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Grace Upon Grace

Tompkins Baby #2

Sitting around a community campfire on our honeymoon, outside of Glacier National Park,we met a family with a little girl named Charis. She had the cutest red hair and a face full of tiny freckles and loved to eat fresh cherries. Charis took a special interest in Drew. Each morning we were at the campsite Charis and her siblings would come to visit. This family became a highlight of our honeymoon. And Drew always reminds me that Charis was the first kid to ever NOT cry around him. Hahah In fact, I think she was actually a little drawn to him. Ever since then, we’ve been waiting on and praying for our own sweet Charis. 

These last 9 months have been some of the hardest months for Drew and me. In December 2021 we found out we were pregnant!!! And quickly at the very beginning of January 2022 I began to bleed. Lots and lots of blood. ER visits. Every single day for months I thought it was the day I was miscarrying. I’ll never forget the anxiety of leaning back on the crunchy paper, the feeling of the warm gel, and the sound of my internal sigh each time they finally found her heartbeat. 

For months I took it easy. Practically on full bedrest. Family and friends helped chase River. Meals prepared and dropped off.  I rearranged my photography business. And completely took a major step back from the secret project I’ve been working and talking about for months and months. Pelvic rest- for months and months. The Lord told me to stay home. To rest. To focus on the discipline of silence and solitude. And let me tell you how hard all of that was…. All of it. Not working meant a sudden shift of financials for us. Pelvic rest, ugh! Talk about a season of disconnect in marriage. Pausing on the secret project- ugh. NOT what I wanted to do. I was just feeling like I was gaining a lot of traction and had everything coming together to pitch to investors. Bedrest? Whhha?? Do you know me? I have a toddler who is SUPER active… bedrest… how is that even possible? 

SURPRISE! We had another BABY!

Each day I was sure would be the day we lost her. In fact, in one of my darkest moments I begged God to take her already if I was going to lose her. I selfishly didn’t want to be bleeding anymore or staying still “all for nothing”. I was mourning the activities and time I was losing with River. I struggled knowing Drew was carrying the burden of all the things I wasn’t able to do. I was in a really really dark and lonely place. Thanksgiving and joy weren’t words I was very familiar with… ugh. That’s so hard to admit. 

 

Day after day. Grace upon grace. SHE’S HERE!

While in the season of sitting, a friend and I were texting and she asked me what I thought God was trying to teach me through it all.  It’s taken me all 9 months to figure that out- Joy… the holy kind. Holy joy. He was teaching me about joy. The root word of eucharisteo is Charis, meaning “grace’, but it’s really so much more! 

 

Deep  chara joy is found only at the table of the euCHARisteo–the table of thanksgiving. I sit there long … wondering … is it that simple? Is the height of my chara joy dependent on the depths of my eucharisteo thanks?  As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible. Joy is always possible. Whenever, meaning — now; wherever, meaning–here. (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts).

Thanksgiving and joy was possible in it all. In the crunchy paper. In the season of being unable. In the meals from family and friends.  In the postponement of photography and secret project. In the waiting and unknown. In the stillness and silence. 


Charis. Grace. 

Eucharisteo. Thanksgiving. 

Chara. Joy. 

SURPRISE! Welcome to the world, baby sis! 

 

Charis Annalee | August 25, 2022 | 7 lbs 13 oz | 21 inches

Our little reminder of thanksgiving, joy, and grace upon grace. 💕 We can’t wait to show you the world, sis!

Read about God’s faithfulness to us while we waiting on our rainbow baby, River! 

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