I am going to be honest here, my little Sentenn family is not very adventurous. In fact, we have a sign in our bedroom that reads, “Let’s stay home.” I gave it to Andy for an anniversary (or maybe Valentine’s gift?) because that’s our mentality that he has led in since day one. We like being together in our place of comfort- home. I wasn’t always this way though, I both blame and thank Andy for this fully. However, it’s also due to my anxiety within whenever the thought of flying with a toddler comes to mind. On the other hand, we do love to make family memories. We have found that in our bit of traveling together, all drive-able distances after Abigail’s birth, some of our greatest family moments have been conceived. In fact, I was discussing my desire for new furniture with my mom recently, and her financial advice was to cut out some of our family excursions. I quickly responded with, “No, memories over furniture!” These little seasonal jaunts to Chattanooga, visiting our best friends in Nashville, anniversary and birthday trips, or our nearly monthly visits to the beach are some of our greatest moments of fun as a family. So as much as we love home we recognize one of our greatest investments as a family is in making memories together, and that can be found in traveling. Though my family is not adventurous, my friend Ginger Lindsey and her family have long inspired me. So I went right to the source and spoke with her about this topic recently:
When we were left with more questions, then came an answer. He always has a plan, a time, a purpose even when we doubt or wrestle with intense confusion in our unknowing. Being completely honest, we still feel puzzled by these past nine months; but the one thing we know for sure is that God can be trusted. We trust Him with our toddler on Earth, our baby in Heaven, and the little one growing in my belly. We also have so much to celebrate and be thankful for involving each of our three children. Thank you, Jesus!
But let me start with this details of our most recent little blessing. We have another baby girl growing and due to make her arrival in our arms on December 23, 2018 just in time to celebrate our Savior’s birth and mark the end of this wild year. It’s been quite the process navigating grief and celebration in a strange mix the past few months, but the most overwhelming emotion I feel is immense gratitude. We have gotten to see our littlest girl move around and marvel at all her little growing parts, thanks to a thorough doctor and modern medicine. She already seems to resemble her big sister Abigail in her active nature and long legs! It really brings me to tears to think about all of my girls and their place in this great design. Hallelujah!
Thank you for being a part of this journey with me in the hills and the valleys. Remember that God is never through with us, and His plan is without a doubt better than our own. Please keep us in your prayers if you think to, and I’ll keep telling His story in all the beautiful ways that He can be seen while I’m here. After all, this is all for Him alone, Heaven made Home.
When it was time for me to name this ol’ blog my family and web designer, Mackenzie Mathews, threw around lot of different ideas. But when I lost my baby the most comforting thought for me was that the only home better than the one I rest in now is found with my Jesus in a Heaven made Home. So there it was!
The concepts of home and family are so deeply, and really spiritually, intertwined. My sweet two year old loves to yell out “Abigail’s home!” as soon as we pull up to our neighborhood. Whether it’s that she’s relieved to soon get out of the car, or the comfort that being home brings, I do not know? I can sense she finds comfort in these walls, but I see more her sense of pride and deep satisfaction that come from having her family together wherever that home may be. She has just recently grasped the concept of family, and who her family is, and it’s just so enlightening to watch this happen in her little mind’s eye. If her Dad and I are both tucking her in at night she will say with great joy, “OUR FAMILY!” while she puts her little arms around us both. Likewise, we have been found at the dinner table with her grandparents and she will proudly announce, “It’s my family!” I really do love it, and it’s gotten me thinking about what makes a family. It’s the love, the dedication, and the bond that is so totally spiritual. Family is sacred, and it’s ordained by God. Family can look a lot of different ways. But the strength of a unified family, and the security found there, is such a tremendous blessing. Walls and genetics have such little to do with it, amen?
Walking closely with a friend through adoption gives me pause to think through the spiritual aspect of family as well. It’s been a true joy, a gift, and a blessing to watch my friend Keighlee Buchanan become a mother once again as she brought her sweet Gabby Marie home. We are all so in love with this child! I wanted to share a bit of their FAMILY story here, so read on…