Home > Uncategorized > blessed be the name of the lord

blessed be the name of the lord

IMG_3854What you’re looking at here is the demolished cupcake of Gracie, our 19-month-old granddaughter (our fourth of four grandchildren). Pretty, huh?

My eldest daughter, Nicole, and her husband, Steve, hosted our family this past weekend for a “gender reveal” party. Seems to be the fashionable rage these days. Actually, it’s very cool. Everyone gets an official guess of the baby’s gender, and then at some point during the party, a blue or pink item is introduced to reveal the sex of the baby.

I’ve heard of a few fun ways to do this, but my tribe rolls with food. So Gracie got the first cupcake. Her job was to smash open her massive chocolate sugarbomb (a beautiful JenDen creation), thus revealing the color of the frosting on the inside.

So picture our grandbaby, too young to understand the magnitude of her role, carefully examining her treat. IT TOOK FOREVER! Her mom had to keep scraping off icing until Gracie finally poked her finger inside the cupcake to reveal the bright PINK filling. Everyone screamed with joy! Poor Gracie exploded into hysterical tears!   It was sensory overload! The combination of her busted cupcake and the family cheering in celebration was just too much for her. The poor girl completely lost it on us. Not sure I blame her.

Here is the video if you got a minute: 

As we were passing out all of the congratulatory kisses, I suddenly heard my 35-year-old voice in the spirit, or in a vision, or maybe it was just one of those strong memories that resurfaces like an air-thirsty whale. As I looked at Nicole, she was suddenly 12 years old again.   She’d just asked me to pray for her. Her monthly cycles were brutal for such a young girl.   After I prayed for her discomfort, I told her, “That just means you’ll have fat, juicy babies.” Don’t ask me where that came from. I don’t know. It just popped out, and it became my standard response on cramp days. I’d usually always get a smile out of her whenever I said it, but she wasn’t having any fun at the time with all of that.

As I remembered it all, clear as day, I choked back my emotion. I couldn’t let the other boys see me cry. But the words “fat juicy babies” were pounding over and over in my heart. I couldn’t help but think of the journey it took us to get here.

ColeGraceFAV!Before I disclose something very personal and sacred about our family, let me put a disclaimer on this. I don’t know any other way to say this, but God has kept His word to us, and we totally celebrate His goodness. BUT, we’ve done nothing to really deserve it. Does that make sense? We’re not special and we’re not deserving of specialized treatment from God. At times we’ve been faithful and at times we’ve been like wandering lambs, afraid and exposed. I’m not sure why any of what I’m about to tell you happened. But I think about it all of the time.

Is anyone who gives birth, adopts, or raises a child ever really deserving of that child? Think about it for a minute. For a woman’s womb to receive the seed of a man, thus stewarding the miraculous mystery of life and soul, no matter how that life got started in that womb is way above our pay grade. It’s heaven-and-earth stuff. All of it is supernatural grace. I just think you’re being obstinately blind if you can’t see the Divine thumbprint in mankind’s ability to reproduce life.

There were times throughout our journey where all we had to hold on to was hope, and that my friends can be at times like climbing Everest using only dental floss for rope.

There are many women who are unable to conceive for a multitude of reasons. And again I have to say that “not deserving” or “no merit” isn’t a part of that equation either. The answers to our questions of “why” or “why not” are just simply beyond us in another dimension altogether.

My point in saying this is so that some dear woman who is still desperately clinging to hope will be encouraged and receive from Him what she needs to continue to endure and trust for as long as necessary. I wish I could issue guarantees, but there are none. He is God and He is love. Blessed be the Name of the Lord. And until He says something else to you, hold on to hope, honey. Hold on! Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Nicole and Steve tried for many years to have a baby. Nothing was working. Three failed artificial insemination attempts and one failed in-vitro fertilization led to all kinds of disappointment, financial expense, and heartache for the whole family—especially for Nicole and Steve.

My daughter is a monster in the Spirit. Not many people know her that way but, good Lord, put her in a room where the Ghost is moving and she radiates like the sun! Most ministry people don’t have a clue of what she’s capable of. I’ve seen how she operates when she gets the nod from spiritual authority. Whoa, Jesus! Both of my natural daughters are wired this way.

Those seasons of trying, begging, and crying out, and not getting what she really wanted in her heart was devastating—almost crippling. Steve was also being brutalized in the process. And honestly, I was personally confused as hell! We all were. “Really, God? Fat juicy babies! What gives here?” This was a kid who would breastfeed her Cabbage Patch dolls when she was 3 years old. She’s had mommy juice for a really long time.

After four major heartbreaks, each equally devastating, they rolled the dice again. By this time, all our family could do was whisper in absolute surrender, “We need you, Lord.” In early December 2011, Gracie was conceived in a petri dish.   We have a picture of the two embryos within hours of their conception (see below). Both were implanted in Nicole’s womb a few days later. Two planted, but only one developed to term. The mystery declared once again: “Some things are beyond you.” We had to rest with that.  Grace Irene Brewer was born in August 2012.

The mystery of it all is bigger than any of us can comprehend. Gracie is beautiful and perfect. A gift. A life. A baby. Pure grace.

View More: http://sarajoyphotography.pass.us/grace_brewer_1_year_2013I guess doctors have to give you odds on this kind of stuff, but the numbers were not good for any of the procedures. It was all risk and a lot of faith. Scary as hell, in fact! Couples going through these kinds of trials need your prayers and your tears. It’s a hard time, but worth the risk every time. I’m convinced the same can be said for foster care and adoption as well. It’s a risk. But the reward is so worth it!

IMG_1083The numbers Nicole and Steve got for natural conception possibilities were 1 in 1,000. So remove the words “good chance” here and replace them with “next to impossible.” Not happy news.

But, Gracie needed a brudder or a sissy, so Nicole and Steve had decided that round three of in-vitro was going to happen eventually. It was just a matter of when. Patti and I kind of felt like we would hear something in the fall of ’14. We were wrong.

Back in early February, our friends, Michael and Kathy Hindes, were in town for the evening. Nicole knew we had friends visiting with us, so it was really weird when she requested immediate Facetime with the both of us. We took the call in the back bedroom. We saw Steve’s and Nicole’s faces, and then a positive pregnancy stick! “It just happened,” they cried excitedly.

Patti lost control and fell onto the bed in sobs. I was yelling so loud my throat hurt the next day. I could hear the Hindes’ laughing on the other side of the house. They immediately knew what the commotion must be all about.  They knew what we had been through.

Since then, the daughter quarantined Pops and Nana’s communication. There were ultra sounds, blood work, and other things to check out before we were to move to full blown party mode. But, don’t check around too close to see whom all Nana might have told.   I don’t think those numbers are too good either.

Two months have passed and last weekend we watched in loving adoration as our beautiful Gracie dove into her pink cupcake.   Our eyes filled with tears and overwhelming awe. From the days of painful longing to soft moments of cuddling fat, juicy babies, He’s been our peace and the source. Here the words just fail to form. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

She’ll be here in September, a new sister for Gracie—a new cousin for Isabel, Jones, and Lewis. All is grace. All is good.


Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.  Amen.


Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Joseph Rodriguez
    April 3, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Great Story…. God Story…

    • April 3, 2014 at 8:29 am

      Thanks Joey… you understand the deal.

  2. Kathy H.
    April 3, 2014 at 8:35 am

    LOVE this and LOVE how awesome our GOD is!!! Praying!!

    • April 3, 2014 at 8:38 am

      Thanks Kathy. We are so grateful for you love and support. You guys sat with us through all of this. That is what friends do. xo

  3. Connie
    April 3, 2014 at 8:42 am

    You and Patti are blessed with an incredible family and each other!! Hopefully I’ll be sending you pics of my Grand baby Soon.Love you Guys!

    • April 3, 2014 at 8:47 am

      Thanks Connie! Uhhhhhh… are you prophesying or does someone need to call me and let me know what the heck is going on?

      • Di
        April 3, 2014 at 11:57 am

        She got a granddog. That’s enough for now. No news.

      • April 3, 2014 at 12:09 pm

        lol. That’s not much consolation Di.

  4. April 3, 2014 at 9:57 am

    so beautiful. love you guys so much and love what god’s doing in your fam!

    • April 3, 2014 at 10:03 am

      Thanks babe! Can’t wait to hold yours one of these days! xo

  5. Bethany Holland
    April 3, 2014 at 9:57 am

    OH MY GOODNESS!! Praise the Lord. This is such a beautiful story that just screams of the truth of hope in a good God. Ah, I am so happy for you and your family!! 🙂

    • April 3, 2014 at 10:04 am

      Thanks honey. We love you dearly! xo

  6. Rose Egan
    April 3, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Profound:) Blessed be the Name of the Lord….!

    • April 3, 2014 at 10:04 am

      Blessed be the Name of the Lord! xo

  7. April 3, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Yes! Love this story and we are celebrating with your family. Thanks for sharing!

    • April 3, 2014 at 11:30 am

      Thank you Matthew. We love the Ruple people! xo

  8. heather
    April 3, 2014 at 10:10 am

    i can close my eyes & imagine the scene during that call, afterwards as you celebrated with michael & kathy…i can feel the elation & the thickness of the celebration. He is God, and He is Love. all day, every day, in every way. still celebrating with y’all. what a fun week of you’ve had celebrating the grand babies! i still can’t believe izzy & jones are SIX! xoxo

  9. April 3, 2014 at 10:37 am

    such a beautiful testimony! love what the lord is doing in and through your family. love you guys!

    • April 3, 2014 at 11:31 am

      Thanks babe! Miss you terribly! xo

  10. Gail Strickland
    April 3, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Tears, tears and more tears. So happy for all of you and thank you for letting us share in this story of God’s amazing goodness. Sending so much love to each of you!!!!!!!

    • April 3, 2014 at 11:32 am

      Thanks Ms Gail! You’re pretty much supernana too! Love you people! xo

  11. April 3, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Wow. What a beautiful miracle. I smiled many times while reading this sitting at the airport. (The weird one making emotion because of whats on their phone, ha) So much joy! So happy for your whole family.

    • April 3, 2014 at 11:34 am

      Thanks baby! love you honey! xoxo

  12. April 3, 2014 at 10:47 am

    wow… so good. PRAISE the Lord, thank you for sharing pops this is awesome

    • April 3, 2014 at 11:43 am

      Thanks Tim! Kiss your girl for us! xo

  13. Di
    April 3, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Excited for the family!!

    • April 3, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      Thanks babe! Love to you both! xo

  14. Justine Zins
    April 3, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Hey Papa Mike – wow, wow, wow. I am moved to tears! I am so happy for you and your family. Rejoicing with you guys. Love you.

    • April 3, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      Thanks babe! Love You… a whole lot! xo

  15. Kara Nalley
    April 3, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    This made me cry. Just beautiful!! Congrats!

    • April 3, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      Thanks! AND we’re pretty stoked about you too! xo

  16. Laura Zeke and Corey
    April 3, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    YAY!!!!!!! That Nana… She’s got some juice on those baby prayers… I got an almost 3 year old just about the same way! Miss you!!!!

  17. Mark Lassetter
    April 3, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Great testimonial Mike! Thanks for sharing! Have not made it to Waco this year but will look you up when I do.  

    ! MARK LASSETTER   (832) 880-0987  

  18. April 3, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    That video! OH MY GOODNESS. So happy for the family and for Nicole and Steve. Gracie is a gift and beautiful one at that. I’m sure sweet little girl #2 will be equally adorable. Still laughing about that video. Maybe she wanted a brother?? ha

  19. April 4, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    So excited for all of you–I can just hear you all celebrating! And so encouraged by how good God is, to your family and to the rest of us! Love you!

  20. darcisimpson
    September 11, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    Re-read this just now and getting all emotional all over again. Can’t believe she is actually here now. She is a miracle – and she and Gracie will have years of stories of God’s love and faithfulness in their lives. I think those two baby girls are the most wanted and prayed for babies alive. I will never forget seeing Nicole at ECF after Gracie was born and hearing her share her testimony. She gave me so much hope to keep hoping for what my heart was longing for. I love you Ba – and I am seriously so happy for all of you – I love everyone one of you. My heart is bursting!

    • Nicole
      October 23, 2014 at 10:53 am

      Darci doodle – we love you!

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