Greg's Ordination

My husband was ordained on Saturday. You might wonder what that actually means. Well, I thought Wikipedia said it well, so here's what they wrote about Protestant ordinations:

In most Protestant churches, ordination to the pastoral office is the rite by which their various churches:
  • recognize and confirm that an individual has been called by God to ministry,
  • acknowledges that the individual has gone through a period of discernment and training related to this call, and
  • authorizes that individual to take on the office of ministry.
Greg first met with our church elders and then a council of ordained men who spoke with him about his calling and his theological beliefs. Our church held a service to officially ordain him on Saturday. It was such an encouraging time for us as our friends gathered around and affirmed Greg's calling and giftings for ministry.

A friend who leads the music at another church led a few songs (To God be the Glory, Everlasting God, and Your Grace is Enough). One of Greg's mentors here in Boston read a few appropriate Scripture passages, even one in Koine Greek (the original language of the New Testament). Greg shared his story of how God called him to believe in Christ and to commit his life to ministry to the Church, and our associate pastor asked him to share some of his theological beliefs. Our pastor shared a brief message with Greg (and me) from 1 Timothy 4:16. "Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers." And then the church spent some time praying over both of us.

We're immensely thankful for our church family in Cambridge as they have embraced us and encouraged us onward in our calling to ministry! I forgot to take a picture during the actual service, but here's a picture of the joyful ordainee just after the service. (Sorry it's blurry.)

I am so proud of my husband and how he has relied on the grace of God to come this far. We're really excited to see what role God might have for us next.


32 Weeks

This past week was an eventful one for Nathanael. I've been able to notice his hiccups a few times. He's been consistently getting something stuck under my bottom right rib (a foot maybe?). And I've had a ton of "practice" contractions (Braxton Hicks). Exciting times!

Lots of growth over the past month...


The story of his name

The name Nathanael became significant to us just before our little baby reached the six weeks gestation mark.

Here is part of our story:

I had been going in for blood tests every other day so that our specialist could monitor the change in hCG (hCG is a hormone produced by pregnancy, actually the one that triggers a positive pregnancy test. In general, the levels will double every 48-72 hours in early pregnancy.) The first week or so, everything was looking great, and then the levels stopped rising as significantly as they would have liked. The nurses were quick to say that it could mean nothing; a normal pregnancy may have low hCG levels and still result in a perfectly healthy baby. We tried not to make too much of it. With our prior three losses, we were preparing ourselves for the possibility of having to accept another one. We simply tried to trust God with the outcome and find peace and reassurance in His goodness and sovereignty in it all. We had a weekend trip to visit friends and family in Erie and Detroit planned, so we scheduled an ultrasound for the day we returned - just short of 6 weeks - and hit the road. Our first day traveling, the nausea began, and we celebrated this good sign with friends and family. It gave us hope that the pregnancy was progressing as normal.

And we started dreaming about names again.

We saw a movie in Detroit with a main character by the name of Nathanael. Greg leaned over to me and said he really liked that name. I agreed. Later that night, I looked up the meaning online and was stunned to find out it comes from the Hebrew and means "God has given" or "gift of God". I was sold, and Greg wasn't too far behind me. We had no idea if the little baby growing inside me was male or female or even if it would survive much longer, but from that point on, I was quite convinced we were having a little boy who would be known as Nathanael -- God has given.

A sidenote: You may be curious about the spelling of Nathanael. This is the way you'll see it in the Gospel of John (the transliteration of the Greek), and we also like that it's not quite as common (though more so than other spellings) as the English version, Nathaniel. Oh, and it only took us three months to make THAT decision! haha

His middle name, Alim, is a name used in Turkey (originally Arabic) and means "man of learning; scholar, wise". Most of you know that Greg and I met, dated, and became engaged in Turkey. The place (really the relationships we have from there) holds great significance to us, and we wanted our son to know of this significance. We scoured Turkish names, looking for the right name -- our criteria: (1) easy enough for non Turks to pronounce, (2) sounds good with Nathanael King, and (3) a meaning worth giving our son. I carried around a list of ten names that were possibilities, and we eventually both ended up liking Alim the best. It is pronounced like the commonly known name "Ali" as in Muhammad Ali, but with an "m" at the end, Ah-leem'.

Nathanael Alim King, we eagerly await your arrival!


Baby Ameliah, Baby Quinn, & Baby Owen!

Updated 2-5, 11am:

This has been an eventful week for some of our friends! We welcomed Ameliah Brown, Quinn Besancon (who shares our doctor), and Owen Wilkinson to the world. How exciting! I THINK I'm the next one due at our church. :-)

In other baby news, our amazing doctor confirmed that our son is in the right position now - head down. He even helped Greg feel the little "apple" head at our appointment this morning. His heartbeat is strong and healthy. All seems to be well so far! We're amazed and thankful.