Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My mom's baptism

Christmas Celebration at Mars Hill Shoreline
December 23rd marked a big day for my mom: she got baptized! It has been crazy to watch how God has worked His way through my family, with the help of friends, other family, and even strangers. This is a decision my mom came to on her own after several months of attending Mars Hill in Shoreline. She can attest to the ways in which Jesus has become the hero of her life story, and it was such a blessing to be able to be a part of this display of her faith.

A little background about baptism at our church: We believe that baptism is an external display of an internal faith; not necessary to become or be a Christian, but certainly a powerful way to share with others God's grace in your life - which is always worth celebrating! Before being baptized in our church, you meet and pray with a pastor first to discuss your testimony, and why you want to be baptized. After that point, our church has deacons (like myself and Josh) help perform the baptisms. In this way, the deacons are helping each person to publicly declare their faith and rejoice with them as they do!

Below are some pictures from the event:

Deacon Josh asking my mom if she declares Jesus as Lord over her life.
(Her answer was an enthusiastic "YES!")
Death to self - new life!
2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Taking in the moment!
Kyle's family, my sister, and some of my mom's friends
from her community group - along with the entire
church service -  celebrating her baptism!
Giving it grace: I personally did not wake up one day with a desire to get baptized, or even be a Christian for that matter. Looking back on the entirety of my life, I can see the ways in which God was wooing me, slowly tugging at my desires, inviting me to consider His path for me and ultimately how I could live for Him. It took nearly two and half decades for me to have my first real face:face with God and become a Christian. And I don't consider that to be a decision I made, I know it to be the irresistible appeal of God's grace in my life. Ephesians 1:4-5 tells us that "...even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will..." Therefor I know it to be true that it was God who changed my desires, ever so patiently, and brought me to the place where I became a Christian and then was baptized a few years later with my sister at an Easter church service.

Baptisms with Brooke and Pastor Phil
Fast forward to two and half years to a few weeks ago, when I got to watch the unfolding of God doing the very same thing in my mom's life: new desires, new purpose, new life. His plan is flawless. His timing is perfect. His grace abounds. Amen!

We're expecting!

We are happy to announce we are expecting a tiny little Hansen in July!

You may remember this DIY chalkboard project from a few months ago; I made a big chalkboard for our seasonal decorations, and I had the little chalkboard in mind for the following project. I delayed in getting these photos up partially because we wanted to get out of the danger zone, but mostly because I spent 90% of the first trimester either trying to keep food down or trying to just stay awake. Glad that's (mostly) over!

3 Weeks: BFP means "Big Fat Positive" - it's a term used on many of the pregnancy chat boards. Kyle thinks it's was a funny phrase, so I though it was fitting for our first pic!
4 weeks (Kyle still figuring out camera angles...)

5 Weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
8 Weeks (PS. guess which week I was feeling the worst?)
9 Weeks
10 Weeks
11 Weeks (that sign was supposed to say "large PLUM" - not prune - but I think the look 
on my face reveals that I was still not feeling great, and really
didn't care...prune, plum...can I go back to sleep?!)
12 Weeks - and our 1 year anniversary! We went to Vegas to see Celine Dion to
celebrate. This trip was planned before we knew we were pregnant. While I highly
recommend Celine Dion live, I soooooo do not recommend Vegas, pregnant, in January.
13 Weeks: Officially starting into the "Is she fat or pregnant" stage!

Baby Hansen - 13 weeks (we're pretty confident the baby
is praying in this pic...or clapping)
14 Weeks (we're repainting the bedroom the color swatch on the left!)
The first trimester was not as rough as I was expecting. Aside from a few throw-ups and the persistent "icky" feeling, I just had really (I mean REALLY) strong food aversions...mostly to anything home-cooked. The food aversions caused me to loose some weight in the first few weeks, so the doctor gave me the go ahead to just eat whatever sounded good to keep the calories in.

Yes, you heard that right - I lost weight and got the go ahead to eat whatever I wanted. Helloooo comfort food. I also got encouraged to eat cheese right before bed to help curb nausea in the morning (something about protein...hunger pangs...whatever, the doctor had me at "eat cheese"). Pregnancy: you're the best.

I ended the first trimester catching back up to my pre-pregnancy weight, and entered into the second trimester with a bit of food aversions still, and a dragging hint of tiredness. Fortunately, Kyle has taken it upon himself to apply for Husband of the Year (coincidentally abbreviated to HOTY) award and mandates that I take naps while he does the dishes and folds the laundry. Seriously, pregnancy (and Kyle): you're the best.

Other than comfort food cravings, I've had three very specific cravings: A&W Rootbeer, Apple Juice, and fruit smoothies. The fruit smoothies have been key to getting me some of the main nutrients I need for the baby's sake (along with a raft of vitamins). Kyle, still going for his HOTY award, gets up early to make us fruit smoothies every morning - so my craving just lands itself right into my hands. HOTY for the win!

The second trimester has brought on two fun new things to deal with: pregnancy hormones and pregnancy brain. Pregnancy hormones have caused several boughts of laughter + crying, and pregnancy brain caused me to drive to the wrong job last week. At our last visit, I made sure to double-check with the doctor that both were normal (mainly, so Kyle could hear that his wife is not a total freak!).

PS - check out this great video of us telling my dad! We got him a t-shirt without much explanation, he thought it was a joke at first. The shirt says: the world's best dads get promoted to grandpas! We also got similar shirts for my mom and sister - their reactions were priceless as well! (Sorry for the wiggly video, we were trying to not make it obvious we were filming him).

Giving it grace:
Genisis 1:28 says: "And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." 

Be fruitful and multiply - how soon can we start?! Kyle and I had been praying about starting a family for more than a few months since we got married, and we we're overjoyed to find out I was pregnant in November. Starting a family together just felt like the most natural progression of the union we formed at marriage; we both felt the desire to expand that union to include children. Upon finding out I was pregnant, I did not have that "and then everything changed forever" moment...it was more gradual than that. The biggest gradual change I've noticed is the grace God has given us in our marriage to really enjoy this time together before a baby comes along. Twenty-twelve was a big year for us: we got married, I finished grad school, and we got pregnant - to name a few things. With so much going on, it can be tempting to just start marching to the beat of your own drum and have your husband become more like a roommate. But - God has been faithful, and Kyle and I have experienced more closeness, teamwork, bonding and growing in these past few months than in all of last year combined. I know that this is God's doing, because Kyle and I are two selfish people who are in very different emotional states right now (well, he is in the same state he always is, and I'm over in crazy town - about 100 states away)...recipe for disaster. We are both very grateful for this new chapter in our lives, and very grateful that it's been so enjoyable thus far. We're praying for a healthy pregnancy and baby, and also praying for the hearts of our friends who are hurting as they want to start or extend their families. Mostly, we're taking this time to marvel at God's creation of life and just how wonderfully powerful He is.