Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Eli's dedication

On the 18th we had Eli's baby dedication at our church. I wanted to have it as close to dad's birthday as possible. I had talked to grandpa the week before and he told me that my dad's mass was going to be held that same Sunday, so I felt like it was significant to have it the same day. That morning was stressful. It's always stressful getting ready for church, but this Sunday morning was particularly difficult. Matt and I were in a funk and the kids were all a mess. We finally got everyone in to the van after lots of shouting and empty threats (if you touch your brother one more time...!!!") and were on our way. When we got to church I told Matt that we needed to start over. We both agreed to allow clean slates and to forgive and move on. I hate walking in to church with a fake smile on after a rough morning, so we settled the score and walked in. 

By this point I was not looking forward to the dedication. I was crabby, I was still a little mad and I was not in the mood. We walked in to the front doors though, and the heaviness began to lift. Our church's greeters are the two sweetest men. They put a smile on my face each time I walk through the front doors to Bethel. As soon as we walked in to the sanctuary, the worship was great, and I felt so much better. Then they began to play [what I refer to as] dad's funeral theme song, His Banner Over Me is Love. I felt tears coming on and at that moment Pastor Jim motioned for us to make our way up to the front for the dedication. I thought, "oh great, just as i am trying not to cry..." 

We get up front, and the entire church is standing, worshiping God, hands raised, flags waving, voices reaching up to the heavens. Pastor Jim quieted the congregation as he went right in to the dedication. We agreed to all of the statements, yes we promise to raise him up in our christian faith, yes we promise to be godly parents, etc. etc. Then, Pastor Jim took Eli in to his arms and with tears in his eyes said "Eli Gil... the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.." and went in to this sweet recognition of how the whole church is Eli's family, that we all miss dad so much, and how God took one life and gave another. it was amazing. and while Warren and Sue missed most of it, they were summoned from the back just in time to stand with us, mom, Brian, and grace up front as our family was surrounded with blessings and prayer. All while "dad's song" was quietly being played in the background. It was incredible. Many tears of sorrow and joy were wept in this beautiful moment. 

It was one more monumental moment in our family's history that had occurred at that altar. The same altar I was commissioned to go to mexico at. The altar Matt and I were married at. The altar our three children had been dedicated at. The altar my father's body rested at. The altar my mother was remarried at. The same altar for so many different occasions. I did a quick search of the word "altar" and this is what popped up.

Genesis 35:3

Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.”

An altar is where sacrifices are made unto the Lord. I thought this verse was suitable... it is at our very own church, Bethel Christian Fellowship, that we have offered up our lives, our children, our marriages, our everything. We've offered it all up to the Lord who has been with us in great distress, and always. Tom Oestreich came up to us right afterwards and told us he had a word for us, that the Lord knows of our great loss over the last year and a half, and that He will replace what the locusts have destroyed. God is so good to us, and has placed us in a church body that cares so deeply for us. After the dedication, our pastor preached about forgiveness. Totally what Matt and I needed to hear that morning. 

We grilled over at Warren and Sue's after church, and spent time with our families. God blessed us beyond belief that day. What a beautiful way to celebrate our sweet baby boy, Eli Gil. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

weekend update

This weekend was great. Mom and Brian took Max on Friday night, and Matt and I got to spend time with the two little ones. We went for our daily "family walk" out in our neighborhood. We decided to walk over to the new house, since it is only a few blocks away. We just love this neighborhood. We prayed as we walked over, prayed for the area, the people, about what God has planned for us moving here permanently, etc. There is a tree park just down the block from our new house called Horton Park. It's a peaceful and open park, I'm sure it's where the boys will learn to ride a two-wheeler, and it's where we will walk our next dog... someday. When we got to the house, we walked to the back and just spent some time day dreaming about how great our backyard is going to be. We walked back home as the sun went down. The boys were content in the stroller, and we felt encouraged.

Saturday morning we woke up and took the kids to Louisiana Cafe over on Selby and Dale. The. Best. Breakfast. Ever. The waitresses aren't a bunch of crabby hipster chics anymore. It felt more family friendly than the last time we were there years ago. I have good memories of going there with Matt, pre-kids. My dad even met us there a couple of times. He liked the food there. We spent the rest of the afternoon napping, cleaning, packing, and taking another family walk. Mom and Brian brought Max back in the late afternoon. And the peaceful weekend ended at that moment. Before we knew it Max and Gabriel were back to fighting and competing for mom and dad's attention. Oh the drama. We were glad to have our big boy back though. 

Mike and Steph came over and we grilled out that night. We had grilled chicken and pineapple sandwiches. They were so good.The kids went to bed, and we had our weekly prayer night with our friends. Usually we meet on Sunday nights, but this week we changed up nights so that Mike and Steph would be able to attend a screening of Nefarious. God put it on our hearts to pray for big stuff. We had to begin by asking God what that was even supposed to look like. How do we even begin to pray about things that are so huge and result in such messy sin? We agreed that God hears us, even though we are only four people, in this little house, in this big city, in this huge country, on this massive earth. God hears the cries of our hearts, and our prayers make a difference. What an awesome thought. I am so grateful for these prayer nights. God always shows up and blesses us for our faithfulness. Someday I will write about how these prayer nights came to be.

This Wednesday would've been dad's 59th birthday... I think. We will honor him and celebrate him by going out to breakfast. I miss him so much.
 He loved Max so much. 

Hopefully we hear back from the bank this week and can get a closing date on the calendar. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Progress is being made... (kinda.)

So right now Matt is meeting with our mortgage broker, turning in all of our paperwork, signing things and discussing details. The bank (that owns our home) still has not let us know about the final price, which is a bummer since our mortgage broker cannot move forward with the loan stuff until she knows the actual price of the home. So, again, we wait.

Waiting is so hard, and the longer we wait, the more anxiety wells up inside of me. Honestly, I think it's because I have known such profound loss over the last 18 months that I hold on to the big stuff lightly. I feel like this is all going to be swooped away from me in a moments's notice, and that we will be left in survival mode, once again, scrambling for cover. Today I am dealing with a lot of emotions about my dad, my mom, and what I assume life would look like if nothing had happened. It's hard not to. I feel wounded and bruised up. My heart aches.

Our pastor shared once about how mother eagles teach their babes to fly. They boot them out of the nest, and allow for the babies to fall until they are about to hit the ground. At the last moment mama comes to the rescue though. She swoops her babe up before he hits the ground. Eventually the baby bird learns to flap it's wings, and is able to catch the wind as he is falling. Soon he begins to fly. I feel like I'm falling right now. But every time I feel like I have been falling, God is always there to swoop me up.

I'm trusting I'm about to get swooped any minute.

everything will be alright 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Waiting... waiting.. waiting...

I feel like we've been in a place of waiting for the last 4+ years. We're finally in the last phase I think. Waiting for our new house. We found our house almost two months ago. We had seen about 10 houses in person, and had checked out hundreds on-line. When we walked in to the house, we felt like it was the one. Great location, nice open floor plan on the first level, great backyard, nice big bathroom, huge dining room... it seemed great. The bedrooms were a little small, but like my friend Heidi told me, bedrooms are for sleeping. How much time do we really spend in our rooms? We saw it on a Sunday, and on Monday we went back to put in an offer. Well four other offers were submitted that weekend too, so the bidding war began. We offered full price, but a week went by and we heard nothing, so we assumed we didn't get it. The day after Valentine's Day we found out we got it. Except for I had already completely detached from the house. So I was excited, but not super excited. The anxiety set in... was this really the best house?! Buying a house is so stressful. But I needed to remember that I did love the house the first and second times I saw it. I still can't believe that it is going to be ours. Probably due to the fact that the bank is working extremely slow, and now a month and a half later we are still waiting for an answer on the price being reduced. We know our closing date will be by April 12. But who knows. Until then, I continue to pin ideas on my pintrest board. I am so excited to decorate my house. MY house. OUR house. God has been so good to us in this waiting period. He's helped us to get our finances in order, pay off a lot of debt. He's strengthened our family and our faith. He's provided for our every need. He's always watching over us.  

jeremiah 33:3