Tuesday, June 14, 2011

She is my joy...

My Parker girl was born 1 year ago today.  How can that be?  Where did the year go?  It seems like I blinked and 12 months passed...

Parker is truly the light of my life.  She always has a smile and a laugh to go along with her silly antics!  She is crawling like a maniac and is walking along all the furniture.  She will stand by herself for quite a while, though no steps have been taken just yet.  I know once she walks, she'll be running all over the place :)  She knows the sign for "milk" and uses it every day.  She is finally holding her own bottle... which I know is pretty late... but for the longest time she was a diva about feeding and only wanted US to hold the bottle.  What a little stinker!  She also whistles now and is quite proud of that newly acquired skill.  She "sings" along to music sometimes while we're in the car.  She says "Mama", "Dada", "Baba" and a few other strange little sounds that I can't spell. :P  She loves being chased around the house and waits for you to crawl after her.  She loves to blow kisses to people and waves to everyone around when we're out and about.  One lady I met in a store said, "She should be a little beauty queen!"  Umm... no thanks.  Toddlers & Tiaras will NOT be part of her future. :P  But she is my princess, even if she doesn't enjoy wearing frilly dresses. :)  I should say that DADDY doesn't always like her to wear frilly dresses.  The only thing Parker doesn't like about them is how they hinder her ability to crawl quickly.  When she does crawl in a dress, there's a hitch in her movement... it's pretty hilarious!! :)

Shane & I have loved these last 12 months... though some moments stick out in our minds more than others.  We loved those first few minutes with her - just staring at those big blue eyes and wondering if we were really ready for all that lay ahead.  We loved the first time we heard her voice - even if it was a cry!  We loved the first time she slept through the night - it was at 7 weeks and we were THRILLED that we could get a full night's rest again.  We loved hearing her laugh for the first time... no better sound on earth!  I loved watching her dance with her daddy at my brother's wedding in Washington.  What a beautiful moment that was for me to witness.  We loved watching her eat that first bite of food - the faces she made were priceless!  We loved watching her sit up by herself for the first time - she was so proud of herself. :)  Hearing her say "Dada" is pretty amazing... though "Mama" was what I had been waiting for.  It might have taken her far longer to say it, but once I heard it, I loved her even more than I knew I could.  We don't get much cuddle time with Parker, as she just isn't one to sit still for that long.  But when she rests her head on our shoulders, all is right with the world.  And watching her crawl for the first time was such a fun moment!  We were all together at my parents' house and everyone was sitting in the family room as she made those first forward movements.  My mom has it on video, actually!

So many moments to love... and what a beautiful little girl God has blessed us with.  I pray that she grows to love Him deeply and fully, that she understands the sacrifice that He made for her on the cross.  I pray that her heart will break for others who are hurting, that she will want to make a difference in their lives.  I pray that she will always be so full of joy, that even in the darkest times, her heart will shine through.  But most of all I pray that she will always know that she is loved... not only by us, our family & friends, but by her Heavenly Father - the Author & Giver of Life.  Amen.

Monday, June 6, 2011

My daughter, the ham :)

Is anyone shocked by the fact that Parker is a little ham??  I'm certainly not. :)  She is definitely my child... when I was her age I always wanted to entertain people (and still do for that matter... though it's certainly not cute like it was when I was a baby!).  Parker is constantly making us laugh with all her shenanigans.  I'm grateful to have been blessed with such a joyful little girl -- I knew her middle name would speak the truth.  When we go places with her, whether she's in her stroller or perched in a shopping cart she loves to smile and wave at everyone in her path.  People laugh and say, "Look at that baby!  She's saying 'hi' to me!"  It's hilarious, I must admit. :)  I also got a call from my sister this morning letting me know that Parker is now whistling... WHAT?!?!  Yep - she has discovered how sucking in air between pursed lips produces a soft whistle.  My mom was doing this with her the other day, but I never actually heard it come from Parker's mouth.  So funny all the little things she does.  God is so gracious -- I pray that I never take His gift for granted.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I'm Baaaaaack

It's been SO long - and while I know I've said that before, I'm hoping this time will be the last time.  This will probably be rather long, perhaps a bit sad, and more of a stream of consciousness than anything else.  Let me preface this post by saying I've come to learn that writing is therapeutic for me.  I never really kept a journal, with the exception of the time in high school when my family vacationed in Australia.  My mom bought journals for me and my siblings and said, "You should write in this every day during our trip so you can look back and remember all the little details."  She literally asked EVERY day during the trip if we had journaled yet... and while it was forced on me and I was quite annoyed at the time, I'm actually thankful now to have those memories written down.

It's been quite an interesting journey for our little family of 3.  My amazing hubby is crazy busy pursuing a Doctorate of Chiropractic degree (and loving it!).  I am working a full-time job and while I can't say I'm always loving it, I can say that I'm thankful for it.  Our little girl is not so little anymore.  In two and a half weeks we will celebrate Parker's FIRST birthday... how can that be??!  It doesn't seem possible that time has gone by so quickly with her.  I always thought it was cliche when I heard people say that children grow up so fast - but I wholeheartedly agree now that I'm experiencing it.  Being a working mom is tough.  I feel as though I'm missing everything, and though my head tells me that's not true, my heart tells me otherwise.  She is changing everyday and learning new things.  She isn't quite walking yet, but she probably will be any day now.  Parker is a crawling maniac - curious about everything around her.  She is pretty much happy all the time... and during her first 6 weeks of life, I never thought I would ever be able to say that.  Those weeks were not my favorite, needless to say. :P  My sister is a rockstar and watches Parker 3 days a week.  Oh - and did I mention she has a little boy of her own, just 7 weeks younger than PJ??  Yes... you read that correctly, she is basically dealing with twins every other day.  I will never know how she does it, but I am forever grateful to her for the amazing gift she's given us by taking such good care of our sweet P.  My mom (who is also a rockstar!) watches Parker the other 2 days each week and is having a blast with her in between teaching and tutoring.  There is no greater blessing than to have our daughter raised by family.  I wish we lived closer to Shane's parents as well so they could take part in the weekly baby parade. :)  It isn't easy for us to head out of the house each day, knowing we'll only get maybe an hour or 2 together as a family, but this is the season we're in - and it is temporary.  I have to tell myself that every single day.

When we moved back "home" to New York, I think we assumed it would be far easier than it's been.  We were so excited to be close to family (which we ARE), as well as friends we've known for a long time.  The transition, however, has proven to be much more difficult.  While we were in Kentucky, life moved on for everyone back here.  I think we almost expected to waltz right back into friendships as if nothing had changed - as if they hadn't found anyone to fill our shoes.  Don't get me wrong - we still have those friendships... but they will never be the same and I am mourning that loss.  And while we were in Kentucky, we forged new relationships as well - ones that I pray will remain forever.  We miss those friends more than anything... doing life with them was one of the greatest honors of my life.  Moving back was like being in Seinfeld's bizarro world, or maybe more like the alternate 1985 in Back to the Future, Part II - everything first appeared to be the same, yet when we took a closer look... the world was completely different.  We are still trying to find our place in this "new world" - a world that doesn't offer much time for anything outside our daily routine.

I am happy to say that we've found a church where I've been able to plug in musically, and we're excited to get better connected to others and become more involved as we join our first small group there.  I have found that I am having to get used to the idea of being by myself more often... not for lack of others around me, but more due to the fact that those around me aren't like-minded.  This is the case at work - thus why it's been challenging to love it.  I am learning to lean more on God through all these things, though, and I know in my heart this is probably why He has us here for this time.  It's been so easy for me to keep Him in a little box and only pull Him out when things are tough.  I've led a very blessed life and I know I've taken those blessings for granted.  He is making me aware of my shortcomings as one of His followers, and it's a painful process... but one that I know will strengthen my love for Him - and that is my one true desire.

But through these tough times and moments of transition, as I look to the future and what my Heavenly Father has in store for us, I am filled with hope.  He is changing me, stretching me... I am called to be a light in this dark place.  I am privileged to be a child of the living God - and I need to walk in that truth with full conviction.  A song filled my heart about a month ago that continues to resonate in me this very moment...

(Audrey Assad & Matt Maher)

You dwell in the songs that we are singing
Rising to the heavens
Rising to Your heart, Your heart
Our praises filling up the spaces
In between our frailty
And everything You are, You are
The keeper of my heart

And I’m restless, I’m restless
Till I rest in You, till I rest in You
I am restless, I’m restless
Till I rest in You, till I rest in You, oh God.

Speak now, for my soul is listening
Say that You have saved me
Whisper in the dark, the dark
I know You’re more than my salvation
Without You I am hopeless
Tell me who You are, You are
The keeper of my heart

And I’m restless, I’m restless
Till I rest in You, till I rest in You
I am restless, I’m restless
Till I rest in You, till I rest in You, oh God

Still my heart, hold me close
Let me hear a still small voice
Let it grow, let it rise
Into a shout, into a cry

And I’m restless, I’m restless
Till I rest in You, till I rest in You
I am restless, so restless
Till I rest in You, till I rest in You, oh God

I am restless... but I am learning to rest in Him.  It is a daily decision and one that is still a struggle at times.  It's easy for me to dwell on the negative, rather than on all the amazing things He's already done - which is pretty crazy considering ALL He's done.  I want to be a grateful child who reflects His image.  I am a work in progress and each day He is stripping away the old selfish pieces.  I have a long way to go... but I'm refusing to go back.  Less of me and more of You, oh God... this is my prayer.   

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Jehovah Jireh

Wow... has it really been this long since I've posted??! Not like there are tons of people following this blog, but I thought I should probably get on here and share what's been happening over the past couple months. Life has changed completely for us - but in the best ways one can imagine! I will try to play catch-up a bit and go in order of events. This may take a while, or perhaps even a couple different posts. I'll give you the "Reader's Digest Version" as Shane often requests. Otherwise you'll be here for WAY too long!

Let me first share our "week of miracles" (as I've come to call it). The day of Shane's graduation from Asbury was Saturday, May 22nd. That Tuesday (May 25) he received official notice that he was accepted to New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls. Wednesday (May 26) my sister and her husband received a phone call that they'd been waiting months - in fact YEARS - for... a call about a baby they would be adopting! And then that Saturday (May 29) we sold our townhouse!!! All these things took place in a span of ONE WEEK. That Sunday I was leading worship at church and just could NOT contain my joy or my thankfulness to God for all He had done in that past week. Don't get me wrong - I am thankful every single day for His goodness, but all of those things packed into 1 week was nothing short of miraculous! We sang "Because of Who You Are" that morning and I want to share these words that spoke to my heart and inspired the title of this post: "Because of who You are I give You glory, because of who You are I give You praise, because of who You are I will lift my voice and say, 'Lord, I worship You because of who You are!' Jehovah Jireh, my Provider; Jehovah Nissi, Lord You reign in victory; Jehovah Shalom, my Prince of Peace - and I worship You because of who You are!" I could barely hold it together that Sunday morning... He has truly been our Provider in ways that I could never have fathomed. We had prayed for months that the house would sell, but with the market in rough shape, we truly didn't know if selling was the way that He would choose to answer that prayer. We trusted that He would provide an answer, and we actually had one prior to the sale of the house in the form of a renter who was coming to the seminary right after we were hoping to move back to NY. But He took that answer and bumped it up about 5 notches when he provided this buyer for the house. I just cried and cried when Shane called me to say, "WE SOLD THE HOUSE!" I was (and still am) in awe of how God has continually provided for us along the way. We serve an awesome Father! So with the sale of the house came the closing of that chapter of life in Kentucky. It was bittersweet as we made such wonderful friends during our time at Asbury, and those friends will stick with us forever. God is so good... I can't say it enough!

Now that Shane had graduated and the house had sold, all we had left to wait for was our little bundle of joy - Parker Joy, that is! :) She opted to come 5 days after her "estimated due date." She's like me... what can I say?! The delivery was long (which I will write about in a separate post), but I was able to do everything just how I wanted - no intervention and a completely natural childbirth without complications. Again... I can't say it enough, GOD IS GOOD! On Monday, June 14th, 2010 at 8:22pm, Parker Joy DeHaven came into this world weighing in at 7 pounds, 15 ounces, and 20 inches long. Jehovah Jireh, my Provider. My world changed the moment I saw my daughter. Watching the video (yes... I have video!) is always emotional for me. I kept saying, "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!" and, "Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus!" after I held her in my arms. There is no greater experience in life and words cannot express the fullness in my heart that occurred when I held her in my arms. It's amazing to me how God opens your heart in ways you could never imagine after having a child. I never knew I could love someone that much or so immediately, nor did I realize that I could love Shane more than I already do! When Parker was born, I believe that a new part of my heart was laid bare - one that I never knew existed. I love more deeply now than ever before, and I am humbled that God has chosen me to be a mother to this beautiful little girl. Jehovah Jireh, MY PROVIDER!!! Pictures still to come...