Wednesday, October 28, 2009

We're Gonna Keep Him

This was the scene this morning in our room. No, it isn't like this every night. Most of the time it's either no kids or one kid who ends up snoozing between us. But lately, everyone wants to be where Evan is--and for now that is in our room.

He is a popular little fellow, that Evan. At the hospital, Jake didn't care about having anything to do with him. But since we've been home, he has tenderly shown his love by taking time out from playing to come and stroke him on the head or give him a little kiss. He even asks to hold him now! I love to ask Jake what the baby's name is, because he can never remember. He always gets this thoughtful look on his face as he works hard to come up with the right name. I always have to then say, "Eh..." and then he shouts, "Evan!!" But, of course, as is obvious from the picture, he has much love for his little brother.
The girls love taking turns holding him, and Emily was singing him to sleep the other night. They are such big helpers, fetching diapers, holding him and being loving to him. I'm so thankful that everyone is taking to him so well.
As for me, I literally have my hands full, because when I have a newborn, I hold them all the time. Well, obviously, I let my family hold him some, and occasionally I'll put him down to accomplish such tasks as showering or brushing my teeth. :) So, I guess it's not all the time, but they are like this for such little time that I want to relish every moment and hold him in my arms before he gets big enough to start squirming around.

Some people believe that this can spoil a baby, making him want to be held all the time. My belief is that a newborn cannot be spoiled (and that has been my experience), for they grow so quickly and the time passes so fast.

So, the Liddles are doing well, enjoying the first days of the Evan's life, and taking in God's blessings. Now, I gotta go get Evan...he's been in the swing long enough. :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

True Love

~C. S. Lewis

I could have decided that my heart was too valuable. That it wasn't worth the risk. But because I didn't make that choice, my heart is wide open. Wide open for pain. Wide open to yearn. Wide open to be broken.

But more than that....

it's wide open for joy. Wide open for happiness. Wide open to love and be loved.

It's sometimes a scary thing to look at my children, or to watch my newborn, so helpless and dependent, and realize the depth of love that I have in my heart. It's scary because I know that it makes me vulnerable to the worst kind of pain. To love, is indeed, to give your heart away. But the joy in the journey far outweighs the pain of a loveless life.

To be in a place of feeling and vulnerablility is far better than the callous, cold "safety" of a guarded heart that refuses to love.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Welcome Little Evan!

Mimi and Evan
Jake was more interested in his new helicopter I think!!

I don't deserve this. I really don't. As my doctor was stitching me up today, I couldn't help but ponder the blessings of the Lord upon my life, and I was overwhelmed with the sense of His love and goodness, especially knowing how faithless I am sometimes.

Oh, did I mention we have a BOY?????!!!!! We have never found out the gender of our babies ahead of time, and usually we have a pretty even number of girl/boy guesses. But this time, I don't think that even one person guessed a girl! Everyone was right!

The surgery went so well. I'm sorry if this is too much information for some of you, but I'm going to share it anyway, because it is a testimony of God's protection over us! When my doctor made the first incision, she called Jason around so he could see what she was seeing. My uterus was so thin that the baby's hand could been seen through it. Amazing! That's why she had recommended an early delivery, and I know that God was in it. The umbilical cord was wrapped twice around his neck, which, obviously, can cause major problems. But not today. Praise the Lord!!

In addition, I think that this is the best I've ever felt after any surgery. I'm humbled and amazed, and that doesn't even begin to describe my feelings as I look at my newborn child.

Evan Michael Liddle is clearly one of the most beautiful babies in the world. No, I am not biased in the least. He really is. He is perfect in every way.

I keep asking myself, "What have I done to deserve this?" And I know in my heart that the answer is...absolutely nothing. I accept it as a blessing from God, and I can only say that I am so thankful. Words cannot describe.

Also, to the many of you who prayed for us and sent words of encouragement, you will never know what it meant to me as I was facing this day. Thank you!

It's hard to put into words all that I am feeling, so I will end with this verse today...

Every good thing given and every perfect gift
is from above, coming down from the Father of lights
with who there is no variation or shifting shadow.

James 1:17

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Real Peace of Mind

Okay, so this was a picture of me yesterday morning, before we headed to the hospital.

I was really dreading the amniocentesis, but as it turned out, it was no big deal! It really felt no different than when I've had my blood drawn. I did have some pain afterward, but that has since subsided.

We had to wait four hours for the results of the fetal lung maturity seemed like an eternity! And then, when it came back that the lungs were too immature for delivery, my initial disappointment was almost overwhelming. However, it didn't take me long to get over it and be thankful that our baby appears to be healthy and is scheduled for delivery Monday at noon.

Something the Lord has shown me through this, though, is how much I need Him and how little I trust Him sometimes. The night before last, I worried a lot. My thoughts were nearly out of control. Fears about the amnio, the surgery, the safety of my other three children, the baby's health....I could go on. I know. It sounds ridiculous. I was subjecting myself to a sort of mental torture, brought on by entertaining (instead of dismissing) thoughts of fear and anxiety. It nearly paralyzed me.

Isn't it amazing how easily we trust our own fears instead of the One who promises to cast them out with His love?

It reminds me of Peter, walking toward Jesus on the water, when all of a sudden he realized that he was....walking on the water! It's easy to encourage others and give advice, but when it comes to living it out, it is a difficult task. I found myself praying Philippians 4:6-7 about every 15 minutes. I quoted it in my last post, but I love the translation of verse 7 in my daughter's Bible. It says, "And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Peace which surpasses every thought....will guard my mind.

Oh, how I need His peace to guard my mind! I can't explain to you how much this Scripture has ministered to me over the last few days. I see my constant need to give everything to Him, including (and sometimes especially) my mind. Worry is so horrible, because while He promises strength during trials, He simply commands us not to worry. But even when my faith lacks so much, my loving God is willing to give me peace. He is willing, in spite of my weakness, to calm my spirit and remind me of His perfect love, which really does cast out fear.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Perfect Peace

Last week was a crazy busy week at our house. I spent lots of time getting out baby supplies and cleaning and organizing in preparation for the new arrival. Toward the end of the week, we had a visit from Ann, my good friend whom I hadn't seen in years! We had a great time catching up and reminiscing about old times. Then, over the weekend, we went on a camping trip (within an hour of the hospital of course!), and had a lot of fun, even though it was rainy the first night and really cold the second night. We had a heater and lots of blankets though, so we were toasty warm during the night.

I didn't have a picture of us camping, so I posted one of Jake as he helped clean the van after we got home, since he had kind of a hard time on our trip. Yesterday, after he'd spilled hot chocolate on his face (thankfully it was more on the warm side), he fell from the top of a six foot slide onto the ground. His fall was head first, but he landed on his back. It scared him, but he wasn't hurt a bit. We thanked his good friend Jesus for watching over him and protecting him, since a fall like that could have been a lot worse!! (By the way, that spot on his forehead is not a bruise, it's chocolate ice cream.)

Now, though, we are home, unpacked and looking forward to another busy week. The big delivery is scheduled for Wednesday, and while I am very excited, I also have a bit of anxiety. It's nothing crippling, just thoughts about how everything will go, and worries about things that could go wrong. Sometimes my mind is my worst enemy!!

But contrary to the way I used to be, I'm usually not that much of a worrier. There are just so many unknowns to me this time, and I have found myself becoming more and more anxious. So this morning, I laid it all out before the Father. I was comforted, first of all, by Romans 8:39, that there is nothing that can separate me from the love of my Father. It helped me to remember that even through all of my fears and worries, He loves me so much, and nothing can change that.

I also found comfort in the fact that He is so faithful, even when I am lacking faith, or at least having a hard time trusting. I know that He is trustworthy, and that no matter what happens in my life, He is totally in control. I find such great strength in being able to believe that promise without a doubt, keeping in mind the truth of Isaiah 26:3, "The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You." God really does bring such peace when I lay my anxieties before Him, and I thank Him for promises such as these.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything
by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made know to God.
And the peace of God,
which surpasses all comprehension,
will guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I had to have a talk with my girls today,
after which Emily started to tear up a little.
This was the exchange that took place next:

Ashlyn: Emily, are you crying?

Emily: No, my eyes are sweating!

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Desert

Have you ever felt like the Lord was being silent?

Every day (well, MOST every day), I get up, open the Word and pray for God to reveal His truth. There have been days when I felt like I was going to burst. God has taught me some wonderful things during our time together. But lately, I get up, open the Word, pray for God's truth to be revealed, and yet He seems so...silent.

It's not really that I'm not learning anything, it just seems that I'm not hearing things like I want to. I haven't had one of those "WOW!" moments lately. It's almost like I'm in a desert, which seems extraordinarily dry when you've been through the rivers too.

But, to use the title of an old Margaret Becker song, I can truly say "The Hunger Stays".

No matter what kind of phase I seem to be in, there is always a hunger for the truth. I know that God is there, even when I can't necessarily feel Him. Sometimes I wonder why God allows these times. Why does He make Himself obvious at times, and then at others He just seems so far away?

I have to believe that it's for our own good. It's like a type of workout for our faith in Him, because if it were all easy, all the time, then how would our faith grow?

Trials don't always come in the form of pain and suffering. A trial can actually be like an examination--an assessment. So when God seems "silent", He really isn't. He is just as present as always, doing what is best for us by helping us build our belief and faith in Him.

During these times, it can, at times, be harder to stay awake while reading in the mornings. And it's sometimes more difficult to be motivated to get up early (unless you are nine months pregnant and you wake up a lot anyway...hee hee). But I know that He is there. I know that my time spent alone with God is invaluable. I know that there will be more rivers. And I know that He is there, even in the desert.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Scary Stuff

Not too long ago, I was upstairs having school with the girls, when I heard Jacob, who was playing downstairs, scream a most horrible scream.

It was the kind of scream that prompted me to run straight to him because I recognized the fear in his voice.

I got to the top of the steps and could see him standing near the front door, his blanket up to his face, frozen with fear. Amidst the crying, he kept saying, "That 'care me! That 'care me!" I couldn't imagine what he'd seen!

I was a little nervous, because I thought that maybe he'd seen someone out the front door or something like that. I picked him up and tried to comfort him, cautiously peeking out the front door. Then he pointed to the window in the next room. I said, "Jacob, what scared you?"

He pointed out the window to my flower pot on the porch and said, "That!"

Pretty scary, huh? He still talks about it now, though he isn't afraid anymore. I think I'll just leave it there as a Halloween decoration, right next to the Jack-o-Lanterns.