Monday, June 16, 2014

That's My Boy

My last birthday post of 2014. It's like a hurricane around blows in so fast...and within one weekend, its all calm! Happy Birthday to my sweet Shane Patrick Engel born, 7:48pm on June 16, 2003 (4 weeks early_ all because my doctor had a dream!

After trying for 10 years, losing 14 babies and finally having twins, I really thought that I was done. After all, who has time to have a baby, when you've got your hands full with twins. At some point in November of 2002, my twins were about 17 months old and I remember thinking...hmmm...something is not right. I had called my prayer partner and told her that I thought that my PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome - fertility issue) must be acting up again. She told me to take a pregnancy test and I laughed at her. I had invested WAY too much money in those things for the past 12 years - NEVER showed a positive test. Something must have compelled me to buy one..and when I did...I couldn't believe my eyes. I WAS PREGNANT! Like...without the help of a fertility specialist! WHAT? HOW? WHEN? (remember I had twins running around at this time). Sure enough..went to my doctor and it was confirmed!

This pregnancy was so different. I didn't need much bed rest in the beginning. I was doing well. For the first time I got to go to church with a pregnant belly, got to pick out some clothes for him, (I had just given ALL of my baby stuff away to another family having twins). I never ever got to do anything like that for my twins because of my very strict bed rest.

Shane's time in the womb suddenly became dire during the end of the 2nd beginning of the 3rd trimester. He was not well. Shane's full story can be found here: My Gracious Gift From God. Shane's story is an absolute supernatural miracle. Feel free to read about the mighty hand of God in his healing and birth!

I know the name we picked out was totally intentional. Shane means...gracious gift from God! Indeed he was. Being a fertility patient we are never really surprised that we are pregnant, we only every disappointed that we are not!

Shane is my boy with all the energy. I don't think he ever walked. He crawled and then ran...and he hasn't stopped (now he has added, jump, flip, fall (from a 15 foot tree house). He is my gift giver, my dare devil, my snuggle bug, my action figure/superhero/football lovin' presidential expert, my Starbucks partner and doughnut lover, my boy who loves to worship...Toby Mac style! He is so thoughtful and cares so deeply. He is super sensitive to my needs in particular and has a big heart for the homeless! A die hard San Fransisco 49rs fan with a dream of going to the new Levi Stadium - Shane is going places...and no one's gonna stop him! (We couldn't if we tried...he is covered in much prayer!)
Shane I love you more than rainbows and vanilla, more than Christmas and computers, more than writing more than kisses, more than coffee on a cold morning! You have made me laugh the hardest, fear the most, and I'll be honest...I don't really want you to grow up. I'm glad you're turning 11. I'm glad you love the Lord and you talk to him by worshiping! You make my heart smile, so I'm sure you make His smile more!
Your Dad and I want you to have your heart's desire. You will be an amazing police officer and I know you could be president too. Always set the bar high Shane...and then work hard to reach it! I am proud of who you are and where God is taking you. You work hard at things that don't come easy and you've gone through some interesting learning experiences this year, but you've come on top, walked on water...and I couldn't be more happy to call you my son! I love you like crazy. Thank you for loving I like to be loved. You are so thoughtful to our love languages really are such a gift from God.

Lord, again we give you Shane. You literally formed him and reformed him in my womb 11 years ago...he is fearfully and wonderful made. He is yours. Dedicated to follow the call that YOU have placed on his life. Continue to help Mike and I to guide and direct him the best we can so he will do just that! Thank you Lord for this amazing surprise.
Lord guard his tender heart. Protect him from malice and harm, bless him Lord. May he grow in knowledge and truth about you, and may he not be able to contain it, he will have to share it. This is our boy that use to ask everyone he met "Do you know Jesus?" Unafraid and uninhibited! Keep him that way when it comes to furthering your Kingdom Lord. Use him, shape him, develop him into a Godly leader. OH a leader he will be I'm sure of it! I pray he has an insatiable hunger for the Word of God this year! May he see the living word in action! I pray for his wife. I pray that she will love you Lord, and long to worship you alongside her husband. Give her a heart of love and respect for Shane and may he always love her like Christ loves his bride!
Lord I pray for Shane and his dreams. Father you are our dream creator, I pray that his dreams would be a perfect match to yours. This way...he is sure to walk in the way you would have him walk. Bless him financially so he is able to care for his family and be a blessing to others...his love and passion is blessing others!
Father I pray that as Shane endures treatment for his allergies that you would completely heal him in the mighty name of Jesus! However, I do know that he is winning the heart of the nurse that he sees every week. We pray for Ms. Nancy all the time. See Lord, there are no accidents! I pray he walk in healing and be an overcome in all things - through Christ.
Father, I pray you grow him in the gifts you have given him, may he always have a heart of worship, love to sing and praise the Lord! Meet him where he is...may this year he have a supernatural encounter with you, that will set him on a course to follow you will on earth!

Lord, I love this boy. My eyes are welled up with tears. The way he shares his heart with me, the way he takes my face in his hands and speaks with his baby blue eyes! The way he smiles with those amazing dimples! I feel so unworthy to have this much love surrounding me. These boys, these very special, unique, amazing gave them to Mike and I to love, teach and raise. I know we don't do it perfectly, and we make plenty of mistakes, but I pray that those moments, those teachable moments for Mom and Dad have already become teachable moments for our boys as well. Lord take Shane's precious heart, mold it, form it, shape it, spread it! Rock his world Lord...fill this boy with so much joy...that everyone that meets him will see the hands, feet and heart of Jesus!

That's my Shane!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

God Grants My Heart's Desire

The many many years we prayed for a baby. On June 12, 2001, after many tears and trials...God grants to me the desire of my heart! The birth of my twins! Above is my Baby "B" - Brendan! This my mini me! We are so so much a like in many ways. He is indeed a treasure! A sweet sensitive spirit (an old soul as some have suggested), reflective, honoring, a walking moral compass, really...this is just to honor him today as he turned 13 this morning!

As I said in the post before this one about Brendan's twin brother Kyle (On The Day That You Were Born), every year, since the year my children were born, we have only ever given them a book for their birthday. A very special book, a book that represents their interests, or significant in some way. Then we write a letter in the book, reminding them of their accomplishments and friends and milestones reached throughout the year. Finally ending it with a written prayer for their present and future. I've copied portions of my letter below, along with pictures of Brendan growing up!
Dear Brendan, since the time you were 6 years old and you said to me, "Mom, don't worry about Kyle, when he grows up my wife and I will take care of him!" I knew then, that you had the biggest heart of compassion. Always concerned about others! You and Kyle will always have a special bond, likewise with you and Shane as well. I am so thankful for you. I don’t ever want you to feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, or that you are responsible for your brothers, but I’m grateful that the Lord has fashioned your heart to care so deeply about the people you love. You and your brothers are somewhat responsible to one another (they may not have gotten that part completely yet). It is my deepest prayer that you will always be close, always be there for one another. The part you must release is that you are not responsible for their choices. You can encourage, love and try your best to point them in the right direction, but ultimately they have a journey to walk out before God, just like you. So thank you for helping them, being patient with them, and loving them.

Thank you for being so compliant for me and your Dad. Your heart of obedience will only benefit you when it comes to your relationship with God. For example, this past year you blew me out of the water! Your maturity in handling attack from the enemy was seriously so spiritually mature, I couldn’t have been more proud of you. I use to wonder if you would be a leader, or a quiet follower..there is NO doubt, you are a leader. Don’t ever stop Brendan. I believe the Lord has given you the gift of wisdom/discernment. You know your Dad has that gift too.  This year you had an genuine, supernatural encounter with the Holy Spirit! Walk with Him Brendan, talk with Him, invite the Holy Spirit to invade your world on a daily basis! I'm so proud of you son! You are an incredible young man! Genuine, honest, full of integrity, compassionate, loving, gifted, smart, talented, and one of the most selfless teenagers I know. (and you love to cook! you are my hero!) You rock my world in every wonderful way! Here is our prayer for you this year:
Dear Lord, 13 years ago, when I woke from that coma and saw these two incredible babies in the flesh, I remember I gave them back to you. You taught me Father that everything belongs to you...yes...even these priceless gifts that I waited so long for. Even now, Lord, you hold all 14 of Kyle, Brendan and Shane's brothers/sisters in Heaven waiting for us to come home for I'm convinced, you have big plans for our boys! So, I give Brendan to you again today. It is your destiny for His life that I desire most! I know you are all about granting the desires of my have proven that time and time again!

Lord, as I have watched Brendan quietly reading the Word, I know that his desire is to know you more. I ask Father that you would continue to reveal yourself to him. May he grow in faith and in relationship with you. I pray he hands you all of his dreams and hopes, just like I did, because I know you care deeply about each one. I pray you encourage his heart in times when he keeps things hidden from me to protect my heart from pain. He has been dealt many blows this past year, he has questions and deep concerns and you have made things clear to him. Help me get out of your way Lord! He longs to rely on you...and I couldn't ask for more!

Continue to fill him with your joy! The joy of the Lord is his strength! I pray for his wife someday, may she match his heart. May she love you above all else and may he honor her always. Bless him Lord and his entire future! Keep him safe from all harm and continue to teach this young warrior how to properly and effectively use his armor.  He is such a good student isn't he Lord?! Guard him from the enemy. Weed out the people that will come into his life and do him harm, discourage him, or make him feel less than you created him to be! Give him friendships that will be like iron sharpening iron!
I get so weepy, I feel so undeserving, yet you loved me this much...this much to let me have these incredible kids. You are so good to me Father! Grant the desires of his heart Lord. As he gives you his dreams and hopes, remind him that he is always heard. May he look back on our stones of remembrance and always see your faithfulness in our lives.

This year I pray that he continues to shine your love to all who meet him. May you always be his hero! I pray that you meet him where he is, and as he desires to know you more, you reveal yourself to him in different ways. You know best Lord. Thank you for this beautiful baby who has grown to be an amazing handsome young man. He is a treasure and my heart is so full!
Lord thank you for giving him brothers that love him. Thank you for giving him the patience and love as he guides his brothers! Thank you for his HUGE heart of compassion. That comes completely from you!

Continue to grow his talents and gifts and may he always be a good steward of all that you give him. May he grow in discipleship! Father refine his gift of leadership, he is such an encourager, I pray that as he makes choices throughout his life, that you give him wisdom!

I pray that you encourage him in his pursuits. I know he prays about his future and what he will be one day. Give him vision and never ending hope! May he follow the call and destiny you have on his life! Thank you for the men of God that have been an influence on him: his Dad, Pastor John, Mr. Chuck, Pastor Ray and others.

Again, I am humbled and so thankful that 13 years ago you felt that Michael and I would be a good choice to parent these treasures. You chose to grant me my heart's desire! Thank you Lord for always filling in the gaps while our parenting is thought out and as intentional as possible...we are grateful for your grace when we fail and make mistakes. Oh how you love us! Continue to guide Mike and I as we press on in this journey, as we try to raise our children the way you want us too (which isn't always understood by the world)! Thank you for taking this little family and teaching us to walk on water as we trust in you! It has been an incredible 13 years! Hand in hand Lord, I wouldn't want to do this without you...EVER!
In the mighty name of Jesus! Amen!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

On The Day That You Were Born...

To celebrate the birth of my twins, I decided to write a blog, one devoted to each child! I will publish one today and one tomorrow. I've written about their miraculous story in the past. How, unable to get pregnant for 10 years, losing 14 babies along the way, finally, our last hope with In-vitro-ferlization, we were able to carry Kyle and Brendan to a healthy birth (albeit pre-term). I don't recall holding my babies when they were born, I was in a coma for 4 days due to postpartum hemorrhaging. But we all came home on Father's Day - about 7 days after they were born. Kyle was diagnosed with PDD-NOS an autism spectrum disorder, learning disabled and developmentally delayed. Some people criticize us for having Kyle tested, but the truth is, knowing what was going on in his world, helped us help him. Kyle is an overcomer and is perfectly created by God, fashioned and formed in my womb with a destiny and a calling upon His life! And the great part is....that he knows it!

Every year, since the year my children were born, we have only ever given them a book for their birthday. A very special book, a book that represents their interests, or significant in some way. Then we write a letter in the book, reminding them of their accomplishments and friends and milestones reached throughout the year. Finally ending it with a written prayer for their present and future. I've copied portions of my letter below, along with pictures of Kyle growing up! Enjoy!
Dear Kyle,

God has been using you in my life since before you came into this world. We loved you since you were just a little embryo. (Not too many parents can say that!) My sweet little miracle that because the doctors couldn't find your vitals, and because I had already lost 14 babies...I went to see Dr. Khoury and he found that Baby "A" did indeed have a heartbeat. Little did anyone know, just how amazing and loving and huge your heart was going to be!

Foretold in several prophetic words, that I would have "babies",  by several people...indeed God gets all the glory! Born early in the morning, 120 seconds (as you say) before your brother Brendan...I still can't believe it after all those years of one can understand the absolute elation you Dad and I felt!  Today we celebrate 13 years of your life! I cannot type this without crying. What a huge milestone! Kyle you are fun, funny and very unique. You have overcome so many obstacles in 13 years, we couldn't be more proud to call you son!

Your Dad and I love you more than words could ever do justice! Thank you Kyle, for making us laugh, for seeing the world differently and for enjoying even the simplest of things with great magnitude! This particular year, life has thrown you some serious curve balls. You have had to learn very difficult and painful lessons, but watching you grow from each one, and rely on God...honestly, I think it was me who learned the most!

Not everyone gets what an incredible friend you can be. The way you LOVE people Kyle is inspirational! Thank you for trusting God with your heart! Thank you for allowing God to work through you. What 13 year old, get out of bed, night after night, to pray for their parents. The words you have prayed over me specifically, Kyle, have ministered to my heart in more ways than you will ever know! I love doing this journey with you Kyle! You have gifts that God gave you and you are not afraid to use them!

Homeschooling you may have been one of the biggest steps of faith that I have ever taken, but it certainly has come with some of the most enormous rewards! Thank you for being patient with me as I learned to step out of the is a joy to walk on water with you every single day!

Lord, please continue to work in Kyle's life. May this year he grow closer to you than ever before. These next few years in Kyle's development Lord, we just ask that you guide him, give him the wisdom of Solomon, wisdom beyond his years and experience! Direct his steps Lord. I pray for his future wife, that she would love the Lord above all else! That she would desire to please God and likewise be a blessing to her husband! I pray that Kyle would continue to learn to hide the Word in his heart! Lord, help him to overcome some of his memory issues and help me to be the best Mom/teacher he can have!
Thank you Lord for placing people in Kyle's life that love him. His new friends at DYG, who accept him and love him...exactly how you have created him! Thank you for the men of God in his life, his Dad, Pastor John, Pastor Ray, Mr. Chuck and others. I do not believe it is accidental at all...that you have placed these men at this time in His life!
Thank you for creating him to see things differently, because he has an ability to see beauty in people and things that become lessons for those of us that are close to him. What a gift!
Thank you for his heart for prayer, for child like faith, for boldness to pray the things that many want to believe in but fear are too big! Kyle never fears things are too big! He prayed for Ms. Aleatha, that she would never have a limp after her foot was broken and she was told she may very well walk with a limp her whole life. She never had to limp...ever! He believes in healing and in the Healer! Perhaps believing in the healing power of God comes easy for Kyle because he is a walking, talking miracle himself!
Lord, protect him from the enemy! Set a hedge around him and guard him all the days of his life! Father, we trust you to weed out the people in his life, surround him with encouragers, protect him from trouble and all kinds of evil or malice!
Thank you God for giving Kyle brothers that love him, and love being by his side. Brothers who look after him, and sacrifice at times because "he's my brother"! Thank you for the special relationships he has with Brendan and Shane! May they continue to grow closer and may they have a bond that is not easily broken. Protect them from division, lies and deception! Keep them close Lord, all the days of their lives!
Father grow the call of discipleship in Kyle's life! Grow the gift of healing and intercessory prayer in this child! May he always be bold and never back away from an opportunity to share the love of Jesus with others!

Continue to grow his talents and gifts and may you teach him to be a good steward of those things in which you have placed in him when you formed him! Mold him, make him more like you Jesus!

Thank you for this precious young man! On his birthday, every year, I think....Lord, on June 12th, 2001, you gave me two of the most amazing gifts...and I celebrate your generous heart towards me! May you grant to Mike and I wisdom to be the best parents you have called us to be. May we always have the sensitivity to hear you Lord. Thank you for loving us through the difficult times and the mistakes we've made in parenting! You are a wonder worker...and I see that every day in the lives of my boys!

In the Mighty Name of Jesus....Amen