I am so sad for all of those precious families in Connecticut. It is devastating to think about, I can’t even imagine what it’s like for that to be a reality. How do you cope with that? At first I wanted to just ignore it all– not watch the news, not think about it. But I realized that’s not the right way to handle it either. So today I pray for those families, watch stories of the heroes, and the precious kids who lost their lives way, way too young. It’s a reminder to treasure our families. To hug and kiss and love and care for my sweet little Jack. To pray for him and trust that no matter what life brings, God is Sovereign. Always.
In light of that, it seems so trivial to talk about anything else. But I’ve been pensive today and want to type. And please know that I do have perspective with all of this. So while I say we’ve struggled and had a hard season, it is nothing like what those in Connecticut, and so many others with difficult seasons are going through right now and will go through.
I have struggled, especially lately, with what and how I share things here. We’ve been through a rough season the last 7-8 weeks. It’s been challenging as parents, it’s been challenging for our marriage, and challenging as individuals. Last night we put Jack to bed at 7:30 and sat on the couch together. That is the first time that has happened in 7 weeks. Having to focus all of our energy on Jack presented us with a new challenge for how to nurture our marriage during this time. On top of that, how to still have time to spend alone, in study, and even just in the shower has been different. And how to parent — do we reprimand him when he has a tantrum? Is it hitting that toddler phase where he pitches fits, or is it because he’s frustrated that he’s in pain, doesn’t feel good, and can’t hear well? Who knows.
These challenges are really no different than what any parent goes through at different times. We’ll have to adjust to a very new lifestyle when we have our 2nd baby. It’s part of parenthood… it’s part of life. And I get that. Really, I do. I don’t always handle it well or take it in well, but I know it to be true. So what I wonder is what to share here. I want to be real. I want to share about our struggles and the hard times and when everything isn’t rosy and the schedules are off and the little one doesn’t go to bed and kicks me in the neck all night long because he is sleeping in our bed for six.straight.weeks. But on the other hand, I don’t want to be a complainer. Nobody likes to listen to someone complain over and over. And sometimes I feel like a broken record. “Jack is sick. Ears again. Antibiotics don’t work. No he’s not any better. We’re just getting through it.” My hope is that I can strike a balance between being real but not sounding like a big-fat-whiner. I think it’s so important to have people we talk about our struggles with and work through them together. And I also think it’s so important to always be joyful and hopeful, and I hope that I come across that way even when it is a hard season. Even though our child has been sick a lot lately. And even though recovering from surgery hasn’t been as smooth as we’d hoped, and even though he still has a fever– no matter what, through all of it, I have had joy. I’m weary but not down. Because even though things are hard we have so much joy in our lives. We have this beautiful season of HOPE that we are right in the middle of. We have this gorgeous live Christmas tree in our living room. If a live tree in your house doesn’t spark joy, I don’t know what will. And we have family and friends who are supporting us through our challenges. And our son is healthy. He has some health challenges, but he is healthy! He doesn’t have a life-challenging illness, and so while he may be sick he is healthy. And we are SO THANKFUL. And through it all, we’ve had the hope that even if better days don’t come, we will still get through each day.
So while I continue to ponder how I express the truth of what’s going on around here vs. not being a whiner, I just wanted to share some of where my heart is at. It’s been hard, but it’s also been so good. We’ve had some of the sweetest moments with Jack in these times. We’ve had precious cuddles, times of just being still that we don’t usually have, and moments of realizing strength and depth as a family that we didn’t know were there. I will treasure some of the memories we’ve made from these times always. And at times like last night where I’m doing laundry at 3 am because the little one woke up covered in his vomit again and has a fever and is in pain, while it’s no fun at the time, and it makes my heart heavy, I know that it won’t last. Joy always comes in the morning. And this I know.
During this Season that is full of blessings, my heart is heavy for those who are struggling. Those who have lost loved ones recently. Those who are sick with cancer. Those who are waiting on new organs. Those who feel all alone. Those who have no parents. Those who don’t know where food, much less presents will come from. We remember that our struggles are nothing compared to these and long to remember all of these people who feel so heavy and burdened, especially at Christmas time.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for listening to my thoughts and allowing me to share my heart. Now, we will go watch Elf again as Jack requests it and he runs this place.