Happy Birthday, Happy Baby.

Dear Happy Baby,

The day you were born and they whisked you away in respiratory distress, the Lord whispered to my spirit that you would be just fine.

happy babyYes, as much as the doctors gave us gloomy reports and endless tests and ups and downs – in spite of these things, you prospered.

But why has this first year been such a roller coaster?

The obvious is that God has a plan for your life that is going to blow everyone’s minds – already is.

Happy Baby - 1 monthBut I also think that the Lord graciously used your hospital stay, your feeding tube, your weakened immune system, your hypotonia… to teach this mama how to trust.

From Day 1 of my journey as a mommy I have allowed strongholds of fear to rule and reign in my heart, hindering me from truly enjoying the gift of my babies.

2 monthsYour life has caused me to confront these fears.

Your life has shown me that I cannot control what happens to my babies.

But I can control how I choose to trust Him in the daily grind (and even in the toughest, most difficult and darkest of places) – trust that by His sovereign grace, things are going to be just fine.

happy baby3

When you were in my tummy, I prayed 4 things for you.

4 MonthsI prayed that you would be Happy.  I prayed that you would be Hospitable.  I prayed that you would have a sense of Humor.  And I prayed that you would be Healthy.

As we celebrate this day, I have been reflecting on God’s answers to all of these H’s.

5 monthsI love hearing you coo and babble in your crib when you wake up.  I love how you kick your legs like a mad man when someone raises you high in the air.  I love how you give your big brother giant smiles in the car when we get him from preschool.  I love how at 3 in the morning you lean back, look at me, grin, and then burrow that sweet precious face of yours into my shoulder.  I love how I can take you anywhere and you will be so chill.  I’ll never forget that time I drove panicked to the GI doctor early one  morning because I thought your feeding tube site had become infected and we ended up waiting at the office for over 5 hours.  The whole time you never stopped smiling and it helped me remember that even with the craziness that is our life, it’s all good.

Yes, God has made you Happy, indeed.

6 months collageWhen you were in the hospital, I could tell from the very first day, that the nurses knew you were something special.  As time passed, your hospital room became a hang out place.  Nurses who had served you previously would stop by to check in on you.  One nurse even dragged you and your swing into the hall so that everyone walking by could have a brightening.  To this day I get comments on this blog from one of the nurses that was in your delivery room!  Your physical therapist added a whole extra day of therapy for you each week just because she wants to see you more.  Church friends and family can’t wait to spend time with you – have a chance to hold you.  You make people feel warm and invited.

Yes, God has given you a Hospitable spirit.

7 monthsAfter bath time and you’re on the changing table, you like to cover your face with a towel while I frantically repeat, “Where’s the Happy Baby?”  Then you throw the towel off and giggle like a maniac while I say, “There he is!” (Repeat 100 times.)  You get this big goofy grin when you pee in the tub.  You sometimes just laugh to yourself for no reason at all.  You think it’s hilarious to stiffen your legs when I am trying to change you out of feet-y pajamas and can’t because you won’t bend your knees.  I’ll put food on your tray, turn around to do something, and when I’ve turned back the food is gone and I joyfully think you’ve eaten it all, but then later find that you’ve stored it all next to your thighs – sneaky lil’ rascal.  While out on walks you enjoy tossing toys out of the stroller because you get a kick out of me picking them up.  You like to roll under the crib and hide.  I don’t even know why I bother putting socks on you.

Yes, I see that little sense of Humor coming through.

9 monthsSome might think that this last prayer – the prayer for your Health – was not answered.  I mean, you were quite sick when you were born and today you have some serious weak constitution and we’re tracking a serious cold/bronchitis/ear infection thing about every other month.

But let’s just take a look at the facts.

We were told this day of your first birthday would never come.

We were told that our time with you would be short – that we should just take you home and make you comfortable.

We were told you would never crawl or roll over, or sit up, or lift your head.

And here we are, 12 months later, and boy, are you showing them!!!! :-)

10 monthsI am choosing to look at your health as all the things God has spared you from instead of what you’ve lacked.

You do not have a genetic disease.  Your hypotonia is improving.  Your feeding tube didn’t last as long as they expected.  Your barfs are fewer and farther between.  And this last month when you caught another bad cold, you didn’t end up with an ear infection!

Yes, that sounds like Health to me.

11 monthsI am still praying these 4 H’s for you, Happy Baby.

And I’ve even added a fifth H to the list.

12 monthsHandsome.

Thank you, precious boy, for being my constant reminder that God is faithful and that no matter what, because of His great faithfulness, we are all just fine.

Happy Birthday, Happy Baby.

I love you so much.

- Mommy

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

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43 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Happy Baby.

  1. I’ve honestly been checking your blog all day to see something about his birthday. He truly is a joy. I don’t think I’ve laughed, cried, and happy cried this much in a very long time. I’m so blessed and encouraged by reading this. Love you guys :)

  2. I am smiling with joy at what our faithful God has done – what a testimony for all of us. You have shared this journey in a beautiful honest way. Blessings to you

  3. Our daughter Alice was premature and had respiratory distress. Your story and pictures brought back memories. Ask Lisa about Alice today. 21 years later. God is so so faithful. Your son is indeed a blessing. Thanks for this lovely letter.

  4. Happy Birthday sweet little child of God! What a beautiful, loving story of your family! You are truly blessed my love! Enjoy your baby boy!

  5. Happy Birthday Happy Baby! All the way in Australia I have enjoyed watching you grow and overcome so many obstacles. I can’t believe you are 1 already! We continue to pray for your health and happiness.

  6. Happy Birthday, Happy Baby!!!! I celebrate with you and your Happy Family in praising God for His grace and mercy. Happy Mommy….your H prayers will ever be with you and him…even when he’s 33 and beyond…we momma’s never cease on that front, because The Lord loves holding us close. Your prayers have wisdom beyond your years…God is teaching you (and thereby, others) in a glorious way. Give that handsome Happy Baby a hug for me, please!

  7. Happy happy birthday to a happy baby boy. Your blog is an encouragement to faith itself. Keep sharing your heart. God bless you and your beautiful family.

    Sent from my iPhone

  8. Julie…I am so thankful for your faith and trust while you touch God on behalf of the Happy Baby and for Him answering your prayers. I am celebrating with you via the blog today that the Happy Baby has all the H’s :) Blessings!

  9. This brought me to tears. I opened the email while waiting in the car for the school bus this morning. My boys, ages 5 and 8 wanted to know what had me so upset and I showed them the pictures and explained that the baby was born sick, but God made a miracle happen and he’s okay now. They were both very moved and said he was the cutest baby they had ever seen. What a beautiful way to document the triumph of your child. May he always smile like this, and when he is older and makes a mess in the bathroom, may you remeber as well:)

  10. Wow how beautiful! As I wipe my tears away, I am so happy your baby is thriving! I think of your family often. You are such and inspiration of grace, gratitude and spirituality. Your labor nurse, chrisy

  11. What a journey, Seeing him is certainly a reminder of God’s faithfulness. It also is a good reminder of your faith in Him. I know without a doubt that even if the Doctors had been right, you would still find a way to see God’s faithfulness. I am so thankful that they were not right and God has been glorified, and that I get to see that handsome little face so very often. He is a joy to behold!!!!

  12. So happy for you. Children are truly a gift from God and He has been faithful. Praying for many more birthdays for your sweet boy!

  13. Praise The Lord for His GOODNESS!!:) I love the faith our Lord has given you, sweet Julie! I pray that He continues to fill you and Ryan with all you need! Please look at Juice Plus+ to give this precious one all the nutrients he needs every day, and to help his immune system and to make him grow strong! Look at all the research, and what it is PROVEN to do! Nemours Children’s Clinics are using it as well, and have conducted a study with it. http://www.beckysjuiceplus.com. Love you, dear Julie!!:)

  14. Praise The Lord, Julie!! We still pray for you and Ryan as you are on this journey with this sweet baby!! Consider adding Juice Plus+ to improve his immune system and give him all the nutrients he needs! You can break one of each capsule into his food. SInce it is in a pre-digested state, 100% of it is bioavailable! The Nemours Children’s Clinics are using it as well, and have just finished a study using JP+. Look at the research on my website, http://www.beckysjuiceplus.com. I believe this could be the next step to his path to wellness! Love to you four!:)

  15. Happy first birthday to the Happy Baby! What an example of faith you (Julie) have been throughout this time. Give his a Happy squeeze from me. Love to all the family.

  16. Your life and your journey with the Happy Baby is a great testimony of God loving care for their childs!! Keep trusting HIM Julie!!

  17. It’s hard to believe an entire year has gone by!! Happy Birthday, Happy Baby! We’re so glad you’re here!!!! :)

  18. Happy birthday!!! This post is AWESOME. So well written and beautiful. You made me cry and smile and I am thankful for you sharing this his sweet life with others. Kisses to the birthday boy!!!

  19. Wow, what a blessing to read and remember God’s mercy and faithfulness through it all. You are a beautiful reflection of your Creator! I am rejoicing with you and so thankful HE is glorified through it all. Thank you for sharing your gift of communicating and creativity with a world that so needs to be reminded of God’s goodness. My friend, I’m thankful for you and can’t wait to see what the Lord continues to do through your family. Love you!

  20. Julie, thanks for this beautiful “Happy Birthday” for Jethro; Grandma Brasington sent it to us and it is absolutely another of God’s miracles.
    Bud and Norma Taylor

  21. Made me cry!!!! What a beautiful baby!!!! How amazing to have such faith in God…you are an inspiration to all!

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  23. I enjoy checking your blog every once in a while and taking in your crafts, but today I was really amazed at this story. God is so good. As someone who has a weakened immune system and went through years of illness, I understood every word you said about health. And I’m so so glad Happy Baby is healthy and all of your prayers were answered. These pictures brought tears to my eyes. He is definitely a handsome baby!

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