Fertile Prayers Cheers To Thirty Years!

As we celebrate our first born’s 30th birthday today, I am sharing this unforgettable story of how Leah came to be. Since this story played out in 1987-1988, my God has given me many reasons to be a person of hope and gratitude.

Many may wonder how it feels to be a mother of a 30-year-old, as well as a new grandmother. My main thought is one of pure joy and gratefulness that we are all still here to celebrate this day! We’ve all heard it said that “gratitude is a game changer in one’s attitude and approach to everyday living”, and I believe this with all of my heart!

Cheers To Leah Page Andrews Today!

Wishing you many, many more birthdays in the years ahead!

As a teacher at Avondale Elementary and a few years of suffering with unexplained infertility, I was near my wit’s end. We had planned everything out perfectly hadn’t we? With my husband still in training, we were hoping for a Spring Baby so that I could connect my maternity leave with a nice long summer before returning to the classroom.

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. James 1:2

With May 1987, came another season of sadness and despair as we had one after another negative pregnancy test. It seemed that everyone we knew was having their first or second child. Married for five years, this was a season of adversity in our marriage. We both wondered aloud and privately if we would ever have the privilege of being parents. During my 1987-1988 Christmas Break, I found myself pleading with my God more than ever before.

I cross-stitched Romans 8:28 and placed it in this frame. IMG_6593

Soon after this, a snow-filled, early January Monday kept my husband and me home from work.

God can't give us peace and happiness apart from himself because there is no such thing. C.S. Lewis

 Overjoyed to have this unexpected holiday together, we would later discover that this day was likely the day that our first-born child was finally conceived. (sorry for the TMI: too much information<smile>)

Some of the lessons we learned from this experience are:

  • God’s timing is perfect.
  • God knows even better than we know what is best for us.
  •  Adversity makes us stronger. We must stick together even when things get tough.
  • When we seek God, we will find Him. In adversity, He draws us into a deeper walk with Him.

God hears our pleas.

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Leah, our first-born was well worth the wait!

Let’s be intentional about our choice to stay connected to our God and to each other when we are weak and when circumstances get tough. 

(2 Corinthians 12:9-10 reminds us that when we are weak, He is strong!)

NOTE: This post was previously published in October 2015. The post was updated on 10/8/2018 in honor of our daughter, Leah Page Andrews as she turns 30 years old today.

Kayla and Leah
Leah and Tripp (8/24/18) Carly and Mac (born 9/29/18) These boys don’t know it yet, but they are soon to be besties!
Imagine a two-year-old with a full face of makeup! Leah and I volunteered with a group of clowns in 1990 when we visited local hospitals and nursing homes. It was all fine until she decided to have a 2-year-old meltdown!
BEST DAY EVER when Leah married her best friend, Scott Andrews on March 29, 2014!
Tripp Andrews (left) and Mac Minick (right) fast friends from the start, just like their Mommies!
Yosemite Park July 2009
Page Family 2010
Big Sis to Walker…Leah is 3 years, 4 months older than her little brother.

Previous Posts You May Have Missed:

Children Are Wet Cement: Make The Right Impression In Their Lives

Wrestling And Seeking

Children: Let’s Listen To Them

Four Questions For God

Where Is He?

Time For A Change Of Heart

It Is Well With My Soul

Thank God He Has A Forgetful Nature

Five More Ways To Love Well We Only Get One Chance

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There are so many ways to “LOVE WELL,” and this may actually mean very different things to different people depending on your circumstances and the people who surround you throughout your days.

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

 As I was working on my last post entitled Five Ways to Love Well, it was easy to think of lots of ways to love well, so here we go with five more:

SHARE YOUR WISDOM AND TALENTS. Daddy played the clarinet for the residents at Atherton Place in Marietta, Georgia, where he lived for the last eight years of his life. He loved sharing his gift of music with everyone! Sometimes he even sang Unforgettable or Young At Heart.  One of his many granddaughters benefitted from her GoodDaddy’s talent as shown here, they often played duets with their instruments.

Amy waits to join her GoodDaddy in playing a duet with their clarinets.

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BE OF SERVICE TO OTHERS. Here is our daughter, Leah driving her GoodDaddy home after one of our family parties.

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As the rest of us were cleaning up dishes and putting away food, I recall Leah volunteering to run him back to his home at Atherton. He was happy to catch a ride with his granddaughter, too, as his face easily shows. As the weather gets cooler, model service to others by keeping warm, new gloves in your car and giving them to people on the street who look cold. Your children can hand these gloves to a stranger under your supervision and you will plant a seed of service that will grow and blossom.

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COOK FAVORITE FOODS FOR YOUR LOVED ONES. Even though it’s been a few years since we had the same busy weekday schedule that many of you are carrying right now, I do so realize this is not the easiest thing to do! The crockpot was my best friend during the days of practices, homework, lessons and early bedtimes.

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Consider finding yourself a copy of Fix it and Forget it! One of my favorite crockpot tools.  A hardback copy can be purchased on Amazon for $0.01 plus $3.99 S/H.

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I also used this other book pictured here for quick, healthy meals. In addition, as often as possible, I tried to involve the children in helping out in meal preparation.

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Make it a “group effort” to get dinner on the table. Mama always loved helping out in the kitchen when she would visit our home, saying, “Give me a job!” Consider following my good friend, Lucy’s food blog: In A Southern Kitchen. One of her most recent posts features some short-cuts to healthy meals for the family.

PLAY WITH YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN. Even though our Dad worked very hard to provide for our family of six children, he would come home, get on all fours, and play “TIGER” with us. Same with my husband. Soon after our children were beyond the infant stage, he regularly had what we called “floor time” with them and they loved it! This involved tickling, wrestling, rolling around together. The giggling heard throughout the house was contagious, starting our evenings out in a happy way. This sounds so simple. These pictures are better examples than any words I could share with you! A Pastor and long-time friend, Garry goofs off with his grandson, Alex; a childhood friend of my sister Kathy, Peggy reads to her new baby girl twins; a baby is covered with “Grandma kisses.”

How many of you can relate to this!?!

And the last three are of Leah (now age 26) making memories with her grandparents.

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CELEBRATE BIRTHDAYS! [pullquote]A birthday says ‘Thank you for being you.” On a birthday, we do not say ‘Thanks for what you did, or said, or accomplished.’ No. we say ‘Thank you for being born and being among us,” Nicole Johnson[/pullquote]My friend, Donna recently posted this beautiful birthday cake on Facebook as they celebrated one of her son’s special days.

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My Daddy and Mama clap as Dad blows out the candles on his yummy Gabriel’s Desserts, layered caramel cake.
What would you add to this list of ways to love well???
Here is a recap of our list from this post and the last one:
  • Be there for each other.
  • Stay connected with the help of technology and letters.
  • Be compassionate and kind to those in your path.
  • Put up your phone.
  • Learn your loved ones’ love language.
  • Share your wisdom and talents.
  • Be of service to others.
  • Cook favorite foods for your loved ones.
  • Play with your children and grandchildren.
  • Celebrate birthdays.

Birthdays A Special Time For Girlfriends

IMG_1789This past Saturday, a group of girlfriends got together in the North Georgia Mountains to celebrate one of our special friend’s upcoming birthday. There was a yummy lunch followed by a five-mile hike on part of the Benton McKaye Trail. It was a beautiful day to walk, to visit, to simply be under a Carolina blue sky, and to celebrate our friend, Tracy.

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“Birthdays need to be celebrated. I think it is more important to celebrate a birthday than an important exam, a promotion, or a victory. Because to celebrate a birthday means to say to someone: ‘Thank you for being you.’ On a birthday, we do not say: ‘Thanks for what you did or said or accomplished.’ No, we say: ‘Thank you for being born and being among us.'”

~Henri Nouwen~

After the hike, we found ourselves guzzling water as we gazed over a magnificent landscape of mountains. Soon, snacks of all kind, wine and cold drinks were brought out as we gathered around a picnic table. Tracy and I built a blazing outdoor fire, and for that moment, all was right and well with the world.

It is good to take time out to celebrate life and girlfriends that we love!

“Any time women come together with a collective intention, it’s a powerful thing. Whether it’s sitting down making a quilt, in a kitchen preparing a meal, in a club reading the same book, or around the table playing cards, or planning a birthday party, when women come together with a collective intention, magic happens.”

Philicia Rashad
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