Our second daughter, Lillian, was born without much fanfare. Her birth was right on the heels of Drew’s grandfather’s death, and we missed one of the few funerals I felt I needed to attend. After growing up without my own granfathers, Paw Paw had become dear to my heart. I loved him like my own. Missing his funeral still weighs heavy on my heart, even though there was absolutely nothing I could have done to attend.

Instead, we named Lily after him, changing her middle name to one that means the same as his. And boy, did we name her right in making her his namesake! She quickly proved that she would be a mover and a shaker, rattling my world and keeping me on my toes. She’s always into something, always on the go, and always letting her curiosity get the best of her.

When she was two months old, I started having suspicions that she was sensitive to something that I was eating. Turns out, she was sensitive to both dairy and soy. Drew had just taken a second job, and he had to let go of his previous role as head chef in our home.

Here I was, a woman who did not like to handle meals much less cook, and I was having to make everything by hand! Any prepared or processed foods (well, many of them) have any number of dairy or soy particles, and Lily was having trouble with all of it.

I quickly learned how to bake and cook, though. Recipes were (and remain!) my dear friends, and thankfully I learned how to substitute dairy-free and soy-free ingredients. I also found easy ways to cook chicken without either. Easy and quick still rule my kitchen, especially since Abby, Lily, and Drew can all eat “normal” meals. {Spoiler alert: I’m having to relearn how to cook dairy-free and soy-free all over again with our youngest.}

I also learned why people meal plan, and it was one of the few things that really helped me to stop skipping meals or cry out in frustration at the end of another long day, “What are we going to eat?!”

Even with her food sensitivities long ended, Lily continues to stretch and grow me. Her insatiable curiosity paired with her clinginess makes her a riddle some days, but she’s my kind of riddle.

This post is part of a 31 Days series on Raising My Ebenezer, part of my story and my own testimony of God’s goodness and faithfulness. As the song Come Thou Fount says, “Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by Thine help I’m come.” For the month of October, I’ll be writing our story, outlining the Ebenezers in recognition of His mighty hand on our lives. His doings and His workings because of and sometimes in spite of our best efforts. My hope is that you’ll see a lot of Him and little to none of me. Because in the end, it is by His help that we have come this far.


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