I remember thinking about "Christian names" when I was pregnant with Ava. I loved certain names, but the word "Grace" kept coming to my mind. I was pregnant with Ava when I was 25 and had learned what grace was really all about. I would say from 20-25 years old, I did a lot of personal growth, so when I got pregnant God really taught me about His Grace. I learned during those years that I'm not perfect and I don't know everything. That was really hard for me to learn. I had to give up a lot of control. I thought I had all the answers and could do things "my way," but I learned that there is a lot I had to let go. I remember loving the name "Grace" but deciding I would like it better as a middle name. Paul didn't like the name Ava that much, but one day on the way to church, I threw out the name "Ava Grace" and he loved it. Now, I have officially heard of twelve other Ava Graces. Which is crazy, but it is a name that means so much to me now, I wouldn't change it for anything.
When we got pregnant with Alexandria, or "Lexi", we were in complete shock. By shock I mean, I cried for a week and didn't even tell Paul. I thought I couldn't handle it. I thought, "Why would God let this happen when HE knows I'm not ready!" I emotionally was dealing with a lot still with my family and my parents' divorce. I thought, "How can I bring another person into this craziness?" But God really taught me faith during my pregnancy with Lexi. I learned that He was in charge and that it was ridiculous of me to think that I had any control. We also really prayed it was a boy so that our family could feel "complete" so to speak. When we found out it was another girl, we were speechless, but God tested our faith. He reminded us that He was in charge.
I had many names I wanted to name the new baby girl, but Paul couldn't talk about names for about month. It killed me not to have control of the name, but I was patient and finally Paul decided on one name he liked, Alexandria. I liked it, but it didn't fit my rule of a 2 syllable, easy to spell name. Oh well, I let it go. I knew we'd call her something else anyway.=)
So, we had Alexandria picked out but needed a middle name. I knew immediately that "Faith" would be a perfect middle name for this sweet surprise that God blessed us with. So, Alexandria Faith blessed our lives last January and has changed our lives forever.
We thought having a boy would make our family feel "complete" but we feel very complete with our girls. I am daily getting use to the fact that we have a family of 4. It feels surreal, but we are both (Paul and I) excited to start this journey as a family. We have been through a lot of transitions in our 8 1/2 years of marriage but we are ready to settle down now and raise this family.
I have had to take care of the girls a lot lately because of Paul's work, and tonight I took the girls to Blue Coast Burrito and Menchie's (frozen yogurt!). While we were sitting there and I was trying to feed both girls (and eat too), I was reminded of their middle names. I prayed right then for God to give me grace and faith during the times when I feel like I can't handle things (which is a lot lately). I was just touched looking at both of them and realized that God has really taken care of us and will for a long time.
I'm not perfect and would say that most days I don't have the faith I need, but I always pray that God gives me grace when I struggle to trust Him. I've been struggling a lot lately with "strongholds" in my life and things that have prevented me from healing from past pain. I prayed on Sunday at church that God would speak to me. I think He used my girls to speak to me tonight. It's funny how God speaks in unexpected ways, but I'm thankful for it. I am thankful to have the family I have, a family God has blessed me with.
I have been processing a lot lately and just needed to get it out.