Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What's in a Name?

Today, February 28th, 2012, is the birthday of my second little boy!  He is beautiful!

Excerpted from my journal entry of February 20, 2012:

We surprised ourselves last night by changing our son's name.  All along, we thought we had been set on Jeremiah, and were still just debating his middle name.  But as of last night, it appears that this little boy will be named Lewis Jeremiah Huntress.  Help us as we grow into his name, Father, to embrace his name fully.  

Lewis: royal; Germanic; "famous fighter"
Jeremiah: "Yah raises up"

Really, this is quite a name to live up to!  

From our presbytery, June 14, 2009 (prophesying over our own, yet-unborn children):
"It's going to take work but I'm telling you, those children are going to serve God.  You mark my words, I see one pastoring, I see one involved in government, and one involved in the educational system, and they are going to--the Lord tarries, these children are going to be history makers, and they are going to come right from you guys.  Hallelujah!"

To make history in any of these three categories, a man would need to be a famous fighter, raised up by Yah, a man of integrity and zealous for the truth of God.  He will need to be so courageous.  

Amen to this, Father!


We actually chose "Lewis" in honor of our mutual favorite author, Clive Staples Lewis.  The meaning of his name I discovered afterward, and simply strengthens the conviction that our little boy's name holds meaning for who he is in God, and the purposes cut out for him. 
Also, "Lincoln and Lewis" is cuter together than "Lincoln and Jeremiah." :0)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

"Cross-References" Challenge, Week 1


Sermon Series “Look & Live: The Cross of Christ”
Week 1, February 26, 2012
A publication of the Andy Green Memorial Library

Last week, we were encouraged to read the account in Genesis 22:1-18 of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his only son Isaac as a sign of his faith in God’s promises (see the promises in Genesis 17).  This account holds several keys to help us understand the fullness of God’s giving His only Son for us on the cross. 

This week, challenge yourself to study and understand these connections better:

         Do a Chapter Summary of Galatians 3:1-4:7.

“This method (chapter summary) is important because it enables you to begin understanding chapters of the books of the Bible.  It is a popular method for those beginning Bible study because chapters are usually fairly short, and it does not require deep study to do a chapter summary.  It is a valuable method because it can be quickly learned by a brand-new Christian or someone else who is interested in doing meaningful Bible study.  It is an excellent method with which to begin a lifetime of personal Bible study…”
-from Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Best-Laid Plans

I appreciate my baby doctor.  

Today, February 24, completes the ninth day of irregular contractions.  My master plan of "baby born at start of winter break week" failed; that would have provided help from my mom and others whose schools observe winter break (hubby's doesn't), allowing him to use his available days off in this following week, thus extending the amount of help I'm able to have once home. 

So the next-best plan is "baby born on the weekend," allowing Andy's days off to happen once we're coming home, instead of sitting around in a hospital for three days.  

I expressed this to my doctor in this afternoon's visit.  And so, though pregnant ladies are not strictly "eligible" for labor induction until 39 weeks' gestation (I'm currently 38 and 2 days), he determined that my body is ready enough for this process, and "slipped" during my exam.  Membranes stripped :0) 

And I have had more contractions than usual through the evening hours (keep it up, little man!).  But I'm hopeful that he will wait until early morning to really get going.  Because, though my doctor isn't on call this weekend, he's available during the day tomorrow.  After nine months of taking care of Lincoln, he was not the one to deliver him, and didn't actually meet my son until about three weeks ago.  I'd like him to be able to meet this little guy at the get-go; seems there would be immense satisfaction in seeing a baby through from beginning to end!  (There's also approximately the first big winter storm of the season cranking through the night, so driving would be safer in daylight...  The irony would be pretty complete, though, if he arrived in the midst of the storm--sort of like our wedding day on the Fourth of July, on which it poured all day, with a full month of sunshine either side of it!)

And if there's no baby tomorrow, or this weekend...well, we'll cross that bridge if we come to it.  Psalm 139:16.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Teasing Me

On Wednesday night, I started having contractions.  So I packed everybody's bags for hospital/babysitter stays.  Because, with Lincoln, the start of contractions was the start of the real thing, and eight hours later there was a baby on top of my belly instead of inside it.  

Not so with this little one.  Sigh.  At Thursday's baby appointment, Dr. Crawford pronounced me 80% effaced and a centimeter dilated.  Which is good.  And pretty certainly indicates this baby will be here before his official March 7 due date.  However, he's not here yet, and I've spent the past three days just...waaaiiittting.  I don't have a real right to this yet.  Many mamas, of course, are still weeks away from delivery by the time they're at 37 1/2 weeks preggo.  

But I'm ready :0)  And I don't want to unpack my hospital bags, but I also don't want to continue hauling them to and from the car every time I leave the house.  You know, just in case.  Because once labor DOES start, it'll probably go fast.  

Or not.  He might tease me throughout that process, too! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I Have a Voice!

And I didn't realize it before yesterday's ENT appointment.  Every few days, I've been "testing," some sort of one-liner, to see if there's any vocalization happening at all.  And there's been a little bit sometimes.  But 1 1/2 weeks ago, that one-liner was enough to kill the voice, so I really hadn't pursued any speaking at all.  

The ENT used a laryngiscope to take a good look at the vocal cords themselves, and pronounced no damage done to them.  Thank You, God!  To continue the healing process, I need to speak with my voice when needed--not whisper--and continue to rest it.  No singing allowed for awhile yet (and, of course, as soon as I left that appointment I have had to remind myself many times to "stop that humming!" and "no, no singing allowed!").  Whispering contracts the vocal muscles improperly, and when whispering exclusively, bad habits can be formed that would require speech therapy to get the muscles working properly again.  Singing, too, is strenuous on already-strained cords.  But the doctor foresees no long-term damage, and said this isn't likely to result, either, in a perpetually weak voice.  Just the result of a really violent-coughing case of bronchitis.  Thank You, God!  And what's more, I shouldn't require any follow-up appointments!!  Thank You, God!!  That would be exponentially more difficult with a newborn AND a toddler, sheesh!  If my voice hasn't returned to normal within 4-6 weeks, I am very welcome to call them back to reevaluate.  But at this rate, I'm trusting that 4-6 weeks from now I'll be reading animal-noise books with Lincoln like a pro again :0) 

As a bonus, they gave me some free advice to take home to my hubby's ears, which have had stubborn fluid persisting behind the ear drums for the last couple of weeks so that he hears everything as if with large seashells over his ears, the wind whistling to drive him batty in one of them.  We've been joking about the wife who can't speak and the hubby who can't hear...

And this may well have come about in the nick of time, too: I've been having periodic contractions throughout the evening.  We may have another little Huntress boy by tomorrow :0)

Monday, February 13, 2012


As in: "above, beyond" outside of my own abilities.  These are the tasks before me, as I prepare my home and ready the Camp office and train my maternity-replacement and help my little boy understand what's about to happen and (perhaps) tie up loose ends like baking Valentine cookies for my husband, and sending leftover Christmas cards and making car-part appointments--while already overtired, and without a voice. 

My biggest fear is not actually pre-baby, but once he's arrived: that I will be actually unable to be "alive, alert, awake, enthusiastic" (mostly the alert part is of concern...), and that my inability to be alert when it matters could allow harm to come to my boys.  Because that feeling of being actually unable to keep my eyes open?  Already happens.  Fortunately, Lincoln is able to play pretty safely while I doze on the couch awhile.  Add in a new baby, and that is not feasible. 

Superlydia is unable.  But with Christ, Philippians 4:13

Therefore: Superlydia + Christ = Able

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Last Monday, Andy stayed home sick.  With his hoarse voice, he called to start the process of getting me scheduled to see an ENT (ear, nose, and throat specialist; otolaryngologist), which arrangements the primary care doctor actually organizes.  "We'll call you this afternoon with your appointment time."  Andy slept in the afternoon, and I answered the ringing phone to get the needed information.  The good news: an appointment is scheduled.  The bad news: not 'til February 22.  Three years ago I punctured my eardrum and went to this ENT; because I'm already a patient of his, I'm not allowed to switch doctors.  Sorry, but he's on vacation.  

This was bad news to receive, for two reasons.  1) I don't know what's wrong with my voice until I see the ENT, so don't necessarily know if I'm causing further damage or how long a process this will be, or if any of the damage will be permanent.  That is scary.  2) I'm going to have a baby any week, so waiting two additional weeks to start seeing a doctor with  whom I'll undoubtedly need follow-up appointments, an hour from home, is a pain in the butt, if not actually impossible. 

I cried, quite a lot actually, in my quiet home full of sleepers.  I found that not only does crying bring on the usual stuffed nose and ruddy, puffy face--but apparently crying involves the vocal cords, and the stress of sobbing really made my throat feel terrible.  I was still a weepy mess when Andy woke up, and after finding out why, he sent me out the door with a hug to think and freshen up and settle down with another walk on a beautiful day. 

When I came home, I pulled off my boots at the back door, and pulled off my wet, sandy-hemmed pants to toss in the laundry basket, and was about to run through the living room to re-dress when Andy called me over to his arms.  He had just put "Happiness" (You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown) on the GrooveShark queue, and he wanted to dance.  I asked if I could, you know, go put some pants on first.  He said, "No, it doesn't matter," and proceeded to hold me close, standing there in leg warmers and a big fuzzy maternity sweater, so, so thankful for this man who loves me through it all.  I cried all over again in his arms while listening to the lyrics about life's simple pleasures.  But this time, I cried because of the goodness of the moment, and the reminder that everything that matters most is whole and just right.  Happiness is remembering to be thankful for the small things, because all together they make up our Big. 

Happiness is finding a pencil, pizza with sausage, telling the time.  
Happiness is learning to whistle, tying your shoe for the very first time.  
Happiness is playing the drum in your own school band, 
and happiness is walking hand in hand.  

Happiness is two kinds of ice cream, knowing a secret, climbing a tree.  
Happiness is five different crayons, catching a firefly, setting him free.  
Happiness is being alone every now and then, 
and happiness is coming home again.
Happiness is morning and evening, daytime and night time, too.  
For happiness is anyone and anything at all that's loved by you.  

Happiness is having a sister, sharing a sandwich, getting along.  
Happiness is singing together when day is through, 
and happiness is those who sing with you. 
Happiness is morning and evening, daytime and nighttime too.  
For happiness is anyone and anything at all that's loved by you.

How Marvelous, How Wonderful!

Ephesians 5:19 refers to "...singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart..." a phrase that I see daily on my fridge calling out from the magnet I painted years ago for my dorm file cabinet.  It takes on new meaning for me right now, without a voice.  I took a walk this afternoon, my first in what seems many months, because the dry road edges and rare sunshine have beckoned me all day, and my cough has finally subsided enough I feel I can go out in the cold without much risk.  How wonderful to see defined little squirrel footprints traced all over the dusting of fresh snow; to speculate over how many neighbors' footprints, along with their dogs, I am following behind; to close the bottom of my sweater against the occasional cold breeze; to see the dancing tree shadows again, because finally there is sunshine to light them up; to look overhead and smile at the blue sky and the mares' tails blowing off the front edge of the coming cold; to feel my muscles working together to carry me uphill; to hear the chickadees, crows, breeze in the pine boughs, the life-sustaining fluid sloshing around my baby.  I think of my coming baby boy, who could arrive any week, and trust in God's perfect timing despite all my various worries.  I daydream about holding him for the first time, and introducing him to Lincoln and making him a perfect part of our little family.  I smile as I come around the bend in my road and see in the distance the purple front door of my home, and Lincoln's bedroom window, and the garden fence we built, and the for sale sign at the end of the driveway--and again find my contentment in the trust I can safely place in Him to arrange our lives just-rightly.  And behind all these things, keeping rhythm with my steps, my heart sings the refrain of the old hymn, "how marvelous, how wonderful is my Savior's love for me!"

Friday, February 10, 2012

Something to Say

I've thought before about writing a blog, and felt that I had nothing much to say.  But two weeks ago I lost my voice--really, thoroughly lost it--and I find that, yes, I have some things to say.  I am choosing to trust that someday, before too long, the Lord will restore my whole voice.  And in the meantime, I will practice the discipline of saying things that matter through my writing, using my writer's voice to highlight the goodnesses of my God in everyday life.  

Psalm 139, my favorite whole-chapter scripture, begins this way: "O Lord, you have searched me and known me!  You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.  You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.  Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.  You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it."