like pioneers on a journey.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what makes a good day.
When you have some massive struggles to overcome everyday, with health or finances or relationships, it’s easy to be swayed by the negative, by the size of the mountain, or feel defeated the moment you drop into the valley.
We had a valley week, although I did find myself enjoying life much more than I normally would have compared to last month. I have learned so much these past few months.
Florence got a cold but no fever and nothing really came out of it. I was watching her closely for signs of breathing difficulties, or clearing her cough. We did have some scary moments, where she sounded so congested in her throat, and she couldn’t clear it. But thankfully it was just in her throat, not her chest. She has had some congestion now for a few weeks, and coughs every so often during the day, but I believe she’s on the mend.
I have come down with yet another cold. I feel defeated in that. I normally fight off sickness so well, but I’m guessing the night wakings have something to do with it. Florence has just begun cutting her teeth…no teeth yet, but they are bulging. In any case, I feel like I just recovered from the nasty virus that knocked me off my feet for two weeks and then lingered for a month.
She was weighed this week, and unfortunately lost a pound. This may not seem like much, but considering she hasn’t yet doubled her birth weight, a pound that took a month and a half to gain is a pretty big deal for me. I let it go, and resolved to work on feeding her more. Since she hasn’t started eating dairy or grains yet, this may be a challenge. I feed her chicken at least once a day, sometimes beef, but mostly she eats fruits and veggies. I am very thankful she is still breastfeeding heartily, because some meals she only gets a few bites in before she calls it quits.
I see pictures of her at 6 months, baby fat all rolled up on her thighs, tucked under her chin, and I mourn the loss of it. Although I’m sure it’s normal, I remember taking comfort in those precious bits of fat. They brought comfort, they showed she was healthy and robust. She is still healthy, she glows and she’s a good eater, but she is leaning out. I know it happens, and I know that Jay and I are on the thinner side…but considering I weighed 23 pounds at her age, well, it can get me down some days. I suppose I always expected to have a deliciously fat baby. I expected a lot of things that haven’t come true yet. But it doesn’t mean that they won’t. I will never give up on her. I will never give up on the hope placed in my heart.
If I do, I will be crushed by the heaviness, swept out to sea in the bitterness of my mourning tears.
I am happy to report that although we hit some rough patches this week, we are not overcome.
I’m learning to see the good, the joy, the beauty in every day. I’m learning to rejoice in all things. I’m learning that although God is not controlling my life like a puppet master, and causing these bumps in the road to happen, He is capable of commanding these mountains to turn into the sea and be levelled. He is capable of turning the dust into blossoms, the pain into victory.
Bill Johnson says in a clip from favourite sermon of mine, called Abiding Faith:
“Even the worst thing, God is prepared to reverse it’s effect so that tragedy becomes triumph. Nothing can come at me that God doesn’t have a present day solution for. Not everything that comes at me is God’s will, because he has to rework it. One of the biggest areas of confusion is concerning the sovereignty of God. We know He is all powerful and in charge of everything. But we make the mistake of thinking he is in control of everything. If you think He is control of everything you have to believe Hitler was his will. Why would God raise something up to be his will that he calls us to pray against?
He comes at our invitation because he has released the dominion to us. That’s why prayer is so essential.”
And so we pray, we pray continually and pray through the tears and the fears and forge ahead into the wilderness, pioneers on a journey. We keep pressing forward, although we’ve never been here before. We plant our seeds and sow them too, eat the goodness from the land and learn new skills needed for this untamed wilderness.
And we remembered we are never alone, where milk and honey abound.
We never give up, and ask that you never give up praying for Florence either. Maybe the day that I feel like the mountains are closing in, and I’m being swallowed up whole will be the day you feel called to pray for us, and cover us, and release life into our home and hearts. Thank you. We need you.