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Favorite Photos of 2022

The twelfth day of each month is Elijah’s special day. 

Jodi and I were more than blessed to have three amazing daughters. God is good, even if He does have quite the sense of humor!

I grew up in a small home with two older brothers and my dad… it was not the most feminine environment to grow up in! So when we started having kids and the good LORD blessed us with three daughters, it was definitely different from what I was used to.

When Jodi was pregnant with our fourth child, we had countless people ask us, are you hoping for a son? Or, are you going to just keep trying until you have a son?

These questions seemed very strange to me. 

The honest answer is: No.

I wasn’t hoping for a son—at least not a son over another daughter. I was simply hoping for a healthy baby, and I was leaving the gender up to God. In all reality, it would have actually been easier, in some ways, to have another daughter. We already had all of the clothes for a daughter, and we already had experience with three daughters. What would we do with a son?! We would have to relearn everything!

We were also not having babies until we finally had a son. We were just trusting the LORD to build the family that He had in mind for us. He is the one who said to “be fruitful and multiply.”

When our fourth child was born, it was a son!

We had picked out his name since we were pregnant with our second child, and after all of those years, at just the right time, Elijah David Polen had entered the world.

Holding my daughters in my arms for the first time was a magical moment. They were so precious. I felt like I was holding a princess in my arms (which I was). 

Holding my son in my arms for the first time was a completely different feeling. I was proud in a completely different way. I felt like I was holding a warrior in my hands (which I was). 

We named him Elijah after the prophet Elijah, because our dream for him is that he will love the LORD with all of his heart, soul, mind, and strength, and that he will not be afraid to stand for God in any and every circumstance—just like the prophet Elijah did.

His middle name is David for two reasons. First, it is the name of the great king of Israel, a man after God’s own heart. Second, it is the name of my father. We wanted to pass my dad’s name on to our son.

Today’s favorite photo of 2022 is a picture I took on Elijah’s twelfth birthday. His grandfather, my dad, handed down a .22 rifle that he bought with his own money when he was Elijah’s age. 

It is hard for me to look at this picture without tearing up a little bit. How good God is! I am so thankful for the earthly father that He has blessed me with, and I am so thankful for the son that He has entrusted us with. 

My dad is a faithful, loving, kind, hard-working, truth-telling man of integrity. I see my son growing up to have those same qualities in his life.

Thank you, God.

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