Patrick brings great joy into our lives. His cute smile, constant babbling, and how he always squeals at dogs makes me bubble over with joy. It is crazy to think how much better our lives are since Patrick was born 8 months ago. As he discovers each new food, we get to be a part of the adventure. God uses Patrick to not only provide me with great joy, but He also uses Patrick to keep me thankful. I cannot see that cute smile without giving thanks to the Father. Ephesians 5:20 talks about giving thanks always and for everything. When you thank God for all He's done for you, it easily turns into a habit of prayer.
Speaking of prayer, Patrick was an answer to a prayer I had when we were in Ecuador right after getting married. The transition into a place where I didn't speak the language but wanted to still minister was really hard. Jonathan, who speaks Spanish fluently, was able to lead a Bible study and give devotions at youth services while in Salasaca. I on the other hand learned to minister with instant coffee, bread, and cheese. While there, I prayed that God would give us a kid when I would be in a similar language learning situation. When I became pregnant in June, we weren't expecting to have kids this early. We thought we would still be in Oxford for another 5 years before entering into foreign missions, but God had sooner plans!
Patrick was an answer to my prayer and in the perfect timing. I didn't know we'd be able to serve internationally as soon as we now are, and I'll have a small family to minister to while learning Spanish in Costa Rica. God's timing was right on schedule, even when we thought otherwise! I'm so thankful we're on His timetable and not our own!