Sky Aysh Yachalel

by andrew

Sky – Old Norse: Cloud
Aysh – Hebrew: Fire
Yachalel – Hebrew: to wait on, hope, trust in Elohim / YHWH

He spread a cloud for a covering, And fire to give light in the night.
– Ps 105:39

When יהוה has washed away the filth of the daughters of Tsiyon, and rinsed away the blood of Yerushalayim from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning, then יהוה shall create above every dwelling place of Mount Tsiyon, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night, for over all the esteem shall be a covering, and a booth [sukkah] for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain.
– Is 4:4-6

See, the eye of יהוה is on those fearing Him, On those waiting [hoping, trusting] for His kindness…
– Ps 33:18

As for me, I look to יהוה, I wait [hope, trust] for the Elohim of my deliverance, my Elohim does hear me.
– Mic 7:7

Born on Sep 28, 2010 during Sukkot (the Feast of Booths / Tabernacles) and through extraordinary circumstances, our precious little Punkin #6 has given us a challenge in the naming. There were so many weighty things that his name needed to carry, but it also needed to have the light-hearted nature of the excitement, adventure, and blessing that he is.

Baby Sky.

Sky Aysh Yachalel.

We wanted his name to both carry the character of his birth experience as well as the identity of what YHWH is showing us through the timing. There was also a sense of completeness and new beginnings as he is the 8th member of the family. The biggest themes that emerged for us through all of this were:

  • Trusting YHWH: The adventure of Sky’s birth was filled with unexpected plot twists, difficult decisions, and Father’s unfailing provision in even the smallest details. It tested and stretched us in many ways, but especially in trusting Him.
  • Waiting on YHWH: It is counterintuitive for the 6th pregnancy, but Renee’s labor was longer (by far) than any of the others. 38 hours. There were moments when we thought things might not be normal with this delivery and Father answered our prayers with wise counsel from others and options that we hadn’t thought of.
  • Sukkot: There are so many themes in this one word alone that resulted in many possible name sources – covering, refuge, protection, tabernacle, dwelling, canopy, chupah (wedding canopy), etc. I had been thinking in fairly concrete terms, trying to make an overt connection between the Festival birth and naming, but nothing sounded right. Then I remembered how YHWH Himself became a Sukkah for His Children in the wilderness and promised to do so again – as a Cloud and Fire.

Humorous Prelude

This seemed insignificant at the time, but actually became a factor in Sky’s name. A few weeks ago we were having family cuddles in our bed and talking about possible names with the kids (keep in mind that we didn’t know Punkin #6 was a boy until he was born). They were all pitching in their suggestions and Jaiden said with serious conviction, “We should call him ‘Hot Fire Super.'” Before I realized how serious he was I started laughing uncontrollably until Jaiden began to cry. Imagine trying to explain to your 3 year old that you weren’t laughing at his idea, just at how he expressed it. That was a tough one. He was 100% convinced that ‘Hot Fire Super’ would be a perfectly valid name for his little brother. I guess it really isn’t all that strange after all, and in the end, ‘Fire’ became part of his name.

The Story

On Monday, Sep 19th, we had our first visit with the midwife who delivered our neice a few months ago. Back in May she told Renee’s sister that she’d love to help us if we were going to be in Winnipeg around Renee’s due date. We were blown away by her offer. Even though it was informal, and we didn’t even get to talk to her until we were already here, after praying about it in Pennsylvania we felt total peace about working our way to Winnipeg. We were also prepared to have this baby ourselves somewhere on the road if that was what would unfold.

On Friday, Sep 24th, some out-of-town friends and family joined us here at the campground as Sukkot started.

On Saturday, Sep 25th, we had a whole additional crowd of friends / spiritual family out here for Shabbat and fellowship. They stayed late and went back to their homes in the city that night.

On Sunday, Sep 26th, around 11pm labor started. We were really excited because we figured there was a really good chance of having this baby before our out-of-town family / friends had to leave for home late the next day. The plan was to do the whole thing here in our trailer at the campground with the help of our midwife. We called her around 2am just to let her know that early labor had started.

However, by the afternoon on Monday, Sep 27th, labor was still fairly slow and it became obvious that nothing was going to happen before they all had to leave. By 10pm things had picked up a bit and the testing began. We got in touch with our midwife and she had landed in an impossible situation. She was in the middle of another delivery and couldn’t make it out. She thought she could make other arrangements for us, but we’d have to go into the city. The alternative would be to stay here with the expectation that we would be having this baby on our own without the assistance of a midwife, and that initially felt scary in some ways and relieving in other ways. After praying about it with Renee and her mom we were determined to do this YHWH’s way even if it meant trusting Him completely in new areas and depths.

Then we had an idea. Kind of a long shot, and were were hesitant to pursue it, but felt like we should try. We met a sweet woman who came out with our friends on Saturday. Sitting around the campfire that night she mentioned that she had been a midwife before. She hadn’t practiced in a while, but we thought maybe she’d be willing to come over just to offer advice and experience in an informal capacity. I called my dear brother up here through whom we met her and asked what he thought. He said he’d call her and check. A few minutes later he called back and said she was super excited that we’d ask and she was gathering her things and would be on her way. We were so blessed by her reaction and willingness to come over and help.

We fully expected to have the baby some time that night, but Monday night turned into Tuesday morning. We had a wonderful time together that night – Renee, her mom, this dear new midwife friend who we had just met a couple nights before, and myself – but labor was not progressing as fast as we thought it should and by 5am we were all exhausted. We decided to rest and regain some strength, and one by one we started to snooze. Joy woke up around 6am and was curious to know what was going on. So I held her for a while and fell asleep with her in my arms. Our friend didn’t want to leave, but she had to get her 2 children off to school and we encouraged her to go, expecting to be in touch and return when things picked up again.

After a couple hours of sleep the contractions intensified and Renee started bleeding with each one. It wasn’t a lot, but it hadn’t been like that with any of our other birth experiences either. Our original midwife called to check in after she had a couple hours of sleep herself and we gave her the update. She was a little concerned (as were we) about the bleeding.

One of the complications in the whole arrangement that hadn’t been obvious at the beginning was that we were too far out of the city for insurance to cover our midwife. She couldn’t come out at all, like we were originally planning. But she graciously offered for us to come over to her home and she would check Renee and, if need be, we could have the baby there. She lived just inside the city and not too far from us, which was a total provision and much better than where we’d have had to go the night before.

We really did not want to leave our kids – the whole point was to do this as a family and include them, and that was hard – but the most important thing was to use the resources Father was making available to us to insure everything was ok. Our midwife was even able to arrange an immediate ultrasound for us. The primary concern was that maybe the position of the placenta and/or cord was obstructing normal labor progression and causing the bleeding. We were ready to pay out of our own pocket for the ultrasound, but the doctor didn’t charge us. Isn’t YHWH amazing!

And of course during this whole time so many people were praying for us as well.

The ultrasound showed that everything was perfect. It was only a matter of time after all (with maybe a little help from assisted water breaking). I figured the next difficult decision would be between going back to the trailer without our midwife or leaving the kids out and having the baby at her house (though I knew Renee’s mom was taking great care of them). But even that was solved nicely when our midwife offered and suggested that I go pick them up and bring them back.

We fully expected to have our midwife break Renee’s water to speed things up when I got back with the kids, but by the time I returned in about an hour, she was having constant contractions and hard labor. 45 minutes later her water broke on its own an I was catching my new son. I finally got to catch one!

Zach was so excited. He didn’t leave Renee’s side for a long time once she and Sky were settled in the bed. The different reactions were interesting. Bennah and Reayah have seen this all before and they were content to check things out and move on to other things, but the younger ones were fascinated.

YHWH provided – even down to the car seat. We had shopped around and even had one lined up through a site like craigslist, but they never got back to us about when/where to pick it up. Father had one waiting for us though. Our midwife had been given a few car seats recently around the time of her own granddaughter’s birth and was happy to get one of them out of her basement.

Overall, throughout the entire process, there were so many moments characterized by having to trust and wait on YHWH – Yachalel. And during it all – despite the uncertainties – we felt covered, protected, encompassed by His Presence as a refuge, canopy, chupah, sukkah – the cloud and fire – Sky Aysh.

He is the most precious little thing.  He will be a constant reminder to us – and hopefully others too – especially as we continue into a future that is dark and  uncertain, that YHWH is our refuge and our strength; our cloud by day and fire by night as we learn to trust Him completely and obey His leading.

Baby Sky.

8 Responses to “Sky Aysh Yachalel”

  • Shawn Says:

    My heart is so moved by this!!! Sky is a wonderful name, and he shall live upto and surpass it! He is blessed by such awesome parents – I love you all!!

  • Leon Says:

    this such an awesome story.

  • Aunt Holly Says:

    Blessings and joy to you all.

  • dad Says:

    dear andrew and nae,

    just home from sukkot this morning after spending 3 nights at the cabin and the final 2 days of sukkot a the kings…now first chance to read the update of details and name…

    why that’s the longest update I’ve ever read by a newborn…since it was signed by sky…!

    a new joy added to your household now, and a blessing for the ways in which Yah provided…

    hurry up and get some rest so you can bring sky here for show and tell!

    love to all,

  • lifefullj Says:

    Thanks so much for the story/details! What a beautiful boy and reminder/encouragement re: the Father’s refuge/protection/covering and waiting/trusting in Him.

  • Jake Rempel Says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for sharing that beautiful story. That is a beautful name.

  • Ephraiyim and Ahava Says:

    What a blessing. Congratulations. We spent sukkot at home mostly because of E’s health but we did get to the camp where a bunch of folks were having sukkot together. Mike and Michelle were there and we had a good time catching up. She is due in Dec I think. This will be #14 for them between the two.
    We are in Newton, Iowa now about 2 1/2 hours from where we were in Cedar Rapids. We miss our friends but believe YHWH wants us here for family.
    Blessings to all of you. Perhaps you will get out our way sometime. We are right off of I80 and there is a good campground with a pool and small lake(pond) about 5 min down our street. Anyway thanks for the updates. I will say hello for John Boan since I know he would want me to. He lives about 20 min west on 80 from us.

  • Mike Temple Says:

    What a beautiful Son you have! Congratulations to you both. I am happy that you see the arrival of life as we do. Michelle is due mid December. Keep us in your prayers.

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