Behold, the Lamb of God


“The next day again John (the Baptist) was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as He walked by and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God!’  The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.  Jesus turned and saw them, ‘What are you seeking?’  And they said to him, ‘Rabbi’ (which means Teacher), ‘where are you staying?’  He said to them, ‘Come and you will see.’  So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.  One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.  He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which means Christ).  He brought him to Jesus.  Jesus looked at him and said, ‘So you are Simon the son of John?  You shall be called Cephas’ (which means Peter).”  – John 1:35-42

This past Sunday as our church discussed the passage of Jesus calling his first disciples, one of the questions presented for consideration was, “Whom do you identify with in this story?”  After thinking for quite some time, I could not pull myself away from the image of John the Baptist motioning to his two disciples as Jesus approached: “Behold, the Lamb of God,” he exclaimed!  When his disciples heard this pronouncement (the revealing of who Jesus was), they left John to follow the One they had been waiting for.   I wondered how John must have felt as he watched his two friends walk away.  Was he sad to see them go?  After all, they had been his disciples for what we assume was many years.  They had probably spent much of their time together; walking, eating, laughing, and talking with one another about the awaited Messiah, the Redeemer of Israel and all of Creation.  The men must have surely become very dear to him over those years.  Was there a sense of loss as they left John’s side to follow behind Jesus?

Or perhaps John was filled with joy because he knew that his ultimate purpose in discipling the two men was that they might one day recognize Jesus for who He was and, leaving all else behind, follow after Him.  The parting of his disciples was evidence that John had done what was required of him:  he had prepared the way for the Lord.  All the years he had spent with the men, testifying and teaching about the coming Son of God, was for that moment; for that purpose.

I”m sure it was a little of both.

As parents, our goal and mission is the same as John’s: that our children would one day leave us and follow hard after the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.   All the minutes, days, and years that I spend teaching my children about Jesus are in hope of the day they might look up and say, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”  What a bittersweet day that will be for I know that my mother’s heart will grieve because that season of my life will be over.  But oh, how greatly will I rejoice to watch them pursue and learn from Jesus – the Lamb of God who takes away their sins, loves them more fully than I, and who will teach them greater things than what they may have learned at my knee.  And at the end of this precious and oh-so-short season, by the grace of God, I pray that I will rejoice and exclaim:  “…I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” – 3 John 1:4

Free to Obey

I sin daily.   An outburst of impatience toward my children, a snarky comment to my husband, anger, laziness; the list goes on and on .  And in those moments I hear a mocking voice: “If you really loved Jesus, you would obey him.  How petty and tiny your love for Him must be.”

I answer back, “No, you’re wrong.  I do love Him…I’ll prove it.  I’ll do better tomorrow.”  And the next day, despite my best efforts, I find myself singing the same song, third verse, a little bit faster, and a little bit worse: fail, condemnation, guilt, resolutions, self-righteous effort, repeat.  It’s a vicious cycle that I would be willing to bet most of us have struggled with and found the results of such striving to be anything but liberating.  Instead of boldly coming before the Throne of Grace we feel shame and approach hesitantly, if we come at all.  Our day to day walking out of this Christian life is bereft of the joy we’ve been promised and feels more like a heavy burden we must struggle to carry.

Yes, Jesus says that if we love him we will obey him.  But what does he say love is?  “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love:  not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”  1 John 4:9-10

I can only love Jesus because He has loved me before the foundation of the world; I can only obey because he has already lived in perfect obedience to the Father.  This is the good news of the gospel: that we have been extravagantly loved and set free to obey by Him who has declared, “It is finished.”  The gospel doesn’t tell us to strive in our obedience…it sets us free to obey from a place of love and humble gratitude to One who is the Author and Perfecter of our faith.

“The key to a godly life is not more and more self-generated effort.  Instead, Jesus is saying, ‘Love me and your obedience will flow naturally from that love.’  The secret to obedience isn’t formulaic steps found in a self-help book.  It is a relentless pursuit of love for him.  How then do I cultivate the sincerity of love that motivates obedience?  By focusing more intently on his love for me than on my love for him, more on his obedience than mine, more on his faithfulness than mine, more on his strength than mine…if we intently focus on how we’ve been loved, irrevocably, eternally, freely, and without merit, if we contemplate how obedience (or lack of it) doesn’t faze his love on whit, then we’ll find within our hearts a growing desire to obey.  Why?  Because love like that changes people.  It draws us toward him; it make us want to be like him; it makes obedience attractive.  Resting in our perfect acceptance before him and in his intense desire to have us for his own will cause us to want to please him.  It will make us love him, and love for him will always eventuate in godliness.”  – Elyse Fitzpatrick, Comforts from the Cross

“It’s not my zeal, it’s that your love is strong.  It’s not my strength, it’s that you’re faithful.” – Jon Thurlow

Identity vs. Role

When I became a wife and mother, I distinctly remember wanting to do both of those things with excellence.  Which, in and of itself, is not a bad aspiration.  Loving your husband and children well is one of the traits of a godly woman listed in scripture (Titus 2:4), and is most definitely something to strive for.  But as time went on, as responsibilities mounted, and as failures increased, I became more and more discouraged and hopeless.  In many ways, I felt as though my worth was diminished when I fell short of what I felt a good wife and mother should be.

For the better part of three years, this was a constant struggle.  I could not wrap my brain around why I felt so ill-suited for walking in the roles of wife and mother when that was all I had ever really wanted to be.  Finally, revelation came when I read this article from The Resurgence.  At it’s core, I realized this was a sin issue.  As Tim Keller so wisely observed: “Sin isn’t only doing bad things, it is more fundamentally making good things into ultimate things.  Sin is building your life and meaning on anything, even a very good thing, more than on God.”

That is precisely what I had been doing: making the worthy goal of being an excellent wife and mother into my ultimate reason for existence.  As I continued to read, I discovered why I had been so hopeless.

The article continued: “’How is your present disappointment, discouragement, or grief a window on what has actually captured your heart?’  When we depend on anything smaller than God to provide us with the security, significance, meaning, and value that we long for, God will love us enough to take it away. Much of our anger and bitterness, therefore, is God prying open our hands and taking away something we’ve held onto more tightly than him.”

My continual feeling of discouragement was the grace of the Lord to me because it showed me that I had been confusing my role and my identity.  When we make our identity out of anything other than being a son or daughter of God, we will ultimately taste the bitterness of failure when we don’t measure up to a set of standards, rules, behavior, etc,.  But when we fashion our identity solely from being a child of God, there is no room for failure or disappointment because that identity is one we didn’t earn and, therefore, we cannot diminish or take away from it.  It doesn’t depend on us, never has depended on us, and never will depend on us.   And that is why the gospel is so glorious and it is the very thing that frees us to walk even more fully in our roles.  When I understand that my worth comes from what Jesus did for me, it propels me forward into loving my husband and children well.  How can I not help but extend grace to my husband when I see the great grace God has poured over me and my weaknesses?  There is nothing for me to do but to overflow with love onto my children because of the love the Father has lavished on me, simply by being His daughter.

Do I still aspire to be a good wife and mother?  Absolutely.  But it’s not who I am; it’s what I do.  It’s a role that I am blessed and honored to fulfill.  But even more than this, my ultimate goal is to craft my identity solely from being a daughter of my Father.  This is who I am and who I was created to be.  Nothing more, nothing less.

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” -1 John 3:1

Gratitude in the Midst

It’s been an extremely busy season for the Kubicina household for the last 6 months. I have so many things buzzing around in my heart that I am feeling a little frazzled trying to sort everything out in a way that is truthful, encouraging, and will actually make sense. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much time to sit down and write about all that the Lord has been working out in me: between moving, vacation, daily life, church life, visiting family, illness, and all the “blessings,” that accompany a first trimester, I’m finding myself with very few free moments that don’t result in a nap. :) But this afternoon, in the midst of my busyness, I was reminded of the goal that I set at the beginning of the year to list 1,000 things that I am thankful for.

I feel this to be especially needed when we are engrossed in seasons where life is hectic.  I know my own tendency is to focus on my circumstances and overlook the seemingly mundane moments that the Lord has placed before me.  Every season has blessings if we fix our eyes on the One who is the Giver of every good thing.  He is not stingy with us and He delights in our gratitude because it speaks the truth about who He is and how He lavishes love on His children.  Even in the midst of haste, or circumstances that would seek to overcome us, we have the honor of highly exalting and deeply enjoying Jesus.  Through the redeeming work of the cross, we have received the greatest gift of all – the indescribable reward of glorifying our Father.   When our eyes are set on our faithful Savior and not on life and its troubles, we find ourselves in the place where our hearts are at rest and are fully enabled to delight in the abundant joys of every season…morning sickness and all.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”  – James 1:17

#21 – A backyard!!!

#22 – Chubby-armed baby hugs.

#23 – My husband: for the ways he shows me the grace, mercy, and love of Jesus…especially when I feel I least deserve it.

#24 – Domestic Kingdom: this blog has encouraged me immensely.

#25 – Tea, tea, and more tea.  I’m not going to lie, though…I miss my coffee.  *first trimester will be over soon; just in time for Pumpkin Spice season!*

#26 – My bed, sleep, and all things restful.

#27 – Dreaming of the little person the Lord is shaping inside me.

#28 – Porch swinging with my family.

#29 – Watermelon, strawberries, and peaches!

#30 – The sound of Josh and Grace talking and singing together before they fall asleep each night.

#31 – Watching Gideon’s bowed, plump, little legs learning to walk.

#32 – A new job for Brandon to help us continue to drive down that debt!

#33 – Worship music playing in the kitchen to lift my eyes above my circumstances.

#34 – Watching friends being blessed by the Lord for their steadfast trust in His faithfulness.

#35 – A precious new nephew!

#36 – Family and friends who drive 800 miles to visit us.

#37 – Beautiful Summer nights that give us a break from the heat.

#38 – Brandon and I agreeing on paint colors and loving our choices.

#39 – Our house church group; how I love them and thank God for each one!

#40 – A big kitchen to gather family and friends around food and the goodness of God!


Let Me Hold You Longer

I read this poem in a book years ago (before marriage and babies), and for some reason it popped into my mind today.  I did a quick Google search, teared up as I read the first stanza, and was sobbing by the third.

As a mommy of little ones, I occasionally find myself wishing that one of them (or all of them, depending on the day!) would hurry and reach the next milestone.  Whether it’s sitting up, walking, eating solid foods, or sleeping through the night, it’s hard to keep myself from longing for the day when so-and-so will start doing such-and-such and therefore make my life a little easier.  Though the growth and arrival of a child’s “firsts” truly is exciting, I was reminded again of the reward to be found in the whole-hearted embracing of this momentary season.  I pray that I will not spend my time wishing-away the demands of these tiniest years; that I will proclaim, as David did, that THIS is the day the Lord has made.  And because He has ordained it for me, I can be rejoice and be glad in whatever it holds (Psalm 118:24).  And at the end of 2 a.m. feedings and sleepless nights, mis-pronounced words, and hours of brushing hair into braids and pigtails, I pray that my heart will overflow with the grace-drenched, joy-filled memories of these years.  To God be the glory.

A picture book has been made out of this poem; you can purchase it here.

Let Me Hold You Longer
By: Karen Kingsbury

Long ago you came to me, a miracle of firsts:
First smiles and teeth and baby steps, a sunbeam on the burst.
But one day you will move away and leave to me your past,
And I will be left thinking of a lifetime of your lasts.

The last time that I held a bottle to your baby lips.
The last time that I lifted you and held you on my hip.
The last time when you woke up crying, needing to walked.
When last you crawled up with your blanket, wanting to be rocked.

The last time that you ran to me, still small enough to hold,
The last time when you said you’d marry me when you grew old.
Precious, simple moments and bright flashes from the past –
Would I have held you longer if I’d known they were the last?

Our last adventure to the park, your final midday nap,
The last time when you wore your favorite faded baseball cap.
Your last few hours of kindergarten, last days of first grade,
Your last at bat in Little League, last colored picture made.

I never said goodbye to all your yesterdays long past.
So what about tomorrow — will I recognize your lasts?

The last time that you catch a frog in that old backyard pond.
The last time that you run barefoot across our fresh-cut lawn.
Silly, scattered images will represent your past.
I keep on taking pictures, never quite sure of your lasts…

The last time that I comb your hair or stop a pillow fight.
The last that I pray with you and tuck you in at night.
The last time that we cuddle with a book, just me and you.
The last time you jump up in our bed and sleep between us two.

The last piano lesson, last vacation to the lake.
Your last few weeks of middle school, last soccer goal you make.
I look ahead and dream of days that haven’t come to pass.
But as I do, I sometimes miss today’s sweet, precious lasts…

The last time that I help you with a math or spelling test.
The last time when I say that yes, your room is still a mess.
The last time that you need me for a ride from here to there.
The last time that you spend the night with your old tattered bear.

My life keeps moving faster, stealing precious days that pass.
I want to hold on longer — want to recognize your lasts…

The last time that you need my help with details of a dance.
The last time that you ask me for advice about romance.
The last time that you talk to me about your hopes and dreams.
The last time that you wear a jersey for your high school team.

I’ve watched you grow and barely noticed seasons as they pass.
If I could freeze the hands of time, I’d hold on to your lasts.
For come some bright fall morning you’ll be going far away.
College life will beckon in a brilliant sort of way.

One last hug, one last good-bye, one quick and hurried kiss.
One last time to understand just how much you will be missed.
I’ll watch you leave and think how fast our times together passed.
Let me hold on longer, God, to every precious last.


Image Source

A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission, around the Table.

The tradition of mealtime, especially in America, seems to be slipping into a thing of the past.  We no longer come to the table (if we eat at a table at all!) with gratefulness to a generous Giver, but rather in casual indifference; much like taking our vehicle to a gas station for a fill-up, that we may continue on in our busyness..  Tim Chester vividly illustrates that one of the main themes and portraits of Scripture is the beckoning from a loving Creator, to his creation, to come and dine with Him.  That they may come partake of His glorious goodness and extend that goodness to others, that the feast of God may be full.

I was challenged by so much in this book.  Convicted at my own nonchalant attitude towards food and mealtime, I finished this book with renewed vision for my kitchen and dining room.  I felt excited and exhorted to make our family’s table a place of refuge, fellowship, thankfulness, joy, and love.  I confess that in the course of my day, it is much easier to eat breakfast and lunch as I work: finishing up this project or starting that chore, while my children sit quietly at the table observing my haste.  My heart feels purposed towards the goal of cultivating gratefulness towards the Lord for the food that He sets before us each day.  I look forward to teaching my children of the goodness and grace of the Father at each meal time; telling them of the rich love that He has poured out on us in everything…even sandwiches.  Whether you’re wanting fresh insight into the blessings of cooking, eating, or hospitality, I highly recommend this book to you.

Some of my favorite quotes (and it was hard to narrow it down!):

“…the community of the broken, gathered around a meal, finding hope in the grace of Jesus.  This is what church is meant to be: a community of broken people finding family around a meal under the tree of Calvary.”

“…food isn’t just fuel.  It’s not just a mechanism for sustaining us for ministry.  It’s gift, generosity, grace.  Jesus gave thanks and broke bread.  In so doing, he affirms that food is to be received as a gift from God.”

“The world is more delicious than it needs to be.  We have a super-abundance of divine goodness and generosity.  God went over the top.  We don’t need the variety we enjoy, but He gave it to us out of sheer exuberant joy and grace.  God’s creative joy wasn’t only for the beginning of creation, leaving us ‘eating leftovers.’  God continues to sustain creation out of joy.”

“Not only did God give us food, He also ordained cooking…every time you place a meal on the table with quiet satisfaction, you’re sharing the joy of the Creator at the creation of the world when he declared everything good.”

“The Lord’s Supper is a call to God to act in keeping with his covenant: forgiving us, accepting us, and welcoming us to the Table through the finished work of Christ.”

“This is salvation: to feast abundantly and to feast with God.”

Click here to purchase this book.

Happy New Year

Wow, what a crazy holiday season it has been!  Full of visiting with family, a good amount of coughing and sniffling noses, two rounds of stomach flu, delicious food, and more cookies eaten than I care to admit!  We had a wonderful time with my parents and brother, who came to visit for the week of Christmas.  It was a fun-filled time of rest and laughter as we relished in the celebration of the birth of our Savior.  We rejoiced in His goodness, marveled at His abundant grace, and welcomed 2012 by His wonderful mercies, which are forever new to those who ask and believe.

I’ve had a lot of things on my heart as the year came to a close and not a lot of time to write about them. One of the things that I am asking the Lord for this year is to cultivate an attitude of thankfulness in the simple, day-to-day things that I tend to overlook.  As scripture says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, with whom there is no change or shifting shadow.” (James 1:17)  From time to time throughout…well, however long it takes me… I will be recording some of the things that I am grateful for.  Some will be serious, some will be lighthearted, and some may be just plain strange; but my desire is to cultivate a deeper joy in what may appear to be nothing more than the mundane rhythms of life.  My goal is to list 1,000 things, in no particular order, that I have recognized and recieved as good gifts from an exceedingly good Father.

Without further ado, here is my first batch:

#1 – The sweet voices of our children as they sing worship songs.

#2 – Family: near and far.

#3 – The blessing of technology that enabled me to listen in as my newest niece was born.

#4 – Hearing the gentle voice of the Father as I go about my day.

#5 – New kitchen utensils to replace the ones that have been commandeered by growing toddlers.

#6 – An unexpected financial blessing that sped us along the road of paying off our debt.

#7 – Family pictures in front of the Christmas tree.

#8 – A wonderful church family.

#9 – The ability to continue to eat healthier, whole foods, thanks to the opening of Trader Joe’s in our area.

#10 – Listening to Brandon as he reads to Josh and Gracie from their Jesus Storybook Bible.

#11 – Rekindling a close friendship that has been, and will continue to be, very precious to me.

#12 – Getting to share this season of my life with my sister as she walks down the path the Lord is laying for her.

#13 – Cherishing the chubby, cuddly, babyhood of our new little boy.

#14 – Remembering to treasure the special moments of each day and record them in a family journal.

#15 – New books to read and glean from

#16 – Finding the most amazing recipe for iced coffee, thanks to Pinterest.

#17 – Pinterest…it gets the creative juices flowing!

#18 – The opportunity to participate in a Daniel Fast with our church as we seek to honor and glorify the Lord with this upcoming year.

#19 – Ghiradelli Bittersweet Chocolate chips…in bulk from Costco.

#20 – Watching our kids delight in the drive-thru Christmas light displays.

Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches

This book has been a constant source of perspective, encouragement, and amazingly practical ways to maintain joy in the “trenches” of the tiny years.  I recommend to any mom or mom-to-be.

You can buy it here, for a little less than $10.00.


You can also follow the author, Rachel Jankovic, on the following blogs and on Facebook:

Gideon’s Birth Story

My due date arrived on September 6th.  This is also the day that Starbucks released my favorite drink – the Pumpkin Spice Latte.  For those of you who know me well, you’ll understand how significant that is for me.  ;)   Brandon and I packed up the kids, drove to Starbucks to get our first drinks of the season, and then headed off to Nebraska Furniture Mart to look for dressers for Grace and Josh.  As the hours slip by, all the while experiencing my daily dose of contractions, I could feel my cheerfulness start to slip away.  Resigning myself to the fact that I will most likely be “over-due,” I lay down for a nap around 4:00 to rest up for a meeting that we had scheduled that night.  Josh and Grace were napping as well, so Brandon headed off the gym and a quick stop at Costco.  Around 5:30, I was in a semi-conscious state and felt like “something” had popped but since nothing was happening, I figured I must’ve dreamed it and continued to lay there for another 15 minutes.  I rolled myself out of bed to get ready for our meeting and as my feet hit the floor, I realized that “pop” had been a small break in my water bag!  I called Brandon (who didn’t answer), called my sister (who was downstairs) and my sister-in-law, and sent a quick text to everyone I was supposed to notify at the beginning of my labor.  I finally get a hold of Brandon and then call my midwife to let her know.  It’s around 6:00 at this point, and I notice that my contractions seem to be kinda close together.  I wasn’t able to time them because I was rushing around the house to get Josh and Grace ready to head over their cousins for the evening.  Around 6:15-ish, Nicole arrived, my midwife’s birth assistant and doula, and began setting up all the supplies.  She worked incredibly fast and in no time at all, my labor room was ready.  I waddled back up the stairs and felt another small pop in my water bag.  Contractions were really close, no more than 3-5 minutes apart, and I was definitely feeling some mild pain.  Brandon arrived back home from dropping the kids off at his brother’s, and my sister-in-law, Kortni (the one with 5 kids and in training to be a doula/childbirth educator), walked into the room.  Nicole needed Brandon’s help to fill up my birthing tub, so he went to assist her and Kortni also walked out to get a couple other things ready.  My sister, Elizabeth, and I were in the room and I knelt by the edge of the bed to work through my contractions a little better and I felt a huge pop that must have completely broke my water bag.  And thus began the most intense 45 minutes of my life!

Kortni came back into the room and knew I needed some help.  She  sat down by me and grabbed my hands, encouraging me through a couple contractions and reminding me to relax – amazing how helpful that is!  I remember thinking to myself, “I don’t know if I can get through 6 hours of this!” and silently praying for the Lord to sustain me.  Brandon and Nicole were back in the room and Brandon knelt down next to me, half rubbing my back and half hugging me, and kissing my forehead a lot.  At this point, I was making some noise with the contractions and I recall Kortni asking me, “Are you having another one already?”   After a few more contractions, which were probably 2-3 minutes apart at best, the next thing I knew I was kneeling on the floor and Nicole was asking Brandon if he was planning on catching the baby.

Pardon me?

I started thinking, “We can’t be talking about this already! I have 4 more hours of labor to go.  Suzanne (my midwife) isn’t here yet!”  Another contraction came and I didn’t get to ask any of my questions and Kortni leaned over to my ear and said, “That’s it – you’re done.  This is the end.”   I was shocked, a little confused, and greatly relieved!  I kept looking at my birthing tub, which was still in the process of being filled, and wondered if I’d even be able to deliver in the water like I’d hoped.  A few more contractions went by and Suzanne arrived, said hello, took a look at me and said, “Let’s get her into the tub.”  Into the tub I went!  I loved being in the water!  It didn’t do anything for the pain, but it was so soothing and much easier to relax.  A few more contractions went by and the head had crowned.  I figured that the hard part was over and I would hold my baby with the next contraction.  A few more contractions went by with no baby.  The next thing I knew, Suzanne had me switch positions and told me to push, and there baby was!  It was a boy!!!!   And he had that same darn swirl in his hair that Brandon and Josh have… such a pain to cut!  :)  She rested him on my legs and the first thing I thought was, “Wow, those are some big shoulders.  That explains a lot!”

Our favorite rump roast, as we like to call him!

Those first few moments were so amazing; I held him and Brandon and I just stared at him and kept remarking at how cute he was, how he looked just like a Gideon, and that he was definitely bigger than the other two.  No one was rushing around in a frantic scramble – we were just able to enjoy him.  It was calm and peaceful and we soaked up every detail we could about our new little love.  After about 15 minutes, the cord was cut, placenta delivered (my apologies to any males reading this), and Gideon and I were tucked snuggly into bed.  We got to enjoy another 45 minutes of uninterrupted time with our boy while Suzanne and Nicole cleaned up (amazing fast, I might add) and left us alone until we were ready for them to get all his measurements and such.

We called Suzanna and Nicole back into the room and they went to work weighing and measuring.  One of the funnest parts about this home birth was that Brandon got to weigh him with this sling-like contraption.  You put the baby into the sling and then the sling hooks onto a weight (much like the hanging weights in the produce department at a grocery store).  You then lift up the baby in the sling and find out how much the little bugger weighs.  I was watching all this from the cocoon and couldn’t wait to find out how much he was.  I knew he was bigger than my other babies, but I had figured he was high 8’s or low 9’s.  *Remember from my previous post that I was adamant about not having a ten-pound baby.*  Brandon hoisted the little guy up, studied the scale, and said, “He’s ten-pounds, one ounce…”

I was waiting for him to say just kidding…

“Nope!  Make that ten-pounds and two ounces!”  Then he looked over at me and grinned.  I was still waiting for him to tell me what the actual weight was.  When he didn’t say anything else, I said something really eloquent like, “You’re serious??  Goooooooooood lord!!!!!”

After everything was said and done, Gideon and I were tucked into bed, my sister ran to Wendy’s on behalf of Brandon, and Suzanne and Nicole gave us parting instructions along with hugs and kisses.  Ryan and Kortni brought Josh and Grace back home where they met their baby brother with shining eyes.  Josh kept saying, “Oh, he’s so cute. That’s my baby brudder,” as Grace was trying to lay on top of him and give him kisses while remarking, “Aw…bebe.  Aw…bebe.”  That first introduction of your children to their new sibling is special wherever you are, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t love it taking place in our home.  I will always treasure those first precious moments together as a family of five, along with the entire experience of this birth.  It’s one of the milestones in my life that I will long reflect and rejoice over the goodness, kindness, and faithfulness of the Father to our family…and especially to me.

Our little loves :)


Gideon David Kubicina

September 6, 2011 –  7:12pm

10lbs 20z, 21.5 inches

He’s finally here!

Where do I begin???  This pregnancy has been such a journey for me.  Having delivered my first two children at 37 weeks and 35 weeks, I must admit that I wrestled with fear over having another preterm baby since the day I found out I was pregnant.  During the weeks of nausea early in my pregnancy, I would often wonder if I would even make it to 35 weeks this time.  Was I defective?  Was there something wrong with my body that made it unable to carry a baby to full term?  Even though both my babies were relatively healthy (Grace spent a week in the N.I.C.U. on antibiotics), there were nagging doubts that took hold in my heart and resulted in many prayers and questions to the Lord.  It was then that I began to hear the Father speak to me about this pregnancy being a season where I would know, really know, that He is worthy of my trust.  For some reason, I’ve always struggled with trusting and the Lord was telling me that He was desiring to show Himself faithful and abundantly good.  My heart grabbed a hold of this though, on occasion, I would continue to wrestle with the fear of early labor during months that followed.

Fast forward to week #34 and my monthly appointment.  My midwife was feeling for baby’s position and size, asking how I was feeling and if I was having any kind of symptoms.  Based on the information I had given her and baby’s size,  positioning, and my stats, she seemed to think that I would most likely go into labor early and basically told me that she wanted me to be pregnant for 10 more days.  She decided that she would use my sonogram due date (one week earlier than my LMP date) so that I could go ahead and have a home birth if I delivered before 37.  When Brandon and I left the appointment, we thought that maybe this was how the Lord was answering out prayer; yes, I would have another preterm baby but everything would be fine and we would still get to have our desired home birth.  We felt peaceful about it and scurried about getting all the final supplies ready for baby’s arrival.

Then came week #36, another appointment, and our familiar scene of the midwife checking baby out and asking about symptoms.  By this time I was quite large and pretty uncomfortable.  Baby felt waaaaaaaaaaaaaay lower than any other I had carried and was making it hard to walk.  I’d never felt like I had “the waddle” in my other pregnancies, but it was fast becoming an inescapable reality with this one.  I was also having lots of contractions.  Lots and lots of contractions.  Inconsistent and irregular, but a daily occurrence nonetheless.  After rattling off all of my information, I fully expected my midwife to smile and say, “Any day now!”  But imagine my surprise when she told me I had another two weeks and to prepare myself because this one was going to be bigger than the others.  After the appointment, I remember sitting back and sighing at the prospect of being pregnant for two more weeks.  Then I realized that I would be 38 weeks by then and further along than any other pregnancy I’d carried.  I decided I was OK with and actually rather excited at the prospect of an additional 14 days gestation.  Bring on the waddling.

As my 38th week approached, I was assaulted with a new fear:  the fear of THE BIG ONE!  With my previous little bundles weighing in at 7lbs 5oz and 6lbs 6oz, and this being the furthest I had carried, the doubts started rolling in.  “What if this baby is too big for me to deliver?”  and “What if this baby is so big that I am permanently damaged or ripped to shreds??”  Pathetic, right?  But seriously, for this being my first natural child birth, I was fearful that it would be the absolute worst-case scenario and that I was going to have a horrid labor with a beast of a child that would make me swear off child-bearing forever.  I told you I had trust issues.  I kept telling Brandon, “I don’t want a 10 pound baby!  I’m so scared of having a big baby.”  He would always reply with something along the lines of, “I doubt you’ll have a 1o pound baby, and even if you do I’m sure you’ll be fine.”  Apparently I didn’t believe him because I kept up with my fearful whining until one days he told me, “Kel, we’ve been praying for this pregnancy and delivery since day one.  The Lord is not going to give you a delivery that He will not grace you to get through and glorify him.  Everything is going to be OK and you’re going to do great.”

38 weeks went by and then 39; I couldn’t believe I was still pregnant.  I was acutely uncomfortable and annoyed at this point as I felt like I had been in labor for the last 3 week.  I was having lots of contractions every day; sometimes regular, sometimes not. There were several nights where I would have pretty strong ones for several hours and thoughts to myself, “Surely this is it,” only to fall asleep at some point and awaken the next morning to discover I was still pregnant.  Then I would usually cry and feel sorry for myself, lighten up around noon, be in a good mood in the afternoon and evening (contracting throughout the day), and go to bed hoping I’d go into labor that night.  When the next morning appeared with no baby, I would repeat the process.  As my due date approached, I decided that I should probably just prepare myself to be pregnant forever.  I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining.  Truth be told, as uncomfortable and tired as I was, I really was exceedingly grateful to have made it to full term.  Those last few days were a mix of thankfulness and tiredness, anticipation and impatience, and full of the grace of the Lord.

To be continued…