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ANTICIPATION!

Laurie and I got to go shopping together this week! Well, sort of… I wish we could have actually been together, walking in and out of stores, stopping to get a bite to eat, spending some real girl-time together. Instead we were each in our pajamas, on the telephone and on our computers late at night surfing the internet together. It’s not quite the same as shopping in person with one another, but hey—it’s the best we could do and we had fun anyway!
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It’s not the first time I’ve done that with my girls. I’ve even gone house-hunting with both of them via the internet! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—I sure love modern tecnology! It has made it possible for me to stay so much closer with my daughters and grandchildren who live hundreds and thousands of miles away than I ever could have twenty years ago.
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This time we were shopping for a going-home-from-the-hospital outfit for the new baby and a nursing gown and robe for Laurie. I had been out shopping earlier in the week in the stores here in town and could find not find a single newborn baby dress or nursing gown. (Yes, we are looking for a dress, for the baby finally decided to let them get a peek at her during the last ultrasound and it is confirmed—it’s a girl! Their fifth girl! Three-year-old Matthew will retain his position in the family as crown prince!) Laurie had not been able to find anything in Cuenca, either, that she could afford (prices down there are two, three, even four times higher there than they are in the States) so we resorted to the internet.
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Laurie, especially, had fun doing that! She told me she felt like she was actually shopping in the US again, and the prices looked good to her after seeing how much they charged down there. We found what we were looking for and they are being sent to my house. Our pastor is going to Ecuador in about nine days to visit them and he said he would take a suitcase for me with the kids’ Christmas gifts, some things they needed and a lot of new baby things in it!
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We are so looking forward to this new baby! Once they found out the sex of the baby, and could start thinking of baby names in earnest, it just seemed to make it so much more “real.” They are thinking of naming her Amanda Laura (Fernando was dead-set determined to name this fifth daughter after his wife! It is a cultural thing, and he had wanted to do it from the first daughter all the way to number five.)
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We had all kind of hoped at first that it would be a boy so Matthew could have a little brother, but of course, we all said we would be thrilled with either a boy or a girl. All except for Matthew. He was pretty determined that it would be a boy and kept saying “Hi, Baby Michael!” to his mommy’s tummy. He was there when they did the ultrasound, and when he heard it was a girl, he said, “But I wanted a brother!” They told him God had decided he should have another sister and he actually accepted it with grace. Now even he is excited to have a baby sister!
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Laurie has gone through her baby things to see what she still needs. She did not have a lot left of the baby girl clothes or her baby equipment. They had given a great deal away, not expecting to have six children. What she has and what I am sending down to her will probably suffice until she comes home next August for a few months. We will get whatever larger size clothes she needs then so she won’t have to bring a lot in their suitcases, and hopefully be able to borrow whatever equipment they need. I started looking through crochet patterns so that I can crochet a baby layette (sweater, bonnet, bootie and blanket) for Baby Amanda, just as I have for all my other grandchildren.
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Anticipation! We still have another four months to go before little Amanda’s arrival! It is hard to wait, but on the other hand we don’t want her to come any sooner than she should. Remember the old ketchup commercial with the ketchup slowly, slowly coming out of the bottle and Carly Simon’s song, “Anticipation” playing in the background? Like the old saying goes, “Good things come to those who wait!” Or the quote I’ve seen in a lot of baby cards – “Nine months? It takes time to create perfection!” We have to wait—no getting around it—but in the meantime, the excitement and anticipation is building!
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There is someone else whose arrival I am eagerly anticipating! It seems the older I get, and the more I see this old world turning away from God, the more I long for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ! Jesus has promised that He is coming again and he tells us to comfort one another with these words. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (I Thessalonians 4:16-18)
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I don’t know about you, but I get excited when I read those words! I can’t wait! We wonder sometimes why Jesus tarries, why He has not come already. We wonder how this world can get any worse. Oh, but it will, and when it does, He will come and take us out of it. He said in John 14:3, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
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It is so exciting to look forward to the birth of a new baby and to make preparations for her arrival. How much more exciting, though, is it to look forward to the coming of our Savior! No preparations needed to go with Him, other than trusting in His shed blood for my sins and your sins. He’s done all the work for us! All we have to do is accept it, but oh, the joy, when we share that good news and bring others along with us!
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These are my words of comfort and joy to you today—He is coming again! Look forward to it!