Last night was the powerful start of a weekend long conference right in the heart of where we live... We were out later than usual, and our babies are still sleeping but I couldn't take advantage of it and stay in bed this morning... I was laying awake thinking of the vision the Lord showed me last night and I just can't do anything else until I write it down. At the end of the night, just as we were going back into worship the vision started. It grew and became stronger and more powerful until it felt like the inside of me was quaking under the weight and meaning and emotion of it all....
Basically I felt like He gave me a small glimpse into His heart for me. For our region. But really for the world. In the vision His heart was the ocean. It began with these waves, breakers, coming one after another, after another, after another, pounding the shoreline, just as one began to recede another rose to take its place... they were constant, steady, and full of passionate determination. There was no wavering, and the roar of the water right before it hit the shore was so beautiful and strong. As I watched the breakers hit, one after the other, I heard His voice in the midst of the roar... "My love for you is relentless.... I will stop at nothing.... I will have you...." It was at the sound of His voice the tears started pouring down... The scene in my mind shifted from a smooth shoreline to one that looked more like a California coastline. A cliff of rocks stood at the ocean's edge, but the waves were still as consistent... They crashed with such force into the rock, sending up spraying, hitting the side of the cliff with absolute authority, undeterred by the height of the rock, so beautiful, so reliably consistent. And I heard Him again... "I will carve my name on your hearts... I will leave my mark on you as a people... I will stop at nothing until I have you...." Still tears fell, and my heart pounded, and my spirit shook inside me, but because of the cliff I felt like my heart began to break for the Lord... "How will you overcome the walls they have put up??" I started to ask... but before I could fully get the question out, the scene in my mind's eye pulled back until I was no longer seeing just the edge of the ocean, but the whole thing, vast and huge and limitless, and a trembling started in the middle of it, and turned into a violent shaking that threw up a gigantic wall of water from the center of the once flat ocean. It rushed with force, with passion, with emotion and determination, full of furious love, and it overtook nations. The tsunami of his passionate heart toward us. His voice again... "I am a jealous God. I desire ALL of you... I WILL STOP AT NOTHING UNTIL I HAVE YOU. I WILL STOP AT NOTHING UNTIL I HAVE YOU." The intensity of his love. The burning desire of His love for us. The determination of His heart. The goodness of His character. His relentless pursuit of us. His desire for our all. His passion for us to KNOW HIM. To belong to Him. He is a good, good Father. He never stops. He never gives up. He chases, he woos, there is no end to the depth of His heart toward you. There is no point at which His love dries up. There is no point at which the waves of His love will stop breaking on your heart. There is no cliff, no wall, no barrier high enough to keep Him out.
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Thursday, September 10, 2015
This is no exceptional, staged and planned out photo shoot announcement, so please don't be expecting that. This is us, real joy, real smiles, on our back porch with the ultrasound pictures in the middle of a downpour this afternoon.
I love the two photos below... Drew and Isaiah giving thumbs up, Jaden trying to figure out what they're doing, then in the next picture Jaden's got his pointer finger raised. :)
And in the next photo, they are holding rainy pink flowers from the flower bed in our backyard, because....
THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE A LITTLE SISTER.
Drew took these of me.
My joy is obvious, I think.
I seriously had butterflies all afternoon.
I love Jaden's little hand reaching up and touching my belly in the one below. :)
And when Daddy got home from work we took a few more photos in the dark.
So guys... I can't even explain how I feel right now.
In order to try I need to back up a little first.
I had a REALLY strong inkling this baby was a girl from about 6 or 7 weeks on. Then at 15 weeks, we had an ultrasound. It was unofficial, (I was a volunteer for a tech to "practice" on) and it was still early to try to find out. We were about 80% sure it was a girl. I mean, when it's a boy, you pretty much know that you know. When it's a girl, you're afraid you just might not be seeing something. So with that 80% sure percentage, we told our families and a few friends. But I didn't want to announce publicly until we had a 100% answer. And that came this afternoon. After today's ultrasound, there is no doubt in my mind. Our sweet little one is a baby girl. (eeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!)
And I am ecstatic. Seriously. It hasn't even fully sunk in yet. I am going to learn to crochet an infinity scarf with some friends soon, and one of them told me she is going to make a smaller one for her daughter. And oh. my. gosh. I can make my daughter a little infinity scarf too!! AHHH!!! A whole new (slightly scary) and very girly world is opening up here. !!!!
Now I feel the need to stop and say some things here. There are too many people out there that think the only reason we had a fourth child is because we were "trying for a girl." Both Shaun and I have talked to each other numerous times before about how we would love to experience parenting a daughter, and the unique relationship that would be. But I just can't bare anyone to think that we were somehow less than happy with having three boys first. Having three boys, and being an all boy mom has been the greatest joy of my life. I want to cry when I say that because I mean it from the depths of my heart. Each child that has been born into our family has been amazing, perfect, and we've fallen head over heels in love with them regardless of whether they were a boy or a girl. We were not and have never been disappointed that our first, second and third baby were all boys. I can't imagine our family being set up any other way than having Drew Isaiah and Jaden first. And if this baby would have also been a boy we would have been just as excited for that little life too. I honestly had a little moment after the 15 week ultrasound where I felt a slight sense of mourning for the identity I was losing as a mom of all boys, and I never expected that.
I just needed to get that off my chest. I can't stand someone thinking that I would only be excited if this baby was a girl and not a boy. However, if I never would have had a daughter, there would always have been a place in my heart that would have wondered what it would be like to have a baby girl. What would our daughter look like? What kind of personality would she have? Would she be a tomboy with three big brothers or even more girly because she was the only girl? And it feels so sweet and amazing and perfect and like such a gift from heaven that this time around we will get to experience this newness. The deep love I feel for my daughter is pretty overwhelming to me. And scary too. Because I knew what I was doing as a mom of boys. And I have no clue how to be a mom to a girl yet. But I am so excited to learn with her. To never have to cut her curls short (if she has them, or maybe her hair will be straight like Drew's). To build a relationship with my baby that I can teach her how to be a woman who loves the Lord, to one day advise her on marriage, to dress her in cuteness and especially to see the sweetness of the daddy-daughter bond she develops with Shaun. It is all just flooding my heart (and my eyes) right now as I type... I feel like I can finally let my guard down and embrace this whole heartedly without reservation of losing the chance to be a mother to a little girl. My heart has always desired to be a mommy, from such an early stage. And to know the full spectrum, from mothering baby boys to mothering a baby girl, is just more of a blessing than I can possibly put into words.
I felt like the Lord told me she is going to be like the wind. That she will bring change, that she will be incredibly in tune with the Holy Spirit, and that she will be refreshing. I feel like she has so much to teach me. I am so humbled and grateful to be chosen as this baby girl's mommy, and I can't wait to know her more. To see her sweet face for the first time, to cradle her close, to have a newborn in our home again... she has already carved her own place in my heart and I just feel so in awe of her.
So there... lots of uncensored emotion spilling out in this post. It is so cool to discover the little people who God has created just for your family. I have loved every second of this journey, and I can't wait to start preparing for this sweet baby girl to join us in January. Thanks for celebrating with us!