Happy 8th Anniversary to Us!

I spent most of the day taking care of two sick kids. (Jude has RSV and Addy has a cold, but both are getting better). So, we didn’t get the date we had wanted for our anniversary. I was disappointed & to be honest, I was a total grump about it. Then God gave me a good slap & reminded me of all that I DID get.

1. This morning, I got to hear Addy run in the room yelling “Daddy!” because she was so excited to see Nick.

2. I got to watch The Sound of Music with Addy and see her dance & sing with the Von Trapp kids. Then she whooped me in a game of Uno Moo.

3. I got to watch Nick read a bedtime story and our nightly devotion with both kids in Addy’s new tent and hear him pray and sing with them.

4. I got to see Nick make Jude laugh one of his first laughs.

I say these things not to portray that we have the perfect family with no struggles. 2015 was an incredibly tough year- the loss of two grandfathers, two miscarriages, almost losing Jude, (birth story & update on him to come!) and Addy’s surgery. Also, we lost a car, our air conditioning, refrigerator, and have had some other private family storms.

I say these things because today as I reflected on the past year, God reminded me of the commitment that Nick and I made to each other 8 years ago- we vowed to love each other in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer and for better or worse. I vowed to allow my husband to be the spiritual leader of our family and we committed to raise our children in a godly home, pointing our kids to Jesus. On January 5, 2008, fulfilling those commitments was something we could only dream about. But today, I was able to celebrate my anniversary in the best possible way. I watched my family- the family that began 8 years ago.   

Boy, Oh Boy!

Jude Annouce 2It’s a BOY!

We are thrilled that a little boy will join our family in November! Addy has talked about wanting a sister for months, so I was expecting her to be a little disappointed, but she couldn’t be happier.  She’ll hug and kiss my belly, say “Hi Baby!” and tell me how much she loves “her” baby. She wants to teach him to play ball and can’t wait to teach him all about the Ninja Turtles. She’s excited to help us change diapers and give him baths. I think she is going to be the greatest big sister. She is loving, nurturing and incredibly affectionate.

A name’s meaning was the #1 thing we considered when looking for one. It’s important to us because it shapes how we pray for our children. Addy is Adalyn Faith and our prayer for her is that she finds faith in God easily and never looks back. For our little man, we chose:

Jude Christopher

Jude: (Latin) Meaning “one who praises God”
Christopher: (Greek) Meaning “bearer of Christ”

We thought that for a little Akin, “one who praises God” was a super cool meaning. And my prayer for him is that even if he doesn’t go the musical route, he’ll find a way to use whatever talents God gives him to praise Him. Praising God doesn’t have to involve an instrument or a catchy melody. We just have to use what we’ve been given to bring Him glory.    

Addy’s Big News!


Wednesday I had my first appointment with my regular OB. It’s been over two weeks since we received our Easter miracle. I’ve had no signs since then that things weren’t going well with this pregnancy, but with three miscarriages in my past, I still get incredibly nervous at each new appointment.

I was told that it might be too early to hear the heartbeat using a doppler, but I could tell that the doctor was a little nervous when she couldn’t find it using two different kinds of dopplers. They decided to work me in for an ultrasound, just to be sure everything was okay. We were ecstatic when we saw the form of our little baby on the screen and heard a heartbeat of 168 bpm!  We are in awe of God’s continuous protection over this little one.

We had brought Addy with us.  If the news was good, we planned to tell her that she was going to be a big sister.  Here was her reaction:

Addy thinks that she is having a little sister and decided on the name Posie. In the other pregnancy that she was aware of, she named that little sister Lamp. So, I’m grateful that she’s moved from light fixtures to flowers.🙂

Our Resurrection Baby

I am completely overwhelmed by the support and love that we have received this week after sharing our struggle. So many of you have prayed for us, and we thank you deeply for reaching out with your kind words, letting us know that we’re not alone.

I was extremely nervous going into the appointment. I knew that I would leave either feeling devastated or thrilled. Knowing that so many were praying for us, Nick and I both felt hopeful. We prayed for a miracle before going into the hospital, but told God that we trust Him with the outcome either way.

At our last appointment the doctor said that things don’t usually end well when such a slow heartbeat is detected. I don’t believe it’s by accident that this all took place the week of Easter, when we celebrate Jesus’s resurrection. I was reminded all week that the same Spirit that brought Jesus back from the dead could breathe new life into this baby. So, along with so many of you, we prayed for a miracle. For some reason, as I laid in bed the night before, I specifically prayed to hear a heartbeat that was 150 bpm, even though I really didn’t know what was considered a “good” heartbeat at this point.

Here is our Resurrection Baby!  What a miracle!

One week ago: Heartbeat at 6 weeks was 63 bpm.
(Should have been 90 – 110 bpm)
Today: Heartbeat at 7 weeks was 153 bpm.
(Should have been at least 130 bpm!)

Although we are rejoicing in the news of today, our hearts go out to others who are still enduring the pain of infertility and pregnancy loss. Through 17 months of wanting Addy to be a big sister, and three miscarriages, I had to keep coming back to the wise words of my pastor that ring more true than ever during Easter: Let God Finish. It’s so incredibly hard to not have what your heart purely and unwaveringly desires, but we can rest in knowing that no matter what we are going through, God has a plan and a purpose. Even when life hurts, He’s still there piecing our stories together, moment by moment. If you are struggling, hold on to Jesus and know that He is holding on to you!

If you have not seen Nick’s new video yet, watch it here, and be encouraged that the same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you!  (Romans 8:11)

Oh and FYI, we aren’t telling Addy until her birthday (May 7) when I’ll be through the 1st trimester. We told her about one of our previous pregnancies, and it was just too hard having to explain that we weren’t having a new baby after all. So if you see her, please don’t say anything about this yet. Thank you!!


Here I am, possibly facing my 4th miscarriage.

I am just over 6 weeks pregnant and although everything was visibly ok on the ultrasound, Baby’s heartbeat was 63 bpm and should have been at least 90. The only thing that will save this little person is a miracle, and that’s what I’m pleading with God for.  I’m extremely thankful for the hundreds of prayers that have been lifted up on our behalf by our family and friends.

Through my other miscarriages, I’ve denied myself many emotions. I wanted to “rise above” the grief.  I had set unrealistic expectations, thinking that if I was constantly happy and smiling, even when I was grieved, then I was doing the right thing as a Christian. Wow, I had missed the point of Christianity completely! Being a Christian doesn’t mean that you’ll be happy 24/7. It means that when you hit rock bottom and can’t pick yourself back up, you look to the only One who can pick you up.

This time, I’m setting realistic expectations. I’m allowing myself to feel, and I’m going to be honest about it. I’m accepting the fact that I can’t rise above it. Not alone, anyway. Only with God’s grace  and His strength will I get through this.  (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) I’m accepting my humanity and giving myself permission to feel, guilt free.

I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m confused. I’m scared. I’m broken.

There was a huge part of me that thought if I let myself feel those things, it was like telling God, “I don’t trust you”. It’s taken this situation to make me realize that those feelings and trusting  God can co-exist.  And that’s where I am right now. I’m choosing to trust Him in my anger. Trust Him in my sadness. Trust Him in my fear. Trust Him in my confusion. It hurts, and I hate what I’m going through right now, but I TRUST HIM.

My mom, knowing my conflict with emotion, sent me this excerpt from Peter Scazzero’s Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, and it was eye-opening and healing. I hope it offers you encouragement too.

To feel is to be human.  To minimize or deny what we feel is a distortion of what it means to be image bearers of our personal God.  To the degree that we are unable to express our emotions, we remain impaired in our ability to love God, others, and ourselves well.  Yet, as we saw in the previous chapter, our feelings are also a component of what it means to be made in the image of God.  To cut them out of our spirituality is to slice off a part of our humanity.

Sadly, some of our Christian beliefs and expectations today have, as Thomas Merton wrote, ‘merely deadened our humanity, instead of setting it free to develop richly, in all its capacities, under the influence of grace.

So FEEL, friends. Embrace being who God made you to be- HUMAN. But don’t feel without having hope. Know that God’s Word trumps our feelings. His Truth is timeless and applies to every situation. Here’s what we know, despite what we feel:

My feelings

I feel alone.

God’s Truth
I will never leave you or forsake you. Deut. 31:6, Heb. 13:5I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matt. 28:20

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
Psalms 139: 7-10

My feelings

I feel scared and worried.

God’s Truth

Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God and I will strengthen you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27

Those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

My feelings

I feel confused.

God’s Truth

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

My feelings

I feel broken.

God’s Truth

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalms 34:19

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalms 147:3