full of it
For the past three Novembers, we’ve started with a bulletin board with only the trunk and limbs of a bare tree fashioned out of brown paper, and we’ve ended the month with a craft which depicts the various things we are thankful for as leaves. This year is the fullest our tree has ever been. Mainly because Valor can write now. (We’ve also not needed to cut out any more construction paper leaves after we found out that Home Depot has paint color cards in the shape of leaves.)
The first thing out of Valor’s mouth this year was “God,” followed immediately by “the Alive Baby.” Contrast this to a couple years ago, when it was “Leakless, DJ, Snotrod, Boost, and all the car friends on my poster.” Abby and I have had quite a roller coaster of a year with all the embryos we adopted—nine total, seven this year, one of which God has thus far kept alive. It has not been lost on Valor how tenaciously we cling to our heavenly Father who gives and takes away, the Giver of all good gifts, the Provider of all health and welfare. It seems like the seed of faith in his heart is beginning to germinate. He’s attended big-person church a few times with us now, although what he gets out of the service is anyone’s guess. Here’s one clue, though: last week, visiting a friend’s church, he said the huge pipe organ and the fancy colored spotlights made it more “kid-friendly” than our regular church.
The first thanksgiving contribution from Percy this year was “crickets, monkeys, and iguanas.” A few days later he came up with “shoes and scissors” and “blocks.” These really do sum Percy up—he loves animals, going outdoors, and working with his hands. I don’t think this is on the tree yet, but I’m thankful that Percy has emerged out of a standoffish phase and turned into quite an affectionate hugger and kisser. The meltdowns and tantrums are decreasing (not gone), and he now looks and gives genuine smiles for the camera. Percy has just started drawing “smiley faces,” which are two dots, a straight line mouth, and two straight line legs, and making letter forms. Yesterday I saw a perfect letter N. He sat on the potty after his bath last night and got both things done, which he’s pretty proud of. He’s at a good age, as he continually reminds us: “I’m two!”
Abby had an ultrasound a couple of weeks ago and we saw our “alive baby” wiggling its tiny hands and feet around. Lab tests from last week confirmed the placenta is starting to do its thing, so the progesterone shots have scaled back and Abby is feeling much better. Our next ultrasound will be on Christmas Eve. We both have a lot of anxiety around the 15 or 16 week mark when we have had a couple losses in the past, but if all goes well we might find out the gender then.
We’re not traveling this year for Thanksgiving, but instead hosting the Ronk family, good friends we know from church and Classical Conversations whose families are in Washington state. Enjoy your holiday, and let the faithful feast on these words from Jonathan Edwards:
The godly, those who have that inestimable blessing, have cause to bless God which cannot be expressed. The more we consider it, the more wonderful and inexpressible will it appear. When we read over the history of Moses, and how God appeared to him, and what wonderful works were wrought by his hands, and how he went up into the holy Mount, etc., etc. And when we read the history of Elijah, Elisha, Daniel, the Virgin Mary, the apostle Paul who was caught up to the third heaven, and consider what privileges these had and what high honors were done them, we are ready to admire at the greatness of those privileges by which they were distinguished from the others. But all those extraordinary privileges, considered in themselves, separately from the saving grace of God, are nothing compared to this.
Let those, therefore, who are thus highly favored, consider more than ever yet they have done, how great that blessing is which God has bestowed upon them of his mere free love and sovereign grace, and not for any worthiness of theirs; and how great obligations they are under to glorify God: and to glorify Christ, who hath purchased this blessing with his ownmanner of persons ought you to be! pray consider it! Do you hope that God has thus highly advanced and exalted you? And will you not be careful indeed to live to his glory, and to exalt and magnify his name? Will you dishonor Christ, who has thus honored you? Will you regard him but a little, who has shown such infinite regard to your welfare? Shall the world have your heart, and Christ and his glory be neglected after all? Will you not rather watch against your corrupt, worldly, proud dispositions? Will you not seek opportunities to do something for God, who, as you think, has been thus kind to you?