Monday, November 17, 2008

Our hopes for our son

A few thoughts on James Elijah Hamlin’s name: First, James is my father’s (middle) name. His discipline did not seem pleasant at the time, but it was for me a seed that produced for me a harvest of (albeit very far from perfect) righteousness in God’s due time. I am very thankful for his (and my mother’s) training and prayer for me.

James was also the brother of Jesus, the leader of the Jerusalem church after Christ’s resurrection, and the writer of the book of James. James’ direct involvement in the church is documented in Acts 15:13-21, and 21:18-25. In both cases, James is concerned with the law of Moses and its continuing significance for the believer. He understood that the Law’s character was abiding because it reflected the abiding character of God. His concern was for the holiness of the church. This is also evident in his letter to the church at large. True faith and the flesh cannot continue to and should not begin to be allowed to coexist. James’ concern is evident in his opening exhortation:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (Jas. 1:5-8 ESV)
In the above paragraph is introduced the central target of James’ letter, that of double-mindedness in the church. Faith in Christ and adopting the goals and ethos of the world and the flesh are ultimately mutually exclusive. James saw the new Baal for what it was, a false god who was tolerant of faith in Christ in so much as it was a dead faith.

Similarly, Elijah served Israel at a time when this sort of syncretism was alive and well.
And Elijah came near to all the people and said, "How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him." And the people did not answer him a word. (1 Kings 18:21)

So what do we want from James Elijah Hamlin? We want him to be conformed to the image of Christ in such a manner as to become more-and-more a man of single-minded purpose. We want him to put his sin to death, even culturally acceptable sins, as sin will otherwise be killing him. We also want him to courageously work for the holiness of the church, even if in such work, he may be called a “troubler of Israel” (18:17) “so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed” (Heb. 12:13).

What will he need for this task but confidence in and reliance upon our Lord Jesus Christ? In contrast to the double-minded prayer described in chapter 1, “the prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.” (Jas 5:16-18)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

James Elijah Hamlin

Our son, James Elijah Hamlin, was born on Friday, November 14, at 12:53 p.m. He weighed 7 lbs 2 oz. and measured 18.5 inches long. He is such a sweetie and seems pretty laid back, but hates getting his diaper changed.
I was awake during the c-section, so I got to give James a little kiss right after they cleaned him up.
Right before we left the hospital, we got this shot.
This is a cute close up of James at home.
Anna Ruth enjoyed finally meeting her little brother!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Bit of Early Christmas Spirit...

Tonight Rich worked late, so I decided to try and get the house in order while I didn't have any distractions. I cleaned the bathroom, and tidied up the house while listening to music. After I was finished, I listened to Josh Groban's Christmas CD, Noel, while drinking egg nog. My justification is that dairy products are supposed to help you sleep better, since they contain tryptophan. And, of course, the baby really likes eggnog, so I have to give it to him.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Hall-of-Famer Daddy

Last month, Rich was inducted into the Fort Dorchester Athletic Hall of Fame, and we had a fun evening going to the ceremony and the football game that followed. Rich's parents and my parents also attended and made sure to cheer loudly when they introduced Rich during the halftime ceremony. Anna Ruth also enjoyed seeing her Daddy being honored, and she kept pointing at him and saying, "There's Daddy!" She also was a good fan during the football game, clapping and cheering when people around her did. Below is a picture of the five inductees with Rich on the far left.
I know our little boy will be proud to have a hall-of-famer Daddy!
By the way, only 5 days to go!!!

Friday, November 07, 2008

One Week

Just thinking about how in one week I will have a new son, and I can't believe it! I'm really excited about this new little life.
I am posting some pictures from my baby shower back in October. It was a wonderful time with family and church friends. We were blessed with so many things for the baby, and I felt very loved by all those who celebrated with me.

the beautiful cake that Mrs. DeVries made

Anna Ruth cuddling with Memaw

Mom and my 3 sisters (who were all able to come into town for the weekend)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Luxurious Leisurely Evenings...Gone in 8 Days

Last night was a leisurely evening, and I suddenly realized that in a very short amount of time, I will not be able to relax as soon as Anna Ruth goes to bed. I will have another child to care for who will need to be fed and changed and held even after we get the energetic almost-three-year-old off to sleep. I decided to cherish those few hours and did something I haven't done in a while--color. Yes, you read that right; one of my favorite things to do to chill and relax is color in my adult coloring books. That may sound a little off-color (pun intended), but it's not what it sounds like. I have two coloring books with really neat 3-D designs and archi-scapes, and they are so much fun to color with colored pencils.
Here are some examples of my creations:

The only things that could have made the evening a little better are a glass of wine and an electric pencil sharpener.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Nine days to go!!

Today is an important day, not only because I have just 9 days to go until my baby is born, but also because we now know who will be the next president of the United States. Even though I was prepared for this outcome, it is still quite a bit of a blow and also very sobering to think about. My first thoughts are that God is still in control, He knows what's best, and is working all things together for good for those who love Him. But if I let my mind wander from that, it can be very scary to think about what kind of country I am bringing this child into. It makes me more determined and resolved to raise him and Anna Ruth to be godly people who can be salt and light in this increasingly anti-God nation. It makes me more dependent on God for the wisdom and strength to do that.
I can still rejoice in the birth of this baby, trusting in God's covenant promises and knowing that God will do mighty things to use him for his kingdom!

We went to the children's museum downtown, and one of the playrooms was a mini Publix. Anna Ruth loved pushing the cart around and "shopping" like Mommy.

Another exhibit was the water room, and Anna Ruth enjoyed pouring water through the mills and watching it spin.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Countdown Begins...

10 DAYS!
I just found out that my c-section has been re-scheduled for November 14 instead of November 17. So, the countdown until the baby boy gets here has begun sooner than expected. As of today, it is 10 days until we get to see his little face and hold him in our arms. We are all really excited, but especially me because of how uncomfortable I am. The nerve pain in my legs combined with pressure on my bladder makes me wake up every 2-3 hours throughout the night. As a result, I'm feeling the effects of not getting any deep REM sleep. I know that once he's born, this will be the feeding scheule anyway, but as soon as he begins sleeping for 5 hour stretches, I think I'll feel like a new woman!

As part of the countdown (though not always related), I will be posting pictures that I've been meaning to post anyway. Check back everyday for an update and new pictures!

Anna Ruth and I at the Columbia Zoo at the beginning of October.

Anna Ruth riding Clifford, the big red dog at Chuck E Cheese's (and yes, that's a fake smile).