Sunday, February 17, 2008

Learning from my little one ...

This week I learned an important lesson from Audrey.

Last week, she came running out of Sunday School all excited. The teacher had told them that they could invite a friend to church!! My first thought was - haven't I ever mentioned that she could bring a friend? Evidently not. . . so we had a discussion at lunch about who she could maybe invite along. She settled on her friend Thomas from across the street.

All week she hounded me - "Mommy, when are we going to go over and invite Thomas to my class? He would love it." For a few days there were a number of reasons we didn't go - bad icy weather, our gas/heat going out on a cold night, their daughter spending the night at the hospital ... but I said "Lord, if you have laid this on Audrey's heart, I'm not going to quench the Spirit here!" So on Friday we went over and Audrey asked all by herself. He wanted to come, and his parents agreed, so today we took him with us! It was so sweet to see Audrey's enthusiasm about showing her friend "her" church, and the kids ran down to their class holding hands :)

The lesson for me in this was that I need to be more like Audrey. Why don't I show the same enthusiasm about inviting someone to church? Why do I get apprehensive? What do I fear? Audrey went about this with excitement and not one shred of inhibition. In her mind - why would he NOT want to come with her to church? So why do I hesitate? Honestly, "evangelism" and sharing my faith have never seemed to come easily to me. So while I learn and grow in this area, I pray that meanwhile, God will continue to use our Audrey to help us all as a family share God's love and message of grace with others around us.

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes... Romans 1:16

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Sweet Audrey

Today Audrey and I went out for the afternoon for some girl time - to the library, then to get soft pretzels and hang out at the coffee shop for a little while. While we were having our snack and looking at her library books, Audrey says, out of the blue "Mommy, I think I miss Carter a little bit .. I miss that chubby boy."

I'm so glad that the kids just seem to love each other so much. Carter thinks Audrey is funnier than most anyone, and Audrey loves to "help" Carter and make him giggle. May it always be so pleasant between them!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Ups and downs

Last week was a huge week of ups and downs for the Smith family.

I last posted about Carter's 1st birthday. That, of course, was a big "up". We all made it through the first year relatively unscathed, hooray! He is a healthy and happy little boy. The "down" was that I spent his birthday in the doctor's office giving him a nebulizer treatment for a very wheezy cough/labored breathing. Thankfully, he rebounded quickly and was ready to party by the weekend.

But, there was another big up and down for us as well. Last Monday, I took a pregnancy test and it came back positive. Honestly, I had mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, how can you not be happy about the potential of a new life?? It's such a miracle, and so exciting. On the other hand, I SO did not feel ready for another little one. I felt like - I'm finally getting to sleep through the night, I'm finally done with breastfeeding, my "skinny" jeans finally fit (shallow, I know), and now it's all coming back AGAIN?? But deep down, I know that God doesn't give us anything we can't handle, and that even though it would be cramped quarters around here, we would be fine.

Then on Friday morning, I began miscarrying. Now it was my turn to go to the doctor. I was so early in the pregnancy that there was no heartbeat to monitor so I was sent for blood work that day and on Monday to follow up. On Tuesday we learned for sure what I knew deep down was true - the baby was gone. My hormone levels were low to start and then dropped even more by Monday.

It was sad news, of course. The shock for Chad and me had just begun to wear off, and excitement was starting to build, and then this happened.

However, having had a previous miscarriage, this time I feel so much more peace. I learned the first time around that God has His plans, and we need to trust that He knows what He is doing. If He knows that it is best that we have another child, He will give us one. If it isn't best, then He won't. However, don't think that I got to this place of peace easily. My last miscarriage "experience" was filled with many dark days and hard lessons for me. I argued with God, got angry about how unfair my situation seemed, and had to learn to totally relinquish the "control" that I thought I had over my life and circumstances. It was a battle for me to make peace with my lot in life. But letting go was SO FREEING!

Sometimes I start to get sad because I start thinking about what might have been - how next Christmas there would have been another child in the family picture, how this baby and Carter would have been so close in age, how it would feel to hold another soft and snuggly little one. . . and then I remember - trust in God's perfect plan. It wasn't His plan that this baby would be born here on earth.

So rest in Jesus' arms little one ... you are loved.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

It's fun to be one!

Carter is one year old now! He was at the doctor yesterday, and here are the stats: weight - 23 lbs, 12 ozs., height - 31 3/4 inches. He is a big boy and wow, the tired muscles of my back and arms confirm it! The bad news is - he has an ear infection. Is it bad that I didn't know that? But how would I know? Carter is such a happy little guy. I often look at him and say "If you are always this content, you will have one happy life." However, I know that someday he will throw himself on the floor in a fit of frustration, yell "NO!" at me, and assert his little independent spirit, so for now, I'm soaking up all the love and good feelings. (In all honesty, I am starting to see some of that frustration here and there ... just try taking away his food! Red-faced, full-bodied shaking and ear-piercing screams ensue!)

Just had to add this one - Carter hamming it up for the camera with Uncle Andy :) Don't you just want to squeeze those little cheeks?? He's missing his clothes because at this point they were coated in white frosting! We had a party with family a few days after his birthday (Carter was actually sick on his first birthday - boo hoo!)