Archive for September, 2011

What if?

So, I’ve been out of the blogging world for awhile…and I’ve missed you guys. ūüôā¬† But, never fear, I found something pretty darn wonderful to keep me occupied…

Her name is Ellasyn Joy Stevens – and she has stolen my heart.¬† In fact, I think she’s stolen the heart of everybody who lives in our house, plus a few others to boot….

The first moment that I saw her took my breath away…and there were tears of joy and thanksgiving¬†and a fit of laughter to finally lay eyes on this amazing promise from God…but there was one member of my house who did not know quite how to react…

Throughout the pregnancy, Dallas, Abby, Will & I talked and talked about Ella – the kids went to every sonogram appointment with us, I made them feel my stomach when she’d get the hiccups, Abby would sing to her sometimes…I thought we had made it abundantly clear that while we went into the hospital without a baby, we would come home WITH a baby…but evidently not.

Abby was insistent that she and Will be the first to see Ella…so at 4 a.m., my parents dragged them out of bed and brought them to the hospital to meet their baby sister…

As you can tell from the pictures, Abby was just about to burst with excitement. 

And….well, let’s just say¬†Will was a little bit shell-shocked that there was ACTUALLY a baby in there…

Will has always been my cautious one…the one who needs a day’s notice about any major events or changes.¬† I thought I had given him 6+ months notice, but….

What happened in the moments after he first laid eyes on his baby sister, I will never forget. 

While Abby, Grandma, Poppa, and I oooh’d and aaahhh’d over this tiny little creature God had brought into our lives, Will withdrew.¬† He never got closer than¬†6 feet from her that morning.¬† I looked up to see him sitting on the couch on the other side of the room, big giant tears rolling down his sweet face…

Dallas saw this, too, and he goes and sits with him and asks him what was wrong…

Will looks up at Dallas with those gi-normous tears running down his face and says……

“I don’t know how to be a big brother, Dad.¬† What if I’m not good at it?”

My heart melted and hurt for him at the same time. 

He could not allow himself to jump in and experience the joy of the moment because he was paralyzed by fear of the “what if…” and of how he might screw things up.¬† Have you not been in that place before?¬† I know I have…the FEAR of not being good enough, of not being ENOUGH period.¬† The times when the “what if’s” just keep coming at me…I am very aware of the fact that FEAR and WHAT IFs¬†have tried to rob me of many joys that God has wanted to give me and I did not want that for my son of this moment or any moment!

Dallas stepped in….

Son, did you know I had no idea how to be a dad before you and Abby came along? 

I was clueless!¬† But guess who helped me?”

Will asks “Who, Dad?”

“The Holy Spirit. And he will help you to be a great big brother, too.¬†”¬†


Later that day, Will got brave enough to hold Ella for the first time…and a few days later, after we were home, he was helping me take care of her and I was telling him how great he was doing….

He stopped and looked up and says “Thank you, Holy Spirit!”

Precious boy….

Today, do not let the “what if” or fear rob you of even one second of the joy God wants for you.¬† Look around you at all that God has given to you, of all the ways He has blessed you and made His presence known to you, and know that when you are not enough, He is….¬†and when you don’t feel like you know how to do something God has called you to, that He will give you the help you need…just like He is teaching Will how to be the most amazing big brother for Ella…and that God always has the answer for the “what if’s” – just ask Him.


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Happy Labor Day! I hope you all get a chance to relax and recharge today. If you live in Lubbock or in the area, I know you are getting to enjoy some fabulously cooler weather. It has been a much needed reprieve from the relentless heat of this summer.

I’ve actually been checking the weather forecasts for the last week as I saw these lower temperatures approaching to make sure that the forecast did not change. I found myself doing things to prepare for the cooler temperatures, and plan for the autumnal weather. I began collecting my favorite fall/winter recipes, making lists of main dishes, side dishes and breads. I even began another menu calendar.

I took advantage of a sale at the Carter’s store in town and bought fall clothes for Elizabeth, went through hand-me-downs from her cousin Abi¬†and began assembling¬†mix and match outfits, determining what addition pieces would be needed for the cooler months. I cleaned out her drawers and closet of clothes that would no longer be used and hung up and put away the clothes¬†that would be used soon, I hoped. As I hung up her clothes in the back of her closet, I realized what I’d been doing. Even as it was still quite hot outside, I was preparing for the much needed refreshing of cooler weather, and I felt like a giddy child, enjoying the anticipation of a coming celebration.

As I was smiling at the sight of¬†Elizabeth’s¬†fall clothes hanging next to her summer clothes, it struck my heart that these seasons of preparation¬†are vital¬†for entering into the season of fulfilled promise. The hot summer months spent knowing that rain and relief would come; the nine months spent nurturing, growing and readying for those sweet bundles of joy; the time spent filling out paperwork, jumping through hoops and dealing with red tape¬†to adopt children ever as much our own as we are God’s; ; the months spent planning flowers, dresses and cakes to the day that we enter into a covenant of marriage; even the morning mad dash to pack lunches, make breakfast, dress kiddos and send them off to school always reminding them of whose they are as they head off into the world. All these seasons, the long and the short, are absolutely necessary in order for us to fully receive the promise fulfilled.

I know there have been times of preparation in my life in which I have grumbled and mourned over the time of waiting for God to fulfill His promise instead of realizing that He has work to do in me before I can be ready to receive His promise. Like a small child waiting for Christmas Day, I hurry through the joy of buying and wrapping present, decorating the tree, dancing to the beautiful Christmas carols, and I focus on the package with my name on it, letting the joys of the season slip by.

As this understanding came into focus for me, the cry of my heart became: Lord, in this season of preparation, teach me the joy of waiting on You. Open the eyes of my heart to the beauty of dwelling in Your presence as You prepare my heart and my life for the fulfillment of Your promises.

On Sunday morning, as I opened the door to let my dog outside, I felt the cool air full of moisture on my face and in my lungs. I breathed in the crispness, the refreshing, the promise fulfilled, and it was all the better for the season of preparation that came before.



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