We are officially homeless! The cabin closing was on Tuesday afternoon and went great. We have been praying blessings over the family that bought it, and hope they enjoy it as much as we did.
After the closing we headed to a quick celebration dinner at the Olive Garden then hit the road. We stopped overnight in Kentucky then made the rest of the trip to Ohio the following morning. As I write this, I am camped out in one of the guest rooms at my father’s house. We will be packing up this evening and heading back to Tennessee tomorrow.
Malachi has handled the transitions very well! He has learned the word “adventure” and we have been using it a lot lately so he can learn to expect something different than normal. He has still been sleeping better than ever before, logging in about 7-8 hours each night! There are still wake ups throughout the night but they are an hour or less.
While in Ohio we have been traveling around visiting with family, and boy has he loved that! He definitely remembers the people here in Ohio well and is currently downstairs hollering and laughing with my 5 year old half sister and 20 month old half brother. This video was from a Saturday morning.
We have also been able to take Malachi to two churches while we are here, both of which have been fervently praying for Malachi since his rough start! It has been such a blessing to me to hear that he is still on the hearts and minds of others. Sometimes it overwhelms me when I sit down to pray miracles over Malachi’s life, and knowing that I have reinforcements doing the same is a huge encouragement.
The Christmas season is something that Jake and I are still trying to figure out. We aren’t quite sure yet how it will look for our family. As in all spiritual matters, convictions are between you and God and not meant to be universal rules for others to follow, so please don’t think there is any judgment hidden in my words! More than ever, this year we have both been trying to process how the Christmas holiday 1) brings glory to God and 2) points to Jesus. While the holiday should be centered around the birth of a savior, it is most definitely clouded by Santa, traditions, lights, and personal gain. We are confident we will be able to design a holiday tradition that accomplishes these two things though
We are still in the rough draft stages of knowing how we want to design the holiday in our home, but for now we tread lightly. We were able to purchase Malachi a few switch adapted toys with a generous financial gift from a sweet couple at church, but other than that we did not exchange gifts this year between the three of us or do any traditional Santa visits, etc. Not bah-humbugs, but following a verse that has been laid on my heart this holiday season:
Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Christmas day we went to church and then wandered around town trying to find a place to grab some lunch. Obviously this was a challenge as most places were closed. We found a Steak and Shake and enjoyed some frisco melts and burgers and even a brownie with ice cream on top. We saw an elderly man eating alone and thought we would pay it forward a bit by paying for his meal. We were able to successfully get his ticket and when we went to go pay we discovered that someone else had paid for ours! So much kindness.
Malachi did wonderfully at his horse therapy session, working harder than normal despite the chilly temperatures. We shortened the session so he wouldn’t get too cold and back home we went. Unfortunately Malachi couldn’t seem to regulate his body temperature from the little bit we were out there and hit temperature went up to 100 that evening. We were able to bring it down, but as it often does it continued to drop so we worked to bring it back up again. Oh, the quirks of Malachi!
So our adventure will continue as we head into this week! We will be moving into the camper until the rental home is ready (tentatively next Sunday) where we will not have access to the internet. I will try to post an update next week, but bear with me if it is shorter or later than normal. We will be working hard this week to get things knocked off the house building checklist so we can break ground soon! In fact, tomorrow we will be meeting with our contractor to layout where we are wanting to put the house on the property. SO FUN!
Jake and I just can’t stop talking about how blessed we are. God has been so gracious to us, and this week particularity I have found myself questioning as to “why us”. Why does he shower such goodness and kindness on Jake, Leah, and Malachi…a very human couple that struggles with sin like the rest of the world. As I verbalize these thoughts in my prayers to God I am reminded time and time again about His grace. Completely unmerited, undeserved grace and pardon for sins. What a God we serve. Our challenge is to take that undeserved grace and favor and live a life that brings others to Christ.
The date of closing was December 20th. As we looked back through our memories on Facebook we realized how significant that day was in our lives! It was the day we found out that Malachi was a boy, and we were able to officially give him his name. It was also the day that our community pulled together and purchased us our handicap accessible van. As I flipped through all of these memories pre-Malachi I couldn’t help but shake my head in awe, realizing how little we knew about the path that was about to unfold before us. This picture was taken 4 years ago…I don’t have very many pregnancy pictures, as I truly wasn’t pregnant long enough to get them, so ones like these are extra special.
Little did we know that we would meet our sweet Malachi just over a month later. How blessed we are that God saved our little boy.
I hope you all have had refreshing and blessed weekends with your families. Please continue to pray with us over Malachi’s life, that miracles will continue to happen and that God will grant us the wisdom needed to care for him. We have been given such a responsibility, and my prayer is that we fight temptation to ever view this as anything other than a blessing from God.
Jake, Leah, and Malachi