Saturday, August 30, 2008

Devotions began like any other night...

We sang a few hymns, then got into our cathechism questions...

Haddon, who made you?


Gideon, what else did God make?

God made all things.

Nolan, why did God make you and all things?

For His own glory.

How many Gods are there?

Nolan piped up...ONE!

And how many persons are there in that one God?

Nolan answered again...THREE!

And who are they?

Nolan again...The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost!

Before John could ask another question...Nolan added...

And I LOVE those guys!!

And the golfing begins....

It didn't take long to begin playing with Gideon's birthday gift from Gramma and Grampa!

Of course, I had to add one of Paysie...she was in a milk daze...

Gideon's Birthday Package!

Friday, August 29, 2008

The first bath, the first dress

Okay, so it was only a sponge bath. I had been waiting as long as I could to give her a bath. My girl never spits up and it's never good to give a new baby too many baths. I don't want her to dry out! This was a few days ago. And let me say...Gideon is so in love with his sister, and he was such a helper! I can already tell that there is going to be a very special bond between Paysie and her big brother :)

Her cord still has yet to fall off...I don't think her brother's ever took this long. She came into this world being stubborn...why would this be any different?

Here she is before:


and after:

Paysie also wanted to share with you all how cute she looks today in her little patchwork capris. I don't think I will ever get tired of pink!

And the dress...I wanted to see how it would fit on her. She wasn't really in the mood for a fashion show, but being a girl is never painless, right? I held off putting her in a dress because they were just too big. I don't have that much for her at her current size...but I just couldn't resist. I'm thinking she'll be wearing this on Sunday to church :)

Not long now...

Welcome to the World, Trig Paxson Van Palin

by Al Mohler
Posted: Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A little boy with an extra chromosome was born on April 18. His name is Trig Paxson Van Palin and his new home is the Alaska Governor's Mansion in Juneau. His mom is Governor Sarah Palin, who along with her husband Todd, has welcomed Trig as their second son and fifth child.

Governor Palin has already made a mark on the political scene. A high school basketball star and beauty queen, she was elected Alaska's governor in 2006. She is often mentioned as a potential running mate for Sen. John McCain. The Palins' other children include Track, their oldest son, who now serves in the U.S. Army. They also have three daughters, Bristol, Willow, and Piper.

Trig made news long before he was born, as Alaska's citizens learned that their governor was pregnant. Then, for the Palins, the story got more complicated.

This past December, Sarah Palin was told that her baby was likely to have Down syndrome -- just one extra chromosome.

As the Associated Press reports:

The doctor's announcement in December, when Palin was four months pregnant, presented her with a possible life- and career-changing development.

"I've never had problems with my other pregnancies, so I was shocked," said Palin.

"It took a while to open up the book that the doctor gave me about children with Down syndrome, and a while to log on to the Web site and start reading facts about the situation."

When he was told, Todd Palin quickly said, "We shouldn't be asking, 'Why us?' We should be saying, 'Well, why not us?'"

The Palins never considered aborting the baby. That means that Trig Palin is now is a very rare group of very special children, because it is now believed that the vast majority of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome before birth are being aborted.

Modern diagnostic tests are driving a "search and destroy mission" to eliminate babies judged to be inferior, disabled, or deformed. Some experts now believe that up to 90 percent of all pregnancies diagnosed as having a likelihood of Down syndrome end in abortion.

Back in 2005, ethicist George Neumayr commented: "Each year in America fewer and fewer disabled infants are born. The reason is eugenic abortion. Doctors and their patients use prenatal technology to screen unborn children for disabilities, then they use that information to abort a high percentage of them. Without much scrutiny or debate, a eugenics designed to weed out the disabled has become commonplace."

The Palins would not even consider aborting their baby. "We've both been very vocal about being pro-life," Governor Palin said. "We understand that every innocent life has wonderful potential."

She loves her baby boy and is proud of him. "I'm looking at him right now, and I see perfection," Palin told the Associated Press. "Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?"

Some ethicists now go so far as to argue for a "duty" to abort a baby with a Down diagnosis. This is an assault upon the dignity of every human being. The fact that so few Down syndrome babies now make it to birth is a sign that America is making its own pact with the Culture of Death.

Trig Paxson Van Palin has an extra chromosome, two proud and loving parents, four very happy siblings, and he will bring his own joy to untold numbers of lives.

He will face some unique challenges, but he has a loving family who will face those with him. They will learn together the wonder and beauty of a Down syndrome child and will learn to see the glory of God in his trusting face.

Mothers Day 2008 is certain to be a special day in the Alaska Governor's Mansion. What an unspeakable tragedy that so many other homes will have aborted that joy.

Welcome to the world, Trig Paxson Van Palin. Your very existence defies the Culture of Death and gives us all hope.

I guess I'm not a cool, young evangelical either....

I came upon this blog post the other day that had me nodding my head. Take a really puts into words the way I feel about the whole Obama craze....especially among the young evangelical audience.

Man, I wish I could be cool. I try hard. I've done all the "cool" and "hip" stuff, that you're "supposed" to do to be "in", like playing the slide-whistle, collecting stamp mint sets, going for the "slam" a lot during ping-pong -- all that stuff.

But I'm not cool. Like, ever.

Further evidence: As much as I want to be one of these hip evangelicals I keep reading about, I won't be voting for Barack Obama.

Believe me, I'd like to. A) He's a black guy -- did you know that?, and B) He's from Illinois, like I am, and C) I don't like anyone else running, and then there's D) If the evangelical culture tells me to zig, well, I'd rather zag, thanks.

I won't be zagging here. You see, Obama's arguments on abortion are patently illogical, anti-science, morally reprehensible, and there you have it.

The cool thing to do here is say, "Well, that's simplistic. There are so many other issues!" -- as though the acknowledgment of a hierarchy of issues is simplism.

He denies human rights to millions of vulnerable children -- wups, let's use the Latin for child here to maintain the veneer -- fetuses, and so I won't press the Obama button.

(Wish I were Warren: "Yes, we can know when life begins, Mr. Obama. That argument's ended quite awhile ago. And yes, even if you're still unsure -- Is that a human in the bushes, or an animal? I'll shoot first! -- we still might summon the will to protect those born alive. Too bad you didn't, and you remain one of the very, very few, even among pro-choicers, who won't.")

No offense, Obama-supporters. I know the compelling arguments (But...Iraq, But...Bush sucks, But...presidents don't really matter on this issue, But...Sojourners says what about global warming,'s just so complicated, etc.) and I might agree with you on many things. But this is a non-starter.

I lose cool points...again. I know, I know: Me and Pat Robertson, in lock-step, and so on, and it's time we matured past this issue, and so forth, and me and James Dobson, and religious right doesn't speak for eveyrone, and what about social justice and etc. I know. I hear you. Again. Loud and clear.

And you're right -- it's not the only issue, not even close.

It's just the most basic one.
Letters from Kamp Krusty

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"I just don't know how you do it"

I hear this a lot.

To which I usually reply...You just DO it.

It's not as though I've got some hidden secret powers that I can pull out when I most need nice as that would be!

It all comes down to God's grace.

If there is one thing that having 5 children has taught me, it's that my needs are least most of the time. If I have a crying baby or a fussy toddler, blow drying my hair somehow doesn't seem quite so important anymore.

I have found that it is nearly impossible to be lazy and procrastinate if I am to run my household well. When there is opportunity to throw in a load of laundry or put the dishes away, I need to take full advantage of those brief moments when all is calm. As any mom of a newborn knows...that calmness can quickly turn into quite a storm in a matter of seconds!

It is still tempting to just want to sit and relax and not do the things that need to be done. As a human with many faults, I often feel like I am entitled to be selfish, that I somehow deserve more than I really do. That it's perfectly fine to ignore the tasks at hand and blame it on how tired I might be or that the kids just wouldn't allow me to get even the smallest thing done. This is sometimes the case, but more often than not, it's because I have not managed my time well. Whether you have children or not, I think we all have issues with procrastination and time management!

I feel like I have truly been blessed to have such a full house. There are days when I feel as though I am barely surviving and that a good day means all the kids are dressed, fed, and happy. When someone says to me "I just don't know how you do it!", I feel like it is a great compliment. What they don't see is the daily struggle and full reliance on God that enables me to run my household well.

From the outside, it may look like we've got it all together. Thankfully, it isn't me holding it all together.

There but by the grace of God go I.
-John Bradford

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Have you ever seen a happier big brother?

or a more content little girl?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Paysie's Hospital Pictures

Here are a few of my can check them all out on my flickr!

Where did you get the name Payson?

I get asked this question quite often, now that Paysie has arrived. If you are wondering, check out this post for an explanation. I wrote it before we knew if it was a boy or a girl.

I enjoy telling people where her name comes from. It opens the door a bit to a discussion that might not have been opened otherwise!

Although John has an idea....

The next ime someone asks him where her name comes from, this will be his reply:

"Well, we're big Tennessee Volunteer and Indianapolis Colts we named her after Payson Manning." (fyi: we aren't Colts fans)

Do you think he'll get corrected?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Party at Paysie's 2:30am

My girl enjoys her sleep.

She has her moments of awake time and is very alert....but a girl needs her beauty sleep!

I wake her every 2-3 hours during the day to eat and get a diaper change, unless she wakes up before that.

We go to bed at the same time and wake at the same time, or rather, she wakes me.

The nursing begins, another diaper change, switch sides...fill up. Sleep.

Then the clock says 2:30am.

Paysie awakens. She doesn't really want to eat. Her diaper is clean. She just wants to be held and loved for about 30 minutes. Then she is more than happy to laid back down, next to mommy's bed.

If anyone else happens to be awake at 2:30am...come and join us!

RSVP's aren't necessary!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The mystery of the doll

I never see how it happens...but someone, somewhere does not want Paysie to be without her doll. It seems to keep reappearing by her side all day long.

I think his name starts with a 'G'...

For Gramma and Grampa in Maine

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We are home!

I always feel like I'm somehow taking advantage of the nurses by having them wait on me after I have a child. I'm always anxious to get home! (Plus, the food there really isn't all that great.)

Here's the lowdown on Paysie's birth....

I was nervous about being induced. I was so afraid that it would create a long drawn out labor. I had already made the decision (like I have three times before) to not get any pain medication...the unknown was worrying me. Little did I know, I had nothing to worry about!

We arrived at the hospital at 10pm. The nurses came in around 11:30 to fill out paperwork and get me prepped. I changed into my beautiful hospital gown, and around midnight, I got my IV.

They started me on a really low pitocin drip. Nothing really started happening, and I slept most of the early morning hours away.

Around 5:30am, one of the nurses came in and checked me to see if anything had changed. NOPE! Still at 2cm. She doubled the pitocin.

At 6am, I started having some contractions, but I was still able to sleep through them, so they weren't regular or strong yet.

At 6:30am, she doubled it again. At this point, they picked up and were getting fairly regular, even though the intensity wasn't there yet. Slowly but surely, the intensity began to grow.

My Dr stuck his head in the room at 8:00am to see I was doing...I don't think he realized how quickly he would have to make his return.

By 9am I had to concentrate. The contractions were coming about every minute and a half and my breathing was noticeably deeper each time a new one started. John was great at holding my hand and talking me through the contractions.

At this point, they still hadn't checked me since 5:30am. I could tell they started to really do something, and I was getting a little worried that I had no idea how far along I was!

9:35am...the contractions drastically CHANGED! I started to feel pressure and had John call a nurse. I laid there, unable to push the nurses call button on my own. I had no energy to tell John where it was. Instead, I just kept repeating myself...GET A NURSE! GET A NURSE!

He ran into the hallway and the nurse quickly put on gloves and checked me.

I was at 4cm and the baby was moving!

John reminded her that when I hit 5cms, things just seem to happen QUICKLY! She began to get things ready.

I wasn't panicking, but in the midst of my constant contractions, I was getting worried. There was no bassinet in the room. I hadn't seen my Dr in a few hours. It was still just John and I, alone in the room...and I could feel that with each long, intense contraction....I was getting closer and closer to delivery.

I was getting so hot, I asked John to get me a cold face cloth for my forehead. He ran across the room to find one, as I laid there mumbling that if he couldn't find one to just get a nurse...but that I needed that facecloth!

At 9:45, I felt a POP! My water broke! I told John...GET A NURSE NOW!!! MY WATER BROKE! He ran down the hall...nurses came running. They checked me, and I was at 8cm. I knew that on the next contraction, I would NEED to push!

It's amazing how quickly nurses can get a room ready for delivery. I've seen this scurrying before...the LAST time I gave birth. You would think they would believe me by now, when I say I have fast labors!

I laid there moaning, repeating my mantra...I need to push now, I need to push now.

But the Dr wasn't there yet! They kept telling me to breathe...all while they are pulling the bed apart, still getting the necessary equipment in there for delivery!

In comes my Dr...out of breath. He had to literally run across the parking lot directly to my room. He suited up as I began pushing. He had his intern with him...and I allowed 2 Dr's who are on an OB rotation to sit in on the birth too.

I pushed once....felt the baby coming...and they told me to slow down.

One more push...the head is out....they told me to stop pushing and to control the urge to get her out.

That seemed like more slow, controlled push and out came the shoulders and the rest of my little girl.

She was already pink and crying. The pain relief was so immediate and satisfying...the time was 10:07am.

As soon as they did a quick once over and made sure she was okay...they swaddled her up and gave her to me to nurse. She latched on immediately, and she hasn't stopped since!

My recovery is going great...I had no tearing or delivery problems, so I feel better than I have in months!

Paysie weighed in at 8lbs3oz and 20 inches long. When they weighed her this morning, she had only lost 2 ounces...which is great! She loves to nurse and loves to poop...the best of both worlds!

I want to thank you all for your prayers...they were definitely felt :)

My boys came to meet her yesterday and were just beside themselves. They kept saying how cute she is and how they can't wait to have her at home.

Here I sit, mother of five...and can scarcely believe it! My house is filled with children, and I can't imagine my life any other cup is definitely overflowing!

Monday, August 18, 2008

More Pictures & Stats

8lbs. 3 oz.....20 inches. I seriously thought she was longer. So did the nurse. She seems to have long legs.

Payson Deborah Jordan

Payson was born at 10:07 a.m. It was a pretty intense 30-45 minutes. More details to come.

8:35 a.m.....

Things are getting more intense...

7:50 a.m.....

Not really any changes since the last post. The Dr. just came in briefly. I'm hoping that this isn't going to be a long day. Early on, the nurse informed us that our dr. doesn't like to break the water. I think this kinda aggravates Shannon.

6:20 a.m....

Over the past hour, they've been increasing the pitocin. I've been sleeping on and off over the last few hours. Shannon just told me that I better start staying awake. Contractions are getting closer together and they are starting to increase in intensity although she hasn't complained yet.

3:00 a.m....

Shannon is doing very well. They started her pitocin drip about 1 a.m. They also checked her and they said she was still at 2cm. The low pitocin drip is doing something. The contractions started and they are fairly regular, but they don't seem to be too painful yet. The plan is to probably up the pitocin drip sometime after 5 a.m.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


About 15 minutes ago, we saw a nurse for the first time since coming in. For some reason, they weren't able to start anything until midnight. I'm assuming it's an insurance issue. Anyway, things should get started soon now. Doesn't she look excited?

O.K. Here we are....

This is Shannon's husband, John. I will be the guest blogger for the next day or so as Shannon has our little baby girl, Payson Deborah.
We just arrived at the hospital about 15 minutes ago. We just finished a good dinner at Fatz Cafe, and a little shopping at Walmart. The nurses basically told us that they weren't going to start anything for a couple more hours, so right now, we are just sitting here in the room, watching the Olympics.

Friday, August 15, 2008

A conversation

The other morning at Walmart, we parked next to an ambulance. The kids were interested in it and this is the conversation that took place as we walked into the store...

Nolan: "Gideon, when I have my own ambulance company and you break your neck or your leg, you can call me, and I will come and get you."

Gideon: "Okay, Nolan."

[Gideon then pretends he has a broken leg and picks up an invisible telephone]

Gideon: "Hello...Nolan? I have a broken leg, can you come and get me?"

Nolan [shaking his head]: "Gideon, you can't call me right now, I don't have an ambulance company yet!"

Life with Obama

Abortion champion.

By David Freddoso

The tiny newborn baby made very little noise as he struggled to breathe. He lacked the strength to cry. He had been born four months premature.

“At that age,” says nurse Jill Stanek, “their lungs haven’t matured.”

Stanek is the nurse who found herself cradling this baby in her hands for all of his 45-minute lifetime. He was close to ten inches long and weighed perhaps half a pound. It’s just a guess — no one had weighed or measured him at birth. No happy family had been there to welcome him into the world. No one was trying to save his life now, putting him into an incubator, giving him oxygen or nourishment. He had just been left to die.

Stanek had seen it all happen. That family had wanted a baby, but when they learned that theirs would be born with Down syndrome, they wanted an abortion. For that, they went to Christ Hospital in the southwestern suburbs of Chicago, which is affiliated with the United Church of Christ.

In “induced labor” or “prostaglandin” abortion — a common procedure at the hospital — the doctor administers drugs that dilate the mother’s cervix and induce contractions, forcing a small baby out of the mother’s uterus. Most of the time, the baby dies in utero, killed by the force of the violent contractions. But it does not always work. Such abortions sometimes result in a premature baby being born alive. Sometimes the survivors live for just a few minutes, but sometimes for several hours. No one tried to save or treat them — it is hard to save someone you just mauled trying to kill. But something had to be done with them for the minutes and hours during which they struggled for air.

Stanek says her friend had been told to take this baby and leave him in a soiled utility closet. She offered to take him instead. “I couldn’t let him die alone,” she says.

Stanek was horrified by this experience. This was not an abortion — it was something worse. Could it be legal to take a living and breathing person of any size, already born and outside his mother’s womb, and just leave him to die, without any thought of treatment?

Hospital officials dismissed Stanek’s concerns. She then approached the Republican attorney general of Illinois, Jim Ryan, who issued a finding several months later that Christ Hospital was doing nothing illegal under the laws of Illinois. Doctors had no ethical or legal obligation to treat these premature babies. They had passed the bright line of birth that had effectively limited the right to life since the Roe v. Wade decision, but under the law they were non-persons.

Stanek’s effort to right this wrong would lead her to testify before various committees. It would lead her to a state senator, Patrick O’Malley, who would propose a bill to stop what was going on at the hospital.

Her attempt to change a corrupt medical practice and bring hope to defenseless infants would put her on a collision course with a state senator named Barack Obama.

On March 30, 2001, Obama was the only senator to speak in opposition to a bill that would have banned the practice of leaving premature abortion survivors to die. The bill, SB 1095, was carefully limited, its language unambiguous. It applied only to premature babies, already born alive. It stated simply that under Illinois law, “the words ‘person,’ ‘human being,’ ‘child,’ and ‘individual’ include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development.”

You can read the whole article here.

It's disturbing that there is a large amount of young evangelicals, willing to look past such things as this, all for the sake of promised change.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

There is an end in sight

I had my last Dr's appointment today. He is recommending induction, and I am more than ready to have this baby. If I don't go into labor on my own by Sunday, we are showing up at Labor and Delivery, bag in hand, at 10pm. Induction will start at midnight.

I have never had to be induced and the thought of it is a little scary for me because I really really really want to go into labor on my own. My Dr eased my fears a bit, making sure I knew that since my body has done this four times already, and since I am already dilated, it shouldn't take much to kick labor into gear. The unknown is still the unknown though.

So, I am asking for prayers. Prayers that I rely on God in this matter. I seem to want to be able to control so much...and it has never really been in my hands. He knows what will happen, and I am taking comfort in that.

It is nice to know that my little girl will be born within the next FOUR days! I can so deal with that.

Party Pictures

We had a small party for Gideon last night....complete with Popeye pizza (spinach) and pepperoni!

He was very you can see! He wanted a golf birthday cake...and the best I could do was a golf tee and a golf ball. He thought that was perfect!

One of his gifts was a harmonica...and you can't have a harmonica and not go camping, right? This is what he's been playing this morning:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Happy 5th Birthday Gideon!

My little man is FIVE!

You are so excited to have mommy start teaching you when school starts! My newest Kindergartener :)

You woke up this morning talking about birthdays and balloons. You chose caramel chocolate cake and caramel ice cream for your party!

You were born in the wee hours of the morning after a very quick delivery. I can still remember holding you in the dimness of our hospital room, rocking you, as you slept on my chest. I remember your smallness and your sweetness.

I love watching you grow and learn. You are always full of surprises and there is never a dull moment when you around.

I love watching you sing hymns to Jesus...and I love hearing you sing your loudest "Holy Holy Holy". It doesn't even matter if you don't know all the words...cause you just want to sing!

I love you my Gideon, and mommy couldn't imagine her life without you in it! I thank God for you every day. I pray that through the working of the Holy Spirit, your heart be transformed by His grace.

You are a very special boy, and I hope you enjoy your special day today!

Favorite food? cheese
Favorite ice cream? chocolate marshmallow
Favorite toy? Anything Nerf
Favorite movie? Alvin and the Chipmunks
Favorite hymn? Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus
Favorite story? "I don't like stories"
Favorite color? green
Favorite team? Reds
Favorite sport to play? baseball
Favorite drink? Root Beer
Favorite place to go? Ingles

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Holy Folks

The kids and I went walking around a local strip mall this morning, and we always stop in this little local toy store called Bear & Friends. The kids love going in there, playing with their trains and puppets. It's a neat little store!

This was the first time I came across Holy Folks. There was only one random Jesus sitting on a shelf, halo and all.

"Always Faithful, Always Smiling, Play and Pray with us!"

I was turned off by the whole thing. It feels like there is some definite reverence lost, and I know that I would not want my kids playing with a Jesus doll. I can only imagine the role playing that would happen between Jesus and Spiderman, and that in itself is enough for me to pass this toy by!

Monday, August 11, 2008

40+ week appt

I had an ultrasound this morning to check the fluid, the movement, and the baby's weight.

She is most definitely a SHE...and I've got the 3D picture to prove it!

I saw her practicing breathing, her hands and feet...among other things :) Fluid checked out great and movement was what they expect at this point.

Her estimated weight (which is usually a higher estimate than it really is) was 9 pounds 1 ounce. Eek! She should be at least 8 pounds, so that I can handle! Dr said that the baby probably isn't quite a nine pounder, but by no means will she be a small baby.

He asked me how long I wanted to be pregnant for...and I told him that I really didn't want to be induced and wanted to go into labor on my matter how uncomfortable I am. He agrees and says we can talk about it if I make it to my next appt.

He checked me, and my cervix has really thinned out, and I am now at 2cm. It's nice to know that something is going on...and I really doubt I'll make it to my next appt.

John will be blogging for me, when I am in labor...which if it is anything like my past labors....will be short and intense.

Keep those labor thoughts coming!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Spectacular Sins

You can now preorder John Piper's new book Spectacular Sins for just $5!

Here is the write up on it:
What does the fall of Satan reveal about Christ’s glory? How does Adam’s sin magnify our Lord? How does the glory of Jesus shine through in Judas’ betrayal? How is the honor of Jesus at stake in the sin and evil, the suffering and the calamities and the wickedness, which abound in the world today? In this book John Piper seeks to provide a biblical perspective on God’s sovereign and righteous governance over even the sinful acts of men. History’s greatest sins do not thwart God’s purposes to save his people and glorify his Son; they fulfill them. And being grounded in this hope is the key to “Christ-exalting strength in calamity and Christ-exalting courage in conflict.”

John Piper also had a recent entry that has to do with this book:

Thoughts On Why Everything Exists

One of the main points of the forthcoming book Spectacular Sins and Their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ is that sin and God’s wrath against it were part of God’s plan when he created the world. This is different from saying that God sins or that he approves of sinning.

The main reason for making this point is to exalt the revelation of God’s grace in the crucifixion of Jesus to the highest place. This is the point of the universe—the glorification of the grace of God in the apex of its expression in the death of Jesus.

Jesus died for sin (1 Corinthians 15:3). The death of Jesus for sin was planned before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8; Ephesians 1:4-6). Therefore, sin was part of the plan. God carries this plan through in a way that maintains full human accountability, full hatred for sin, full divine justice, and full saving love for all who trust Christ. And we don’t need to know how he does it to believe it and rest in it and worship him for it.

This morning I was meditating for my devotions on Ezra 8 and 9. I saw there another pointer to the truth of God’s planning for human sin and divine wrath.

In Ezra 8:22, Ezra says, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and his power and his wrath are against all who forsake him.” This text leads me to ask: Did God know before creation that his creatures would “forsake him.” Yes, he did. The plan for their redemption was in place before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:3-6).

Was Ezra 8:22 true before the foundation of the world? Yes, it was. God did not become holy and just after creation. He has always been holy and just. “His power and his wrath are against all who forsake him” because this is, and always has been, the holy and just thing for God to do.

Therefore, since God knew that his creatures would forsake him, he also knew that his power and wrath would be against them. Therefore, this was part of his plan. He created the world knowing that sin would happen and that he would respond as Ezra 8:22 says he does.

This planning is what Paul means in Romans 9:22 when he says that God was “desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power. . .” And if you ask Paul why God would go forward with this plan, his most ultimate answer is in the next verse: “in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy” (Romans 9:23).

God knew that the revelation of his wrath and power against sin would make the riches of his glory shine all the brighter and taste all the sweeter for the vessels of mercy.

“The riches of his glory” are the riches we inherit when we see his glory in all the fullness that we can bear (Ephesians 1:18) and are transformed by it (Romans 8:30; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 John 3:2). These riches of glory reach their supreme height of wonder and beauty in the death of Jesus as he bore the condemnation of God’s wrath and power in our place (Romans 8:3; Galatians 3:13).

In other words, God’s plan that there be sin and wrath in the universe was ultimately to bring about “the praise of the glory of his grace” in the death of Christ (Ephesians 1:6). What is at stake in the sovereignty of God over sin is the ultimate aim of the universe, namely, the exaltation of the Son of God in the greatest act of wrath-removing, sin-forgiving, justice-vindicating grace that ever was or ever could be. The praise of the glory of God’s grace in the death of Christ for sinners is the ultimate end of all things.

Christ is the aim of all things. When Paul says, “All things were created . . . for him” (Colossians 1:16), he means that the entire universe and all the events in it serve to glorify Jesus Christ. May the meditations of our hearts take us ever deeper into this mystery. And may the words of our mouths and the actions of our hands serve to magnify the infinite worth of Jesus and his death. This is why we exist.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Officially Overdue

My due date has come and gone. When I came to my blog this morning, I saw that my ticker was saying that the baby was one day old. No, you didn't miss I removed them.

When I spoke to my parents last night, after I reassured them that NO, IT'S NOT TWINS (ha ha), they gave me their predictions. Considering that my largest baby to date was 8lbs1oz, I think they have overestimated (hopefully!).

Here's some background...Nolan was 6lbs11oz, 21"...Gideon was 7lbs6oz, 19.5"...Haddon was 8lbs1oz, 20.5"...and Jamison was 8lbs even, 20" long.

I predict: 8lbs6oz and 21" long.
John predicts: 6lbs10oz and 20" long.
My dad predicts: 9lbs3oz and 21.5" long.
My mom predicts: 9lbs5oz and 22" long.

Feel free to add your own...

Friday, August 8, 2008

For mom

A quote

As I brushed my teeth the other night, I said to John:

"You know, having a belly this huge really makes my butt look small."

Happy Due Date to me...

Happy Due Date to me...
Happy Due Date to Shannon...
Happy Due Date to me!


The first words out of Nolan and Gideon's mouths this morning were:
"Where is Grammy and why are you here and why isn't baby Payson here yet?"

If I only knew.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

More on The Shack....

Tim Challies recently wrote another piece on The Shack by William Young, titled Open Mind, Closed Bible.

He makes some great points (again!) and warns readers that though the book may not be directly on Systematic Theology...the very fact that it talks about God and contradicts the Bible...that it is in fact Theological Fiction.

I highly recommend reading his follow-up.

If you missed his review, you can read it here.

One day left

Every morning, my Gideon wakes up announcing how many days until Payson arrives. You see, they check my blog daily to see the number go down.

Today, he excitedly announced there was one day left and that tomorrow they get to come visit me in the hospital and go to the big playground at McDonalds that is close-by.

I'm not sure if they are more excited to go to the playground or to visit me...but nonetheless...I sincerely hope they are right!

Also, today is my dad's birthday...Happy Birthday Dad! I know you really wanted your newest grandchild to be born on your birthday, and so far, it doesn't look like that's going to happen. We've got 13 hours until the date keep on hoping and praying for labor!

Doctor's appt is at 1:15...wouldn't it be great if labor began while I was right there? lol Wishful thinking, I know!

Update after Dr's appt:
Not much change...which is normal for me. When labor starts, it really starts and goes fast, so that's one thing to look forward to. They want to check the size of the baby, so if I make it to my appt on Monday, I get another ultrasound. I would rather meet my baby....but it gives me something to look ahead to.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The pettiness of a pregnant woman

Over the past few weeks, I will confess that my patience has been tried. Instead of approaching life's situations in a manner that would be glorifying to God, I have allowed my uncomfort and tiredness to get the best of me. Yes, my due date is in 2 days in my 5th fullterm pregnancy, but that is no excuse for the sin that has been so obvious day in and day out, especially over the last couple of weeks.

I feel like my life has been at a stand still. I haven't been enjoying these last few days of pregnancy. My life has instead, turned into 24 hours a day of just wanting it over with. I feel like I am just going through the motions of daily life and the joy that should be present, has least until our newest addition arrives.

Then something happens that brings it all into perspective.

You see, I should be thanking God for my condition. There are so many women who long to be in the last weeks of a pregnancy. They long for the discomfort. They long for the movements, the stretchmarks, the labor pains...and yet, for some unknown reason, it seems unreachable.

Today, I read about more loss. The faith that God provides in times like these is amazing and unwavering. To see it being played out in someone's life only strengthens my own. We don't always have the answers, but knowing Who is in control brings us that much more comfort.

Yet, here I still sit...with my next complaint already forming in my mind about my current pregnant condition. My impatience ready to pounce on the closest listening ear. How I pray that I can enjoy these last moments of having my baby girl all to myself. That I would treasure each movement, each hiccup, each ache and pain....and realize that anything I am feeling right now, is nothing compared to the the pain that is associated with the loss of a child...a unique pain that I have experienced three times over and hope to never know again.

I pray that my pettiness disappears, and I begin to enjoy where I am right now. To not look ahead at what tomorrow might bring, but at what I have right here. These four precious boys, a loving husband, and a baby girl, yet to be seen.

Thank you Lord for what I have today...and please prepare me for the future and the unknown. Take away my pettiness, my impatience and my idols. Prepare me for the pain that is soon to come and the joy that will soon follow.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Pg update #1,462,546

I went in today for a blood pressure check and all is well! Last week must have been a fluke, since today it measured 110/70...which is amazing after the morning I had here before I left!

Here I am at 39 weeks :)

I have never felt quite as restless and ready to go as I do right now. I am just sooo done! Let's hope that Paysie arrives sometime soon...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

From the mouths of babes

I asked Gideon this morning what we should do today.

He responded:
"How about you go to the hospital and have baby Payson?"

Sounds like a good plan to me...though it's really not up to me!