A Letter To Israel

April 14, 2015

 

Remember these things, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are my servant; I formed you; you are my servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.  I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.  Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it; shout, O depths of the earth; break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it!  For the Lord has redeemed Jacob, and will be glorified in Israel.  Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb; I am the Lord, who made all things, who spread out the earth by myself, who frustrates the signs of liars and makes fools of diviners, who turns wise men back and makes their knowledge foolish, who confirms the word of his servant and fulfills the counsel of his messengers, who says of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be inhabited’, and of the cities of Judah, ‘They shall be built, and I will raise up their ruins’; who says to the deep, ‘Be dry; I will dry up your rivers’; who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd, and he shall fulfill all my purpose’; saying of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be built’, and of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’”     -Isaiah 44:21-28

 

To Israel, my firstborn son:          

            I read these verses in my time with the Lord this morning, and I wanted to pen them specifically for you.  Just as the Lord spoke of the nation of Israel, I pray He would accomplish in you.  I pray that you, Israel, whom I already love more than anybody, except mom of course J, would turn to the Lord early in your life and glorify Him with all that is within you.       

Though we are still waiting on your physical birth, I want you to know that mom and I are already praying for your spiritual birth.  The world has not met you yet, but the Lord our God already knows everything about you and who you will be.  After all, He is forming you as we speak!  How awesome is our God, the God of Israel!  None shall prevail against Him!         

It is so neat to have felt you kicking, punching, and turning inside of mom for months now.  Even if it doesn’t always feel the best for mom, I know the joy you bring makes it up for her. J         

I pray that you will continue to grow, in stature, in knowledge, and in wisdom, true wisdom, that is from the Lord.  And know that I love you son and I always will, no matter what.  I will say it again… I love you Israel!  -Your daddy

 

 

 

“I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.” –Psalm 18:1-3

Being a student midwife myself, I have seen lots of “my mamas” thru pregnancy, labor and delivery, and experienced the joy of new life time and time again! That being said, I’ve also seen when things don’t go as planned and what to do when complications arise. Throughout my pregnancy, I’ve had several times where worry and anxiety come as I anticipate the soon arrival of our little man. When I’m feeling scared about the unknowns of birth, I talk with my sweet hubby, Derick, and he always encourages me by speaking God’s truth from the bible and/or praying and asking God to give me peace!

A few weeks ago, God gave me a renewed sense of His peace and joy as I was reading the bible and praying one morning. There are so many uplifting verses, “what time I am afraid, I will trust in you.” (Ps. 56:3-5)…and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7)…”He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.” (Isaiah 40:29)…”Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Ps. 23:4). During my pregnancy, we have taken these inspiring verses (and more!) and created an “Inspirational Board” to have on hand during labor. The board is plastered with 3x5 cards full of bible verses, as well as inspirational quotes and song lyrics handwritten in different colored inks.

I am 39 weeks pregnant now and feeling great! We finished our childbirth classes back in December (Bradley Method, Husband Coached childbirth), and recently had our home visit with our midwives to make sure everything is in order for delivering “Baby Dilly” here at home. Derick is the most supportive hubby one could dream of and has enjoyed getting all the birth and baby things ready to go; the birth pool is set up, the car seat base is in the car, etc. He helps me with my daily pregnancy exercises we learned in childbirth class and also makes sure I’m getting all the nutrients I need by calculating my daily protein intake at the end of the day. We pray for our little guy every day, and then together in the evenings we sing, “Jesus Loves Me,” to him!

As I mentioned, we are planning to have the baby here at home. We have both our homebirth and backup hospital plan hospital plans ready to go! Although I’m not sure where in our house I’ll end up delivering (not set on one way), I am grateful to have all my options available for labor; birth stool, bed, tub, pool, shower, etc. We were so blessed at our recent baby shower to have been gifted with the rest of our birth supplies and the birth pool rental! Our midwives and a few family members are now on call to help in whatever ways we will need them, from labor support to errand runners. As for now, it’s the waiting game! We look forward to meeting our little man soon, seeing his features, cuddling with and kissing him, and we are as ready as we can be for now until God decides to bring him out!

Thank y’all so much for all the well wishes and prayers! We know they make a difference. Keep ‘em coming!

“A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.” –John 16:21

Like Derick stated, we grew up pretty close to each other, but didn’t meet in Arkansas. Christmas 2011, Derick briefly stopped by our house while caroling with a group from his church. Neither of us remembers each other specifically from that time; all I have is a vague memory of the group of people who came. Not long after this, Derick contacted my dad and asked if he would be a prayer partner during his two-year term in Nepal. He would call my dad regularly and give updates on how his work was going there and then they’d pray together. As my dad got to know Derick he was really impressed with his Godly character. He started telling me about Derick and also told Derick about me! I listened in on a few phone conversations with my dad without Derick knowing I was doing so.
Well, I'm from Rogers, AR, just about 45 min from where Jill lives, but we had to go 8,000 miles accross the world to meet. So about two years ago, when I was doing humanitarian work in Nepal, Jill's dad was one of my prayer partners. We would talk every couple weeks or so to discuss how our work was going and what current prayer needs were. Jill's dad would also mention periodically the work Jill was doing in her studies as a student midwife and her desire to someday use her skills overseas on the mission field. Being that we had similar life goals, she caught my attention. The first time Jill and I spoke was over the phone in a brief conversation we had back in March 2013. I continued speaking with Jim Bob (Jill's dad) over the summer, but didn't speak with Jill again until August. However, during this time I was praying about Jill and asking God for direction in getting to know Jill better.