Monday, March 21, 2011

One Year Photo Shoot

My friend Taylor treated us to a photo shoot to get some updated pictures of Eliana (and of the three of us). I hesitate to use the phrase "family photos" because I know that we are only able to visually capture three of the four of us. Despite Eliana not having taken an afternoon nap (and instead, just sitting in her crib talking and playing for a while!), Taylor did a great job getting all sorts of neat shots. Here's a sneak peak... Enjoy!

Taylor's photography website can be found at

Friday, March 18, 2011

To Know and Be Known

One of my deepest desires in my relationships, be it my marriage, friendships, or relationships with family, is to know others and be known. Deeply. Authentically. And really, I believe all of us deeply desire for someone to really know us... to really understand. We know that is possible through a relationship with God; in fact, scripture tells us in Luke 12:6-7 "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows" (emphasis mine). Psalm 139 is filled with a beautiful picture of how deeply the Lord knows us... each of us, who He has uniquely created. Yet I know that it is the heart of so many, particularly many women, who deeply desire to be in relationship with others here on Earth in a way in which we are also deeply known.

Being "known" in our immediate family has had some really interesting, and heart-warming developments. I've shared before about how it is our desire that Eliana always understand that Isaac is her brother... that from the start, he is part of her schema of who are family is. Lately, when Ellie gets up from her naps, she'll point to the picture of Isaac on the shelf in her room and squeal with delight. As we walk downstairs to the playroom, we'll often stop to look at all of the framed photos that we have hung on the wall. We point to Mommy, to Daddy, Auntie Kate, and to others. When we ask her, "Ellie... where is the picture of your brother Isaac?" She points to him. Immediately. She knows.

Most touching, though, is how Eliana will walk over to the bookshelf in the living room and pull Isaac's photo album out and bring it over to us. I'll sit her in my lap, and look through the pictures with her, carefully narrating each one. This past week, she started to lean over and interact with the pictures. Whether it is pointing to something in the picture and asking " This?" (her way of asking "What is this?"), putting her cheek against Isaac's picture and saying "Awwww.....", or bending over and giving his picture a kiss, it is clear that she now only knows who Isaac is, but that she knows that he is someone worthy of her affection. He is known.

My heart swells. With joy, with sadness that Ellie won't get to meet Isaac on this side of Heaven, and with gratitude for God's faithfulness in allowing Isaac's life to continue to hold a prominent place in the tapestry of our family as Eliana continues to grow and learn. I am so grateful that our sweet little one year old understands who Isaac is, even if it's in the most simplest of ways.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Birthdays, Decisions, and other Family Happenings

As I'm sure you can imagine, this few weeks preparing for, hosting, and cleaning up after Eliana's birthday party have been nothing short of busy. It was such a joy to be able to plan and prepare for her birthday party... to have a house stuffed to the gills with family and friends... to watch her shove cake in her tiny little mouth and fling it all over the place... to catch up with out of town family... and to celebrate our little girl who is growing up much faster than I would like. Regretably, I don't have a ton of pictures of my own from our sweet girl's party, but am waiting on pictures that others have taken. I'll get a few of those up when I receive them.

Big decisions are being made in our house... most notably, Spencer and I have prarefully considered my work situation for next school year, and have decided that it would be best for me to take a leave of absence. So... June 17th has a whole new meaning, knowing that I will be packing up my classroom and will be getting to stay home next year with my sweet girl. Our hope is to max out the number of years of leave for which I am eligible, yet we are taking it one year at a time.

This was a big decision for us in a number of ways... and as you can imagine, reducing your household income by 50% can be a scary thing. As I was reflecting back on how I have made decisions in the past, I have always felt the need to look three, four, five, or even ten steps ahead so I could be sure of how everything would likely play out before making big decisions. And while I believe that it is wise to be prudent, I also believe that I have been more of a "Thomas" than I would like to admit...

Jesus Appears to Thomas (John 20)

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

There are a lot of unknowns as we move forward... whether or not Spencer will get promoted to an Assistant Principal position for next year, how we will financially be able to swing this. And yet, we are trusting that because we believe this is God's desire for our family, that He will faithfully provide and allow it to work. We don't know what that will look like or how that will play out; but we are trusting God's words of Matthew 6...

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

And to say I am excited is an understatment. I am so excited to be with Ellie... I am excited to see God's hand of faithfulness. I am excited to take a break from the working world (as far as a career is concerned), to be able to spend more delving into my role as a wife and a mother, and to spend time further developing the Isaac Delisle Foundation.

So we ask for your prayers as we make this exciting transition :)

Pictures from Ellie's birthday to come...