed.

Although I realized that very clearly yesterday, I am Beyond Blessed today and every day.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Faith and fear

I'm reading a book called Supernatural Childbirth and the authors discuss at length fear when it comes to conception, a healthy pregnancy, miscarriage, bringing the baby to full term, and labor and delivery. They say: "You'll find that fear is your number one enemy no matter what you're doing. The opposite of fear is faith. When you're believing God for your health, for your finances, for your family or for anything else, fear is your number one enemy."

Wow did that statement convict me. Fear is my number one enemy when I'm striving to believe God in a particular area of my life. Sometimes I know I don't even realize that I have given in to fear...but there it is. Squirming its way into my head, waiting on the sidelines for the perfect opportunity to jump in and take over. Fear loves to replace faith in our heart and minds.

Fear is the opposite of faith and it is not from God. Fear and faith do not operate together. We can - and should - rebuke fear, doubt and unbelief.

The authors of the book go on to say that we can pray out loud against fear in any circumstance in our life: "I rebuke you fear in the name of Jesus. God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. I have God's perfect love and that perfect love casts out fear." (2 Timothy 1:7, 1 John 4:18)

From time to time I still find I am fearful of the what ifs with this baby. The list of fears could potentially be long regarding her health. The list of fears IS long regarding her entrance into this world (I am not fond of pain and fear what it will take to bring this little girl into my arms).

But, once again, we have the promises of God to cling to when fear overcomes us and faith seems small.

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Latest May family photo session

Jen Turcotte from Serendipity Photo took these photos a few weeks ago. Samuel's 9-month photos and some of my belly. Thanks Jen - great job!

http://www.serendipityphoto.com/samuellee/


Monday, August 10, 2009

Who is the luckiest guy in the world?

I had an interesting interaction with my new boss today. We were individually bragging about our spouses. His wife works across the hall from me. He said to me "watch this." He hollered his wife's name as he yelled "who is the luckiest guy in the world." Her immediate response was, "you are."

I thought it was cute, but it made me wonder if I would get the same response from my wife who is now 36 weeks pregnant? I certainly feel like I am the luckiest guy in the world. I have a wife who at least pretends to adore me on most days. I have a son that greets me with a smile and a hug every day and I have a another blessing on the way.

I was thinking that I would make a list of all my blessings today on this blog, but it turns out it is too long to list. Today, I am especially thankful for my wife and for the awesome woman of God that she is. I look forward to the next few months that promise to be the most challenging in our marriage thus far. I pray that together we will endure it with love and acceptance of God's many blessings.

I have heard people respond that they are "living the dream" when they are asked how they are doing. I am not "living the dream," I am "living a miracle" and it is more than I ever could have imagined!

Friday, August 7, 2009

One month to go...

One month from today is my due date. 9.7.09

This pregnancy has been interesting for me because in thinking about our baby girl's arrival, I realize that it's much like a wedding....and very much not like a wedding. You plan, prepare, buy stuff, talk with people, get advice, read books, etc, etc.

However, he/she doesn't come at a pre-determined time like a wedding ceremony. You can't plan out the agenda for the week prior to the big day. You can't tell people when to take off from work, whether it will be day or night, weekday or weekend. You don't have a minute by minute schedule of who will do what and where.

As much as I would like to drop off Samuel at Grandma and Grandpa's house after a full night of sleep, head to the hospital, have the baby by noon and then eat a delicious lunch and take a great afternoon nap, it doesn't work that way.

I wonder what day it will be? Will my water break? Will I have contractions for a week prior to her arrival? Will it be the middle of the night? Will they send me home from the hospital and tell me I'm not dilating? Will it be two weeks from now or 6 weeks from now?

When? How? What will it look like?

So many questions. So many unknowns. I am a planner and this part God does not allow us to plan. Heck, nothing about my journey to parenthood has gone "as planned" so I don't know why I think this would either :) God's plans have always been better than mine and yet....somehow I still think if I could plan it, that would bring me peace and comfort.

Oh God, only You know. You know the day our sweet baby will arrive. You know what she will look like, how big she will be, and what her entrance into this world will consist of. Before time began, You already knew. And yet, in my small, human mind, I desire to know. When will I learn that Your ways are not my ways and Your thoughts not my thoughts? Everything about our story and our journey has Your mark on it. This will too. I have no doubt the arrival of baby girl May will be marked by your goodness, faithfulness and will bring You more praise and glory. Give me peace about the day. Give me trust that you are in control. Give me faith that Your timing is always better than mine. Remind me Lord of all the ways in the past you have given me miracles....and let me not doubt that another miracle is on the way. I don't desire for this baby to come one day, one moment before Your pre-determined time. So Author and Creator of life, today I believe and claim the promise that You have made EVERYTHING beautiful in its time.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Generosity

I am continually amazed at the generosity of people in my life. I am so very grateful for giving spirits!

I was sliding some photos into an album of Samuel's first months of life and saw pictures I had taken of all the things people gave to us or let us use when he unexpectedly arrived in our home. We had car loads of stuff!

Today I find myself in the same boat. I am in need of a double stroller, a dresser to hold clothes for two kids (we are currently using a borrowed changing table from my parent's neighbors that they gave us last October) and a breast pump.

Friends are letting me use their double stroller and pump, saving us hundreds of dollars. I am so grateful!!

People have given us baby food when their kids no longer were eating it. People have given us clothes by the bags and boxes (for both Samuel and baby girl to be). We were able to buy a second crib for just $35 from a family that we know - what a blessing! At just 11 months Samuel will not be ready for a big boy bed :)

We feel so blessed as God continually provides in unexpected ways. And I am continually grateful at the incredible generosity of people in my life...and people I don't even know!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

We need friends

A gal who goes by the name 'Sew' lost her precious baby last week to a miscarriage after a four-year journey with infertility. I have read her blog for months, rejoiced in her recent wonderful news and now deeply feel her pain and loss.

This past weekend Sew got together with other blogger friends of hers who are also struggling with infertility. I prayed for them continually throughout the weekend. In fact as I was in my car driving, I literally starting sobbing thinking about her loss and the fact that she has friends who made the effort on short notice to get together for the weekend.

I prayed for God's presence to be real among them and for healing to take place through talking and being together. I was so overcome by how important it is to have friends surround us during our times of need.

I referenced the story of Job in this posting. I think this passage offers an important reminder to look at our lives and our relationships and question if we have friends who would drop everything to come meet with us, talk with us or just sit with us in our darkest days.

Not only do I desire to build those kind of relationships, but I desire to be that kind of friend. I desire to have authentic friendships where we can talk about our struggles, our hopes and dreams and what God is teaching us.

I am encouraged by Sew and her friends. What a beautiful picture of the body of Christ they represent.

May we all seek authentic friendships and strive to be authentic friends.