March 26, 2011

Madelyn Joy Has Arrived!

The blog pollers have predicted it again!  You voted that you thought Madelyn would come early and you were right...10 days early to be exact!  Here's the recap of her first week.

Sunday, March 20th
Megan woke up early Sunday morning having contractions.  They were coming regularly, but were still 10-15 minutes apart.  Knowing we could still have a long ways to go, she encouraged me to go ahead and go to church Sunday morning.  I led both morning services with my cell phone on my music stand, ready to walk out as soon as she called =).  When I got home, they were about 8 minutes apart.  We went ahead and called the hospital and they suggested that we come on over.  We got there around 2:30, they decided to officially admit Megan at 3:30, and she had the baby at 6:00 on the dot.  We were shocked (and Megan was quite pleased) by how fast everything went.  As soon as we saw baby Madelyn, we knew our lives had changed forever.

Monday, March 21st
On Monday, the doctors quickly decided to keep us in the hospital another day.  Madelyn was a tiny 5 pounds, 4 ounces and wasn't too terribly interested in eating.  They were concerned about her being able to keep her temperature stable on her own.  We were happy about staying another day to make sure things with Madelyn and Megan were both going to be well taken care of.  We also enjoyed seeing several visitors from church and getting to show off our baby girl.

Tuesday, March 22nd
On Tuesday, the doctors felt like she was eating a little better, keeping her temperature up, and would be okay to go home.  She had to take her "car seat test" and then we were good to go!  When we got home, she was at first pretty unsettled.  We wondered what happened to our quiet little baby from the hospital =).  But, she calmed down before long.  She even slept through her first night at home ok, only getting up every three hours to eat.

Wednesday, March 23rd
On Wednesday morning, we already had an appointment to take her back to the doctor to see how things were going.  We were excited about her first checkup, even taking pictures to remember her first visit.  We assumed we'd hear everything looked good and we'd be on our way.  However, she was now down to 4 pounds, 15 ounces.  And, they were concerned about a yellow-tint to her skin, wondering about jaundice.  Even though these were minor concerns, I think this is when we realized how much we loved this little baby.  She had to go have some blood tests and when they pricked her little foot, Megan and I were crying almost as much as she was!  Wow, that love for your own child is something we've never experienced before and we were just overwhelmed.  We just wanted more than anything for her to be okay.

Thursday, March 24th
We went back to the doctor again on Thursday.  We were so relieved to hear that she had gained 2 ounces in 24-hours AND that her bilirubin levels were already going down.  She had eaten well, picked up some weight, and any jaundice concerns were already going away.  What a huge blessing to hear that she was going to be just fine.

Friday, March 25th
This was the first day of her life that she didn't have to see the doctor.  We are trying to feed her every two hours to help her eat as much as she can.  We're also keeping a close eye on her temperature, keeping her bundled up most of the day.  She still sleeps for a good chunk of the day, but is doing very well.  Since the doctor strongly suggested staying away from crowds of people, we're going to stay in this weekend instead of going out to church.

This has been quite an amazing, life-changing week for us.  We are enjoying every minute of holding her and just staring at her beautiful face.  Sure, hearing her cry at 2 in the morning isn't the most exciting thing, but it is a joy to be able to help her calm down again.  She's so adorable...even at 2 in the morning =).  The next interesting adjustment will be Madelyn meeting our dogs.  They have been at a friend's house this entire week.  The meeting should be an interesting one.

We praise God for our healthy, beautiful, baby girl and we thank you all for your prayers and encouragement.

March 2, 2011

Multi-Generational Church

We are blessed at Edgewood to have a multi-generational congregation.  Edgewood is a church where you can bring your kids, your parents, and your grandparents.  There is so much wisdom that "more experienced" people in life can share with us younger folk.  And there is also a fresh life and vision that younger folk can use to encourage the older ones.  There are powerful Scriptures that encourage both sides...

I Tim 4:12 "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."

Psalm 71:18 "Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come."
And I love how Psalm 78:3-4 encourages "Generational Evangelism"....passing on what we've learned to those coming behind us.
"What we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us.  We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, and the wonders He has done."
And, in addition to learning from one another, there is a powerful bond as we work together as the body of Christ.  I don't think there is anyone better to reach other teenagers than Christian teenagers.  I don't think there is anyone better to reach people in the workplace than Christian workers.  And I don't think there is anyone better to reach retired people than Christian retired people.  God has placed each of us into this multi-generational family at Edgewood and we each have a purpose and a role.  None of us are too young or too old to make a difference.  And none of us can do alone what we can all do together.

I'd be curious to hear from you (even if you don't attend Edgewood) about ways that you have come alongside someone of a different age and learned from one another.  Or, what are ways that we as a church can encourage this better?  One story that always sticks out in my mind is a person from our old church in Arkansas.  I call her my "drum lady".  When I was in high school, I played drums for our adult orchestra on Sunday mornings.  There were many in the church that still thought drums shouldn't be a part of a worship service.  One deacon even went as far as telling me that "drums were from the devil."  While those people were extremely discouraging to a high schooler just trying to serve, I could always count on my "drum lady" to offer encouraging words.  She loved my playing and made sure to tell me almost every Sunday how much she appreciated me being in the orchestra.  Her son had played in bands and she loved seeing younger people involved in the worship services.  When I went away to college, I would still come back to our church in Arkansas from time to time.  Every time I was in town I made sure I found her (she always sat in the same pew =) to tell her how I was doing.  She would go on and on about how she missed me playing and usually offered me some money to go by a coke =).  My "drum lady", was a consistent encouragement to me week after week after week.  Her encouragement and her prayers for me made a huge impact in my life.  She was passing on the joy that God gave her and shared it with me and I am very grateful that she did.  Even though we were probably 60 years apart in age, we shared a special bond in Christ and were a regular encouragement to one another.

I pray for these types of connections at Edgewood.  We are blessed to be with a very diverse group of ages.  Let's make sure we're taking advantage of that blessing and constantly looking for ways to encourage one another and join as one to do what God's called us to do.

I recently read an article in Christianity Today about multi-generational churches.  It said that many times when churches brag that they are multi-generational it is a euphemism for "we are an aging church that wants to have more young people attending so that we don't die, but we don't want to change enough to actually attract any of them to come."

OUCH.  I pray that that is NOT the case at Edgewood.  I pray that we can continue to attract those of all ages, being willing to make changes to do so, and to truly join together to do what God's called us to do.

Baby is Coming!!

Madelyn's Room is Ready!
Today Megan made it to the 36-week mark on her pregnancy.  She is doing an amazing job and things are progressing along very well.  We have been praying for little Madelyn, reading a handful of books, redoing our family budget, setting up her room, stocking the house with diapers and formula, and trying to stock up on sleep =).  All we need now is the baby!

We appreciate your prayers that things will continue to go well and then for our lives as we adjust to having Madelyn with us.

Since you blog readers predicted she was going to be a girl awhile back, I thought I'd give you a chance to predict her arrival time.  Take your best guess over on the right.  Let's see how you do on this one!