Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

What a special day today has been.

Thanks to my sweet husband:

I got to SLEEP IN!  For the first time in months.  As my friend Kelly always says...It was "MAGICAL"!

I didn't have to cook...went to my favorite tex mex place (Salsaritas) and then spent some time at the park.  It was a beautiful day to be out!

Got to take a nap--that never happens any more!

What a blessing it is to be a mom.  Levi has blessed my life in more ways than his tiny little mind can even begin to imagine.  And I'm so thankful for the opportunity to love him and be his mommy.  But as much as  I love and care for him, I am reminded that Jesus loves him even more than I do.  And THE BEST thing I can do for him is to trust him to the ONE who created him and knows/loves him more than I ever can!

We prayed for a LONG time for Levi...I'm so grateful to the Lord for answering our prayers and entrusting him to us.

While today is filled with lots of love and sweet memories, I am also reminded of all those who are hurting today.  So many mothers who have lost their precious many mothers who long to be mothers and feel overwhelmed with the unknown in the midst of many who have lost mothers.  My heart is heavy for all the pain of those who are suffering on this day.  I pray for peace in the midst of pain.  I pray that the Lord would open doors for me to encourage those walking in  loneliness and stand in the gap for those who have lost hope and faith.

Thankful that this world is not our home...That one day the Lord will wipe every tear from our eyes and that we will get to see our precious babies and loved ones one day very soon!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

One Year Ago Today

December 5, 2011.

What is the significance of this day?  A year ago today I was supposed to give birth to my 2 sweet babies.  In the Spring of 2011 I found out I was pregnant with twins--we were so excited and relieved after trying for almost a year.  I remember as if it were yesterday...the hard journey it had been up until that point, knowing without a doubt that God had given Buster and me a desire to have children but having to trust in him COMPLETELY on timing.  That wasn't easy (still isn't!) It felt like everyone around me was pregnant and having babies and while I was excited for them, it made my heart ache for a child of my own.

Looking back through my journal, I am reminded of this commitment I made to the Lord in the midst of the waiting:

"I choose to give Him the glory for his will being done because He is answering my prayer: to be in control of me, all of me.  He knows the plans he has and I just have to trust that He will do whatever brings him the most glory.  I have been praying not 'can' you do this, but 'will' you do this? 'Will you make my womb a welcome place for a baby?'  And God showed me that my prayer instead needs to be, 'Will you make my heart a welcome place for your Spirit?'"

That was March 2nd.  I found out a couple of weeks later that I was pregnant.  And then miscarried in May.  Those were the hardest days...but they were met with the support of so many loved ones.  I was overwhelmed with the compassion and Spirit-filled wisdom and prayers of dear friends and family.  As much as our hearts were grieved, and as much doubt as I struggled to lay aside, God gave me the strength to hold on to the only thing comforting at that time--the truth that He is faithful, that his promises are true, and that one day I would see and hold my babies in Heaven.

My sweet sister-in-law, Mary Allison wrote this to me in a letter:
"When we look to God for our desires and needs He is faithful to satisfy us with an open hand in his time.  God is not holding out on you and Buster with a clinched fist.  He hears your cries and I believe with all my heart that He will fulfill your dreams and desires.  The hardest part is trusting His plan."  I remember reading that over and over--especially in the hard and lonely moments.

I didn't think I would ever be free from the hurt and disappointment.  I wish I could say that it got easier to deal with the loss and sadness.  It felt like so much time passed before I realized that I was having more good days than bad.  I also wish I could say that I came to a point where I finally gave it all to the Lord and decided to not worry about how long it might take to get pregnant again.  I remember hearing people tell me, "The minute you stop 'trying' and just let go and trust God, then that's when it will happen!"  As much as I wish that were true, its not.  And actually I'm really glad its not.  I'm so glad that God is not dependent on my actions when it comes to answering prayers.  Of course He wanted me to just let go and trust Him...but I needed grace for that and He was faithful.  There were good days and bad days...but He never left me alone.

2 verses that helped my hurting heart during this season were:

"He will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
    from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace
    from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken.
In that day they will say,
'Surely this is our God;
    we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the Lord, we trusted in him;
    let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.' " Isaiah 25:8-9 and 

"As you do not know the path of the wind,
    or how the body is formed[a] in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
    the Maker of all things."  Ecclesiastes 11:5

So my due date came...I remember feeling so angry at God because as hard as that day already was, I felt horrible cramps coming on.  Buster was so sweet and took me on a date just to get me out of the house and to help get my mind off of the pain.  Well it turns out, those cramps were not pre-menstrual...I was pregnant.  With Levi.  The first couple of months were scary for me...knowing that at any time the same thing could happen again.  But that was all apart of the healing process for me, and again God poured His grace over me and put a shield of protection around my heart and my mind.  At the end of the day, I could rest in the assuring truth that no matter what happened, God was in complete control.  In the midst of suffering, doubt, uncertainty, and all of life's unknowns, nothing could take me from the tight grip of his Sovereign hand.

My heart still aches for my little ones I never got to see or hold...but every time I see my son's face, hear his laugh, and rock him to sleep, a little piece of my heart starts to mend.  I can't explain why things happen the way they do...but maybe if things had gone the way I had planned them, maybe I would've never experienced the precious gift of Levi.  So even as I sit here writing this blog, I hear the Lord calling me to surrender my baby boy completely to Him.  It is my deepest prayer and desire to see Levi grow up into a man that loves God more than anything else in this life.  No matter what that looks like, I pray this becomes true.

God is the Master of all things...I praise Him today for being the Master Healer and the Master Life-Giver.  I praise Him for Levi and the joy we have been given through his tiny little life.  I praise Him for the best husband in the world who is the best Daddy to our son.  I don't ever want to take for granted the miracle of life, the beauty of God's faithfulness, or the undeserved gift of his love.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Levi Michael Leach

Happy 2 week birthday to my sweet little boy!

Levi Michael was born August 15th at 12:46 a.m., weighing 8 lbs 9 oz and measuring 20 3/4 inches long!  Buster and I are SO grateful to God for such a miraculous gift and pray that we never go a day without giving thanks for such a blessing.  We prayed for a long time for the Lord to give us a child if it was his will, and he surely deserves the glory for answering our prayers!

Life at the Leach home has been quite an adventure the past 14 days...There is so much to learn about this new little life that has entered into our world!  A few things we are currently trying to learn:

1. Trying to decide which cry means hunger, gas, uncomfortable, or just plain mad?
2. To wake the peaceful sleeper or not?
3. Get rid of hiccups?
4. When do I let him sleep in his crib?
5. How am I going to do everything without my sister's help?

Those are just a few of the many questions going on in my head these days...I'm sure that as fast as Levi is changing and growing, that my questions will continue to grow in count as well!  I'm so thankful for the grace God gives to the new mom (and dad)!

Here are a few pictures from the past couple of weeks (it was hard to choose out of the hundreds I've already taken!)

 Until next time!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Tour of Levi's Nursery!

With my due date just around the corner, it has been a pretty important job getting Levi's nursery set up!    Moving to a different state in my 7th month of pregnancy was not (and still is not) an easy task...but thanks to a lot of help and patience along with God's provision and grace, we are slowly getting settled here in Birmingham.

I just turned 37 weeks today...but 3 weeks sounds like forever now that I have officially arrived at the more-than-uncomfortable state.  But the waiting will all be worth it once I get to see this little guy face to face.

I must say that none of this could have been done without my sweet husband.  Thank you, Buster for painting the walls, hanging all the artwork, putting the crib together, moving furniture around a dozen times, and for your hard work getting that ceiling fan installed.  You are the best husband EVER.  Here are some pictures from our newly finished nursery:

The canvas in the middle will have a verse painted on it...not sure what verse yet though!  And the 2 frames will hopefully have some wonderful shots by our newborn photographer, Rebecca Long (she's going to be great!)

My amazing mom made the bedding for the crib--including the sheets!  And our friends Andy and Melanie are graciously letting us use their son's crib for Levi!

My dad did this painting of me on a tire swing long time ago...think it fits perfect in the nursery!

This beautiful blanket was hand-knitted by a wonderful friend, Angela McInnis.  I LOVE her.

Our awesome Lazy-boy chair:-)  I'm expecting to spend lots of time in it!

Notice the changing table...It came from an antique store in Hattiesburg (thanks Mary Allison and Drew for finding it!) and then was painted and distressed by Whitney Sephton.  Its my favorite piece of furniture in the nursery!

This "van wagon" was made by my Dad for my first Christmas.  A couple of years ago at Christmas he re-finished and re-gifted it for us to have for our future children!

Notice the plate tag: Marion, Alabama (where I was born); PTL 365 (Praising the Lord 365 days a year) and 11/ birth month and year.

The wardrobe was also a piece of furniture I grew up with in my room.

 This beautiful piece was made by my dear friend, Kimsey.  I LOVE it because every time I look at it I think of our friendship and how grateful I am for her.  She has an Etsy shop where she sells pieces like this:  Check it out here (DesignsbyKimsey)

Kimsey also made the frame with the door knobs  (perfect for hanging diaper bag or towels!) My sweet husband made the shelf so I could put some cool decorations on display!

This canvas will have a Bible verse on it...soon!

The "Levi" sign was made by my sweet sister, Kristin...who also happens to have an Etsy shop. (Check it out here!)

My old books from when I was a little girl!

Gift from Uncle Drew and Aunt Mary Allison!

Levi Michael Leach

Dad designed this wall hanging...and Mom quilted it.  I have some talented family!

Can't wait to meet this little fella!

Thanks for taking the time to tour Levi's nursery!  3 weeks and counting!