“We Wrestle Not”

Revival tarries because we lack urgency in prayer….

We have not yet resisted unto blood in prayer; nay, we “do not even get a sweat on our souls,” as Luther put it….

A title, undeniably true of the Church today, would be “We Wrestle Not!” We will display our gifts, natural or spiritual; we will air our views, political or spiritual; we will preach a sermon or write a book to correct a brother in doctrine. But who will storm hell’s stronghold? Who will say the devil nay? Who will deny himself good food or good company or good rest that hell may gaze upon him wrestling, embarrassing demons, liberating captives, depopulating hell, and leaving, in answer to his travail, a stream of blood-washed souls?

Leonard Ravenhill

Why Revival Tarries, 61-62



There’s so much I could say about the last 11 weeks and even the weeks leading up to them. Without being a crazy all-out trial, I can say this is definitely one of the hardest/most trying stretches of time we have been in and Kenny and I agreed, it is certainly the hardest stretch of time we’ve ever had during our relationship (and no, it’s not due to interpersonal conflict).

But instead of writing about why these past 11 weeks have been so difficult, I want to write instead about our dearest Kara Joy, my 2-month-old, my pi day baby, our second child. Time goes by so fast and I’m not delusional enough to think I’ll keep this up, but I at least want to have some recollection of the first days of Kara Joy’s life.

Anyway, this is just going to be a long data dump for my own future reference, but here’s a bunch of KJ related things.

  • Kara Joy’s name can mean a number of things, but the meaning we choose to go with is joy (chara) upon Joy; exceedingly great joy
  • I’ve always liked the name Kara, but Kenny was not a fan. So I prayed. And at the Seeds Christmas service, PKyle said chara, used in the Christmas account, means exceedingly great joy. At the end of the message, Gma received Christ. I remember thinking “well, if he doesn’t agree to Kara now, he’s never going to.” That night, he let me know that Kara it would be :)
    I had my craziest season of work at DoH leading up to KJ’s (we don’t call her that, but it’s easier to type) birth. I’ve never worked with such intensity at DoH and never for such a prolonged season even during my IMS/Zii days. There were a bunch of unexpected resignations plus I had to find someone for my maternity leave and I thought there was no way we’d fill all the positions. So I prayed in faith that we’d fill them all before I left. It came down to the wire, but the second to last day I was in the office, we had 4 new hires at orientation. Funny thing is I had forgotten about my prayer, but a coworker reminded me. I also went to gloat (for Jesus– gloating about Him and His faithfulness!) to our other coworker who had lovingly said I was delusional when I told him I was praying for all positions to be filled before leaving. :) I have never depended on God so much in my work. And though it was very hard and yes, stressful, I also had a lot more peace than usual and I was able to work really really hard with an undercurrent of reliance and joy. I say none of this to point to me, but to point out God’s Grace on me. Reflecting on my work journey, I am SO different now than I was before. Praise God– His sanctifying work continues in and despite me.
    I told many people KJ could not come before 3/14 and even asked some people to pray she’d stay in there til then. Lo and behold, on 3/13 I sent my last work email around 9pm, took a nap, then as I was getting ready to leave my parent’s house around 10pm, my water broke.
    At lunch the day I went into labor, Eva napped in my arms for over an hour. She NEVER does that anymore. It’s like she knew… or the Lord knew it was her last day as an only child.
    L&D was SO different this time around. My water broke, but I only had mild contractions. TMI, I know, but right before it broke, I texted Kenny saying I either was having contractions or a stomach ache and while in the bathroom I texted him again saying, yup just a stomach ache! Lol. As I was saying. L&D was so chill compared to last time. As we took surface streets from my parent’s to Kaiser (Kenny had to drive out to get me), we were joking around and I was majorly hoping we wouldn’t be sent home. We took a nice stroll in the cool air from the parking structure to L&D. Checking in was so very calm compared to last time. Praise God for a much better experience this time (not that last time was bad compared to other experiences I’ve heard). It was also strange that KJ was born when it was bright outside. And the end of delivery gets blurry, but now I’m realizing I don’t even know what time my daughter was born… will have to ask the husband tomorrow.
    First thoughts upon seeing KJ: wow she looks like Eva; I love her. Attachment and bonding was immediate this time, probably because I wasn’t in shock and knew what to expect. I’m sure I also noted she had a lot of hair, but I don’t remember that being her most notable quality until somewhat later.
    Another fun story: Pet was visiting and also had a short window when KJ could be born. It had to be after her work conference, but before her return flight. Turns out she was able to see KJ twice before leaving. And yes, it was also after her work conference. :)
    It’s harder to tell your child’s temperament with your first baby because you have nothing to compare him/her too. Temperament is more obvious with the second because it’s relative to your first. Almost immediately, we could tell that KJ was much more chill than Eva. I was shocked that from her first days, she wasn’t too fussed about diaper and clothing changes. It’s probably an exaggeration, but Kenny and I think Eva cried at almost every diaper change for her first year of life and certainly fought every change well past that. And she still cries out sometimes when she pulls her shirts over her head (I wonder where her flair for the dramatic comes from lol). Our dear little KJ in comparison is so laid back compared to her sister, though she has been super fussy (her version) the last few weeks since getting sick + getting her shots.
    KJ’s noises are also different from Eva. Eva talked a lot at this point. KJ’s voice is softer and I don’t know how to describe it, but she speaks more with squeaks and grunts and little noises. She also seems to grunt more than Eva. Which leads to the next bullet…
    It takes a LOT for KJ to get comfortable. This is the one thing she is not laid back about and probably why she’s not a great sleeper. She’ll toss and turn and fling her head around until she can find a comfortable position. It’s hilarious. I’ve never seen a baby put so much effort into getting comfortable.
    Overall, I’d say KJ is a very sweet baby. She’s not as smiley as Eva was from what I can recall at this point, but she’s quick to smile when you talk to her. She especially loves Eva and smiles most easily for her. Kenny and I keep saying she’s such a sweet girl. And it’s definitely a second child thing, but we just love letting her sleep in our arms and totally spoiled her (which we are absolutely paying for now as she only naps well now if you hold her… ugh!). I think the second time around you also enjoy things more too. For one, you know how fast the time passes so you want to savor every moment, but second, you’re also less shocked and less worried about every little thing. Kenny and I keep asking each other why this was so hard the first time haha (though granted Eva was also more difficult than KJ at this age… but again how much of that is a function of personality vs. parenting?).

Anyway that’s a ton of stuff (and side note, after all these years, I still can’t think of a better transition than “anyway”) for now.

I love you, baby Kara Joy! I thank God SO much for you! These past 11 weeks with have been so difficult for reasons mostly not associated with you (though, okay, lack of sleep has definitely not helped– we gotta work on that, girl!), but more than that, these past 11 weeks with you have been so special and I will treasure them forever. I love you so much and can’t believe you’ve only been here for two months because I already cannot imagine our family without you. What more can I say than I love you again and I’m so lucky that God entrusted me with you!!! Looking forward to everything else He has in store.