"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think...to Him be the glory." (Eph. 3:20-21)
Today has a lot of praises to share. God took us through quite a string of events today that we just felt stirred to share. (along with the "grand finale" at the end!)
1. To start things off, Ansley has broken her rough sleeping habits! Now she is a decent sleeper, and it isn't like we are up for hours (cough cough, like we were with Zachary!) but she does wake up once to feed. We started the day off with both children sleeping in until 7:00. (For those of you without kids, yes I did say "sleeping in until 7:00").
2. Ansley ate a decent breakfast. Covered in bananas and oatmeal, I still managed to get a decent serving in her.
3. I read an awesome devotion from Spurgeon's morning and evening. It challenged me and encouraged me to "keep sowing hope." I shared it with Jordan, and I will share it with you:
“Only be thou strong and very courageous.” (Joshua 1:7)
Our God’s tender love for his servants makes him concerned for the state of their inward feelings. He desires them to be of good courage. Some esteem it a small thing for a believer to be vexed with doubts and fears, but God thinks not so. From this text it is plain that our Master would not have us entangled with fears. He would have us without carefulness, without doubt, without cowardice. Our Master does not think so lightly of our unbelief as we do. When we are desponding we are subject to a grievous malady, not to be trifled with, but to be carried at once to the beloved Physician. Our Lord loveth not to see our countenance sad. It was a law of Ahasuerus that no one should come into the king’s court dressed in mourning: this is not the law of the King of kings, for we may come mourning as we are; but still he would have us put off the spirit of heaviness, and put on the garment of praise, for there is much reason to rejoice. The Christian man ought to be of a courageous spirit, in order that he may glorify the Lord by enduring trials in an heroic manner. If he be fearful and fainthearted, it will dishonour his God. Besides, what a bad example it is. This disease of doubtfulness and discouragement is an epidemic which soon spreads amongst the Lord’s flock. One downcast believer makes twenty souls sad. Moreover, unless your courage is kept up, Satan will be too much for you. Let your spirit be joyful in God your Saviour, the joy of the Lord shall be your strength, and no fiend of hell shall make headway against you; but cowardice throws down the banner. Moreover, labour is light to a man of cheerful spirit; and success waits upon cheerfulness. The man who toils, rejoicing in his God, believing with all his heart, has success guaranteed. He who sows in hope shall reap in joy; therefore, dear reader, “be thou strong, and very courageous.”
4. Seeing the sun for the first time in weeks it seems, I went for a run. When I run near our house, I always take the same 2 mile loop through all the nearby streets. Today, I wanted to try something different and looked for something to break the normal routine. About a quarter of a mile from our house is a gravel access road to a cell tower (or so I thought). I have run down this road 3 or 4 times only to turn around in disappointment because it dead ends after about 75 yards. Today, I thought--what the heck--and tried it again. At the end of the road I noticed something I had never seen before: a trail. Then it made sense, I had never been back here in the winter. The trail was always hidden behind the leaves. I kept running. Low and behold, a quarter of a mile from my house is an old greenway trail that runs along the ridge for a couple miles! It was awesome. It felt like my own private nature trail, it even runs by a pond in the middle of the woods. Now, I know it seems like I have taken forever to tell you how excited I am about this new trail, but God had an awesome lesson in it.
When I got back home, I was walking and I thought to myself, "I have lived here for almost 4 years, and have run by that gravel road 100 times and never found the trail." Then God spoke into my soul and said, "I am full of surprises. And, when the time is right, I will give them to you. Just wait on me." It was awesome. Four years, then God opens up something awesome in my own back yard. I thought, "God has all kinds of surprises lying in wait inside our daughter, and--when the time is right--He will reveal them."
5. When I walked in the door, Jordan started to feed Ansley and she ate more than she has ever eaten, faster, and easier than she has ever eaten. Today she ate more food than she ever has. God is full of surpises.
6. I heard a new song by Kutless that was awesome. Jordan is going to add it to the blogs mixpod.
"I am the light of the world, he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life." (John 8:12)
This is something we have been really excited to share. Might get the kleenex box handy, because this might make you misty! Ansley continues to need prayer for her physical and cognitive development. She is a little behind "normal functioning" physically, and a little more noticeably behind cognitively. We have been working with her specialist on cognitive growth and development a lot in the last few weeks. Then, God had another surprise for us. Out of nowhere Ansley started doing something incredible. Ansley has achieved a cognitive development indicator 4 and half months early!!! She is displaying word-recognition! This is something that usually begins around 12 months, and Ansley knows, understands, and responds to a word. When we showed our developmental specialist she was speechless. She literally said, "Wow. Ummm...I don't know what to tell you. Yeah, she really is showing word recognition. Ummmm...that's not supposed to happen for a while. I...I don't know what to say. It's unexplainable." The funny thing is that right now there is only one word that Ansley understands and responds to...Light. We can hold Ansley in any room of our house and say, "Ansley look at the light." And she will do it! Our daughter, since the day she was born has taught us all a lot about how to live looking at the Light. This new development is a grace given to us to give us courage and hope. Our daughter is "advanced" in this cognitive functioning. No other words have come, only "the light". I think God is trying to teach us something with this. I believe He is quietly calling us all to look towards the light. I pray that all of you reading will join us in praise, and with our daughter, take a moment to look at the Light of the world.