Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lots of Thoughts.

So, I've done a lot of thinking this past week. Like most of you, this week has conjured up thoughts of Jesus and His miraculous birth, and the incomprehensible decision for Him to come to earth for sinner's sake. These things humble me, baffle me and overwhelm me with thankfulness for what this holiday really represents. Like many of you, this week has also caused me to look forward, with anticipation, to a new year and be hopeful for the change, growth and new opportunities that it will bring (which for me includes keeping up on this blog on any sort of consistent basis!) Now, unlike most of you, there is one more significant life event that this week holds in store for our family that has given my mind so much to chew on lately - my son's birthday.

Yes, it is so hard for me to believe even as I sit here typing it but, Jonathan turns 1 year old tomorrow! At 4:42 pm tomorrow, I will officially be the mother of a one year old little boy, and as I stroll through the memories that occupy my mind, my heart swells with so many emotions. Thankfulness, because God (for some reason still unknown to me) decided to bless me with one of the sweetest, most loving, most handsome, incredibly intelligent babies I have ever met. Pride, because I know that someday this child will grow up to do so many great things, and I will be able to proudly boast to others that he is "mine". Blessed beyond measure, because I have been able to experience something that I know many women will go their entire lives wishing they could experience. Anticipation, for what the future holds just barely out of reach, things yet to be discovered about our son. Humbled, that God trusted me and Brett enough to take care of this little life that He so carefully and thoughtfully created.

So, on this, the eve of the anniversary of our entrance into parenthood, I sit in awe of the 9 lb. 7.5 oz. present he brought us on December 30th, 2010. This gift, we named Jonathan Alan Ricley, and I will forever be grateful to God for choosing me to be his mommy.

Monday, April 11, 2011

40 Days Later...

I must have amnesia. Apparently I made a promise on here not too long ago, that after failing miserably to keep the cyber world informed of our pregnancy journey, I would do better to blog about the happenings in our life from now on as it relates to our growing family. Whoops :) Seems as though I didn't keep that promise very well. So in honor of my aunt (who gently reminded me this weekend that I hadn't blogged in quite some time!), here I am to take another crack at this whole "being a good blogger" deal.

So, what has happened in the 40 days since I last blogged?

- We took a trip to Austin, Texas March 3rd-5th for some support raising training. That meant we had to leave Baby J for the first time since he was born. Now, Brett was used to being away from him due to work, but up until this point, I had not left him with anyone (other than Brett) for more than about 2 hours. Needless to say, it was super tough, and I definitely cried when I drove away without him the day we left. It was a rough 3 days for me, but Jonathan was fine and my parents loved having him while we were gone!

- Probably the biggest news we have to share from the past 40 days is the fact that Brett has officially quit his full-time security job to put all of his time and energy into support raising. We fully believe that God has called us to do ministry in Salt Lake City with Impact Campus Ministries, and because of that belief we are committed to doing everything we can to get out there as soon as possible, i.e. the decision for Brett to quit his job. Our goal is to be fully funded by the beginning of August so we can be there for the start of the school year, and so far God is doing some amazing things and working on our behalf to make that happen! (For those of you who are completely lost and may not know what I'm talking about, you can check Brett's blog for more details about what is going on with him in regards to ministry).

- We are also planning to move out of the house we are renting very soon! While I am definitely not looking forward to moving all of our stuff again - (3rd move in less than 3 years) - I am excited to downsize/simplify a little and know that we are one step closer to being in Salt Lake. As of right now, the plan is to move into a small cottage we've been offered by some friends from church until we leave for SLC. That means its time to start packing & cleaning and hopefully getting stuff together for a yard/garage sale before we move out! Lots to do, not lots of time!

- Oh yeah, and then there's Jonathan!! He officially rolled over for the first time on March 24th, and while I think the majority of the credit goes to his heavy noggin' we are excited to see all his developments! He's also smiling a lot has the beginnings of some adorable giggles! Here's the video of him rolling over if you didn't get to see it on Facebook!

I think that's about it. While the last 40 days have been filled with adventure, fear, some hardship and lots of unknowns, it has also been filled with lots of joy, happiness, excitement and anticipation for the future!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What's in a Name...

Many people have asked us why we chose the name Jonathan for our son. They usually start off asking if it's a family name, to which we answer "no", and then proceed to ask if it has any sort of significance - to which we definitely answer "YES!" While time usually only allows us to say that its a biblical name that we liked, here's the whole story...

Ever since Brett and I started considering names for our future children, Brett insisted that one of our sons be named Jonathan. Now, me being the stubborn woman that I am (hard to believe me being stubborn, right?) told him no way, no how! I would not have my future son being called "Johnny", "John-Boy", "Little Johnny" or anything of the sort. I didn't like it. In fact, I was dead set against it...that was until I began seeing it from Brett's perspective. His reasoning behind wanting this name was far more noble than my reason for not wanting it, so I began to let go of my stubbornness and look into what this name really meant.

Brett picked this name because he loves the story of Jonathan and his armor-bearer found in 1 Samuel 14:1-14. In it, Jonathan exhibits such courage and such trust in God that he is willing to act, in a rather dangerous way, on the chance of "perhaps". He says in verse 6, "perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few", and that is the kind of faith Brett wanted our son to have. After reading it for myself, that was the kind of faith I too wanted my son to have. So, since then I have prayed that our son would grow up to believe in the God who is all powerful and able to act on our behalf when we ask Him to. I have prayed that just like Jonathan in the bible, our son would walk through life with courage and confidence, knowing that he is first and foremost a child of God. I have prayed that he would grow to be a man of integrity who others want to follow. But most of all, I have prayed that God would do mighty things through him and use him to bring glory to His name!

So, after much disagreement and going back and forth, our son was given the name Jonathan, and whether he gets called "Johnny" or "John-Boy" or any other nickname as he grows up doesn't matter. His name has meaning and purpose behind it, and I can't wait to tell him all about it someday.

Friday, February 25, 2011


I was watching my 8 week old son sleep soundly this morning (one of the most heartwarming and precious moments a mother can have in my opinion) and couldn't help but think back to the evening that we found out we were pregnant with him. We were planning on having some friends over for the evening, so my friend Anna and I ran to Wal-mart to pick up a few things. I told her that I was a couple of days late for my period and said I was going to pick up a pregnancy test just for fun :)

Now, pause and back track to a few months earlier....Brett and I had taken a trip to Mexico to celebrate our 1 year anniversary. It was such a nice getaway and I believe we were truly able to reconnect and rediscover that we had truly married our best friend in the entire world! (It was hard to believe that even after a year, we found ourselves needing that connection again) Anyway, while we were on this trip, Brett and I talked a lot about the past - what we loved, what wish we could do over - and about the future - what we wished and hoped for. As we were talking about our future together, we kept talking about a family and how we wanted kids so badly. Now, as Christians we knew in our heads that we needed to give God control of our lives in every sense of the word, and it wasn't until this trip that we realized that also included our family plans. We decided that when we got back home, I would go off birth control and we would let God take over and decide the timing of us having our first child. That was in August...

Now, fast forward again to that evening in May. I had purchased a pregnancy test and now I'm standing in our bathroom, pregnancy test in hand, waiting for the results. Let me tell you, that was the longest 3 minutes of my life!! Mind you, we have some of best friends over out in the living room playing cards and one might ponder why in the world I would take a pregnancy test while in the middle of entertaining. Well, I would answer that when you have been waiting in anticipation for several months and your monthly visitor fails to show up, it's hard to be patient! Finally, after what seemed like an eternity of waiting, the screen on the little blue and white stick displayed the word "pregnant" and I couldn't help but cry. I tried to collect myself enough to open the door and summon Brett to come and join me in the bathroom, and once he was there I burst out in tears again as I showed him the results.

We hugged and kissed and cried together for probably a couple minutes before we realized that we had left our house guests alone in our living room to fend for themselves. By this time I'm sure they had caught on to the fact that something out of the ordinary was happening (after all, Brett and I don't normally escape to the bathroom together while we have friends over), but we emerged from the bathroom together and tried to act as though everything was completely normal.

We continued to play cards and all the while, I sat next to my husband, the soon to be father of our baby, and tried to mask the huge smile that was tempting to burst onto my face. Finally, after a few minutes I decided to send the picture I had taken on my phone of the positive pregnancy test to Anna and her then fiance, Jared who were sitting across the table from us. As soon as their phones went off, I no longer worried about hiding the excitement that was bubbling within me and as they screamed with joy at the news, we knew this was going to be an incredible adventure.

God is good and I am so thankful that He gave us the opportunity to be parents. It had been a growing desire of my heart to be a mother for so long and now that I am here, living in the middle of it, I can't express enough how wonderful it is! So, there is a reminiscence of one of the most exciting days of our lives thus far. I hope we get to experience that joy over and over as we welcome more children into our family.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I'm a bad blogger...

Wow. To say I am a bit tardy in updating this thing called a blog is quite an understatement if I've ever heard one. Last I posted, we were excited to announce the impending arrival of our first child - today, that child, Jonathan Alan Ricley, is here and will be 8 weeks old in t-minus approximately 17 hours! He is the most precious gift we have ever been given and since he's come into our lives, I finally feel like I have found exactly what I was meant to do - be a mother. As much as I would love to ramble on and on about how different life is with a new baby around and how wonderfully difficult it can all be at times, I'll save some of that for another post. After all, I'll need something to talk about if I'm going to be more consistent with this thing... :)

In other exciting news, Brett has also found exactly what he is supposed to do in life...well, at least for this season of life! We have been on a journey with God, basically since the moment we said "I do", that has been full of twists and turns and often times been confusing and downright difficult. Although it was all those things and more, it has now brought us to this place where we feel like we are directly in the middle of God's will for our lives, and we are excited for the ministry He has placed before us! As of a February 12th of this year, Brett is a Campus Ministry Recruit with Impact Campus Ministries. We are currently just beginning the process of being trained and prepared to go and do ministry in Salt Lake City, Utah on their college campuses. While we are anxious to get out there and begin this new phase of our lives, we will still be in Omaha for as long as it takes for us to raise the support we need to live and do ministry out there.

If you want to keep up with that aspect of our lives and the journey God is taking us on in respect to Brett's ministry, his blog will be more geared toward those events (Brett's blog) This blog, on the other hand, will deal more with my journey as a wife and mother and the everyday happenings in my life. While the two are intertwined, we thought it would be easier to separate the two and thus not overwhelm anyone who might read these with mile long posts each day... You're welcome :)

So, for now I think that's all. My little guy is sleeping and some might say I have taken advantage of it - updating my blog, folding some laundry and watching the episode of the Bachelor that I missed Monday night! Now, I hope I have not spent this time unwisely as I attempt to go get some sleep myself and cross my fingers that Jonathan stays sleeping as well.

Until then...