Sunday, March 23, 2008

Stacey Joined a Mom's Blog

I recently was asked to join a mom's blog ( I had to write an introduction to our family and my life as a mom so far. Below is what I posted to that blog. I wanted to include it on our family blog because I have never written down the whole story and I wanted to be able to keep it in this "computer scrapbooking!"

I have been married to my high school sweetheart, Matt, for 16 years and we have 3 beautiful (and very animated :) children. Twenty years ago Matt and I began our romance. We married during our sophomore year of college and immediately began ministry together. Oh if we had known what God had in store for our journey together!!! It is so comforting to look back and know that even when we don’t know what our future holds, we can have confidence in Christ who “began a good work in us and will carry it to completion.” When Matt and I had been married for 3 years we decided to start our family. We thought that would be an easy and painless task. It turned out to be just the opposite. After trying for a year we finally conceived and soon miscarried. Two months later…a second miscarriage. We had so much sorrow and grief over the loss of these precious babies and wondered if God had children planned for us. Eight more months of trying and waiting brought us to the great news that we were expecting for a third time. At last, God saw fit to allow the pregnancy to be healthy with no complications!! Nine months and 70 POUNDS  later we gave birth to our first born, Meredith! Obviously after losing two babies and gaining 70 lbs with the third, we were ready for a break.

When Meredith turned three we were ready for another newborn in the house. Again…waiting…waiting…third miscarriage…more grief…many doctor visits…waiting. At this point we thought, “Well God, do You just want Meredith to be an only child?” We decided that that may be the plan of God for our family but a bigger family was always a desire in the back of our minds. When Meredith was 5 ½ we conceived for the 5th time. This pregnancy was healthy, easy and caused only a 30 lb. weight gain which resulted in our second born, Madison. At this point in our journey to build our family, we became very relaxed in our thoughts of conceiving quickly. This relaxation turned out a surprise conception! I had been working out diligently and eating very little to lose all of the baby weight because we were planning a trip to Brazil when Madison was three months old. After returning from Brazil, I became very sick and thought I had some kind of parasite from bad food. Oh no…this was no parasite! Baby number 3 was on his way! First, shock…followed by more joy…followed by cancer resulting in more uncertainty in our lives. When I was 7 ½ months pregnant, Matt was diagnosed with liposarcoma in his thigh. The last two months of the pregnancy were spent with him in two surgeries and radiation. During this difficult time in our lives, God gave us such peace and reminded us that He is in control and our lives are in His hands. Our third child and only boy, Matthew Ray, came along just one year and two days after the birth of Madison! Whew! What a roller coaster ride!!!

These last four years as a family of five have been a whirlwind and a joy! And God has continued to lead us on new adventures with Him. Just 15 months ago, we began a new chapter in our lives as He led our family to move overseas. Being a mom overseas has its difficulties, but I love getting to see my kids learn and grow to love another culture.

Our oldest, Meredith, is now eleven. She is such a joy and always has been. She has always been quick to obey and has such a tender heart. It has been amazing to watch her approach these pre-teen years with such spiritual maturity and consistency! Our middle child, Madison, is five. She shows leadership qualities, is creative, verbal, photogenic, and our most strong-willed child. :) Our 4-year-old baby is Matthew Ray. He is a typical boy who loves running, jumping, climbing, sword fighting, boxing, sports, and making every sound to go with all of the activities listed above. He also holds his mother’s heart in his hands and can make her melt! :)