Thursday, July 9, 2009

He Gives and Takes Away

On this day last year, I experienced extreme joy and extreme sorrow.

We had just found out I was pregnant, although there were some complications and the doctor was concerned I was having an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. We had only told immediate family at that point about the pregnancy (since I was only about 6 weeks along) so that they could be praying. My Grandma was also always on the top of my list to share news with, so she knew as well. However, she herself was going through great trials as the week before she had just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Even though she was sick, she was overjoyed to hear our news and said she would be praying for this baby.

Our doctor had ordered an ultrasound for July 9, and this would determine if our baby was growing where it should be and if it was ok. That morning, Chad and I saw a dot on a screen that indicated our baby was indeed alive and well. I called Grandma in the car on my way home to tell her our exciting news and to tell her I had bought a plane ticket to come see her that weekend. She sounded weak and tired, but again was thrilled to hear the baby was ok and told me she had been praying for this child and for us. She said she couldn't wait to see me in a few days. Later that day I received a call and heard the crushing news that my sweet Grandma had gone home to be with the Lord, less than a week after she received her diagnosis. That night, I thought of that Tree63 song "Blessed Be the Name" and the verse of the song that says "He gives and takes away, he gives and takes away, my heart will choose to say, Lord Blessed be your name..." Although it's hard to rejoice in a loss, I know my Grandma is rejoicing in heaven today. I miss her so much and it breaks my heart that she could never see or hold our sweet Luke, and that I didn't get home in time to say goodbye. I wish I could just have a little more time with her. But I know it was God's timing and that I will see her again one day in heaven! My heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be your name.

Grandma with Baby Andrew
Grandma during her favorite pastime...playing cards

Our first look at Luke.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Farewell Cleveland, Farewell Friends

It's hard to believe we've already been living in Kansas for one month! Although we are excited about this transition in our lives, we will truly miss our many good friends in that chilly city by the lake. Cleveland will always have a special place in our's where we started our married life together, had many new experiences, grew in our faith, and brought Luke into the world.

I'll be the first to admit that I was not so fond of Cleveland at the beginning. Work was hard, not knowing a soul other than Chad was lonely, and well, the winters are long. But over time, coworkers became friends, and our community group from church became like our family. It was so awesome to live life with all of you...growing in our marriages, growing our families's sad Luke won't get to hang out with Addison, Sam, Bella, and Madison every week now! Thank you Medveds and Ponstingles for adopting us into your families! And our Mercy Hill friends are equally special. I know Chad deeply respects all the guys he's worked with at Mercy Hill. And to my all have probably helped me grow in my relationship with God as much or more than I helped you! You all are wise beyond your years and I am so excited to see what God will do in your lives as you start college! Joel and Helen, we love you guys, too. You have always been an encouragement to us...hopefully Luke and Joshua will get to play together someday! Cleveland brought us both joys and difficulties, but I wouldn't trade a moment of the experience. And maybe I'll even miss the snow...well, maybe just a day of it!
Chad and the Mercy Hill guys (minus Paul)

me and a few girls from our (Ukrainian) girls' Bible study

our community group (minus Justin and Dana) at an Indians game last summer

community group out toboganning

Joel and Helen with 2-week old Luke

Thursday, July 2, 2009

4 Month Pictures

Our baby boy is now 4 months old, and rotten parents that we are, we've just taken his first set of pictures. Of course, the day before we took them, he got a cold and wasn't feeling the best, thus, it was more of a challenge to get him to be his smiley self. Even so, I think we got some cute ones!