We’ve watched another year come and go, its joys and perplexities now registered on the pages of our history. Love and gratitude wells up in our hearts, as we look back and consider, undeserving as we are, the unfailing love, mercy and grace of our precious Lord and Savior Jesus! Without His grace, we would have no hope of a life worth living....and even more so in this age of uncertainty.
Pressing close to each other some weeks ago now, to make everyone fit into the frame of our family Christmas picture at “Sweetwater” was a fitting reminder of the past year’s blessings!
Providence had our 4 girls surprised and delighted, during the latter part of 2018, to find themselves embarking together on the awe inspiring journey of pregnancy. Each of the 3 new mommies-to-be—Natasha, Vanessa and Shayla had hopes of experiencing the joys of natural childbirth in a birthing center...
...while Chantee, our more veteran mommy of 3 babes, aspired to (and enjoyed:) the fourth birthing experience at home. Though disappointed that little Luke made his surprise entry into our world, before the traveling family members could arrive at the farm, we were rejoicing that his birth on August 26th and first weeks of life were joyful and devoid of any challenges....
...especially since we still well remembered the anxieties that surrounded precious Lynnea’s early weeks of life the year before.
Our 3 younger girls’ hopes for uncomplicated, carefree birth experiences in charming birthing centers were to be disappointed. Natasha, confronting a rare complication that posed a high risk to her life and the baby’s, required premature delivery by C-section at 34 weeks on March 3.
While not encountering as serious a level of risk, the others both faced unexpected challenges that required last minute change of plans to ensure the safe deliveries of their babies in the hospital- Vanessa on April 5 and Shayla on June 8.
The medical complications were reminders of the widespread rising risks and greater threats to our general health and well-being, even for the most conscientious of health reformers, in these last days of earth’s history. The environment of this old world is growing more noxious by the day!
“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but....even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. Ro.8:22,23
All things considered, our thankfulness knows no bounds to have the happy outcome of 4 more precious lives in our family to endeavor to nurture for Christ.
The trying circumstances surrounding our 3 girls’ births reminded us to choose to be steadfast in our faith in the benevolent providence of our Father. The call to our hearts was heard once again to rejoice and give thanks through every disappointment, by faith in His faithfulness! (Ro. 8:28) He is worthy of our deepest confidence and highest loyalty! (Ro. 8:32,39)
Our gratitude runs deep as we have been enjoying the growing community of little people that have joined Hudson, Maria and Lynnea at our family reunions. Though labeled “glorious chaos” 🤗 at times, our fellowship is especially sweet and gratifying to us, as we witness the earnestness and noble aspirations shared by the 4 couples! They are humbled by a recognition of our human frailty and their insufficiency to parent successfully. They share a burden of prayer, entreating the Lord for wisdom (in large measure), without which it is impossible to raise children for God’s kingdom in this degenerate age. We support their efforts fervently through our daily intercessions!
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Pe. 5:8 Dangers press from behind and before to imperil the souls of all our children and youth! Praise God for the privilege of prayer and for the eagerness of a gracious Savior who is so mighty to save! We are inspired to inquire with the Psalmist, “What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?” Ps. 116:12
As we’ve embarked on the journey of 2020, may God’s word and grace abound in us, that we “...might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins... that in all things He might have the preeminence.” Col 1:18
This beautiful passage of Scripture encapsulates our dearest hopes and dreams for ourselves and for you, our dear family and friends!
Sending our love ❤️ to you and prayers 🙏 heavenward for all,
Neb and Maria