I have completely abandoned trying to play catch-up on my blog.
So, Jane is now a year, and she is wonderful. Also, we have moved to Philadelphia, and (while there is still a lot of adjusting to do) it is pretty wonderful too.
We will start with Jane. She is crawling and cruising everywhere, and I am trying to make sure she doesn’t seriously injure herself with her latest discovery. Speaking of latest discoveries, here are a few:
-Ascending and descending stairs. The house in which we have been staying since we moved has several staircases. Jane is much better at ascending than descending…so she keeps me on my toes!
-A plethora of new food. Her favorites are strawberries, grapes, peaches, pancakes, eggs, applesauce, yogurt, and graham crackers. Her eyes also lit up when I gave a piece of chocolate chip cookie the other day…that’s my girl.
– Cats. The couple we are staying with have a cat. Jane would chase him to the ends of the earth…and then poke him in the face. So far, the cat has been abundantly patient, but I am trying to limit their engagement.
-Her Teddy. Jane’s first word, besides “Mama” and “Dada” was “Teddin.” Absolutely adorable!! When she sees her teddy, she cries, “Teddin!” in a high-pitched, cutie-patootie voice, then crawls over and tackles him.
-Giving kisses. Dad and Mom enjoy her kisses, and so do her favorite story characters, and Teddin, of course.
-Talking. I am not at all surprised that a baby girl of mine is talkative..at all. So far, amidst the copious jibber-jabber, she is saying Mom, Dada, Teddin, no, oh no, wow, okay, hi, amen, kitty, and meow. I think that is it. She likes to take any object and put it up to her ear and say, “Hi!” like she is talking on the phone. So cute!
I will (hopefully) update more, as she seems to be learning new skills everyday! She really is such a sweetheart, and we are so thankful for her. I am praying all of the time for wisdom as she grows more independent and willful. You all can pray for me too, okay?
Now for the Philly transition. We moved here August 1st, and have been staying with a newly married couple that have a house in the suburbs. We are overwhelmingly blessed to be staying here. I mean overwhelmed. We have been staying here two months, and they irrationally generous and gracious. They have shown us hospitality that images so beautifully what we are called to do as Christians. My heart fills with joy and thankfulness when I think about how God has provided for us through their generous hearts.
Also, Brandon has a job!! God has been faithful…so faithful in His care and provision for us. Brandon really enjoys his job. I mean, he loves who he works for, he enjoys his coworkers, and he is thankful that he can support our family. We are in the process of looking for a place to live, and that is something that you can all be in prayer about for us. It has been an unexpectedly tedious process, but I do believe that God will continue to provide for us (has he ever failed us?!…no.).
So, the transition continues, and we will try to keep you updated. We have been meeting weekly with the other families that have moved here with us, and we have a couple of local additions, which is great! I feel like life is beginning to take shape a bit, which makes me feel less crazy, and I am beginning to feel some sense of community here…which is so good for my heart.
Now, I could end this here and make you all think that I am stellar, and so faithful and sinless…but I would be a big liar. This move and transition process has brought more sin to the surface than I knew was in me…which in itself is kind of amazing. I had no idea the amount of idolatry in my heart, the discontent, the envy, the bitterness, the faithlessness, the anxiety, the anger…I mean, I could keep going. The Lord has been using some relatively difficult situations to expose loads of sin in my life…and that is depressing and irritating and embarrassing. But it is good. And I am so thankful that God relentlessly pursues me and doesn’t let sin settle. He is still working on me. I am still wrestling with selfishness and discontent. I am still acting like a child pretty often…which is pretty ridiculous. However, I am thankful that God faithfully brings me to the end of my strivings and leads me to repentance. And, I am thankful that Brandon has been given a lot of patience to deal with some of my craziness. He is a good man, and I love him.
On a much happier note, let’s end with some pictures of Jane’s first birthday.
While I wanted it to look like something out of a Martha Stewart magazine…we just couldn’t afford it. <Insert, “Bethan throws several tantrums”> So, after some sit down talks with Brandon and a lot of prayer and repentance, we decided to do a pancake birthday party. And, I can honestly say that I had a really wonderful time planning and throwing the party for our little girl!!
Jane loved the whipped cream.
My non-functional pinwheel center piece.
The pancake buffet. Brandon made a bunch of pancakes, and then we had strawberries, blueberries, bananas, caramelized peaches, and chocolate chips to top it…and of course, syrup and whipped cream.
She was a fan.
The family, and Jane’s first birthday onesie!…complete with a few strawberry stains!