The Loves of My Life

The Loves of My Life

Saturday, February 21, 2009

What's in a Name- Introducing My Circus Animal

Today we brought home our beautiful baby boy.

Wesley Wendell White was Born Thursday, February 19th at 6lbs, 13oz and 20 in. long.

He is absolutely beautiful (of course I am biased) and I have already switched to the "I can't imagine my life without him" gear.

A few months ago,  I posted a "A Baby Naming Contest" blog to see if anyone wanted to try and guess the name we picked out. And true to my word,  I am posting the winners.
No one actually guessed the first name....accept "Anonymous." But my thought is,  if you post anonymous, you might as well not post :-)

But two people guessed the middle name. It took a while....but they finally got it...and within  only a few hours of each other. The winners are.....
First Place- Diane Davis
Second Place- Edie Finnell.

To be truthful...I had a feeling these girls might guess it since they are both avid readers.

So why Wesley Wendell White?

Well a friend of mine, Elizabeth,  wrote a beautiful post on her blog and I encourage you to read it here. She put  into words some of the things I don't know how. I have to say after reading it, I wished I had thought of some of those reasons, but I hadn't. But her prayer is what fills my heart with hope, that Wesley will grow into the meaning of his name.

To be honest....both Paul and I just really liked the name Wesley. We wanted a W name.....cuz let's face it...who doesn't like alliteration? We hadn't even thought of the theologian until a few weeks ago....but that's okay.

Wendell is the name that Paul without a doubt wanted. Wendell is named after the writer Wendell Berry. Paul has read many of his books and poetry and he is a man that he highly respects and loves. After reading some of his stuff, I would have to agree. His heart and thoughts are so rich and full of so many rich things...things that truly matter in this crazy world.

While I was in labor, Paul read aloud some of his poems. There was one in particular I really liked, and it happened to be one of Paul's favorites too. In fact....after we announced the name...a close friend posted this exact poem on our facebook wall without even knowing that we had read it.

"When despair grows in me
and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.
I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free."

~ 'The Peace of Wild Things' -- by Wendell Berry

Reading that just takes my breathe does looking at Wesley. 

I love his name.....and it holds so much meaning and hope for me. I also love all the little nicknames emerging from friends and family.
There's Dub Dub, Triple Dub, The Web, and the funniest which Jeremiah came up with....Mr. Fire Engine ("Cuz he sounds like a fire engine when he cries!")

So Welcome lil sweet little wanderer Wes.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Forgetful People- Lesson #1

Our Church is currently working it's way through the book of Exodus. 

Exodus is actually one of the more exciting books in the Old Testament with lots of action going on with plagues, slaughtered lambs over doors, combustible bushes,  and it's very own Survivor Man but with a group of people instead of one.

I am always amazed at how I can learn something new from scripture that I somehow didn't "get" before.

This time there are two things that have struck that gets to my heart and the other to my theology.

The first one is that the Israelites were such forgetful people (the second I will blog about tomorrow). They continue to see God's power save them over and over again....and yet they constantly complained in the wilderness. 
Let's face it, they were babies.

God splits the Red Sea for  them to walk through and keeps them safe from the Egyptians and a few days later they are wining to Moses about how they should have stayed in Egypt. 
God delivers them out of slavery....the beatings and sweatshop conditions and they cry to Moses about how awful God is to them.
Over and over they cry and complain......and yet, God in His lovingness...still saves them, still delivers them, still provides for them.....and still loves them.

I don't know about you but I would have dropped them like a (insert funny pop culture reference here-and feel free to post in comments) and looked to another group of people.

But as I was reading this time, I felt like I was looking in a mirror. How many times have I been delivered, saved and provided for....and yet I still doubt God. For the most part...I trust God....but then there are those stressful moments that I freak out, panic and have anxiety.

This series comes at a good time for me. Here I am about to have a baby any day and we put our house on the market to sell. I mean that's CRAZINESS. Normally, I would have been freaking out and worried about everything...if we will sell, how we will live, where we will, and how we can do all this while adjusting to a newborn.

But going through this series with our church has caused me to look back and see how God has parted the seas in my life

how He has delivered me from bad situations 

and how He has always provided what I needed.

......and I am done stressing, wining and complaining. I don't want to be like the Israelites any longer. When a unexpected bill comes, I don't want to be stressed. I want to be confident in God's provision for me.

And I can finally say that I am. I feel at peace with God leading us. We don't know what house we will be in nor how things will go with having a third baby....but I know My God is with me, He is mighty to Save.
He has been faithful to me in all my days, and now I my heart and mind that He is with me....he dwells with me wherever I go.

It feels good to be on this side of things rather than the stressful side. Friends comment that I must be going crazy with all the things to do...have a baby, pack etc etc.

But I just smile....because I don't feel overwhelmed, or stressed...I feel God's peace, His provision and His ability to part the Seas, send Manna from Heaven and provide water through rocks.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Beginning to Grieve

 This is the first house I have ever lived in.

The very first one.

I grew up in the same apartment, lived in dorms, got married and lived in more apartments. 

It was always my dream to live in a real house.

7 Years ago, my dream became reality when we bought this little house on Harvey Way. 

Jeremiah was only 18 months and I was pregnant with Riley at the time. We had no idea what to look for when purchasing our home, but we were up for the adventure. We found this house the first day we went looking, and 30 days later closed escrow.

The beauty of our home is that we are not the sole owners. The church that Paul works for helped us to buy this home. They put down a hefty down payment with our down payment and share the equity with us. So even though it is our is their home as well. Some may not have liked that kind of situation, but we have loved it. It has helped us keep things in perspective as well as given us the opportunity to do something we couldn't have ever done without them.

Over the past 7 years it has been a blessing to see the congregation of our church take care of us....and their investment. If we ever needed work done.....people have always been there to help. We have a patio, a completely remodeled bathroom, a finished garage, a new gate, a garden in the front and a remodeled bedroom because of the time people took to help us "do it ourselves" (when we all know Paul and I couldn't have done it ourselves!). It truly has become God's house to me. I know that sounds corny.....but I look around our house and I see the many faces of those in our congregation that have passed through our doorway for not only a party or a meal....but also to give their sweat to make the house better for us.

It makes me love my house even more if it was solely our house.

So today....I say with great excitement that we sold our house. I am still in shock that with the market the way it is...we sold it in less than a week. It goes into escrow tomorrow morning and if all goes well......a new couple will be blessed by the hands that have loved this house.

But I am also very sad, and recognize that for a while, I will need to grieve the selling of our home.

My first home.

The home where Jeremiah and Riley have both grown up.

The home that I have sometimes loved to hate....but I have always loved.

The home where our toddlers have done naked runs in the circle of our home after bath-time.

The home where we march to "pajama time".

The home where we created memories with our church community and family community.

The home of Oscar parties and college/young adult get togethers.

The home where our little "surprise" will come home to, only to move out a few weeks later.

It's the home of so many memories and so many dreams come true.

and soon it will be time to say good-bye.

And I'm keenly aware of God's abundant blessing in all this.......and feel overwhelmed by it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Things I Love #4

I Love Paul's art. 

When we first started dating  I was a little scared off by his creative mind. The paintings in his room were on the "weirder" side and reminded me of aliens in scary movies. But his people and his style grew on me and I have come to love his "lanky people"....
 NO...I have come to LOVE them.
I know he doesn't think so, but I think he's talented. He has a perspective not seen in commercial art and it's fresh and different. He has also played with shapes and geometry in some of his paintings and they have turned out really good. 

When he became a pastor he started using art as a media for ministry and even now sometimes will use his paintings in his sermons which is kinda cool.

I love having the opportunity to change the decor of my house based on one of his paintings. Here are a few in our house that I took quick snapshots of.....
I love this painting. Paul did this after our daughter Riley was born. I love 
it so much that it inspired the baby's room........
I have never been able to decorate a room for a baby. 
Jeremiah was born at a time when we lived in Princeton in a tiny one bedroom apt. When we had Riley, she slept in the "office" until she was 3 months old- then she moved into big brother Jeremiah's room. So I had fun putting together a room for our little surprise. Although he was unplanned.....just like the picture, he will be met with much joy when he is finally born.

This is probably my favorite of Paul's pieces.
 The lighting and camera don't do it justice. Paul calls it "Rest for the Weary" and he painted it at the end of a long quarter of Greek while in seminary. When I worked for a printing company, we had a few printed framing it in black with scripture (Matt. 11: 28-30) at the bottom. 
It turned out beautiful...and still waits for us to frame it and put it up.  But I still love the original and it always is up on one of our walls in our house.

Here's a piece currently in our living room. I love all the colors and textures he uses with the brush....wish the camera could show those.

This is a bit of a sentimental piece. Paul gave this to me the first year we were married. He'll probably get mad I even posted this piece. I wish it was out for all to see in my house, but it's been put up in our bedroom on a wall that people don't look at. Maybe at our new house it will have a more prominent place. 

So there's just a few pieces....ones that I love and I would take with me wherever I go.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Things I Love #3

I have a ridiculous infatuation with the tv show Friday Night Lights.

I heart FNL.

I love me some Lost and the Office ( more of my faves), but there is something about Friday Night Lights that captures so many parts of me.

I tell everyone about the show....and I insist they try it out. I even force my season 1 & 2 dvd's on them.  I tell them to give it 3 episodes and  they will be hooked.

You know what? Anyone who I have pushed the show on has absolutely loved it (even a husband of  a friend of mine).

It's not really about football.....but lets be realistic, it can be.
But its more than that.....the story-telling is so authentic and never know what a character will say or not say. 
Yes, it can be "soapy" but not in a bad way. You almost come away believing that what you are watching are real people, dealing with real things.

I read many things about this show and one of things I appreciate is the art that goes into making this show. There is so much room for creativity.....that it allows the actors to ad-lib and have input to what their character might say or do.

Nothing illustrates this better than the amazing chemistry between Coach and his wife Tami. Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton are amazing in these roles and I love to watch them weave their way through the obstacles that come their way.
There is no better relationship on tv that displays such authenticity for a married couple. Period.

I love this show, and I encourage you to borrow my season 1 dvd or rent it from netflix and hop onto to season 3. You won't be that far behind.

Besides the heartwarming stories and good laughs.....there is some great eye candy in Taylor Kitsch's "Riggins" the end of season two you will be wishing you were his rally girl.
Btw- FNL is on NBC, Friday Nights at 9pm. 
Watch won't be sorry.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Back Online with Some Ramblings

Sorry about the extended blogging vacation, my mind has been mush and not capable of putting together whole thoughts.

It's actually still not ready, so I have compiled a list of thoughts that have been swimming in my little brain the past two weeks. Here they are for you to enjoy:

1. Did anyone see Grey's Anatomy two weeks ago? The end was ridiculously good. It reminded me of the old Grey's that held depth and meaning. After a 3 episode arc of a serial killer trying to die in the hospital rather that by lethal injection (which I think Eric Stolz, of the old school movie, "Some kind of Wonderful" played creepily and brilliantly) it ended with such a moving scene it brought me to literal sobs. Meredith, our heroine, we are learning has a compassionate side...even for those undeserving people that have no remorse for the horrible things they have done to people. Such is the case between serial killer and Meredith.  A unique relationship develops between the two and without apology they kind of understand each other. Anyway....he asks if she will come to his "death" so "there's at least one friendly face in the place."
She does.....and what happens is an astonishing picture of grace. Our heroine goes to this man's "death", a man who has killed quite a few women without any apology.....just for the fun of it and she gives him a friendly face as he is pumped with enough drugs to take him to the other side. After its over, she walks out to her boyfriend and collapses in sobs. She cries she just wanted to give him a little bit of compassion, and it was horrible.

sniff sniff.

Grace isn't easy. Grace shouldn't be easy.....and at times it can feel horrible to give. Just think back to the most amazing grace ever given.....on a cross......and it was horrible.

Sometimes as believers we sugar coat grace....and I loved that a TV show could actually show an accurate description of what it can be like.

2.  I am a crazy woman for agreeing with my husband to sell my house in the midst of about to have a baby. 

3. If another person tells me that my little circus animal in utero needs to stay in longer to grow, I will punch them. 
It's time for him to come out.....any day little guy.....please today.

4. I wish I had a house cleaner. I think the govn't should pay for house cleaners. It would help our health care system by reducing the number of people being sick from dirty houses.

5. I have the most amazing friends....both near and far. Just the other day a group of girls surprised me with a yummy breakfast brought to my home along with gifts for our little circus animal.

6. I am hoping I can go hear Greg Mortenson talk at Long Beach Wilson. He's the author of , "Three Cups of Tea". A fantastic book if you are looking for  a good read.

7.  I am hoping I can sleep longer than 2 hour periods in the night.

that's all I got.....I know there's more, but the mind has completely mushed.
Til next time dear readers.....