Announcing Baby #3

Jo, my wife of nearly 11 years, is expecting our third child on or near June 4, 2012. On Friday, February 3, 2012, we had opportunity to discover the gender of our baby.

We love having boys. We enjoy their enjoyment of boy-things: legos, pirates, cars, boats, their love protecting, taking down the “crimdals” and even their love of foul smells, body sounds and bodily fluids… We are seeking to grow these rough and tumble boys into godly men, husbands, fathers and workers.

That having been said, we would love to add a girl to our home. It would be nice to had some softness to our home, some pinks and purples, bows and ribbons, dolls and tea parties. We had a wonderful girl name picked out and we were ready to start planning for baby girl Murphy.

God had other plans and instead we’re having a third boy! The announcement of a 3rd boy did prove a problem: we had yet to agree upon a name.

It’s been our goal for the names we give to our children to encompass our prayer for our child, the hope for our children, a connection to our family’s past and a heritage to live up to as they grow and mature.

With our miscarriage last spring, we had also hoped to find a name that would both seek to remember the loss of that baby as well has provide hope and healing with the arrival of this child.

Finally, with both of our boys’ names, there is a Jesus-link (Joshua – same Hebrew root name as Jesus and means “Yahweh is my salvation” and Aidan’s middle name is Emmanuel – “God with us” – a biblical allusion to Jesus who literally became God with us (humanity)). We hoped the trend could continue.

So, last Sunday night after putting the boys to bed, I sat at my desk, took out some slips of paper, and began to write on each the names and meanings that we have considered. After writing them out, I began to move them around to see what I though to be the best arrangement. After just a short while, Jo and I came up with a name that we loved:

Baxter Jason Albert Murphy

Here’s the explanation:

About two years before I was born, Mom and Dad lost their first child. Mom carried the difficult pregnancy to term only to deliver the baby stillborn: they named the baby Jason Albert.

Baxter Richard Baxter was a puritan pastor in England whose heart was to see reform within the Church of England. I’ve encountered some of his writings and I love the passion he has for sinners to come to repentance and for Christians to walk in holiness.

Jason – Chosen to honor the older brother whom I never knew. Jason (Greek in origin) is a derivative of Jesus. In Greek, Jason means “to heal”. It’s our hope and prayer that this baby boy can bring healing for the loss my Mom and Dad suffered some 35 years ago, as well as further healing in our family after the loss of our baby in May 2011.

Albert – This is a tribute to both my older brother and to my Dad – Albert J. Murphy, Jr. My Dad is a wonderful man to seek to emulate and his name is quite worthy to pass along to our son – may Baxter Jason Albert seek to carry on the character and compassion of my dad, Albert J. Murphy, Jr. Albert means “noble, bright”.

May this child bring healing to our family and others, live life as a peacemaker and one who seeks to bring unity, live a life of character and nobility, be a bright spot in our family, community and world, carry the memory of our family name and heritage and live a life filled with evidence of his faith in that Yahweh alone is his salvation as well as the only hope for the world.

May this baby be a blessing to us all.

God, give us godly, Christian men: May my sons be as arrows in the hands of a warrior (ps 127:4)…

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So long, 2011…

I am glad to see this year end. As with all years, 2011 has brought joys and 2011 brought pains. Here are a few of the highlights (long post):

January:

  • Last winter brought atypical winter-weather for the Texarkana area and we enjoyed several days after Christmas with snow on the ground, a fire burning in the fireplace, and reading from my new Kindle. We made snowmen, threw snowballs and enjoyed being together around the house.
  • Joshua lost his 2nd tooth (we’re convinced he accidently swallowed the first)
  • I applied for license to practice occupational therapy in the states of Indiana and Kentucky and completed my application to the School of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • February:

  • I began to apply for posted occupational therapy positions in the Louisville area. We budgeted, dreamed and began planning our move to Louisville. I received my acceptance letter from SBTS. Applications were completed for more jobs. Waiting…
  • Texarkana received more snow. Twice last winter, the city of Texarkana borrowed Snow Plows from Amarillo, Texas, brought into town by train.
  • Joshua turned 7 years old. We had a great party and Jo made an awesome Toy Story themed cake.
  • March:

  • Jo and I shared our 10th Anniversary on March 17th. Compared to many of our contemporaries, 10 years is a long marriage, but in so many ways I think we’re still just beginning. I look forward to the next 10.
  • Aidan turned 3. His birthday was great and he had an awesome castle cake.
  • Jo and I had the opportunity around our anniversary to travel to Louisville (just the two of us!). We stayed at the 21c Hotel (nice, but odd) and had the chance to get to know Louisville area. I had a face-to-face interview with a local hospital system that appeared perfectly suited to my training, experience and skills, but did not work out in my favor. The rejection of me for this seemingly perfect job was a great source of pain, depression, prayer, hurt, and contemplation for several weeks. I still do not understand what God’s plans were in the loss of that position, but I have chosen and continue to choose to trust Him in that loss.
  • April:

  • We learned that Jo was expecting a 3rd Murphy child! We love babies, and though we were concerned about adding another child to our family in the midst of a move to Louisville, we were elated at the news.
  • Jo was able to finish the quilt for Aidan:
  • May:

  • We continued to wait for employment in the Louisville area. I spoke to companies about job openings, often with the reply of “when you’re in town, give me a call”. God seemed to simply be telling us to wait. So, we prayed. I filled out job applications. We waited.
  • Around Memorial day, we learned that Jo had miscarried and we lost the baby. We cried. We hurt. We took the boys on a spontaneous trip to Little Rock and just played together.
  • June:

  • Still waiting. I finished my school year and began the summer months. Jo packed away our house. Very quickly it became evident that I was not going to have much work to do in the summer at either of my part-time jobs. Both places were simply not very busy. So, I worked when I could, and worked around the house when I couldn’t. We prayed. We waited. I made calls to places in Louisville, and called other places in Texarkana to see if they needed additional OT help. Nothing.
  • July:

  • Jo and I decided to travel back to Louisville, find an apartment to rent and move the first week of August, job or no job. We planned a weekend and I was able to set up two job interviews. The first morning, I attended both interviews and afterward was unsure if either would turn into a job offer. Just after leaving with Jo to apartment-hunt, I received a call regarding an OT position in Louisville that had just been approved for hire. The caller set up a quick interview for the next morning. The interview went well and I was offered the job on the spot – I accepted, and it was agreed that I would begin on July 25th. On July 23rd, I left Texarkana early in the morning to become a Kentucky resident… The changes had begun.
  • August:

  • We successfully loaded up the house on Crane Lane and moved into the Louisville apartment. Blessed to have several friends and family to help loading and unloading, but soon we were left to make our home in this new and far-away-land. The new job brought great challenges to me, the flaws in the apartment were growing in their annoyance, and we felt alone. I’ve heard it said by several that moving is one of the highest stressors in life – our move was not without difficulty. We settled on a church choice and sought out membership and community. Relationships, however, take time.
  • September:

  • Jo and I made the decision to again pursue home ownership. Our realtor lead Jo and the boys through all the desired communities around the area, we settled on one and made an offer – ACCEPTED! Move-in date would be just near the end of October.
  • October/November:

  • We found out that Jo was pregnant again! Due to the pregnancy failure earlier in the year, Jo and I were concerned and cautious and requested an early ultrasound – it was scheduled at 7 weeks: healthy heartbeat and all the measurements were perfect. The news was incredibly comforting

    The Sunday before we were scheduled to close on our home and move-in, Jo realized she wasn’t feeling well. A visit to the MD revealed she had contracted Pneumonia. Because Jo was pregnant, the treatment options were limited and she was ordered to rest: a LOT.

    Thursday night before beginning to move on Friday, Joshua spiked a fever: 2 Murphys down. Joshua rarely gets sick, but the next day he still had a fever. He slept quite a lot, but didn’t complain about pain or other symptoms. Joshua’s fever didn’t break for a week. It would always respond to medicine, but would not break. Surely it was viral.

    So, we moved (with the help of so many people: family and church members) successfully, and I spent the next few weeks before Thanksgiving working full time+, unpacking boxes, moving furniture, washing clothes, buying and preparing food, and caring for 2 kids and a sick wife…

  • Thanksgiving – December:

  • The Murphys traveled back to Akansas for the Thanksgiving holiday thoroughly enjoying our time “back home”. Jo felt well and we began to make Louisville our home. Relationships have begun to grow, boxes have been un-packed, and we are finding a rhythm to life here on Accomack Drive.

    2011 has ended on a good note with many changes in our little family. We are hopeful in regards to what 2012 may bring: For His glory, for His purpose, and for our ultimate good…

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    Reading List in Review: 2011

    For the past several years, I have set out a reading plan. It’s time to review 2011’s goals and what I actually read.
    Reading List for 2011

    Books I read in 2011:

    Literature:
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (at Jo’s request – I’m very glad I read the book, though at times I thought she was crazy for liking the book so much. The Bronte sisters were odd…)
    A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (My first Dickens. This seems to have been a good one with which to start Dickens.)

    Non-literature Fiction:
    Monster in the Hallows by Andrew Peterson
    The Confession by John Grisham
    The Summons by John Grisham (re-read)
    Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

    Biography:
    Her Heart Can See: The Fanny Crosby Story by Edith Blumhofer
    Men of the Bible by D.L. Moody
    The Sketch of the Life and Labors of George Whitefield by J.C. Ryle

    Baseball:
    John Feinstein’s Living on the Black
    Veeck as in Wreck Bill Veeck

    Theology/Christian Living:
    The Promise, by Robert Morgan
    Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick
    Adopted for Life By Russell Moore
    Love Wins by Rob Bell
    Erasing Hell by Francis Chan
    The Reason for God by Tim Keller
    Jerry Bridges’ Trusting God
    Max Lucado’s Six Hours One Friday(re-read)
    Max Lucado’s Cure for the Common Life
    A.W. Tozer’s Pursuit of God
    Average Joe by Troy Meeder
    Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman
    10 Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health by Donald S. Whitney
    Luke by John MacArthur (study series)
    John (St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary) by R.C. Sproul

    Portions read:
    Then Sings My Soul: 150 of the World’s Greatest Hymn Stories by Robert J. Morgan (read most of the stories)
    Book of Hymns for Public and Private Devotion by Samuel Johnson and Samuel Longfellow
    Simple Church by Thom Rainer
    A God-Entranced Vision of All Things by John Piper and Justin Taylor
    G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy
    James Fennimore Cooper’s Last of the Mohicians
    The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
    Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (in progress)
    The Reformed Pastor by Richard Baxter (in progress)
    Crazy Love by Francis Chan (in progress)
    This Momentary Marriage by John and Noel Piper (in progress reading along with Jo)

    Read with Joshua:
    The Magician’s Nephew
    The Horse and His Boy (incomplete)
    We began reading the “How to Train Your Dragon” Series by Cressida Cowell:
    How to train your Dragon
    How to be a Pirate
    How to Speak Dragonese
    How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse
    How to Twist a Dragon’s Tale (in progress)

    At Bedtime:
    We again read through:
    The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones
    and now working through
    The Children’s Illustrated Bible by Selina Hastings

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