Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wrennie :D

Kolby's brother Wren and his wife Jennie came to visit us! And of course they brought their sweet babies Rylie and Gad! We had such a good time just "being" with each other, catching up on the craziness of life, talking about our silly family, and exploring the city some! Just wanted to share a couple of shots from their time with us! 

Gad loves cheesing for the camera!!! And I love his cheesy smiles!!!

mmmMMM! It was so hard to tell him "no" sometimes... 

poor Rylie... our couch was mean to this baby! it ate her a couple times... and spit her out once... 

Rylie was breaking in Hadi's swing for her! :) 

Wren trying authentic gumbo for the first time!

Jennie attacked the crawfish! So brave!

Christi joined us for the night! She said the crawfish was "interesting"! 

Don't let the picture fool ya... there was no love between these two... :) 

My yummy red beans and rice with smoked sausage!
Montrel's Bistro was great! Definitely going to take more friends and family there! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fun moments with Hadi so far!

What a journey this has been so far! Wouldn't want to be on it with ANYONE ELSE! I love you Kolby!

Our friends hung stockings and made sure to include the DePratters! How sweet! 

Her sweet little profile! She looks like me, right? ;) 

Belly is growing! 

"Woa! What the heck!?!"

This week I'm gaining a new understanding of 1 Corinthians 6:19-20...

"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not you own? For you have been bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body."

"WOA! What the heck!?!" was what I yelled yesterday afternoon, while laying down, staring at my stomach waiting for it to happen again. My husband just looked at me like I was crazy and went back to playing with his tablet. I waited to say something until it happened again because I thought maybe I was just seeing things.

But sure enough it happened again, and so I yelled for Kolby to stare at my stomach with me so he could not just feel, but SEE Hadi kick me! Of course, she didn't play our game and decided she would rather chill while her daddy was watching, making mommy seem like a crazy person...

As I laid in bed last night trying to fall asleep, Hadi started kicking again, but this time I wasn't going to watch... I was tired and ready for some sleep. I just laid still trying to enjoy the thought of her squirming around and imagining what the personality God has given her is like. Until she gave a good kick that made my arm, that was laying on my stomach, actually move! I thought, "Really? I can't even put my arm on my own stomach?"

And that's when my heavenly Father started really talking to me.

This pregnancy has affected every single area of my life. At one point, it determined whether or not I could eat... at other points it determined where I could go... it's even determined my own emotional stability. And as the pregnancy keeps progressing I'm grasping the reality more and more every day that THERE IS A BABY GIRL NAMED HADI INSIDE MY BELLY! It's kind of overwhelming sometimes to dwell on! What a miraculous thing pregnancy is!

Ok, maybe you're saying "DUH" to me right now, and I probably deserve it, but there is something God has really shouted to me through this whole pregnancy that I'm trying to get at.

Just as real as Hadi is inside of me - just as miraculous as it is that I can feel and see her moving around in my belly - just as amazing as it is that a life could be inside of another...

the Holy Spirit that lives in me is just as incredible!!!!

No really, stick with me...

The God who created heaven, earth, the ocean, the moon...
The God who gave His life for mine...
The God who created my own life...
The God who was "in the shadows" of our past, constantly working and directing us to where we are now...
The God who sustains and strengthens us today, while preparing us for tomorrow...

THAT GOD chose to live INSIDE of HIS CHILDREN! He has chosen to abide with us, in us!

Abraham, Moses, David, and Solomon... incredible men of faith, didn't even have this privilege! That's something I can't wrap my mind around!

But this is how God has chosen to work now, and I am so thankful for it. The power and peace all coming from this one perfect source... it's incredible to dwell on!

Take just a moment and dwell on these verses:

"If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because off sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh - for if you are living according to the flesh you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, 'Abba! Father!' The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God."    Romans 8:10-15

Now praise Him with me for choosing to love us in this way!

Monday, December 12, 2011

God uses children to teach me

If you know me at all, you know that I'm crazy about kids...

All over the world, from yellow to brown to black skin... they are incredibly beautiful. I've learned so much from playing with and chatting with children. I've learned how to relax, how to be ok with crying, how to simply be, and so much more! Maybe it's all of the lessons that come from them that draw me, but whatever it is inside of me that makes me yearn for some "kid time" I know that my heart overflows when I get to make one smile.

I know, that sounds so emotional... so much like a woman... haha...

But I just can't help it! I wish I could put into words the amount of love I have for children, but I just can't find the right ones! I thank God for giving me a husband who shares this passion!

I'm guessing at this point you can imagine our excitement the moment we found out we were pregnant.

But this wasn't something we were expecting. In fact, we had been married 1 year and 1/2 before we found out we were pregnant... and just to be real: we never used birth control of any kind. I know MANY couples have gone MUCH longer quietly anticipating a pregnancy and been dissapointed over and over again. But it was still hard for us. We really thought we would get married and have a baby within 9 months! And we were really ok with that! We desired that! Maybe that sounds silly because we were/are so young... but we share a God-given desire to raise children as disciples of Christ! So there were many nights that we just cried together, and there were many conversations with other believers who would remind us of our focus and how God was still using us in children's lives... even if we weren't their parents. Once again, this might sound foolish to you... after all it was only a year and a half of waiting right? But that's where we were... and it was hard.

God sent us off to Greece for 6 months in January and right before we left we found out that some of our best friends were pregnant with their first child. It was so overwhelming to get that phone call that when we hung up we cried and asked God to forgive us for bitterness and to give us a focus. After all we knew we couldn't have done the program we did in Greece if we had a baby with us. God answered our cries and gave us beautiful children of many cultures to show the love of Jesus to while we were in Greece. We called them "replacements" and it tore a piece of our hearts to leave them knowing we won't see them for a least a few more years. But before we even left the states, a wonderful mentor of mine told me that as a woman who is a follower of Jesus I am called to be a mother to the motherless and a vessel of love for those who need His love. So even though we knew how hard it would be to say goodbye to the children we loved on for 6 months, I was fulfilled in knowing that I was obedient and loved the way He called me to. If I had put up walls to "protect" myself from being hurt, I woudn't have been obedient and wouldn't have experience the joy and miracles God poured out on me through these children. I still miss them so much.

So finding out we were going to have a baby was a beautiful and overwhelming moment! A child we can keep for awhile! One we don't have to say goodbye to after a couple weeks and not know when we would see them again, or where the direction their lives would take them, or if anyone else would tell them about Jesus. We are so excited about this gift. Sometimes overwhelmed by the responsibility, and sometimes terrified! But overall, very grateful.

I know my heavenly Father has so much to teach me by using my baby girl, and I'm excited to learn and share. :)

Quick jumpstart update! :)

WoW! It's been a while... Where to start??

Well just to list a few major memories to get ya started....

1. August 11th, the day we made the drive from GA to NOLA was the first day I was "pregnancy sick".... thought I was dying, but we made it! :)
2. August 11th  - around late October can be summed up by saying: I was sick in bed, Kolby was extremely busy, and life was what I call miserable. Glad that's over...
3. I became a human again around early November and it has been WONDERFUL to not only explore the city, but to explore the new friendships we've made here!
4. My parents and little brother/cousin Zach came for thanksgiving! We had SUCH a good time... it was something I really needed and I'm still thanking God for this time we had together!
5. Kolby's brother Wren, his wife Jennie, and their 2 tiny ones came for a weekend the beginning of this month (December) just to spend some time with us! I loved snuggling with my nephew Gad, and giving Rylie lots and lots of kisses until she smiled!
6. I'm 6 months pregnant now. What a journey it has been so far! Hadi is healthy and kicking up a storm these days :)

Ok so there is obviously a lot more detail to fill in on these things, and much more that has happened than I mentioned... but I'm saving that stuff for other posts! Just needed to get a jumpstart on posting again!