Saturday, March 23, 2013

Miles' Story ~ God's Marvelous Favor

I've tried to write this post several times, but have met with
little success or much pleasure.
It is a story of great peace.
Of waiting and not knowing and yet resting patiently in contentment.
It is a story of God's overflowing favor poured out on my life once again.

I find I can't relate just the facts without making this story about me.
In reality, there is so little of me in this story.  It is all Him.
Let's see if I can recount the birth story of Miles Favor reflecting
on God's great glory and His enduring mercy and grace!

My pregnancy was a gentle one.  I can't explain it better than that.
My body was large and cumbersome in the usual way ones body
makes sacrifice for another growing life, but my aches were minimal
and my emotions not violently swayed.

In many ways, I can honestly say this was the best pregnancy I've
experienced yet.  There may be physical factors involved, but I
know better than to turn those tangible efforts into a formula.
Above all, was the ever present breath of the Holy Spirit living through
me and the reason for all this blessing remains a mystery known only
to Him.

I've known such peace from the time we found out this baby was
on the way.  All the questions that begin with "how" which
are so quick to plague the mind of a mother in the middle of
child-bearing-training-raising years; those questions did not rattle me
as they sometimes have.
Then at 15 weeks I was sure we were losing this tiny person,
yet God stayed His hand and saw fit to let us meet our son.
Again - His favor.

Many of you know that we are somewhat transient, sharing time
between our mountain home in North Idaho, some travel,
as well as a little time near Denver Colorado where my husband's
work is based.  Because of this, finding doctors and such can be
a challenge, and few are eager to work with people so unconventional
as we.
The midwives who attended my care and were present at the birth
of Miles are a story of God's favor all their own.  I was blown away.

As the time for delivering grew near, I was getting nervous flutterings
in my stomach and the Lord provided Valentines Day with the perfect
reason to dive into the letter of First John (which is about love and
what love is, and how it manifests itself) where I rediscovered this verse:

1 John 4:18
"...perfect love casteth out fear... fear causeth torment..."

I was struck fresh by a couple truths I already knew:
I had no control over what events would transpire;
worrying about the unknown would only produce torment to myself;
perfect love is God Himself  (1 John 4:8)

and it would be by His power I could be free from fear!

I clung to this verse and meditated on it whenever thoughts of
impending travail came to mind.

Then, not a couple days prior to Miles birth, my eyes lit on a verse
in Psalms which blessed my heart so very much.

Psalm 34:4
"I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears."

It was King David's song, but when he penned it God knew it
would be my song too!
I rested in that verse and marveled over it.  That God hears me.
ME!  He heard and doesn't want His children to be in bondage to fear.
I was delivered of my fears.  It was so precious not to be bound up
with anxiety as my time drew near.

The day he came was a Sunday.

The laboring for his birth was unusual for what I've known
but it was soft and without pain until Transition which was a
fast and furious half hour.
My beloved husband caught our little person and I recognized
that we had delivered another son!
What joy and relief and flat-out marvel to see his complete
body, his large hands, his pudge!
What laughter and exclamation!

One of my favorite things in all the world is watching
pure joy just bubble forth from my best friend
as the relief of the finished race floods over him.
I can see then, it was work for him too and what camaraderie!
I often say (and this was no exception): "WE DID IT!"

I hope the Lord received all that celebrating as pure worship
because my heart was aching from sheer fullness, and hasn't ceased yet :-)

I can't describe the afterglow adequately.  My children came in to
meet our Miles.  I was tucked neatly into my own beautiful bed
under a quilt I'd made while dreaming of this baby; and my husband
rested his presence near to me as the midwives measured and weighed
my already-deemed-perfect little son.  I never thought to count his toes.
It never occurred to me that he could be anything but perfection
no matter what number they added up to!

After all had left and the house was still, AJ popped up some
Pop Corn and we sat side by side munching in a late-night
celebration party.  I didn't sleep that night.  There's no time
for sleeping when those first moments pass like a fleeing bandit
and freshly-birthed baby hair doesn't last - even for a few days.

So I was initiated into motherhood one more time, with a crick
in my neck from burying my nose in that hair at whatever
angle was necessary to reach it :-)
I lay awake recounting all the details of Miles Favor's story
marveling and alternating between tears and laughter.
It was a sweet night.

Favor upon favor...

So that is where Miles gets his name.  Favor has been the story of
our life together - mine and AJ's - and in this season more than ever.
We don't deserve this amazing grace, and are entitled to nothing
good at all - and yet.  Yet God's laughter spills over upon us as
He gives and gives and gives us good gifts just because He can
and apparently wants to.  imagine that!

Miles' middle name is an alter for a memorial for us that God has blessed
our family more than we ever hoped or could dream.  We will recall these
stories to His glory and for our edification when the season comes
which is dark and uncertain.
He is good today, but when that time comes we know He is still good.
He is always and forever good, and today His favor is great upon us.
May we not ever forget.

"Thank you Lord, for our precious son Miles Favor! 
To You Lord, be glory and honor and praise both now and forever. Amen."

Psalms 34:1
"I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise will continually be in my mouth."

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Everything I Hoped and Dreamed....

In answer to the prayers of many
and many prayers of mine,

we were honored to welcome another precious little person
to our family on Sunday night!

Miles Favor really surprised us with his hefty size, weighing 10 pounds, 2 ounces!!
Whew!  But worth every effort :-)

I will write more shortly, but honestly I can't find the words right now to express my joy,
my amazement, my thankfulness, and all the feelings that fill my heart as I reflect on God's
favor on my life; extending to each member of my family and now sweet Miles.

Thank you again precious friends, for your kind words and prayers.
I couldn't wait to share my news with YOU!

One very overjoyed,

~Momma Bug

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Promised Snippets of Life

Life is just so full every day.  I'm thankful in this season, that we are home.
The only thing that calls us out is our once a week swimming lessons,
and the instructors were so gracious to work 6 children into three classes
that overlap and we're only by the pool for an hour total.

I know that one day we're likely to be driving hither and yon, but I love
being at home, and I love the lack of strain on relationships in not herding
everyone out the door to be places on time!

This is Aloria trying out the new baby's new carseat.
Looks comfy?

And what's going on here?
Three hoodlums are talking into the floor vent trying to get the attention
of big brothers and sisters downstairs :-)

Zachary has had an interest in building model airplanes.
From scratch, this is no simple task, but we've been very proud of his legwork, industry,
and follow-through as he's built one already and is on to the next.
All these pieces have been hand cut with the scroll saw and glued together using plans
Zack found and modified.
Dad has offered some help and some instruction, but he's wanted Z to muddle through on
his own steam because dad knows that learning skills comes from the actual DOING of
these projects.  Imperfection and mishap is part of the education :-)  It's a humbling way to learn.

Well done Zachary!  Very well done.

His other venture I haven't posted pictures of yet, is the acquisition of 3 Cockatiels.
My young son is a bit of a visionary, and so when he set his sights on getting a bird,
the reason I was ready to entertain the idea was that he had originally studied up
on ordering a baby Alligator.
No joke.
From an Alligator he transitioned to an Iguana - which after his first fixation, was looking
strangly do-able to me.

This was last year in Idaho, so when moved into a spacious "normal" house for the
winter and he decided he wanted a bird... I was nothing but supportive.

From an Alligator to a bird is a big jump, and he was smart to start working on me
with such an impossible creature!

Why 3, you ask?
Zachary was searching for just the right thing on craigslist, when he came upon a
lady getting rid of 3 birds for an unknown price.  He called, went to check them
out, and discovered that she just wanted them to have a good home.
Apparently she was expecting #2, and wanted to give them a break from her two
year old who was "terrorizing" them.
I don't think anyone volunteered to her what our home would entail, which I find
humorous.  Poor birds.  Out of the frying pan into the fire! :-D

Even Dad has a soft spot for Myrtle, Barney, and Burt.

Here's my first attempt at a mixed media piece of art.  I definitely don't have the
hang of decoupage yet!

And the Absolutely FANTABULOUS little pillow that Susanna and Clay made
me for Valentines day.  Clayton stuffed it with sawdust from the shop.
I LOVE it.

Bryce assembling a nightstand for me.
This picture is dejavu of Zack when he was this age.  Hardly seen without a screwdriver in hand!

This is the face of one who slips through the cracks.
Beats me how she does it, because in this instance I was sitting at the same table
while she was not only embellishing her cute little cheeks but also her hair.

I asked the boys if they would come up with a wood shop creation we could send to
cousin Evan for his first birthday.  This is what Clayton came up with!
It is an Ant toy.
Absolutely wonderful in my opinion!
We sent it along to him with a pair of robot Quick Change Trousers I made.

Getting outside on a warm day.

A sign I made for our bedroom.

Mom gets spoiled with a foot rub!

Saturday morning being perfectly Saturday morning-ish with a bit of book reading
together with dad.

And just one last picture to wrap it up!

Living Proof.
His favor abounds here!

Monday, March 4, 2013

To You

Dearest Friends,

You ladies bless my socks off!
Your kind, gentle, encouraging words breath life into my spirit and refresh me for the
upcoming work ahead.  Thank you for praying for me, and for taking the time to
comment!  To read each one is like opening a package - I kind of savor the sweetness :-)

It's official this week, baby can come and be exactly on time!
According to history I would expect he or she to appear from several days early to
one day late.  According to reality, this labor isn't obligated to take note of prior patterns.
As for me, there has been a change in the last few days.  Baby is lower and scrapes bottom
(if you know what I mean), more Braxton Hicks contractions, I'm moving slower over all,
and then the occasional "I can't do this" cry overtakes me at night in anticipation.
Yup.  It's time.

The verse that has implanted itself on my heart this time is 1 John 4:18

"...but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment..."

Boy do I know this truth!  I know that fear causes torment, and I can do nothing
about the future or the unknown that lies ahead.  I can only take one moment at
a time as it arrives.
I know that God is Love.  HE is the one who drives out fear, and for me he
has been doing just that.  Every time I get an inkling to be anxious about upcoming
labor (which, no matter how great my experiences have been, childbirth hurts
and I remember it well.) I'm choosing to give my fears to the One Perfect Love.
He has been faithful, and I'm counting on Him to be my strength in the very
moments I need Him.

In other news, I really should blog a pile of pictures from our daily goings-on
here.  The children have been enjoying the new birds, and creating some really neat
things in the wood shop, and drawing up a storm!  Perhaps that is the next post.
Grandma's would appreciate that probably :-)

Snow again this afternoon, after a day in the 70's yesterday luring me out in my
bare feet.  I like the gray for hunkering down in my cozy bedroom.  This is where
I've been doing much of our school reading together, and this afternoon I've
hibernated here while dishing out instructions to Zachary on how to make salsa
for dinner, and giving instructions to Susanna for washing the lettuce and grating
the cheese.
I broke open the name book for the first time ever - just reevaluating names for
this baby - and spent some time with hot cocoa and books and inspiration for
new artwork I want to start in on.
It was a lovely afternoon.  Now time to check messes and tidy up before dad
gets home.  To rally the troops and wrap up loose ends.  To close up the lap top
and live the evening :-)

Thanks again friends - each dear one - for reaching out to me.
I am blessed.