Monday, September 28, 2009

Claire Elizabeth Kizziah

september 24th
happy birthday, sweet claire!

welcoming baby #2 . . . so thankful for our little girl!

a very happy mommy 

although it may all fall out, 
claire came with rather long hair

a proud daddy

a precious big brother

day 2
daddy's little girl 

sweet snuggles

enjoying cake and ice cream provided by the hospital 
for a fun "big brother party"

day 3
going home . . . 
we were all tired and jd was expressing the way we
all felt at the moment ;) 

siblings riding the "train" together out to the car

wearing mommy's dress 
and so glad to be home

3 days old

happy 4 days claire bear!  

you are a loved little girl, miss claire!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mwaiseni Kuli Umwanakashi Konono Yandi "Welcome to my little girl"

Claire Elizabeth Kizziah
Born: September 24, 2009 at 6:01 am (central).... right on time (her due date)
Weighing in at: 7 lbs, 8 oz and 19 1/2 inches long

Let me start off by saying that this post is written by David. As I type Katie is hopefully in her hospital room with her mother and daughter recuperating from giving birth to Claire this morning. I pray that the tri-generational bonding will bring much joy to each involved. I am with John David at home. We thought it might be good for him to be with at least one of us tonight in his normal bed since he has had to deal with so much change so quickly today. Let me just say that, by the grace of God, he has done marvelously. I will leave it to Katie to describe to you in a later post just how well he has done in being sweet to his sister and sharing our affections with her today. We pray that today will be only a beginning of a wonderful sibling adventure that is characterized by mutual love and self-denying service to one another. Again, this will be for Katie to tease out.

 I have a three fold purpose in this post. First, I want to introduce to all of you our precious daughter, Claire Elizabeth. We took some far superior pictures than this one today but this is the only one at my disposal as I type. So, here she is!

Second, I wish to use this post as one way to express our thankfulness to the Father and gratitude to all of our friends and family for praying for us and supporting us in a myriad of ways throughout this second pregnancy and birth. We are royalty when it comes to friends and family; we are very rich. It thrills our hearts to be loved by so many so deeply. 

Finally, I simply wanted to marvel publicly at the work of our God, hence the name of this post. I believe there are some things so beautiful that it is almost defamation to use common language to describe those things. Indeed some things are so dazzling that expression of the worth of that object can only be adequately achieved by employing another language. I believe this is what Wesley meant when he said, "O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer's praise... " In other words there are some things that are so uncommonly beautiful (ex: the glory of Christ) that we need language that we do not commonly use to properly hail its worth. This is the case with the birth of my daughter today. It was a glorious event. It was strikingly beautiful. It caused me to want to praise my God in language I do not employ everyday since I do not have a daughter born to me every day.

I grasped at the only language other than English I know (ciBemba) for the simple fact that I do not use this language every day. I do not see beauty like I saw today everyday and I felt that I needed words to match the uncommonness of the occasion. Today I saw the beauty of the self-effacing love of a mother for her child at the pinnacle. On my wedding day in May of 2005 I knew that I loved Katie with a love that would die one million deaths over facing the possibility of being separated from her. I did not think that love for her could ever be expanded. I was wrong. On May 31, 2007 it was expanded as I saw her lovingly give of herself in order to bring my son into the world. It has since then been expanded over and over again as I have witnessed first hand the daily sacrifices that must be made by a mother who hopes to see Christ formed in her children. This is my daily view of Katie and it is beautiful. Today, however, the boundries were again expanded as I journeyed with Katie in the birth of our girl. Jesus said that the top shelf love was that love that was willing to lay down its life for someone else. This is the love a mother has as she "labors" to bring her children into the world. This is the love I witnessed from my bride today and it was beautiful.

It was also beautiful to see my image reflected in the face of a little human. It was beautiful to think of the great lengths God has gone to so that our perfect reflection of Him might be restored. It was beautiful and awesome (in the truest sense of the word) to ponder the responsibility given to me and Kate as the primary disciplers of this new being. It was beautiful to think through the gravity of the fact that though God could have picked any time in history across any geographical locale to place Claire He chose us in this time. Basically, today was beautiful and for that I say, "Natulumbanyeni Lesa!"(Let us praise God!)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Patiently Waiting

Well, we are trying to be patient in waiting for the arrival of little Claire.  I so felt that she would come early; she still may . . . Thursday is my due date (and I realize it is only an estimated date at that). David expressed to me this morning how ready he is to for her to be here.  He dreamt of her coming last night and said that it got him extra excited about the real thing! 

In the mean time, I am trying to take advantage of rest and being the parent of only one child for a little while longer.  David and I both have had some special one-on-one time with John David, as well as some great family time, just the three of us.  No need to rush things . . . she will be here soon enough.  It's just that we can't wait to meet her . . .  

"A Challenge to Women"

My sister-in-law, Lynn, made mention of this post that she recently read on John Piper's "Desiring God" blog.  I found it very encouraging and challenging myself, and I thought I'd pass it along too.  Click here  to read.  Thank you, sweet Lynn, for sharing this with us. May we always seek to spur each other on to be women who glorify the Lord with our lives.   

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ready and Waiting

At my doctor's appointment this past Thursday, nothing much had happened since last week.  I am now 75% efface, however, and I still feel like the baby may come earlier than expected.  We will just have to wait and see.  It is good to feel prepared for her arrival, though, whenever the Lord ordains it to be!  

One of my friends who lives in Florida requested to see some pictures of Claire's nursery.  These pictures are for you, Amber!

The dress hanging here was mine as a baby; we are planning for Claire to wear it home from the hospital.

The pictures above the bed are of ballet slippers and "tutus".  
I didn't think I would have a theme for the room at first, but it evolved to be a "ballet" one. 

I am grateful to my mom for the nice bench and storage baskets, and a special thanks to JoJo for "Claire Bear". . . who is waiting patiently for a little girl to cuddle with :)

The ballet shoes on the wall were my first pair of "pointe shoes". 

And a special "thank you" to my friend, Molly, who gave her creative decorating touch to the room.  I was so thankful for our time together!  Thank you for making Claire's room one that we will enjoy (even at 2 a.m. feedings! :)  

And regarding John David . . . 
He has been having a lot of fun lately, specifically with new "big brother presents" that friends and family have been giving him.  Friday evening, John David spent a good deal of time enjoying the sidewalk chalk that Mrs. Natalie included in a gift for him.  Thank you, Natalie, for loads of fun! 

Pretending to play the guitar that David drew for him

Not sure if you can see it well, but I love the concentration face with the tongue sticking out!

Saturday, prepared for the Alabama game . . . 
John David wanted to wear his sunglasses like his Daddy.  He knew he looked cool :)

John David is still enjoying talking about his little sister and her upcoming arrival.  I am praying that his enjoyment of her will continue once she gets here!  Like I've made mention of before, your prayers specifically regarding his transition are greatly coveted.

I love my little man . . . who's getting bigger every day!  The more I look at baby things, the more I realize John David is not so little anymore . . . 

Friday, September 4, 2009

Promises We Can Trust!

Even if no one else reads this - for I know I have written a lot below - I am writing this to encourage my own heart today.  

I am so thankful for God's Word and for the beautiful promises found therein.  How grateful I am that His words are entirely and completely trustworthy.  

During our Wednesday night youth Bible study, David is preaching through the book of Luke. This past Wednesday we finished up Luke chapter 1 with the song that Zacharias sang after he had been unable to speak for quite some time.  Although Scripture references Zacharias as "righteous before God" and "blameless", he still doubted the words that God had sent an angel to tell him; he doubted God's promise that his wife - old and barren up to that point - was going to bear a son.  So the angel told him that he would "be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place" (Luke 1:20).  We can conclude that from the time he was struck mute (and deaf, which can be assumed from other verses) at the beginning of his wife's pregnancy, until the birth of his son, Zacharias had this time to sit in silence and ponder the greatness of God.  When God's promise was fulfilled, and Zacharias' wife, Elizabeth, indeed gave birth to their son, he displayed his belief in God's words and his speech and hearing were restored.  He was filled with the Holy Spirit and began singing a song of praise to God:

"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, 
For He has visited and redeemed His people, 
And has raised up a horn of salvation for us 
In the house of His servant David . . . 
Through the tender mercy of our God, 
With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; 
To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, 
To guide our feet into the way of peace."    
 (Luke 1: 68-69, 78-79)

This "horn of salvation" and "Dayspring from on high" was referring to Christ Jesus.  But Zacharias was speaking as if Christ, the Messiah, had already "visited and redeemed His people" (v.68).  But Jesus hadn't even been born yet.  The Messiah had NOT yet come.  Why did Zacharias say this?  Because, through his past months of silently pondering the person and character of God, Zacharias knew Whom he believed, and that God's words were as good as done!  He felt free to speak as if Christ had already come, because He knew that if God had made a promise of a coming Messiah, that he could take that promise to the bank!  He could believe God's promise with all his might!  Indeed, God's promises are "yes and amen" . . . as good as done!  

The other day I was reading from a devotional book that my husband got me a couple years ago, that continues to bless my heart each time I pick it up.  I was encouraged, primarily by the familiar, yet beautiful promise of Romans 8:28 : 

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." 

In addition to reading these glorious words of comfort,  a sweet peace flooded my heart and mind as I read a comment Charles Spurgeon made in reference to this Romans passage :

"If God ordains it, the worst calamity is the wisest and kindest thing that could befall me." 

"Wisest and kindest" . . . those are strong words.  So no matter what God ordains for me, my family, my children - no matter how difficult - I know it is what will ultimately bring Him the most glory and what will work in each of us the most good.  He promised that it would!  I can be assured that it is the wisest and kindest thing that God could ordain.   Because His wisdom and kindness is in a totally different category than that of any human - Wisdom and Kindness is Who He IS - what He ordains could be nothing less than the most kind and wise providence.  

Spurgeon went on to say:

"And so, believing that God rules all, that He governs wisely, that He brings good out of evil, believer's hearts are assured, and they are able to calmly meet each trial as it comes."

"Christians don't merely hold this as a theory, they KNOW it as a matter of fact. . . 
Every event so far has worked out the most divinely blessed results." 

Specifically today, this promise comforts me most in regard to the lives and future of my children.  I am so thankful that our Sovereign God is trustworthy, faithful, and that His promise to "work all things together for good" is as good as done!  Praise the Lord!              

A few recent photos

John David enjoyed spending time this week with cousin Ella . . .  
(who celebrated her 3rd birthday on Wednesday!)

. . . . was glad Mommy let him play in the sink . . .

. . . . and has been thankful to "My T" for his fun, new prize!
(it's not a real violin, despite it's looks)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

37 Weeks and Showing It!

I am ONLY posting this picture because of the request of a couple of friends whom I never get to see.  It has been a LONG day, but I had no idea how much my appearance proved it until I looked at the pictures David just took!  It's late now - about 11 p.m. - but, before the day was over, I did want to mention that I hit the 37 week mark today and had a good doctor's appointment.  Not much has changed since last week - just about 1/2 cm more dilated.  The nursery is coming together (thanks to a kind friend donating her time and decorating skills) and I am feeling more prepared for Claire's arrival (thanks to the lavishings of our church family, as well as an efficient washing machine!)

John David had a good tour of the hospital this past Monday.  He only asked to go back to the car two or three times :)  He is going to be a great big brother, and hopefully our mini tour will help him feel more confident on the day of his sister's birth.