12-18-19 The Gravitron

Psalm 119:71

Can I admit this here? I’m tired. I’m weary. I’m worn down.

Not just from the ectopic, which happened exactly a month ago, but from a year plus of fighting battles on every front.

A friend texted me this afternoon and asked how I was doing. “Not well” was my knee jerk reaction. And that’s true. I got barely any sleep last night. I’m putting out fires left and right. And at moments, I’m barely holding on. It got me to thinking.

Do you remember being a kid and going to the fair? We would beg my parents for tickets to ride the rides. The best was when they would buy the bracelet that gave you unlimited rides and we’d spend the evening going from ride to ride. The Scrambler was always my favorite, but my sister’s was that UFO looking contraption that spun you around and around, using centrifugal force to keep you plastered to the wall. Somehow I was convinced to get on that thing, despite having a history of motion sickness. The moment the machine started to spin I knew I was in trouble. I wanted to get off immediately. No. That machine was not stopping for anything. Instead it got faster and faster. So I squeezed my eyes tight and clenched my teeth and waited for it to be over. It seemed like an eternity. When it finally ended, I fumbled my way outside, vowing in a wave of nausea to never do that again.

That is kind of what my last year has felt like… A carnival ride I can’t escape. A constant barrage of challenges and difficulties. No sooner is one thing figured out then another rears its ugly head.

But unlike the Gravitron, whose only reward was a day of dizziness and nausea, this past year has taught me (and is teaching me) that I serve a mighty God. Never more so than in the past year have I felt so inadequate to face the challenges placed in front of me, and yet time and time again, God has been there… providing, healing, encouraging, and fighting the battles I showed up ill equipped for.

I’m still on this ride. It hasn’t stopped yet, so each day I lean harder into Christ and his unfailing work on the cross, for in doing so I will know Him better. He is my rock and my salvation. Sanctification is a messy process, but the end result will be glorious indeed.

To Christ be all glory.

12-16-19 Snow

The first snowstorm of the season was… well… let’s just say I’ve seen more impressive ones. But it didn’t stop the kids from donning their new snow suits, digging through the glove pile, and hunting down their snow boots to head outside and play. They dragged each other around the driveway on the sled and made snow angels. We topped it off with a customary hot cocoa and a movie.

12-15-19 Late Night Rambles

I realize I haven’t been writing on here much the past few nights. I have had some long days at the shop. I’ve been getting home very late and very dusty. So I pretty much just clean up and crawl into bed.

Speaking of bed- I’m staying up too late, getting up too early, and sleeping horribly through the night. No wonder I’m so tired these days!

We are supposed to get some snow in the morning. I am really hoping that it pans out because the kids are very excited about it. I think they might be a little disappointed to learn that homeschool kids don’t get snow days, but they will definitely get out and play if there’s enough (i.e. any at all!)

12-10-19 Battle

“…when you’re hurting hard, you’re neither helped nor inspired by a syrupy picture of the Lord, like those sugary, sentimental images many of us grew up with. You know what I mean? Jesus with His hair parted down the middle, surrounded by cherubic children and bluebirds.

Come on. Admit it: When your heart is being wrung out like a sponge, when you feel like Morton’s salt is being poured into your wounded soul, you don’t want a thin, pale, emotional Jesus who relates only to lambs and birds and babies.

You want a warrior Jesus.

You want a battlefield Jesus. You want His rigorous and robust gospel to command your sensibilities to stand at attention.”

– Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing

I’ve started a new book this evening, one that was given to me by a friend. To be honest, I’m nervous to read it. It sat in my purse all day, and I felt its weight as I went about my daily activities. This evening, with Tim putting the kids to bed, I sat down in the recliner in our bedroom and I began to read.

I never wanted to be here. Not again. Not on this journey. It feels raw, like a wound that had healed, only to be ripped open again when I least expected it. The positive pregnancy test is still sitting it its box in the bag I take to and from the shop. The line is still there. But I’m not pregnant. I have the scars on my stomach to prove it. I have the ache in my heart to remind me.

I stretched too far to reach something today, and one of my incisions started to bleed. Not much. Just a little. Enough to remind me my body is still healing, that precious little time has passed.

I have no urge to shake my fist at the heavens, to accuse God of carelessness or neglect. There is no comfort in asking why. I daily fight the urge to go numb… as if that were somehow the answer. But it’s not. I have to feel it. Every last drop of it if I am to heal properly. The secret isn’t in ignoring it, but processing it though what I know to be true…

My circumstances to not dictate God’s character.

He is still good.

He is still just.

He is still loving.

He is still forgiving.

He is still faithful.

He is still strong.

He is still in control.

In my grief, those are the things I remember.

God became man in the person of Jesus. He wore our flesh. He breathed our air. He felt our pain. He lived a sinless life, died a horrific sinner’s death, and conquered the grave to redeem our sinful nature. There’s a bigger picture- one we only catch mere glimpses of this side of heaven. In our mortal flesh, we won’t get all the answers and that’s okay, we don’t actually need them. It’s enough to know that God is there, working things out for our good and for our sanctification.

As Christians, we never walk the path of suffering alone. In fact, we don’t walk it at all- we meet it in battle with Jesus by our side.

12-10-19 Alcohol is (not) the answer…

I’ve mentioned here before that I don’t drink much alcohol. I can’t stand the flavor, and it pretty much puts me to sleep within minutes. So I really don’t see the point.

Except when I’m sick. An annoying thing happens when I come down with a cold and I have a sore throat. I cannot sleep with a sore throat, even if it is mild. It will keep me up all night. Years ago I got the idea to drink a glass of wine when I had a sore throat just so I could sleep. It worked. The wine knocked me out and I woke up in the morning without the sore throat. It was amazing.

The other night I laid down with a sore throat. I haven’t been sleeping well at night anyway since the surgery, but the sore throat made it impossible. I was up nearly all night and I was worthless the next day. So the next evening I had a glass of wine and got the best sleep I have had in ages. The next day I was discussing this with my sister while Baby E was in the room.

Fast forward to this evening when my sister and I were discussing how sore we are when we wake up from sleeping in odd positions. Baby E pipes up with excitement, “Do you know what would help with that?!?! ALCOHOL!!”

Apparently he now believes that alcohol is the solution for all that ails mortal man. Stubbed toe? Alcohol. Sore muscles? Alcohol. An annoying cough? Alcohol.

Lest we should sound like a family of alcoholics, please ignore any medical advice that Baby E feels necessary to give, rest assured it was not sanctioned by either Tim or myself!