Maybe it’s just lack of sleep. Maybe it’s just lack of blue sky. Maybe it’s just excuses. But as the old saying goes, and I will adapt it for my own purposes: Writer’s block happens. And today, maybe it’s the abundance of blue sky. Maybe it’s the quiet of the house (thank you, Gramma). It’s definitely not the surplus of sleep. But, I feel inclined to write my way out of this bleak hole where my words have felt trapped and alone. So here’s my attempt.
Our family has gone through a mighty amount of changes this month! Tomorrow, Betty will be four-weeks old! Today she had her first Dr’s appointment. The cold so generously shared by her siblings, turned into a nasty-sounding cough. So for the peace of mind of both Grandma’s and myself, I took her to get checked. I’m glad I did, because peace of mind is a very large blessing. She is fine, as fine as a tiny bitty baby can be with a cold and cough. Thankfully, her lungs are clear. I am also thankful that I didn’t get a parking ticket for what I thought must surely be an illegal parking space in the city. The snow made it nearly impossible to park elsewhere, though. I was not about to carry Betty through the icy streets in search of another spot, however. Thankful that if it was illegal, no one noticed and we made it without incident.
Matthew was supposed to have been to Haiti and back by now. His trip was postponed until the 18th of this month, due to unrest in the country. So, we are NOW preparing for his departure. It will be challenging for us to have him gone, but types of challenges which strengthen our faith muscles are never wasted.
The kids are all doing well. I started reading the Chronicles of Narnia to them, and they love it! Having had them read to me once when I was about their age, and not paying attention for some reason, I am calling this my first time reading them. So, we’re all enjoying this, and I was struck by this line yesterday:
“Well, I do think someone might have arranged about our meals,” said Digory. “I’m sure Aslan would have, if you’d asked him,” said Fledge. “Wouldn’t he know without being asked?” said Polly. “I’ve no doubt he would,” said the Horse… “But I’ve a sort of idea he likes to be asked.” (chapter 12 of the Magician’s Nephew).
It reminded me of the fact that as sure as I am that our Heavenly Father knows we have “need of these things”… He likes to be asked.
It’s hard to convey my life in a few short paragraphs. Sometimes I feel like it is sometimes not a realistic interpretation of what goes on, but rather a lopsided impression. Our children do not always make me smile and portray their best qualities every hour of every day. I do not always respond very well when they don’t portray their best qualities. There is not a day that goes by where I do not cry out in desperation for help. There is rarely a day that goes by when I do not have to apologize to my kids for being unreasonable or out of place in my words or actions. There is not a week that goes by where I do not have to fight the disease of discontent for where I live, what I wear, how I look, or what stuff I don’t own. These are realities. However, I’m learning that I CAN live victoriously, when I lay those battles at the Lord’s feet and thank Him for the messes, the challenges, the disappointments, the everything. I don’t have to give in and be a grump about this or that. I too often do, but I’m working on it. The biggest reality is not who I am, or what I do or don’t do; have or don’t have. Rather, it’s who Jesus was, is, and always will be. That pretty much covers all the voids of my heart: when it’s empty, dry, hard, or discontent. It’s that reality that let’s me see the amazing joys of each day.
Like, when I got into bed last night and there was a card addressed, “To Amy”. “I love you so so much, Mom. Love, Nadine.” I tucked it next to the card she made for me the week before. Or, when Elijah spends hours at a time, bent over his erector set, building a motorcycle or a helicopter then shows it to me proudly. “Mom, the box says that it’s for ages 8-12, but I’m 7. They’re wrong!” Or, when Jack comes waltzing into a room eating yet another orange… biting into it just like you would an apple. (He peels them better than I do.) Or when Elsie finally falls asleep in her bed in some strange, unpredictable position, wearing her snow suit, winter coat, stockings, and sneakers. Or when Betty looks me in the eyes and stares at me intently like she’s known me forever, and gives me a huge open-mouthed smile. Or when Matthew works so hard that he’s up in the morning before I am doing what I consider my “middle of the night feeding”, and I hardly see him for a few days… then he brings me tea and peanut butter crackers early in the morning while I sleeplily feed Betty.
It really is more pleasant to focus on the positive joys of life. Just know that the reality of my human-ness is revealed every day. My prayer is that the reality of Jesus is right there to counter-balance me so I never fall into the pit of despair, discontent, or anger.
Well, it’s time to go rescue Gramma, who so generously watched the 4 kids while I took Betty to the doctor.