Introducing ........

Deciding a name can be quite a huge Job.  it's choosing a title that everyone uses to identify this person the rest of their lives . We pick from favorites, trends , interests, what sounds the best  and what has value to us. We avoid names associated with bad memories, challenging relationships or weird connotations. Wait until your older to look for a name and it can be quite a bigger task. For us it was. We wanted this name to be different, unique and really speak of the life and blessing given through this new child . Something tailored to this specific person in this time of life. Where to begin. We read the name books again, watched you tube videos , kept our ears open to ideas. Susan had a few names picked, I had a few names picked. It boiled down to two. She never got to name a child. I did . So I let her have more of the say to play around with ideas. 

Then she seemed to settle with a name and call him it as she felt a strong connection. Even with my first uncertain first response she shared

"I think his name is..... Oliver".

One of my picks was Jaxson . I loved the spelling and the meaning. "Blessed one." However I didn't realize this name is one is the most trendy and fastest growing baby names out there right now. By the time this little guy gets to be a few years old and someone called him by name it's possible maybe 3 or more other boys around in class or on the play ground would respond Possibly making for an awkward moment. 

So I thought of the name Oliver. It grew on me more. Ollie , Oliver. Oll. Then I noticed more of the name significance and our particular situation with this new life. 
We are 45 and pregnant. Having a baby now that's healthy is amazing, it's rare. On top of that almost five years ago Susan had an ablation. This is a procedure ,not a birth control method, but a procedure where they burn out your uterus to help minimize the Menstual cycle. When we discovered we were pregnant imagine our surprise to wrapping our mind around the idea of a womb re growing itself miraculously, in its entirely and enough to host a new life again. Percentages to be pregnant at 45.... .03% . And after an ablation... the percentage is even a tinier portion of that. 

So how do you find a perfect name for a baby with this being his story alreatdy while still in utero? 
Specific? Unique? Special? Definitely 
The name Oliver is derived from the olive branch which is used as a symbol of peace, dignity and beauty. 
It means affectionate , it represents s person of intuition, compassion and is often known as  a person  with a magnetic personality .

I remembered another way the root of this name is described in the story or Noah. This thought helped sell the name on me more than I first thought.  After almost a year of being on the arc Noah sent out a dove to see what's out there. The world had been destroyed, abliterated by water. The first time the bird came back with nothing . The second he brought back an Olive branch. Out of all things possibly growing or maybe the only ting found. A simple small branch from an olive tree. 
A symbol of...... life. 
New life created from the middle of nothing.
A new creation and a new beginning. 

Oliver is a name in reference to the olive tree. Branches from the olive tree are used in different cultures and the Bible to symbolize peace and fruitfulness. This Is the perfect name for our little guy, our double miracle baby. 

It's a very unique name. Think about it.. How many Olivers do you know? After hearing the story of this new life and this miracle of life through such a risky impossible situation I am very sure this will be one name you'll never forget. 
Introducing.... Oliver 
Welcome to the world.
As every nurse Dr and specialist has said these past several months ...
" This little guy must have a very big purpose" 


New Directions 2017

     I took this picture almost about 7 years ago. My boys and I were hiking out in the woods in the winter and found this tree. We stopped to climb and check it out. It was uniquely different and obvious that it had its own story to tell... if trees could speak. If you google this kind of tree you can find two things.... one that it is called a Trail Tree (formed by settlers and Native Americans for directions in the woods) or through a natural process/ tree disease it formed it that way.  Most of the time however ,  they have discovered the answer to this unique shape is option number 2. It formed that way on its own.

    Take a good look at this tree. It grows about 7-8 feet, takes a 4 foot turn at a 90 degree angle and then shoots straight up again growing naturally towards the sky. I still am blown away at the strangeness of it. Whatever the story behind this particular one is, their was a purpose.  This picture has been hanging in my home for years now as a reminder. To me this tree, metaphorically represents a story of life. Its a symbol of " New Directions". Maybe that's part of its purpose. Its a simple reminder I like to think about.  I have heard this before and ask any hiker but Trees can speak a lot of things even without the use of any words. This one to me has a lot to share.

     When I think of "new directions" I think of the past 7 years of my life that brought a lot of changes. A few that were initiated by me and many that were out of my control. Some were changes that were on purpose, others ... mistakes. Along the road tho I've realized that when I was feeling out of control I could depend on my God, who was in control. This was an amazingly hard lesson to learn.  I found safety knowing things would turn out well if I trusted. The trust never seemed to come easy and often it took me forever to do it. Many times this feeling of safety and peace was all I had to hold on to.  On that path I waded through a lot of things I never thought I would have but am glad that its all the past and that road is not one Ill ever have to travel again.  These "catastrophic" events shaped me in a new way. Needless to say I learned a lot in this time frame about myself, people I knew and the world around me that took me by surprise and made me into a new person.  To me this time frame was the bend in the tree pictured here. It looks in a way like a giant muscle where it swelled during this transition. The most amazing part of the tree is that the tallest and most productive part of its growth which is above the bend, all depending on that part to hold its top weight, its branches and height.

     Life has its challenges. You have the opportunity to let that take you to a new and better place or destroy you.  I was blessed in my story to be able to use it to help me grow into something stronger. 

   2017 has now arrived. When I look back at these past 7 years and I see how far Ive come in my spiritual journey.  I can only be excited for whats now  in store. I am daily  reminded by this picture of where my source of strength and endurance comes from. This "New Direction", like the shape of this tree, is a symbol of that strength, the strength that I now depend on as  I continue to grow as a father, a husband ,a Christian and the man I was created to be.