Thursday, September 11, 2008

Alyssa Faith Bennett

Go see Daryl's blog for a better assortment of pics...

This is probably my favorite pic from today. Today Alyssa Faith Bennett was born at 1:06 pm, weighed 8 lbs and 4 ounces. She was 20 1/4 inches long.

Julia was having some pretty serious blood pressure problems, which have been going on for a couple of weeks, and got worse this week. The doc put her in the hospital Tuesday evening, did some sonograms, a 24 hour test of some sort was planned, but by this morning, the decision was a C-section.

The C-section went well, and in spite of the difficulties Julia and Andrew have been through since mid-July, Alyssa was born healthy, whole of mind and body, (all answers to our prayers!) and Julia came through fine. She's in a lot of discomfort (Julia might call that an understatement!) but still managed to look beautiful holding her little one when we walked in.

The Grandparents all showed up by the time they were bathing Alyssa (I think the Jones' had been there much longer than we had) and stood around oohing and ahing to our hearts content. The nurses were kind, and put her at the window for our viewing and picture-taking pleasure.

We went for a soda, then came back when the kids were ready for a little visit. As different grandparents held Alyssa, I noticed Andrew stood near, watching his little one. When we were done, he scooped her into his arms, comfortably plopped himself indian style on a chair, and looked content cuddling his girl.

Congratulations to our kids, but even more, Praise to the Lord for bringing Alyssa Faith safely into the world, and for preserving our Julia through childbirth. We rejoice!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Your children will be taught of the Lord...

There's an Old Testament verse that speaks of your children being taught of the Lord. I may be pulling it a bit out of context, but it certainly is the hope of every believing parent that their children move from being taught at our tables to being taught of the Lord, that they will make the Lord their trust, that they will walk with the Lord and bring glory to Him in their personal walks. We have that great blessing in our children. They have made the Lord their trust, and they are taught of Him. It's wonderful to watch His plan unfold in their lives. Adult children are as fun as little ones. In fact, our next event is waiting for the birth of our next grandchild that Andrew and Julia are expecting any day now!

We had the privilege this weekend to watch God unfold some of his plan in Daniel, our eldest. All 4 of the grandparents (Daryl, myself, Dave, and Linda Pait) were at the "Grand Opening to the public" (not the best term but descriptive) of Bethany Community Church. This is a church plant from the parent church, Bethany Baptist Church in Peoria, Illinois. The plant is in Washington, Illinois. I can't begin to describe the emotion of the day, and didn't want to head to bed until I get some of these thoughts in type. I guess it was sort of like the birth of a grandchild, in that you are so overwhelmed at God's grace and work in your children, and that something of great joy has been born. Daryl and I were both overcome and found our eyes leaking, but I'm not sure quite what the emotions were. I think it was just the joy of seeing God's Hand working in our children.

As the service began, I had to fight being proud of Daniel...I knew it isn't his church, it's the Lord's church, and His mighty grace at work. However, I confess to some initial parental "pride". As I battled that, I realized that I was with fellow believers, and was there to worship God, not honor Daniel. The wonderful thing was, it was easy to make that shift. The focus was not on the leadership, the newness of the church, or even the 596 people in attendance. The focus was on the Lord. He didn't distract from that by saying, "I want to introduce...or I want to thank" anybody. No focus on who did what, or on what hard work went into the day. Daniel just led his flock into worship and the teaching of the Word.

It was a wonderful time, and I'm glad to have been there for it. Thanks, Dave, for the work you did getting tickets for us that were economical, and Thanks, Daryl my love, for letting THIS be the weekend we went. I wouldn't want to have missed this for anything!