seeking solace in the home and in His heart.

October 1, 2013, Michaela Evanow, 20 Comments

The days are long right now.

I feel it wearing on me. It. It.

I hate that this somehow dictates our life, that something terrible tells us, tells Florence what she can’t do. It used to be different. We had more freedom, and less worry. I took a lot for granted, I guess. And try as we may, pushing past it just isn’t in the cards right now. She is very sensitive, fragile and yet full of life she can’t seem to express. She seems to be painfully aware of what her body can and cannot do these days.

I’m feeling a bit weary, and I guess that comes with the weather. Grey skies are like a great frown. The days are getting shorter and darker. I am not welcoming the rains.

Try as I might, living a “normal” life is hard. On my own, yes, I can do whatever I like. And I do have my alone time, and Jay and I have date nights once a week. But during the day, when I can hear the invisible clock ticking, waiting for the hours to shrink until Jay comes home…well those days are long. For the most part, I am happy being here. I am happy. I love my home, even with it’s rental downfalls. I love the vintage blue of the kitchen, the way the southern light hits it throughout the day. I love the windows, and my lace curtains. I love clean dishes and the cheap plants I bought four years ago, still thriving in the light of the kitchen. I love my milk glass vases, my fridge full of food. The way the kettle whispers, then roars.

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I love lighting candles, sacred and sweet smelling. I love looking at my row of books, blues and yellows and vintage Nancy Drews. I love “Call The Midwife” on BBC, documentaries, and forming relationships with people all across the world. The sheepskin, the thrifted marigold blanket, the feather down pillows and twinkly lights. All of these are gifts, and they are worthless, for they really mean nothing. But they are gifts nonetheless, little blessings that make my house a home.

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But…I miss going for walks, easy walks with Florence, where I had time and peace. Nowadays, she lasts about ten minutes in her bassinet stroller, and I don’t blame her. I get frustrated, not at her, but at it. She can’t seem to sit up without choking and sputtering, but she’s not comfortable lying down in this stroller…what am I supposed to do? What can I do for her? How do I take her out, change the scenery? We are waiting, always waiting for equipment. Things changed so suddenly, and her stroller no longer gives her the support and comfort she needs. So she’s in a newborn bassinet.

She gets extremely frustrated when she can’t hold a small, nearly weightless toy, and I sigh so deep, I feel myself unwinding. Unrolling, fast like runaway toilet paper. I have to stop myself, I have to stop and tell my mind what to think.

If I don’t, I will cave in, and I will unknowingly call out to the dark knights of depression and welcome them. They are hounding me, always hanging around, knocking at the door, waiting for me to answer them.

It’s true. I am happy. But I have battles to fight everyday, like we all do. It’s just that sometimes I can see mine so clearly, clanging swords outside my windows, hiding behind the berry trees.

I want to protect her, and I want her to play like a child should. Instead, she spends most of the day watching Sesame Street or Tinkerbell, and playing games on the iPad. And I hate this. I am hard on myself for this. It looks as though I am lazy. And my perfectionist mentality tells me this is wrong and I’m not doing enough.

Again, the knocks are at my door.

Sometimes when Florence is having a tantrum, upset because she can’t get her hands to do what she wants, frustrated, unable, teething and struggling with her drool, I simply fall to the floor, lay my head beside hers, grab her damp little hand, hold the her pudgy palm between my fingers, willing her to squeeze me back. And I look right into her eyes, and I tell her how my heart sings these songs in the midst of the firestorm: how I’m her mama and I’m fighting for her. But I also tell her I’m frustrated too, and she’s brave and she’s perfect and she’s my dream.

And silently, I tell her, I don’t know how to do it either, and I’m weak, but He’s strong too. And one day, little one, one day…

I know, I say, I know baby girl. But you can do all things through Jesus who strengthens you. I declare this over her when I feel myself breaking, and I know it’s time for another round of Elmo. I declare this Biblical truth, and suddenly the roar turns away from me.

These are “just” words, and yet they are more than symbols and sounds and letters. Words can hold us captive and words can set us free.

These words are the weapon I choose, each day. I fight with thanksgiving, and hope. I fight with stories and wonder. I fight with laughter and love. I fight with painted walls and freshly mopped floors. I fight with friends over tea and books that feed my soul.

I fight. And I rest on these long, long days.

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sleepy eyes.

20 Comments

  • Reply HelenHelen October 7, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    Thank you for this post. Thank you for sharing so openly your struggles and Florence’s frustration.

    • Reply Michaela. October 7, 2013 at 10:55 AM

      Helen, thank you very much for coming by and writing. I appreciate it!

  • Reply Kali October 1, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    Beautiful as always…your commitment to sharing so many aspects of your journey brings such honour to Flo’s life. You are a fighter, a worshipper and incredible mother.

    • Reply Michaela. October 2, 2013 at 8:32 AM

      I sure hope it does…Thanks for the encouragement Kali.

  • Reply Sophie October 1, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    Oh how it’s an honor to come alongside you in prayer and to encourage you to not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest!
    You are an amazing faith filled mama that encourages us to keep going in this fallen dreary world. Your fierce love for Flo spills over and leaves me breathless every time I read your posts.
    What motivates me to keep going is to live for the line and not for the dot. The line is eternity and the dot is our short life on earth – our lives are but a vapor and we will soon reign with our King and Lord Jesus!
    Another thing I do to recharge me to keep running the race is listen to Revive our hearts to renew my mind with His Word.
    I listened to this one message last spring by Joni Eareckson Tada – I sure hope it encourages you as much as it encouraged me!
    http://www.reviveourhearts.com/radio/revive-our-hearts/squeezing-lemon/

    • Reply Michaela. October 2, 2013 at 8:31 AM

      Sophie, thanks so much dear one. I will check it out. And I wholeheartedly agree, looking towards eternity keeps it all in perspective. I tell myself this often, this life is but a vapour, and He defines us, not this life.

  • Reply Kelly Lee October 1, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    Powerful and very honest words. Love you!

    • Reply Michaela. October 2, 2013 at 8:31 AM

      Love you too! Especially when you comment for me!
      😉

  • Reply Brie October 1, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    I can completely understand and imagine your weariness at the long days. You are still everything you are, amazing and strong and focused on God and a remarkable mother, but you my dear are validated in and allowed to be weary too. You can have joy and be weary and we understand and say ‘it’s ok’. You are enough and you’re doing enough, even with Elmo and the ipad, it’s enough. Praying for you and your days. When is that new stroller coming?! I wish I could magically transport one to you. Also, fun to see pictures of your house, so much personality 🙂

    • Reply Michaela. October 2, 2013 at 8:29 AM

      Thanks for this Brie, your words are so sweet. It means a lot and it’s so kind of you. 🙂

  • Reply Nanny October 1, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    Little one, baby girl, precious child, my heart is overflowing toward you

    • Reply Michaela. October 2, 2013 at 8:33 AM

      As always…you are such a lovely Nanny!

  • Reply Aleksa October 1, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Your house is so cute. Love the wall decorations.

    • Reply Michaela. October 2, 2013 at 8:34 AM

      Why thank you Aleksa! I’m a bit obsessive as a decorator and redecorator 🙂

  • Reply Lyndall Cowley October 1, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    Michaela I came across your blog through a friend and I find you so truly inspirational. My eldest daughter has complex congenital heart disease and although it is not something that impacts our every day now she is 8, it is always in my thoughts. Your words are so beautiful, so eloquent. I love that you are able to express the way I myself was feeling in the early days. God bless you and your family. xx
    Lyndall, Melbourne, Australia

    • Reply Michaela. October 1, 2013 at 3:40 PM

      Hello Lyndall,
      Thank you for commenting and visiting. It’s amazing how common journeys can bring us such comfort and warmth isn’t it? It nice knowing my journey as a mother somehow reflects yours. I’m glad your daughter is doing well now!!

  • Reply child of God October 1, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Oh hon, I feel your pain and frustration. Praying for you.
    When my children were little, like Florence, I noticed that because we spent all of our time around each other, (my husband was very busy and not home often and I live very far from my family and have no friends where I am), is my children fed off of me. When I was happy they were happy. If I was stressed they were stressed. When I became angry they did too. I believe you and Florence are feeding off of each others emotions and I would almost guarantee that because of the physical difficulties Florence is going through that her sensitivity to your mood is very intense. I know this advice I am about to give you may sound really, really hard to do, but I wonder if you give it a try, it might just perk Florence up.

    Play some good, upbeat worship music constantly during the daytime and try your very best to be joyful. Have you considered that the night before Jesus hung on the cross, when He was praying in the garden and He was sweating drops of sweat like blood, He was joyful? Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, was full of joy. Not the human kind of laughing joy, but the intense, full feeling of joy that only Father can give. A joy that knowing the path you are on is the path that Father wants you on and one that He will glorify His name in. Seek this joy. I know He will give it to you. How can He not? You are obedient to His calling and walking in His name carrying the cross you are to bear. Try it hon, Florence needs you to.

    Praying against these demons of depression and covering you and Florence in the blood of Jesus Christ and asking Him to touch and heal your sweet little girl.

    Praying and praying.

    • Reply Michaela. October 1, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      Thanks. I think that although this post says something about my day, it’s just part of the journey. And it’s been a long one. Sometimes writing didn’t say it all! And I think it’s okay to recognize weariness. I’ve come a long way. But I also receive, however begrudgingly, your suggestions. I do often have worship music on in the house and set the atmosphere as one of joy. I work hard at this. I guess what I was trying to convey is that it’s getting harder, not easier as Florence grows. But yes, seeking out joy is the most important and often hardest thing.
      Thanks for
      Your prayers!

      • Reply child of God October 1, 2013 at 3:34 PM

        Yes, I have no idea of your full journey and sometimes words written are hard to understand when facial and body expressions are absent. I didn’t mean to offend, seeking joy in tough situations is hard and seeking joy in the illness of a dearly loved child is next to impossible. But what is impossible for us is not impossible for God.

        Praying tomorrow brings sunny skies and the overdue seat or stroller for Florence.

        Blessings.

        • Reply Michaela. October 1, 2013 at 3:38 PM

          I know your are a kind one, even though I don’t know you. 😉 Us mamas are often hard on ourselves. But it’s a good reminder. I can always use it! And yes, so true, what’s impossible for us is not impossible for Him. Thank you!

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