Growing up with a big brother, I just loved the fact that he was the oldest, and I was his little sister. It was just the two of us in our family, but it was so wonderful. We were just 3 years apart, and though we had the occasional (okay daily) fights, there was nothing like having my big brother to watch over me.
So my whole pregnancy with Noah, I wanted a boy and I was pretty sure he was one.
I was so happy when they announced it on that day in the Ultrasound room. Probably not as happy as Rick though, I think he could've probably been heard shouting "YES! A BOY!" around the world.
I have been so blessed to be the Mama to this little boy and now as he is about to turn 6 and heading off to 1st grade, I feel even more blessed to have had him in my life all these years. He truly has been such an amazing little boy.
I remember during his first year of life, I just kept asking God to help me raise him and be a good Mama. I was only 22 when he came into my life and still so much of a baby myself, but Rick and I loved learning and growing with him and we still are today.
My Husband is such an amazing Dad. From the moment I first watched Rick hold him, I melted and thought to myself, I hope he grows up to be just like his Daddy. So far... He has. =)
Rick has also been the most AMAZING Husband over the last 8 years. He has been my provider, protector and best friend. We have been through SO much since our wedding Day in 2003, but through it all , he has been my rock. When I didn't have God, he led me to Him. When times got tough, he once again pointed me to Him. I wish every girl could be so luck as to have a husband like mine.
So, when we received our double portion, Elijah Braden, I thought. WOW. I have a job to do. Little boys are such a blessing. I decided then and there that I was gonna do my best to raise them right. To teach them to be honest, and faithful and loving and kind. I want them to do something great in this world. I want them to leave a mark here and really touch lives. I truly believe they will.
So, when God gave us Eli, my heart melted all over again. Another little boy to love and raise. Another little boy who can really impact this world for the good, if I do my job right. Another little blessing...
After Maddie was born, I thought... That's it. I am complete. We have our precious boys and our little girl and they have each other. Maddie would not only have one older brother to look out for her but TWO. My world seemed absolutely perfect.
But somewhere along this time, I forgot to continue to pray for "futures." I guess I got so caught up in my role as a Mom and a Wife, that things like continued prayer and Bible reading began to slip my mind... And it takes a lot to admit this, but I wasn't where I needed to be. I mean we were still completely faithful in Church and the ministry but something was missing. It seemed like Rick and I were arguing more. It seemed like the hard times were getting harder. We just weren't where we needed to be. We needed to refocus on the Lord.
Through Madeline's passing, we most definitely did that. Sometimes I wonder if that is why He took her back home. I don't think it would have changed anything, I feel this was His plan all along, but I do wonder things. I can help but wonder why our little girl is no longer here. It's something I wonder often. Why us?
But it's in those moments that God draws us near to Him and reminds me that His will IS perfect for my life.
I've said it often since January the 6th, how perfect my life was for those two days. How complete I felt. If you have experienced the joy of having both genders, then you can relate. It just makes you feel lucky. <3
So what now? I know all of you are probably really wondering how I am doing since the news of another boy.
And rightfully so, it was evident how much I wanted and still do want another little girl.
God wants me to have another boy. And I am very thankful for him.
We have named him. We have started working on his nursery. I am shopping nonstop (hehe) for him. And more than anything, I just want to hold him and fall in love with another precious baby boy. He is healing me in ways I didn't know anyone could.
I don't cry when I see baby girls anymore. I don't cry everyday at all to be honest. Most days, yes, but not every single day, all day long anymore.
Jonah Asher is holding my heart along with Noah and Elijah and Rick.
To be honest I feel very lucky. I will have 4 amazing boys to love me. I will be surrounded by boys and I get to be the princess of the house. While Princess Maddie Grace watches over us from her Mansion in Heaven.=)
So many people have said "You need a girl" or welcome to the "Boy Club."
But what they don't understand is, I still have a daughter. I carried her, prepared for her, gave birth to her and enjoyed her. I will always have a daughter. I will always have 3 boys and a girl, even though she isn't here, she is still my daughter and always will be.
I don't leave her out. I never will.
Just yesterday, at Motherhood, I told the sales clerk about her when she asked how many children I have. Sure, it may seem like a soft subject, but why? She has made me who I am in this moment.
Just because God's son (died) on the cross, does that not still make Him God's Son? He is still Jesus, God's son.
Madeline Grace is still my daughter. God gave us our hearts desire when He gave her to us. Yes, when I packed up her things, it broke my heart. I wanted to use them. I wanted to watch her grow up.
But the truth of the matter is, I still enjoyed all those special moments I shared with her. I got to do my "pink" thing and I loved every second of it!
But, I do have little boys to raise. I have a job to do with them.
Soooooo, I said ALL of that to say this... I promise I have a point with this post. haha =)
A few days after I found out I was carrying another boy, a sweet lady in our Church named Robin pulled me aside. With tears in her eyes, she hugged me and told me Congratulations.
She told me that she prayed and wanted me to have a girl so badly, but she knew as soon as she heard it was a boy that God had a HUGE plan.
Then she reminded me of that very thing I used to think about and pray for way back when the boys were tiny. The one thing I should have NEVER got away from.
How to better pray for our children.
She told me that God had such a special plan for Rick and I because he was giving us not one, or two but three sons to raise. And not just three sons, but...
You may be thinking, HUH? But it's true.
Robin told be that since the day her daughter Bailee (one of my SS girls) was born, she has been praying for her Husband. Since she was born! =)
She has been praying that God would send her a Godly man who would love her and take care of her.
Then she told me this "But I don't know (who) is raising her Husband." She said "My prayer is that he is being raised up in a Christian home and learning to serve God in everything he does, but I don't know. I don't know who he is, or where he is."
Then she said this "Natalie, you and Rick are raising up 3 Husbands. God has chose you to raise these little boys up and that is such and honor. He chose you."
(CHILLS) She's right. He did.
Then she went on to say some very kind things about how lucky our little boys are to have parents raising them right, under Gods Word and in Church. She made some wonderful compliments to us and it really blessed my heart.
It was such an ah ha moment for me.
God chose me. God chose Rick. To raise up little boys to be men one day. Husbands.
I am raising someones Husband.
I thought back to how Rick's precious Mom used to tell me how she would pray every night for his wife and that God would send him a good one. She knew how to pray and to this day is one of the greatest prayer warriors I know. To think she was praying for "me" all along really blesses my heart. Some days I don't feel good enough, but I have seen just how wonderful of a relationship we have and how thankful I am to be a part of her family. I watch as all three of her children are in Church and serving God.
Oh the prayers of a Mama.
So, since that day, I'm committed again. I've got my stride back in the "raising and praying for my children" thing.
I feel honored.
I want to raise these little boys up to be amazing. Will you pray for me? What a job it is that I have to do. What an honor.
And one day, I will meet Noah, Elijah and Jonah's wives and I will know, I prayed for them.
One day Robin will meet Bailee's Husband and she will know, she prayed for him.
And I know that Rick's precious Mom prayed for me.
What a blessing it is to raise little boys. Some days I don't feel good enough or qualified, but God must think I am. And for that I will forever be grateful. Always. Maybe one day we will get to have another little girl and raise her. I hope so, but if not, I'll just always be grateful I had Maddie Grace. The opportunity to raise children is such a blessing. We should never take it lightly.
Can I encourage you to pray for the spouses of you children. I don't think you would ever regret it. May we never get so caught up in "raising" our children that we forget what we are raising them to do.
One day, they will be parents like we are. One day they will be all grown up. Let's not lose sight of the most important things in life. Let's remember to pray for them in many specific ways. Those prayers will never go unheard. =) I promise.
Here are a couple of other pics from the day we found out Jonah was coming...
YAY for a baby brother!!! =)