It Takes A Village

This week’s schedule was packed. Weeks like these are hard on all of us, but particularly Malachi as his routines and feeding schedules get a little wacky. Yet he loves the adventure of it all and is always a good sport.

We live in a very rural area so our nearest “big city” is about 25 minutes away. Right now we have 6 standing therapies/appointments each week, and several random specialist appointments strewn in throughout the month. In between appointments each day I am trying to work in Malachi’s feeds (and mine haha), diaper changes, and other necessary errands. I typically end up packing a cooler in the mornings with enough food to get us through the day and then use the cooler for any grocery items or medications I have time to snatch up along the way.

We have a few regular places we use for various things….for Malachi’s bottles we sit on the porch at Cracker Barrel on a nice day, or the Target cafe when it rains. For bathroom stops we have learned that Kohls, Home Depot, and Target family bathrooms are wonderful for wheelchair accessibility. In emergency situations where I don’t have time to get Malachi unloaded and into his chair, Sonic’s nasty bathrooms work well as I can park in front of the door and lock him in for 30 seconds.

As you can imagine, life with Malachi’s necessary routines can get a bit hectic! But as any parent does, you simply learn to cope and just deal with it. We are so incredibly grateful that Malachi is in such good health right now and has stopped vomiting daily! In fact, he has not vomited since January…a far way from the 6-8 times a day! We are thrilled.


We are continuing to see more and more of Malachi’s personality unfold, and let me just tell you that he has such a beautiful soul. He loves so freely and gives the best hugs and kisses. He is still very mischievous and has started the “let me throw this on the ground because I know you will pick it up” game. As we go through the aisles of the clothing stores he will hold out his arms so he can feel the clothes as they fly by. He still consistently giggles EVERY time he hears something that remotely sounds like passing gas. There are so many times I look at him and see a typical four year old child!

But the most exciting change with Malachi is to see how much he listens and understands. On Wednesday we attended the funeral of a dear church friend. Jake was a pallbearer and needed to be there early so it was just Malachi and I. I felt a little uncomfortable with the idea of taking him to a funeral for fear he may yell or make a scene during the service so on the drive over I talked with him about where we were going. I talked about how some people might be sad and crying because they lost their daddy/husband. He listened with intent eyes and seemed very curious.

I wanted to be as discreet as possible so instead of using his wheelchair I strapped Malachi into his carrier and wore him into the church. When we made it to the front of the visitation line I leaned in to hug our newly widowed church friend and Malachi unexpectedly kissed her on the cheek. It caught me off guard, because unless you are holding Malachi or you are prompted he won’t attempt kisses like that. I don’t know if he could sense her sadness, but seeing his little gesture of comfort was so heartwarming to me.

Malachi had a few minor quirks this week that we are keeping an eye on. Thursday night his body temperature dropped a bit lower than we would have liked. We worked hard to get it back to normal with extra clothing and blankets but in true Malachi fashion it then rose too high. So we worked to bring it back down and we have not been able to get it regulated quite yet. We kept him in three layers today and it stayed around 97.5 at its highest point so we will continue to watch him closely. The brain is responsible for temperature regulation so it is something he really struggles with.

We made progress on our construction process this week! Here are a few photos…

And I just want to take a minute and share this beautiful sunset with you. I can’t wait to see this every night!


Every now and then I get in a slump with my blogs and feel like I just don’t have enough information to make it worthwhile. I have been leaning towards one of those slumps lately, and God encouraged me through several different people this week. I received three separate emails and got to see some die hard Malachi fans this morning during church as they drove through on their way to Florida!

One of the emails this week was the reminder that I needed that we need to continue to expect Malachi to be healed completely. To be honest, complete and total healing hasn’t been on the top of my prayer list for him lately. I have been praying for the small things…head control, the ability to speak, the strength to hold his head up. I needed to be reminded that God can do great and mighty things to Malachi’s body and mind.

It is so easy to get discouraged in this walk. I spend the majority of my day trying to anticipate and care for Malachi, so every day I am face to face with his many needs…most of which aren’t getting any better and in fact are getting worse. It is so hard to watch your child suffer but have to be strong and help him figure out a way through it. Miracles sometimes seem so impossible when you are faced with reality day after day.

But God can do more than we could ever ask or imagine. I have to be reminded of that from time to time..

I have had a lot of emotions this week. This morning I got sick to my stomach as Facebook reminded me that four years ago Malachi was taken to Vanderbilt by ambulance from the NICU in Chattanooga. I couldn’t ride with him and had to watch them take my fragile baby boy three hours away. That was the day that his femur got broken as well and I can’t get that phone call out of my mind.


Today was also the date that Malachi went in for a routine eye test in 2014 and had a massive 25 minute seizure. I get sick to my stomach just thinking about that day, and the visual image I have of that doctor nervously walking towards me in the waiting room is one that I can never forget.

There are so many scenes, smells, sounds, and memories that are etched into my mind. It is amazing how quickly these emotions can get triggered by something small.

And finally, I bawled my eyes out watching this short video clip about moms with sick children. While I can’t relate to each of the mothers in this video there are so many scenes that resonated with me.

It is hard to explain, but writing these blogs each week allows me to package all of the chaos from the last seven days into a file folder and tuck it away. It allows me to start each week brand new and focus on the accomplishments the next seven days may bring. It allows me to cope.

And it has also given me a support system like no other. It brings tears to my eyes when I think about how many of you take time to mention Malachi by name in your prayers. It takes a village, and I am so thankful that you have chosen to be a part of ours.

God bless,

Jake, Leah, and Malachi

Because He Lives

What a beautiful Easter Sunday we had here in Tennessee. As you know Jake and I are Christians, so the significance of this weekend is HUGE to us! But more on that in a minute…

Malachi and mommy stayed extra busy this week running errands and going to appointments. I know it sounds like an insane idea, but we have decided to add a therapy to Malachi’s weekly regiment. Speech! We have pursued this route before but felt like it just wasn’t the right time yet for Malachi. But as he continues to develop cognitively we are finding that we have a very opinionated four year old on our hands.

Malachi wants to have a voice very badly, and he wants to be heard. We have started giving him choices and letting him decide how his day will go. For example, if I am going to turn on one of his TV shows I will set up two objects in his reach and ask him: “would you like Sophia” (while leading his hand to the object on the right) “Or would you like Bubble Guppies” (leading his hand to the object on the left). Malachi will very adamantly make a decision and just to be certain I ask him about four times.

The best part about the process is seeing his giant grin when he realizes I have turned on the show he asked for. He is longing to be heard. I just hope we can find a way to unlock some of those thoughts and words. So speech therapy here we come!

Malachi continues to improve with eating solid(ish) table foods. He cannot chew but will try to mash the food with his tongue up on the roof of his mouth. Whatever we give him must be mashable because if it doesn’t break down he goes into a panic mode and gags. He is obsessed, and I am not joking even slightly, with Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup. We stopped there in between therapies last week and he was not interested in sharing. Every time I tried to sneak a bite he would try to grab my arm and guide the spoon back towards his mouth. I guess we need to start working on the concept of sharing haha!

This weekend has been an eventful one! Jake and I are not big into the gimmicks of holidays, like Easter baskets and the bunny, so it was comical this year when I managed to get handed the role of “Easter Egg Hunt Coordinator” at church. We had a very successful hunt, but the most exciting thing about the day was being able to share the story of Christ’s death and Resurrection with children.

I went to the local Christian bookstore and purchased a set of Resurrection Eggs to help me tell the story. If you have small children, I HIGHLY recommend looking them up and making/buying a set. Each egg has a small token inside that represents something that happens in the timeline of the crucifixion.

As the little kids took turns opening the eggs and seeing what was inside I was able to share with them exactly what took place on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and why that is so significant to us now. The kids were absolutely enthralled in the story and seeing their eyes full of wonder was so refreshing to my soul. Sometimes I think we need to step back from these stories we know so well and look at them with the fresh eyes of a child.

Here are some pictures from our Easter Sunday:

Malachi Easter


Malachi still hates the sun with a passion. When it comes near him he goes into “opossum” mode and will shut his eyes so tightly.


We were thrilled to have my dad, stepmother, and half brother and half sister join us for service this morning and lunch after. Malachi is so entertained by the kids, and hangs onto every word they say!

Unfortunately Malachi did have a rough morning in regards to his epilepsy…he had 6 seizures this morning before church, which is a pretty good indicator something is going on with his little body. They lessened this afternoon but he just had a few before we put him to bed. We are praying against any sickness that he may be trying to fight.

This week I have had some self pity moments, mostly between the hours of 2-5am. Malachi has not been sleeping well lately and will stay up for hours each night. As I sit and try desperately to get burps out of him so he can sleep in peace, my frustration has been flaring. I know other moms have to be up in the night like me, but why is it EVERY single night for 4+ years! It is so hard to watch someone you love so much be uncomfortable and not be able to alleviate that easily for them.

Each week I have been sharing a verse with you that has been buried under the foundation of our new home. This week I want to share the verse that has been put under the master bedroom for Jake and I. We listed Psalm 143, with specific emphasis on verses 8-12. If you get time this week, take a moment to look up the chapter and see the reasons why we liked this scripture for our marriage and parenting!


Last night a very special man passed away. Jake and I saw this man as a mentor- someone we both desired to be like. His actions imitated Christ, and every aspect of his life seemed saturated with the desire to do God’s will and share Him with others. I have always had so much admiration for this man. And Jake especially was very close with him.

As we reflected today on his passing, Jake and I both talked about how wonderfully special last night was as our friend was welcomed into heaven. We found ourselves not in a state of mourning, but rather in a state of rejoicing, knowing that the life that was waiting for him on the other side of those gates was enormously better than anything we could imagine here on this earth. He will be missed beyond words, but we look forward to the day when we will see him again.

What a refreshing reminder Easter Sunday is that this earth is only our temporary home.

My heart wants desperately to continue writing, but my mind and hands are telling me to go to bed. Thank you for continuing to check in on our boy, and please join us in praying that whatever unseen culprit is causing all these seizures will disappear before it becomes something significant.

God bless,

Jake, Leah, and Malachi


May His Face Shine

I can’t even put into words how much Malachi has improved cognitively over the last year. His brain damage was so extensive at birth that we were told not to expect much out of him, but he continues to amaze us!

It has been such a long journey, but seeing those tiny little improvements make this path such an exciting one. It is dangerously easy to underestimate him and not give him the chance to learn new things so it really does take a conscious effort on the part of Jake and I…something we aren’t always on top of. One of the new things we have been trying to do is present Malachi with choices between two things. We will present a book and a puzzle and let him dictate which one he will play with…and he is VERY opinionated about his preference.

So puzzles have been the toy of the week! Every time we present one as an option he chooses the puzzle. We have several that make sounds when you put the correct piece in…

All of those movements were his own! I will hold his arm to keep him from doing any big movements, which his brain is often telling him to do.

The other area that we are seeing big improvements in is his receptive language. It used to take Malachi other 30 seconds to follow through with a request from us. His response time is almost typical now! This is HUGE!

And you can just see the pride written all over his face.

Another exciting first from this week came when we were reading a book about animals. I was reading the “lion” page and Malachi said “ROAR”. Not once had I mentioned that word- I had only spoken about the animal, so we got to see him making a connection with some previous knowledge. It made my heart skip a beat!

Jake and I find ourselves continually gravitating to thoughts about Malachi’s future, particularly concerning his education. In the state of Tennessee Malachi could have started a developmental preschool on his 3rd birthday. Obviously we refrained from enrolling him, but have started to think about next school year. There are pros and cons to both sides of the decision but after much thought we feel that it is in Malachi’s best interest socially to get him into school (part time) in August. He is a social butterfly and being around other children brings him more joy that you can imagine.

This week we did a drop in visit to the school he will be attending, and I thought Malachi’s head was going to explode with excitement. I typically have to recline his wheelchair pretty significantly to help with his head control, but that little stinker sat straight up at 90 degrees the entire visit. He just couldn’t understand how there were kid voices all around him!

This whole concept is actually very hard for Jake and I, but we keep having to remind ourselves that this decision is for Malachi’s best interest and not our own.

Let’s just take a minute and look at this cute (and wide open yayyyy) hand…



When we were on our adventure in Atlanta we had a few interesting things happen. The first one happened about an hour and half into the drive as we stopped at a Cracker Barrel to get some lunch.

As I have shared with you all before, Malachi turns heads when we are out and about. I like to think it is because he is so darn cute but in reality it probably has more to do with his bright green wheelchair and that fact that there is such a tiny boy in it.

When we wheel him into a public place, it is inevitable that people will turn and stare. It isn’t always in a negative way, but more a curiosity. As we wheeled him into the dining area of this Cracker Barrel we had a very odd encounter as the WHOLE room fell silent and almost every head turned to look. It remained silent for at least ten seconds as we wheeled to our table in the corner, and I could feel my face turning bright red with embarrassment- something I usually can prevent from happening. I am used to getting stares, but never at this level. It was so incredibly uncomfortable for me. Jake is usually obliviously to the looks, but this time he was also flabbergasted by the reaction on the entire room.

We sat down and pretended like we weren’t being watched but throughout the meal we couldn’t help but feel eyes on us. The table behind us had four elderly individuals, all craning their necks to look at Malachi. When I got him out of his chair they started elbowing one another and pointing saying loudly “She’s getting him out!” Jake was facing me and I could tell from his frequent nods and smiles at people behind me that the same behaviors were taking place out of my sight. Honestly I have never experienced “the stares” that badly.

Despite our attempts to just ignore it, my awkwardness continued to grow as the meal went on. We finished eating and were getting our things together to leave when an elderly lady came over to our table. She said “I just wanted to compliment you on how well behaved your son was during the meal. He waited so patiently for his turn to get a bite and I was so impressed by his good manners.” She didn’t mention a word about his differences…just treated us like he was a typical (yet well behaved) four year old. Her compliment made that lump pop up in my throat as I never expected to receive such a compliment with Malachi.

We are approached often by strangers…and boy do I mean often! I would venture to say that 80% of the comments we get are saturated with underlying pity. Comments like “God bless you for raising a special needs child.”  or  “You must have such a hard life.”  All of these comments are well intentioned and not necessarily offensive, but it was so refreshing for someone to see Malachi as a regular four year old boy and take the time to compliment him.

Special needs parents are always tempted to fall into a pity mindset and Jake and I are determined to not take that route. Malachi is a magnificent kid and we are so blessed God chose us to raise him. What a special, unique person he is. We love when others see him (and us) in that light.

We had another very odd encounter yesterday as we wandered the aisles as Lowe’s. Malachi is still very much obsessed with his daddy. And I am not being dramatic at all…one afternoon this week Jake held him for over an hour straight and set him down to run into the kitchen for a drink. The entire time Jake was in the other room Malachi shouted “Daddy, Daddy, DAAAAADDDDYYYY.” Jokingly I said “Don’t you want Mama?” to which he replied “DAAAAAADDDD”. Little stinker.

So as we pulled into the Lowe’s parking lot Jake decided to strap Malachi into his carrier as opposed to his wheelchair. Malachi loves spending time in his carrier and fits very well in it- it is one designed specifically for special needs children and will carry him up to 60 pounds.


As we walked through the aisles we passed an older woman who noticed Malachi. We went down an aisle and in my peripheral vision I could see this woman turn her cart around to follow us. She pushed her cart up to us and said “Put that boy on the floor.” The comment startled me and I thought maybe I misheard her so I said “What was that?” She leaned in a little further, pointed adamantly at Malachi and repeated emphatically “Put that boy on the floor.” Her tone conveyed that she thought we were catering to a lazy little four year old by carrying him instead of making him walk.

I tried very hard to keep my emotions out of my response and calmly said “Ma’am, we would love to be able to put him on the floor and let him walk around, but he will never be able to walk and spends most of his time in his wheelchair. We thought he might like to be carried by his daddy through the store. So yes, we wish desperately we could put him down, but unfortunately that’s possible.”

The conversation quickly dipped into the awkward realm and she visibly felt terrible, which made me feel bad for her. She apologized saying “Oh I’m sorry, I couldn’t tell he was like that.” And after a minute or so of conversation she dismissed herself and moved on.

These experiences remind me of how much power our words can carry. Words can uplift and tear down. They can strengthen and weaken. Words carry remarkable weight, whether they come from strangers or friends. These experiences continue to challenge me to put more effort into what thoughts I allow to become words.

As I look back into my childhood I can ‘t help but flash back to the moments when someone’s words made an impact on me…

  • The time in 3rd grade we were riding in a bus to a field trip destination…the girls were asking the most popular boy in the class to answer questions. I was shy and silently eavesdropping from my bus seat. They asked him “Who is the nicest girl in our class?” and he responded: “Definitely Leah.” I will never forget how that moment made me feel. I had felt so invisible as a child, and hearing these words made me feel seen and understood.
  • Another time in the 5th grade when an adult from church approached me and with tears in his eyes said “I have been praying for you, and you have NO IDEA what great big things God has in store for you.” I will never forget the face of that man as he spoke those words.
  • In the 12th grade I was so excited to share a scrapbook I had made that recapped a mission trip I had just gone on. I brought it to someone that I admired and they responded very casually, “Why don’t you just show me your one favorite picture.” Yes, words can hurt deeply.

As I think about my encounters with others, my hope and prayer is that they leave a lasting impact… one that builds up instead of tearing down. I hope that my words can add value to someone as opposed to taking it away.

Last week I shared with you that Jake and I had chosen verses to be buried under the foundation of each main room of the house. Tonight I want to share with you the verse we chose for Malachi’s bedroom, as well as the other bedroom that we will use for future children.


 Numbers 6:24-26 ” The Lord bless you, and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.”

In the scriptures, this was the blessing that God told Moses to tell Aaron to speak over the Israelites. What a powerful blessing this is, and knowing that it came from the mouth of God gives it so much power.

My prayer for my children, both existing and future, is that they will have a relationship with God. My prayer is that they will know Him as Moses did- that they will have face to face encounters with his presence.

The verse that gives me goosebumps is “The Lord make His face shine on you…”

Moses spent time with God on Mount Sinai and as he came down from the mountain the people were afraid to come near him. Little did he know that his face was physically shining! He spent time in the presence of God and the glory of the Lord radiated onto the face of his mouthpiece, Moses.

My prayer is that my children will have a relationship with God where they delight in being in His presence. I pray that God chooses them to  be His mouthpiece, just as he did for Moses.

This is hard for me concerning Malachi. I can’t confidently say that Malachi will ever be able to share his testimony verbally with others, and may not ever be able to be a “mouthpiece” for Him. But I can confidently say that Malachi’s story serves as irrefutable evidence that God exists, and his testimony speaks volumes about our God. My prayer for Malachi specifically is that he continues to radiate God throughout his life. That as we look into his sweet eyes, we can see nothing but the reflection of his creator.

Please continue to pray for Malachi’s brain. We are seeing so many improvements, and can’t wait to see what else God has in store for him.


Jake, Leah, and Malachi


Big Adventures

What an adventure filled week we have had! The first half of the week was packed with our regular stream of appointments and therapies, and honestly Malachi seemed happy to get back into that routine after our quiet and boring previous week.

Malachi is still very much a medically quirky kid and is still seen by several specialists for his various diagnoses. But the good news is that we seem to be on a “maintenance” route right now with almost all of them. There are no current emergent issues, but since potential issues still linger we are still seen every few months. We are thrilled that Malachi is at this point, and truthfully three years ago you couldn’t convince me that we would be on this path. God is so good!

While we rejoice over this fact, it also creates a recipe for annoyance with his maintenance appointments. This week we were scheduled to see Malachi’s neurosurgeon, a specialist we see every 6 months to monitor his hydrocephalus and VP shunt. The appointment was scheduled for 8:30, so that puts us up and moving at 6:30 so we can make the hour long drive. We park (a 15 minute process), register at the front desk (a 30 minute process), sign in at the specialist and wait (another 20 minute process). Malachi gets called back. They ask if there have been any changes, to which we reply no, then they push on his shunt to make sure it fills back up with cerebral spinal fluid, which it does. After three minutes in the room we are done and sent on our way with our next 6 month appointment card in hand. Right about that time Malachi is due for his seizure medications so we find a quiet chair and feed him a bottle with meds (a 30 minute process), then get back in the car and travel an hour home.

All for a three minute appointment.

As I sit and type this I almost feel guilty for complaining, as it could be much much worse. We really do need to count our blessings. The percentage rate for having a shunt this long without a malfunction (which requires emergency brain surgery) are pretty low so we truly are blessed. So bring on the three minute appointments!

Malachi did great in his therapy sessions, even hamming it up a little more than normal on account of dad being there due to spring break. It was so refreshing to have Jake join us on our busy days! You wouldn’t believe how much that boy loves his daddy.

We wanted to do something fun for this youth group at church so we hosted a bonfire at a local campground. Malachi absolutely loved the evening and all the sounds and smells it brought. He is a social kid and being around so many talking teenagers was exhilarating. IMG_2029

If you don’t know Jake and I personally, let me tell you a little bit about us. We love living in a quiet, calm community. Even driving to the next town over, which is a relatively small place, stresses us out. Y’all….people are CRAZY!! Traffic and crowds stress us out, so traveling to big cities in equivalent to a torture chamber. Prior to Malachi, our ideal vacations were to fly to Montana and rent a cabin in the woods. No city life for us Carrolls!

But as Jake’s spring break inched closer and closer on the calendar I decided that we should do something special for Malachi. Multi-day trips can get complicated as it requires lots of planning…which equipment pieces will Malachi need, how many meds to pack, soap and basin to wash the bottles, coolers for his food, etc.

I decided to keep it simple and found some fun things to do about 2 hours away in Atlanta. Then the true challenge began…convincing Jake it was a good idea to go near such a crazy busy place and call it a “vacation” haha!

We had it all figured out- we would plan our overnight trip for Thursday, planning all events around rush hour traffic. The adventure began and we sailed right through to our first destination just north of Atlanta. We checked into the hotel and immediately took Malachi down to the indoor pool- his first indoor pool experience. HE LOVED IT! We have never seen him so excited. The joy on his face was absolutely priceless and he was swimming and talking more than we have ever seen.

I want to share this video clip with you, and let me explain why it is so special. In this clip you will see Malachi decide to not swim towards mommy anymore but instead turn himself completely in the water to go after Jake. His neck ring gives him complete freedom to move and go where he likes, and seeing him be so independent is such a heartwarming thing. With his ring he can be just like any other 4 year old in the water.

After swim time we headed to Medieval Times! We are always trying to think of things that Malachi will enjoy, and we thought he would like to sword fights, trumpets, horses hooves, and jousting at Medieval Times. He did great through the show and didn’t get bored for the entire two hour event. Boredom is a new emotion he has been learning and he likes to be very vocal with a fake cry when he is bored. But two whole hours and not a peep. He would listen and anticipate each sword hit, jump at the sound, and then giggle at the fact that he got scared. It was a cute little cycle to watch.IMG_2089.JPG


The trip seemed to be going great- all three of us were stress free! Then the news reported that part of the main highway running through Atlanta had caught fire and collapsed. So one of the busiest roadways in the south was now shut down and we happened to be right in the middle of the mess. YIKES!

We decided to wait and see what traffic looked like the following morning before we made any changes to our itinerary. I was determined to go on phase two of the adventure, but that meant trying to get south of Atlanta on the same route hundreds of other drivers were trying to take. Was it worth the headache.

Yes. It. Was.

We decided to tackle the rest of our adventure head on and made our way 2 hours south of Atlanta to go on an animal safari! This place sounds unreal, but let me assure you- it is very real and very awesome.

Wild Animal Safari is in Pine Mountain, GA and is essentially a drive through zoo. You can take your own car (not recommended) or rent a beat up van to take through. We went the van rental part and just happened to get the most run down vehicle on the lot, which added to the adventure! We purchased several bags of food and off we went. Jake is a very safety conscious person and only felt comfortable taking Malachi if he was the one who got to hold him. I happily obliged and took the job of driver/photographer.


So the concept is pretty self explanatory- you drive through and the animals come running when they realize you have treats! We fed giraffes, zebras, elk, bison, ostriches, and so many more animals!

Malachi loved every minute of it and was so fascinated by the noises and smells that each of them would bring. They were just close enough for him to get a good look. We laughed so hard we cried at some of the crazy moments we had on that safari. By the end of it we were covered in slobber but one happy little family.

We took a scenic route back to TN, trying to completely avoid any Atlanta detours and all in all it was a wonderful 24 hour getaway! This was the first time that Malachi really “got into” a trip and seeing his excitement through each event made it a special time for all of us.


I have more stories to tell, but I am afraid I will put you all to sleep with such a long post! So I will save a few for next week.

The house project is still moving right along and it has been so much fun to see a mental picture take shape. The basement walls are up, and had it not rained we would have had a basement floor this week! Several weeks ago Jake and I had discussed how we want to make sure to pray blessings over the house. We are so incredibly blessed daily by God, and through this process we are reminded again and again of his provisions and unmerited favor.

Jake and I decided we wanted to build our home on the word of God- both literally and figuratively. For the last several weeks we have been trying to find the perfect verses that we could put under the foundations of each significant room in the house. Over the next few blogs I would like to share these verses with you, as they are reminders of the ways that God continues to remain active in our journey.

So today’s verse has been buried under the foundation of Malachi’s therapy room.



Philippians 1:6 “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

When we look at Malachi’s story, our minds are immediately drawn to all of the struggles and pain he has endured over the last four years. I get that lump in my throat when I think of all the surgeries, tears, and brokenness his body has had to overcome.

But this verse is a reminder to me that from day one, God began a good work in Malachi. And each and every minute of each and every day, little by little, God is perfecting His plan for Malachi’s life. God was never surprised by Malachi…because He created him EXACTLY the way he is, quirks and all.

While it is sometimes easy to get frustrated by lack of progress, or becoming burdened by thoughts about his unknown future, we just have to keep reminding ourselves that God loves Malachi even more than Jake and I can. He began a good work in Malachi, and we have to trust that He will continue to perfect it…even in ways we cannot see with our earthly eyes.

And even better yet, Malachi has a PERFECT body waiting for him in heaven.

Our God is a God of hope. He is a God of love, and goodness just flows out of Him. So while our journey can be so discouraging on levels others can’t comprehend, we find hope in Christ.

We find hope in remembering that our little Malachi was handcrafted by a very talented and creative God.

So as we continue to work in that therapy room for the rest of Malachi’s life, our prayer is that these words continually remind us that when our earthly hands fail at perfecting our son, we can trust that God’s great big hands are still very much hard at work.

God bless,

Jake, Leah, and Malachi