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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Meet Ebenezer & Jasper

Ebenezer (teddy bear on the left in memory of our 1st baby) and Jasper (monkey on the right in memory of our 3rd baby).

Let me explain why I’m sharing pictures of stuffed animals with you. After our 1st miscarriage, which took place on a vacation in Oregon with Chris’ parents. I had asked his family, if before we left, we could stop at a local gift shop where I could pick out a teddy bear in honor of our 1st child. I had seen the teddy bear when we arrived at the little resort town in Oregon and anticipated buying the stuffed animal for our little baby as an early gift to have around the house to encourage me during nine months of pregnancy. Well, I still had the privilege of picking out the teddy bear but it wouldn’t be a reminder of the arrival of a baby. On the other hand, it would serve as a reminder God had allowed me to get pregnant (after several months of infertility) and that we DID have a baby and we WERE parents - although the world would never recognize that fact. My hope was that one day we would give this teddy bear to our next child and explain how God is faithful even in things we can’t understand.
I didn’t have a name for the teddy bear until I was reading my Bible on the flight home to Oklahoma. I was reading in 1 Samuel 7 about Samuel’s response to the Lord after He delivered the Israelites from the Philistines.

“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying ‘Thus far has the Lord helped us.’” 1 Samuel 7:12
An “Ebenezer” is a stone of help, so I knew I wanted the teddy bear’s name to be Ebenezer as it would serve as my personal “stone of help” – that God “thus far had helped us.” I did get pregnant and that was a huge praise. I needed to see that teddy bear and be reminded that God could do it again and He could carry a healthy baby to full term. And . . . He DID. The day we found out we were pregnant with our 2nd child, I took a pic of Ebenezer (or Ebby for short) holding my pregnancy test so we could email the big news to our parents. In the message, I quoted 1 Samuel 7:12 and asked our parents what they were doing in March of that year.

So, Ebby is a very meaningful teddy bear in my life. In fact, he still sits on my nightstand. I haven’t been able to give it to Alexa Hope as it still holds so much meaning to me.

But now on to Jasper. After news of our most recent pregnancy, I had my eyes out once again for something special to purchase before the baby arrived. As you know now, we will not experience that day. And so, I decided yesterday I needed to get that stuffed animal I had in mind. So, I went to a local boutique I love and purchased a little monkey I adored in honor of our 3rd child. I can’t say anything very spiritual about this stuffed monkey yet – I’m just not there. However, I chose the monkey because Chris and I both believed this baby was a boy and this monkey encapsulates everything I envisioned our family would experience with a new baby boy in December – colorful, wild, crazy, and full of big smiles. We’d definitely have two little monkeys to love on. I have to admit, the reality of it all is hitting hard today and the fact we won’t get to experience all of that craziness causes tears to well up in my eyes and the pit of my stomach to ache. I’m sad.

But I will tell you that I didn’t hesitate one minute to give Alexa a big surprise monkey named Jasper when I got home yesterday. And . . . she LOVES Jasper (nothing special about the name. It’s his name on the nametag and I’m incapable of giving him any meaningful name at the moment). I wish I could have recorded Alexa’s first encounter with Jasper. She gave him a big look over, a sweet smile overtook her face as if giving the crazy looking monkey her seal of approval, and she gave him a big hug. He’s almost as long as she is so it’s adorable when she holds him. And, I have to say, that is exactly how I dreamed Alexa would welcome her younger sibling – taking a good long look at this new little being entering her world, smiling, and then gently giving him a kiss on the forehead. I know . . . pipe dream, I’m sure, but it’s my dream and it was a good moment for me.

So, there you go. Ebenezer still sits on my nightstand and will serve, once again, as a reminder of God’s faithfulness. And, Jasper gets to be in on all the action of Alexa’s life. He joined us for some errand running today and I’m sure he’ll get tattered and messy along the way. I do pray sometime down the road, we’ll be able to explain to Alexa the significance of both Ebenezer and Jasper while I hold baby #4 in my arms. For now, I’ll hold to this truth and trust He is enough . . . “Thus far has the Lord helped us.” (1 Samuel 7:12).

1 comment:

  1. I do remember reading this but it was a long time again. Really good reminder Kelsey. Thanks.