How could we ever brag on God and His people enough? It’s probably impossible, but we’re going to try. Walk with us through the last months and join us in overflowing with thankfulness.

Long before my daughter arrived, God began gifting us with stuff we needed. Our sister bought us a baby swing. We found a car seat and a Moby wrap carrier for $25 each and a bouncer for $5. Out of seemingly nowhere a neighbor who was moving reached out to us and offered us a beautiful Italian crib with bedding and blankets and two cute toddler coats to boot. One set of our parents bought us a lazy boy rocker for nursing. But that was all just the beginning.

As time moved along God’s gifts kept coming. Two different baby showers provided lots of adorable baby clothes, bibs, books on parenting, baby books, money, and much more. Family pitched in to buy us a swanky stroller, the one big ticket item we hadn’t already gotten. As my daughter’s arrival drew closer, it seemed the gifts of grace kept coming.

We lived in a cute but small one-bedroom apartment and felt it would be best to get a bigger place, but cost was a concern. Just in time an affordable two-bedroom opened up just around the corner, and we moved not knowing whether we’d have enough time to get fully settled in. Turns out our daughter gave us plenty of time, and God kept giving us more gifts. My wife’s parents went way above the call of duty in helping us get settled. Family gave us a washer and dryer, and as the due date came and went, friends brought us food “just because,” walked with my wife, treated her to a pedicure, and gave her a foot massage. Family spoiled us to a dinner out at an Italian restaurant because of a silly wives’ tale claiming eggplant parm induces labor. Unexpected gifts showed up in the mail and at our door. It felt endless, and our debt of gratitude kept growing.

Shortly after moving in and before we had really met them, our neighbors below us gave us an extravagant basket full of clothing goodies and a homemade baby blanket. What? I wish I were that nice.

And now my wife’s part of the story: My last night at work…God seemed intent on reminding me that He is a God who provides. I was subtly aware as I arrived at work that this would be my last paycheck for a while. When I approached my first table for the night, I vaguely recognized the woman. Sixteen years ago, I met her at a mutual friend’s 16th birthday party. Somehow, I even remembered her name, and asked “are you…?” And in just the short conversation that followed she was asking me: “Do you want baby girl clothes? We just found out that we’re expecting a boy..and this is our last… but I’ve been saving my girl’s clothes.” Two weeks later, I had a car FULL of girl clothes up to age four!! Believe it or not, that all seems like just the beginning. God gave us a great birth. It wasn’t long at all for a first baby, and He gave us a caring old nurse and calm young midwife who liked to say, “That’s the way.” They were fantastic. Then meals started pouring in and didn’t stop for a long time.

Before our daughter arrived, my wife connected with a young woman at church who had had a difficult experience with her newborn because of some health issues the lad had. The woman offered to come hold our baby at night, and we took her up on it. She spent the night with us, and we liked it so much we invited others to do the same. One friend drove from Buffalo to help us out! It was such a joy to reconnect with friends who helped in so many ways.

And most of all, we are thankful for our daughter. She’s healthy, growing, and simply adorable! She’s going to share the light of Jesus with many!

This season has not been without its challenges. I’ve been sick more this winter than in a long, long time, and I’ve been dealing with dizziness/vertigo for a month and a half now. Parenting a newborn is more challenging than I could have imagined. My wife has had some ups and downs. But that all pales in comparison to the extravagant blessings God and His family have poured out on us. Thank God and thank YOU!

Thanks for standing with us! Your prayers make a difference! Next week I’ll update you on how ministry is going, and it won’t be so long. 🙂