How Jesus Works:

An Excerpt from The Manual

Okay, not really. But I feel like there is some consistancy in the ways that he goes after my heart. Even though last night was one of the harder nights we have had since Brighton was born, last night I knew compassion for my son. There is some possibility that Brighton has some kind of acid reflux issue that is giving him gas and causing him to burp up slighltly more than normal amounts of milk. Mind you, it seems like he is a leaking water main, but we have been advised it only seems that way because of his size, etc. Anyhow, something about knowing that my boy is in pain, and more likely than not, the fact that I KNOW that we are being prayed over and for by a legion of people who love us despite us, has moved me (atleast for a night) to feel broken-hearted for my son Brighton. When he squirmed and grimmaced, looking not unlike his mother did in labor, I felt like praying for him instead of giving him back to the animal shelter - "sorry, this one just doesn't fit well with our family" - I could hear myself saying a couple of nights ago. Jesus, by faith I believe that you are always here, but my flesh consistantly feels like you are missing. Thank you for reconciling those differences in my daily life.


Gas, Engagement, and Everything Infant

Cultural assumptions about engagement:

It will be the best time of your life. Yet we felt that engagement, even though good, was difficult and trying.

Cultural assumptions about the first year of marriage:

When people ask, tell them you are enjoying each other so much, and in fact, the only thing you fight about, is who loves the other more. Yet we felt that the first year of marriage was Greater than that, in the original sense. It stripped us of who we thought we wanted to be, and gave us a more true knowledge of ourselves and each other. It helped us to repent with clarity. Neither of us had ever known such intimacy.

Cultural assumptions about babies:

You will adore them. I don't. Sometimes I can't stand my son. I love him, I would lay down my life for him - I would jump in front of a car in his place, but to lay down my daily life for him is not to think sweet and bubbly thoughts of him - it is to face myself, let others face me as I am, and pray for a change of heart. Or better, an exchange of heart. To believe that My heart for Christ's.


Milk and Beer for the weary

Milk for the boy, Beer for his father. As most parents will tell you, the first 3 months is hellish - atleast in the sleep category. Though, last night my dear wife let me sleep and sleep, I actually slept from 8:00pm last night till 8:00am this morning. Can you tell I needed it? Amy was able to get enough sleep by being less active with Brighton when he did wake up (every two hours). We are learning. Its sinking in. We are now three.

My Favorite Things...

...working on the computer with Daddy... ...soaking up the rays on my bare belly (yeah! for insanely beautiful weather this whole week!!)... ...chewing on Mommy's shoulder, or slobbering down her back in my hip surfer dude outfit from Aunt Callie... ...and my all-time favorite blankie from Aunt Diggy.


The baptist.

We Have decided to rename Brighton. He will henceforth be known as "the Baptist", not for any biblical connotations you understand, but rather because he has managed to pee on no less than 4 of the eight people he has ever been held by. We feel that he has earned a new name. Though on second thought, it is possible we could also name him "Deli man" for the enormous sausage links of diapers he has managed to provide. See below. They are created using a diaper disposal contraption called the DIAPER GENIE. This is just cuckoo.

Daddy's Little Boy

He likes me. I can't believe it. He really does. I love humming low and deep over his head, he seems to chill out when I do, and while it's not "the farm" (my new nickname for Amy), its something - and that's enough. We have been really blessed in this family, and have come through much grief and really trauma to get to the beginnings of joy (yes, I know, many of you think we are way too intense :) ah well. Thank you all for your prayers and support. Special thanks to Kathy, the only mother in law in the world who would put up with me, and to our great friends and cohorts, Geoff and Maria Beatty, who are schooling us in "the way". We love you all, and the Glory of the Gospelly God in you.


It only took four days.

Brighton I never sleep in. Its 10:30am now, and I woke up for the 6 or 7th time 20 minutes ago. I think it was about the fourth time that I realized I was getting angry about being woken up. Since Amy and I got married, I have been told seemingly thousands of times, that having children will show you who you are, show you your muck like nothing else. It only took four days for me to forget my son's beauty and his perfect weakness and flare up with angry impatience in my heart. All the tenderness vanished from my fingers as he cryed for what felt like no reason at all. His legs became perturbing obsticles during a diaper change. I criticized his cry with my intellect and hated his pure emotional need. Those of you who know me will know the deep hypocrisy that this exposes in a very emotional man. But where has all my Joy gone? In the night and this morning we have been praying to find it again. In a more settled moment, I look at Brighton rooting with his tongue, searching for milky food, his eyes closed, his body small and needy, and my God asks me to repent. With his help, I do, and I am learning how to more often, and with more hope. How strange that my own Father is raising me while I begin to bring up my own son. As God I would only ever let my son raise his own children when he was fully developed, mature enough to truly love his children unrestrained, but my Father has me stewarding another even as a sinner, even as I am. My wisdom is not God's wisdom, my reason is not His reason, my love is not His Love. Thank you Jesus for coming to save sinning parents, and for your Spirit whose language is fire, whose prayers refine.


look ma, one handed blogging!

There once was a baby who slept and slept and only woke to feed or just barely notice the world. This baby was 33 hours old, but about four of those hours before, the world must have become more interesting to see because this baby began to coo and gurgle a melodie of notes and sounds in response to any and every thing which he took in with open eyes for long periods of time. This consequently kept atleast one of his parents eyes open as well, hence the reason why his Father is blogging one handed at 4:21am. For now every minute I am awake with Brighton I get paid about 500 beautiful gurgles, a couple of heart tickling sneezes an hou, and a healthy gratuity of yawns! Like every parent I will grow weary, but for now every moment that this human being nurses on my finger as his mother sleeps is worth more than the entire concept of money, worth more all the time left in my life.


He's here!

Our little boy has arrived!! Matthew Brighton Smith arrived Sunday evening at 5:45pm. He's a chunky 8lbs 3oz and 20 in. babe, as you can see, with a head of beautiful black hair. We'll post more pictures later as these are all pretty similar, but we thought they were better than nothing :0) Thank you all for your prayers and support during this time. Mom, Dad & baby are all doing well...and even enjoyed a full nights sleep last night. Much love, Matthew, Amy & Brighton (no more, Belly Boy!)


This may be it...

...the next post to come, may be announcing the arrival of our boy. All signs are a go (I'll spare you all the gory details :0) and I just got off the phone with my midwife who said to take it easy because tonight will most likely be the night. Woah. Matthew and I didn't think we'd have this much time to prepare before this labor thing hit! Please keep us in your prayers throughout the day and this evening, that Christ will sustain us and bring our boy safely into the world. Much love, Amy & Matthew


World Harvest Mission - mobilization team

First day on the job. Matthew Smith- recruiter. Wish me luck, er... well blessing. :)


passing the time

We finally decided to start working on that box of blank canvases we bought back in Fort Collins. Here are some we just painted this past week, in their "pre-touch-up" stage. Matthew toned down Brighton's (the "b" one) to a more milk chocolate brown. Now we've just got to figure out where to hang them in our house. We're thinking the hallway, since it's becoming our "eclectic hall of art" with a few of Matthew's pieces filling the empty space right now. Just trying to pass this waiting time...


Big belly, big belly, big belly...aw yeeeh, big belly

Don't know if you've played that game "Big Booty", but I'm often singing it for my belly instead. After our 38 week midwife appointment today, we figured we should get a few more belly shots before Brighton surprised us and appeared one of these days. There are some more "normal" ones on the minismith site, but this one was so funky, we had to post it as well. That's our Mount o' Boy there! We'll be sure to update everyone on when he decides to appear, so keep checking back. Much love to all, Amy


Whaddya think?

I recently designed this logo. First submittal headed out today. I am feeling good about it. What do you all think? Give me a critique if you like - I could use it.


Some shots

Here are some of the pics our friend, Coury, took of us the other night. Look at that gargantuous melon of a belly! Playing some cards...yes, we're addicts....we had to get a picture of that. Note: I DIDN'T add our picture of us playing on our Macs together :0)


what a GIFT!

Matthew wanted me to stop posting ALL my thoughts on the minismith site, and actually be apart of our "family site" :0) so I thought I'd share something here on our famdamilynews one for a change. Our friends, the Deebs, just gave us the greatest baby gift ever last night...a new huge a/c unit for our den! As I've written about a few times on here, Matthew and I have been living in our bedroom every day after work - the one place we have an a/c unit - as temperatures have soared here in Philly lately. Puttering around a upper 80's house quickly drains you of all energy, so we come home, make dinner, eat in our room and chill out there the rest of the night. The Deebs figured that'd be no way to live with a new baby here in a few weeks, so they decided to buy us an a/c unit so we could enjoy the rest of our house during these next few months in cool comfort! We were so blown away by their generosity and thoughtfulness to come up with such a perfect gift! God truly has provided us with an amazing community of friends here in Philly. We enjoyed one of our first dinners actually at our dining room table with them last night. Also"Coury Deeb", an amazing photographer, took over 100 pictures of Matthew and I to document this "pregnancy time", which we'll be sure to post once we sort through them. Besides the typical "smiling at the camera shots", he wanted to take ones of us doing every day things, like cooking a meal, eating dinner, reading Harry Potter, working on our Macs...they're a lot of fun! He's also going to take some of us with Brighton once he's born, which we're still holding strong thankfully...our midwife returns this Saturday. Check out the minismith blog for more news on that front later.