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Saturday, September 24, 2011

He Provides

As I've shared in other posts, the decision Rick and I have made for him to stay at home with Gabriella has been one that's come with a lot of sacrifice. We each had this little voice inside, telling us it was the right thing to do, so we've stuck to what we feel is God's plan for our family.
With the latest development of twins, many people have asked me if Rick is going to get a job now. Well, you see, that is a tricky question because we still feel like God's plan for our family is for him to stay at home with our children.
This is where faith kicks in...
In each of our lives, God will call us to do something that makes us uncomfortable. He will ask us to do something that goes against our first reaction. Sometimes, it's easier to go with a sure thing instead of stepping out with nothing but your faith to tell you you're going in the right direction. How many times in my life have I gone with a sure thing?
This time, we're stepping out in complete faith; that if we do what we feel we should, He will provide.
So, I'd like to share just one way God is starting to provide...
Rick bought me a camera earlier in the year when he was working. There's no way we could have afforded expensive camera equipment without his job. He bought it for me because I wanted to take pictures of Gabriella. I had never taken photography seriously, knew nothing about lighting, aperture, speed, or any of the things real photographers know about. I simply looked through the lens, found something I liked, and snapped.
As I shared my pictures, people began to approach me and say they liked the moments I was capturing. At the beginning of June, just 4 months ago, I started taking pictures and getting paid for it! I never expected that anyone would ever want to pay me to take pictures for their family!! It's not at all what I had in mind when I started taking pictures.
So here we are, several months later, and I'm going into a week where I will have FOUR paid photo sessions. Rick and I are putting this money back to help with the hospital bills that are sure to come! Just look at how God has provided!
Is it possible, that it has always been part of God's plan that I would take up photography at this particular time in my life? I don't know. I hate to speculate.
What I can say, is that He provides...through ways I never thought possible!

This week, I'm going to see God through the lens of my camera as I, with His help, capture the very precious moments of life for my clients. I hope they will see Him, too.



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Big Sis

I am an only child. One thing I will never have or understand is the phenomenal bond that sisters and brothers share. My family is very small (big on love, though!) and I always said if I couldn't have a big family, I'd produce one! Ha! I didn't know just how right I was.
One of the things that delighted me most when I found out I was pregnant was the idea that Gabriella would have a brother or sister. I love the idea that Gabriella will have these two siblings to conspire with, take up for, fight with, love on, tell secrets to, and form a bond that will (hopefully) long outlast Rick and me.
I don't know how to do it, though...foster and nurture that bond so that it remains tight and unbreakable; so that it stands the test of time and trials and hurt feelings. For now, I guess I won't worry about that. Instead, I think I'll revel in the love that Gabriella already shows her little siblings: feeding my tummy goldfish, making my tummy drink juice, whispering who-knows-what in case they hear...
She's already just so darn good at it! Being a big sis that is...

I see God in the balloons Gabriella carried, the balloons that showed just how little we know about life because they read, "My mommy's having a baby."


Friday, September 16, 2011

The Best Picture I've Ever Taken

Life is so funny! It's full of twists and turns that you never see coming. Just when you have everything planned, God steps in with the surprise of a lifetime.
For my little family, that extra special surprise was this week.
Rick and I have known for almost 7 weeks that we are having a baby (I'm 2 days away from 11 weeks)! We've been planning, planning, and planning some more. This week, we went to the doctor to meet our precious little one. We had no idea how this visit would change our lives.
As we sat watching the ultrasound screen, we were both so nervous and giddy with excitement. To see life in its earliest form is truly remarkable. To think that God designed us to make life is probably one of the most complex and miraculous ideas of all time. The importance of the moment was not lost on Rick or me.
However, it was to our surprise that after a few seconds of maneuvering, the picture on the screen settled to what you see below...

Our doctor calmly asked, "Does everyone see what I see?"
We did.
We did.
Right in front of us was proof that every moment in our lives is hand-made, wonderfully made...
intentionally made.
Not one precious life.
So, here we are, meeting another adventure in life head on. Ready to fully trust God and know that if it wasn't meant to be...
it wouldn't.
Now, I would lie if I said we hadn't talked about some of our fears since finding out. There are some risks associated with a multiple birth and the financial commitment, well, you can just imagine.
For the first time in my life, this perpetual worrier is 100% content in God's plan! I'm ready. Rick's ready. We're ready.
Back at the doctor's office...Rick could not stop laughing. I don't think he ever said anything except, "I love you." I exclaimed over and over, "It's a miracle!" The doctor gave us the information we needed and he handed us a picture. The picture that represents the next chapter in the Maldonado Family Book of Life. If I had seen this picture in a chapter in our book, I would have expected the caption to read something other than,
"Mommy and daddy meet the twins for the first time."
Well, I took that picture from the doctor and I can honestly say it's the best picture I've ever taken.

Please pray for the health of our babies.

Mary, Rick, GG, and the Twins

P.S. I have not told my class or administrator at work. Please respect our privacy and exercise discretion. I know if you are reading this you care about our family and will do this for us. Thank you so much.