Thursday, October 10, 2013

A most unexpected and sweet birthday

birthday book 7
birthday book 6
birthday book 5
birthday book 4
birthday book 3
birthday book 1
ice cream birthday petit four
It was a most unexpected and sweet 26th birthday this past Tuesday. God had already gifted me with the sweetest arrival of Serene Joy five days earlier last week - an answered prayer, for I had hoped that the baby would make her entrance into the world soon, particularly since her due date was about a week after my birthday .

An unexpected turn of events occurred on Monday when we brought Serene to her first doctor's appointment, where we discovered that she needed to return to the hospital for two days worth of jaundice treatment due to her high bili levels. Though the nurses assured us that it was a common, treatable problem in newborns, I was so incredibly sad. She screamed bloody murder beneath the light therapy all night long and endured seemingly endless blood tests. I was an emotional wreck. God revealed to me the idolatry of my heart for control in the situation and taught me that ultimately, Serene's life is in His hands. Alex and I could do nothing but pray fervently and remember God's faithfulness in Christ, and trust that He is sovereign and good in all things because of Christ's work on the cross.

Praise God for answered prayers, for we were able to take her home with us again late Tuesday evening. Despite the hullabaloo of the few weeks past, God still blessed me with so much undeserved kindness.Alex surprised me with his first published work for my birthday - a handmade book of encouragement from him and so many loved ones for this new season of life (even though Alex hates crafting!). I bawled as I perused the thoughtful notes, obviously. God is too good to me through Alex and the dear chummies in our lives.

Though we did not spend my birthday as anticipated, it ended rather perfectly. When we got home, we celebrated quietly and joyfully with sushi from a favored local restaurant (my other birthday wish) and ice cream petit fours - just the husband, the baby, and me. It was a celebration I could not have appreciated as deeply if it were not for the past 48 hours at the hospital. My heart is full and I am so grateful to the Lord for His sustaining and overflowing grace that I do not deserve. Thank you Lord for another year of life to know you more deeply and to make you known. Help me to love you, my little family, the church, and others as you loved us in Christ, for I cannot do it apart from your grace. In Christ's name I pray, amen.


  1. so sorry to hear about serene joy. hoping she gets well soon. and such a sweet and thoughtful gift. happy birthday to you~

  2. Happy Birthday, Helen dear! Your faith and love is beyond inspiring! I am so happy to hear that Serene Joy is home and better now :) The wonderful book from your husband is the sweetest thing I've ever seen! Wishing you a wonderful birthday and sending you lots of hugs! <3

  3. This is quite late, but happy birthday! This is such a lovely gift.
    Praying the Lord is blessing you both with plenty of rest and cuddle time with your dear girl.


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