Monday, August 31, 2020

A New Mother’s Birthday, Lisa Cartee….and What A Wonderful Birthday It Will Be!


I must admit that the first two weeks of having a firstborn child have been somewhat intimidating for me, however, Lisa, a first-time mom, has handled these life changes like a true champion. You would think that she had previous experience raising children of her own.

Celebrating Lisa’s birthday today feels a little extra special because we have an additional new family member presence to rejoice with, our baby girl, Annabelle. Of course, Annabelle’s birthday just happens to be this same month as Lisa’s birthday, which with years to come, will also have significant meaning. My birthday happens to be in July as well. Summer will, indeed, be a festive time for us.

Lisa seems naturally gifted at motherhood, and even though fussy sometimes with loud whimpers of crying, Annabelle often seems comfortable in Lisa’s arms, feeling right at home. On this birthday, I get to spend this memorable time with my two ladies of the house! We have many blessings to celebrate this year, including Annabelle and one more year in the life of my love and partner, Lisa Joy Cartee!

Lisa, I am especially privileged to know you and spend my life with you and this baby girl. Thank you for all the wonderful acts of service you do for both of us! Happy Birthday to you on this most blessed of days! I love you!

-James Cartee

“May he give you the desire of your heart
    and make all your plans succeed.”

Psalm 20:4 (NIV)

(*Many thanks to Diane Babb Simmons for the wonderful photo session.)

Monday, August 17, 2020

Have No Fear! Annabelle Is Here! My baby girl comes home….


“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
    before you were born I set you apart;
    I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

-Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV)

We arrived home from the hospital yesterday. I must admit that Annabelle was fussy until the wee hours of the first night in our home. My wife, Lisa, has been a real rock star, taking care of our little one. Honestly, the action of a mother caring for her children makes me love my wife all the more, like getting married a second time, starting all over again (even though we have been married all along). With many costs and sacrifices made, a new adventure begins!

Over an eleven-hour span, I watched the entire delivery journey unfold before my eyes like a live Broadway play. The curtain rises. The performance begins. The performance tells the story of creation. Then the performance concludes with a happy ending. The curtain drops. Then an audience of angels erupts into cheers among thousands of heavenly hosts, clapping hands with trumpets and horns singing throughout the heavens.

While stunned at the idea when asked of me, staring silent for about twenty seconds, I reluctantly agreed to cut the umbilical cord. One finish line of life was reached while another race begins with our daughter, Annabelle. This symbolic action represents the start of something new and beautiful. While most know life that is going to be hard, the tribulations usually refine our greatest accomplishments. God did not promise the journey would be easy, however I believe God promised the journey would be worth it in the end.

Perhaps that is why I have a love-hate relationship with running. It hurts when I aim for long distances. But in the end, to reach a finish line and receive a medal, it often becomes worth it! That is why most do not choose the marathon distance. It is hard and requires that deep degree of sacrifice, like raising a child.

Honestly, and I am okay admitting this. I know nothing about the process of parenting. I will figure it out because I am a pretty smart guy. For the present moment, I am just glad my baby girl is home, alive, and well. If you will continue to follow my blogging journey, I would love to have you as a spectator of great things to come as we explore, venture, and discover what the most important thing in life really is all about – family.