Lyme · Uncategorized

: “It Will Still Be The Best” :

“Smooth let it be, or rough-

it will still be the best.

Winding or straight it leads

right onward to Thy rest.”

When I picture my family, months ago, standing before this path of Lyme disease… it looks like an ugly and dangerous turn, full of scary shadows and darkness and dead foliage.

I imagine myself calling out, “Why are we going down this way; what are you doing Lord?” Desperately wanting to turn back, like “Surely there has to be another path towards holiness and joy!” But God kept calling us down this dark path,telling us we can trust Him. Reminding us of the promises in His Word.

And it took a little while, but

before too long, as we walked along that scary path,

the loveliest colors and sweetest flowers began to unfold at our feet,

as His promises were proving true.

Slowly we began to relax, feeling silly for ever doubting our Faithful Father.

My family is closer than we ever have been. There has been so much redemption in our marriage, and in a difficult relationship with our daughter. We are seeing growth we never thought possible. I am crying my eyes out almost every Sunday during worship because the Gospel is more real to me than ever! We wouldn’t trade this beauty for the world.

And all I can attribute it to is the faithfulness of God.

His mercy, His love, His kindness.

I have been feeling a lot better lately. We found a new treatment and have been having such great results. “Rejoicing, and ready to get on with life” is the best way to describe my heart these days.

So I was all excited this week when I went to my chiropractor appointment, “I’m feeling better, is it safe to start trying for a baby?” I was crushed when he said I should wait a couple more months till the Lyme is consistently not showing up.

Of course, my husband and I are perfectly at liberty to follow our doctor’s advice, or not. The chiropractor said so himself.

But of course, I was hoping for a sure and definite “Yes, absolutely! You can go ahead and get on with your life-plans now.”

That familiar temptation to bitterness crept back in. And that familiar “Lord, where are You taking me?!”  feeling returned.

When I talked to my husband about it later, I was hoping for some sympathy. Instead he graciously and firmly told me God is trying to remind me that my satisfaction can only be found in Him. I didn’t like that comment in the moment. But, Oh! He was so right.

We had it planned for a couple years: in Fall 2017 I would be pregnant. “A little before, or a little after Sadie turns 3”, that was our plan. And I must admit, this is the one area of our life effected by Lyme that just seems like too much for me!

I thought Lyme was going to stop getting in the way of things,

but here it was again staring me square in the eye.

This feels so personal and vulnerable, but I just want to share how God is meeting me. Here right in the middle of Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.”

I opened my devotional the next morning, feeling bitterness and knowing I needed God’s Word. And the Lord lifted my face toward Him with a simple line from Psalm 103. A verse I’ve heard hundreds of times, but it’s like I was reading it for the first time.

Vs11″ For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him.”

As far as the heavens are above the earth? I had seen this verse on coffee mugs and canvas Sunday-school-teacher bags, but never really stopped to ponder it. The devotional I was reading compared it to the children’s storybook line “I love you to the moon and back.”

Tears of joy filled my eyes, and peace flooded my heart. God didn’t hit me with a verse that morning about my sin and pride, He gave me a verse about His love for me. That’s all I needed! “Bitterness dissolves when I remember the love with which He has for me.”, said Elisabeth Elliot.

And for these last few days, the simple act of looking up at the sky has just been such a treat. As I drive my girls around; as we play outside in the cold for a few minutes, as I peek out the window while I wash dishes, or run out to get the mail—

I feel like He is inviting me to look up at the sky, ponder it’s vastness, and remember that “so great” is His steadfast love toward me. And since that is true, anything He brings my way -all the paths that take turns I dare not choose- will be made sweet and beautiful by that love.

Verse 12 makes it all the more meaningful,

“as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions…”

because there again is the Gospel- where the fullness of His steadfast love was put on display, in all it’s power and wonder. He took my place. He has removed My transgressions. Hallelujah.

Another interesting way God has reached out to me this past week: on Revive Our Hearts Radio. A lady named Sarah Walton is telling her story of God’s faithfulness in trial. Her trial? Lyme disease! And she has passed it on to her children. She wrote a book, and I am going to have to read it. In the meantime, I commented on her blog and asked her what’s she thought about pregnancy and Lyme.

Her reply was prompt, and kind and sweet. And she didn’t tell me, one way or the other, what I *should* do. Instead, she simply told me to seek God. And that’s exactly what I needed to hear.

“Thank you so much for taking the time to write! Yes, it would certainly be an easier conversation to have over coffee! : ) But since that isn’t possible, I first want to say that I want to be careful not to push you one way or another. That isn’t my place and I don’t know if anyone has a clear answer as to what is right or not. But what I will say that I have learned over the years in this area is…we should seek to make decisions with wisdom rather than out of fear. It’s obviously good that we listen to the advise of doctors and I think it’s good to consider different viewpoints. In the end, however, I’m thankful for the children that God has given us…Lyme Disease, struggles, disappointments, and all. In our case, we were ignorant to the fact that I had Lyme and could pass it on, but my husband and I have both said multiple times that we are thankful that we didn’t know in some ways, because we never would have changed the path God has brought us on (well…most of the time. ; )) Do I wish my kids didn’t suffer with this disease? Of course. But has God used it in their lives and our lives? Yes – in a million ways. So I don’t believe that there is a clear right or wrong answer in this area. But God is not a God of confusion and is faithful to lead us as we seek His guidance. In the end, whatever happens, He still reigns. So, although this isn’t really an answer because it’s not an answer for me to give, I hope our own journey will encourage you. I will pray for you and your family right now…for wisdom, unity, and God’s glory to be shown through whatever the future holds for you and your children. Blessings to you, Sarah ”

All that to say, we still don’t quite know what we’re going to do!

Just that we will be seeking the Lord.

And that He will lead us.

And there is so much grace now, to enjoy the two girls God has given us; they are such gifts! There is grace to look up at the sky and enjoy fellowship with my faithful Father.

There is “the peace that passes understanding” despite disappointments,

and changes of plans, and hard decisions.

This old hymn, made new by  Sovereign Grace Music has been a comfort this week.

Thy way, not mine, O Lord,
However dark it be;
Lead me by Thine own hand,
Choose out the Path for me.

Smooth let it be, or rough,
It will be still the best;
Winding or straight it leads
Right onward to Thy rest.

I dare not choose my lot;
I would not if I might:
Choose Thou for me, my God,
So shall I walk aright.

Take Thou my cup, and it
With joy or sorrow fill,
As best to Thee may seem;
Choose Thou my good and ill.

Because God loves us “to the moon and back” ,

because He has removed our transgressions!,

We can certainly trust Him to fill our life’s cup with joy or sorrow; to choose our good and ill. Because He is sovereign and good and faithful, “It will still be the best.”

Thanks for reading my story, friends. Tell me your story!

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Lyme

Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him.

In my seven months of dealing with Lyme, I have really been committed to not Google-searching my symptoms. Everyone knows, Google leads only to despair! Friends email me links, which often are good links. But I don’t go looking for information myself. (I might research natural remedies or anti-inflammatory topics and such, but not the ins-and-outs of Lyme itself.)

This past week, thankfully, was a week with less exhaustion and migraines and brain-fog. But, a new symptom has started that basically feels like arthritis in my hands. Once in a while these past few months, a couple of the knuckles on my right hand might hurt a bit…ya know *joint pain*, I’d call it.

But this week it’s spread to all my fingers. First my right hand, then my left. And I know they are just fingers! But it’s been hard to not get discouraged at the reality of a new symptom being added to our life.

I gave in, and I *googled* “Lyme Disease and Arthritis”. And, as always, was not encouraged by what Google had to tell me.

“Lyme disease is an infection caused by bacterium carried by deer ticks. If caught early, it is easily treated with antibiotics. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the joints, heart, and nervous system, causing a complex debilitating disorder that is more difficult to treat.”

Oy. The words glowing on the screen: “If caught early, it is easily treated with antibiotics.”

“If left untreated, the infection can spread…

…complex debilitating disorder…” Yikes!

I put my husband’s phone back on the counter. It hit me again: If my Lyme was caught early, the antibiotics could have done their job. And if I hadn’t gone so long (however long it was) “untreated”, it wouldn’t have become so “difficult to treat.”

And again, (like every other day, or every other hour!,)

it felt like the Lord was quietly asking my heart: “Will you still trust me?”

You see, I believe strongly in the sovereignty and goodness of God, in all things. The entire Bible is a story of this! And the sovereignty and goodness of God in all things would have to include these new symptoms I’m experiencing (even now as I type). And it would have to include the fact that we did not catch my Lyme in that early stage where it’s easiest to treat.

Like Peter walking on the water, first in faith, but then he falls as he looks at the waves beneath his feet…I’m tempted to look down at the waves below me. To take my eyes off Christ. I look at my circumstances, and I start to despair. “Maybe He’s not so good and faithful, ready and waiting to help me.”, wonders my wandering heart.

I said to my husband before bed that night of the Google-search, half-kidding, half-serious: “Babe, I don’t want to lose the use of my hands!” (Google has a way of planting crazy ideas in my head.) He told me to just go to sleep, but first he prayed for me.

I have recently begun making art again after a six year hiatus, and thoughts flooded my mind. How could God allow that back in my life only to take it away again, by giving me crippled hands?? Of course, I was being a little dramatic. Letting my fears run free. My hands still work just fine. But, again, the Lord was prompting my heart: Will I still trust Him?

Kind of like how it’s impossible to assuage my five year old’s endless anxious pleadings before bedtime, the Lord can’t really give me much relief when I allow the thoughts to spin round and round in my head.

He just asks me to trust Him. And that’s all I can do.

The story of Jesus and his disciples in John chapter 6 has been a comfort to me in the past month. Jesus had said some pretty heavy things to a crowd of his followers, and many decided that they just couldn’t follow Him anymore. It was too much for them. They didn’t see the beauty and joy, they only saw the cost and the pain. They didn’t see their need.

John 6:67-69, “So Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you want to go away as well?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,  and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.’ “

I hope I am not taking too much liberty here, but sometimes I imagine Jesus is asking me that question. When I’m faced with another hard-to-follow-Jesus moment, this loving question is like a refreshing splash of cold water to my face.

He asks, “Do you want to go away as well?”

Immediately I know my answer: Of course I don’t want to go away! Where else could I go?? Of course I want to be with Him, here, in my suffering, where He promises to be. I have believed and come to know that Jesus is the Holy One of God. He has the words of eternal life. And He is here with me. There’s no place I’d rather be.

And suddenly instead of despair, He fills my heart with praises.

Like Psalm 43:

“Send out your light and your truth;  let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God ,my exceeding joy..

Why are you cast down, O my soul,

and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,

my salvation and my God.”

& I’ll have to end this post with a Sara Groves song. It’s been a comfort to me through many years of walking with the Lord, in joy and pain, and is pretty much guaranteed to make me cry whenever and wherever I hear it: He’s Always Been Faithful.

Because He has. And I did nothing to deserve it!

Morning by morning I wake up to find
The power and comfort of God’s hand in mine
Season by season I watch Him, amazed
In awe of the mystery of His perfect ways
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful to me

I can’t remember a trial or a pain
He did not recycle to bring me gain
I can’t remember one single regret
In serving God only, and trusting His hand
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful to me

This is my anthem, this is my song
The theme of the stories I’ve heard for so long
God has been faithful, He will be again
His loving compassion, it knows no end
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful, He’s always been faithful
He’s always been faithful to me

 

 

Photo credit: My husband took this picture of our church, from the woods while he was hunting last week. So thankful for my church family, where God has shown me His faithfulness again and again.

Lyme · Uncategorized

🍂”You can see something else.”🍂 A Late-September’s Ramble.

Once a month, I’ll post a rambly post from my rambly heart ,without taking time to edit and overthink. (Believe it or not I really do hack away for a day or two at all my posts before I share them, so they’re slightly more cohesive.) Here I go:

Last month, when I wrote, it was early August. Definitely the prime of Summertime, but in the the air it was feeling like Fall. I do believe I was drinking a chai that day. ☕️

And I wrote about how I was looking expectantly to the season ahead, with cooler weather and shorter days, and more chai teas. I wrote about how it seemed then that my Lyme symptoms were fading too, just like those Summer days…

Today, it’s late September, early Fall, and ironically it’s been feeling like Summer again. It’s like these two months should trade places. The leaves on the maple tree outside my bedroom window are half gone, as I look at them now…

But I’ve traded in that spiced chai for iced coffee. And the shorts and summer clothes I had packed away are out again; it’s been so hot.

And kind of like those shorts, that I thought I was done with, that I didn’t want to think about for a long, long time, and so I pushed them back in the closet where I couldn’t see them;

just like the season of Summer I thought was over, but isn’t,

that I’d hoped I was trading in for a new, fresher, fuller one, but I’m not…

my Lyme symptoms are back with a vengeance.

As I wrote last month, & I quote:

I’m looking forward to Fall because I feel like this Summer has been all about recovering from Lyme disease. And I don’t know for sure, but the worst seems to be behind us now, and the Fall and Winter ahead just seem like an invitation to get on with life.

Or,

it might get worse again,

and that’s okay too.”

Of course, I meant it at the time. The first part :and: the second part. And I still do.

But, of course, I hoped this new season would be “an invitation to get on with life”, and not an invitation back to the couch.

I was out in the heat with the girls yesterday, ripping out the half-dead zinnias from our front yard. There were big puffs of dusty-dirt as I yanked up their roots, and my youngest one laughed at me and she tried to help.

As my daughters ran around in the grass and got all sweaty in September, and the dirt from my shovel poured over my sandals-in-September-feet,

it was hitting me how “so-not-what-I-wanted” life had been the past week. Yesterday was a pretty “good day” as friends who know Lyme will understand. But the weekend was rough. I was in bed all day Saturday and half of Sunday.

Sara Groves wrote a song called Like A Lake. And It describes how I’ve been feeling lately.

“Everything in me is drawing in, curling in around this ache. :I am fighting to stay open:, like the surface of a like; wide open like a lake.”

That is me each day lately, fighting for faith in God’s goodness and plan. Fighting against “curling in around this ache” with thoughts of doubt, and temptation to withdraw in bitterness from friends and family and church…

This morning as Bron lead our family in Bible reading, he asked the girls what we can pray for this week. Emmy immediately said “to help Mommy’s ‘Lymes’ be all gone.” And Bron added, with a gracious/teasing side-eye: “and that Mommy will trust God in a hard season.”

I’m thankful for a husband (and daughter) who pray for me.

We chose antibiotics in hopes that the Lyme bacteria in my body would be dealt with quicker that way. All the stories we heard of the natural route for treating Lyme seemed to indicate that it takes forever to recover that way.

We didn’t feel like we had forever! We didn’t want to have to deal with this long term. I hoped I could be one of those people who can say “I had Lyme.” But instead it seems more likely that I may be among the many who have Lyme Disease. (Or, Post-Lyme, or Chronic Lyme, whatever you want to call it.)

So, I’m following my family doctor’s advice to be done with antibiotics after a three month round of trying to kill the bacteria this Summer. He said if three months didn’t kill it, more time won’t either. And I appreciate his honestly! I need to find another treatment.

IMG_4975

So, now I’m doing a 30 day regimen of essential oils, and searching for a doable anti-fungal/anti-inflammatory diet to help alongside that. I must admit, I’m not quite as hopeful as I begin this new treatment !

Before, when I’d pop my antibiotic each morning and evening I would pray “Please Lord, kill this bacteria so we can get on with life!” But God did not answer my prayer in the way that I hoped.

Now as I layer essential oils on the bottoms of my feet and wrists and I take my supplements, I’m praying prayers that He’ll just get me through the day– give wisdom for when to work and when to rest; how much to push myself on my good days and how much to rest on my bad days.

Praying that He’ll keep me “open , like a lake”, not “curled around the ache” that He didn’t answer my prayers as I would have thought best. That He’ll use this for His glory, and keep me close to Him as I learn to trust Him more.

Another Sara Groves song I love describes my prayers lately too:

“From this one place I can’t see very far;

in this one moment, I’m square in the dark.

these are the things I will trust in my heart:

You can see something else.”

God can see something else, because He’s the one in control of it all. And whatever becomes of my health, He’s sovereign and good over it all. He’s been faithful and kind though it all. I can continue to trust Him, even as it looks like I’m stepping into the territory of “Chronic Lyme” I was praying against.

Have you heard of the prosperity gospel ? Well first of all, it is heresy, but second of all it is :nothing: compared to the true gospel. The prosperity gospel tells me that God loves me and wants me to be happy and if I have enough faith, God will give me health, wealth and prosperity on this earth.

But the true gospel tells me that  “because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, God made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ.” 

 

I don’t need health, wealth, and prosperity. I was dead in my trespasses, and God made me alive! That is what I needed, and I have it!

I need the immeasurable riches of His grace. I need His Kindness. I need His great love. And I have it in Christ. And so can you.

He brings meaning and beauty to my suffering, because of the meaning and beauty shown on the cross. And as I behold the cross, He is changing me.

So, these are things I tell myself as I lay in bed with a migraine and joint pain, when there’s so much to be done. And it applies to you too wherever you are struggling; wherever He has you. He wants to help you too.

Because of the cross, we can sing the faith-filled song with Sara Groves “from this one place I can’t see very far; [But] You can see something else.” And we can agree with Charles Spurgeon, like I shared last month, when things seemed brighter. It is true even moreso in suffering:

‘Send me what thou wilt, my God, so long as it comes from thee;

never came there an ill portion from thy table to any of thy children.”

Uncategorized

August Ramblings: The Wisest and Kindest Thing.

Once a month, I’ll post a rambly post from my rambly heart ,without taking time to edit and overthink. (Believe it or not I really do hack away for a day or two at all my posts before I share them, so they’re slightly more cohesive.) Here I go:

Today is the first Saturday in August, and it was so lovely out! A very first-day-of-the-new-school-year kinda feel in the air. I have always loved the changing of seasons. And I have always been one to get prematurely excited about little things.

Bron was at Home Depot when I woke this morning – common occurrence 🙂 – and there was a text on my phone saying that I can go out as soon as he gets home; that it was the perfect day to get out.

Emmy asked why I had “to go alone to a coffee shop”, and I told her it helps me be a better Mommy when I can get some time alone. I put on an outfit and a little makeup. And when he got home, Bron smiled at me and said I looked nice, which wives love to hear. ❤️

So I drove away, entrusting the crumbs and the morning and the children to the able hands of my husband, and I landed at the coffee shop across the street from my favorite thrift store. I read some Psalms and some Charles Spurgeon , and sipped some iced chai, which fit the pre-Autumnal spirit I was in; soaking up the alone time amidst the hustle and bustle of a busy Saturday morning.

As I was sitting there with my ☕️ chai and my pile of books squished onto that table-for-one, I couldn’t help but smile to myself as I read the vintage encouragement from Charles Spurgeon, reflecting on Romans 8:

“He looks over the raging waters and sees the spirit of Jesus treading the billows, and he hears a voice saying, “It is I, be not afraid.” He knows too that God is always wise, and, knowing this, he is confident that there can be no accidents, no mistakes; that nothing can occur which ought not to arise.

He can say: ‘If I should lose all I have, it is better that I should lose than have, if God so wills: the worst calamity is the wisest and the kindest thing that could befall to me if God ordains it.’ 

Romans8:28 “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” The Christian does not merely hold this as a theory, but he knows it as a matter of fact. Everything has worked for good as yet; the poisonous drugs mixed in fit proportions have worked the cure; the sharp cuts of the lancet have cleansed out the proud flesh and facilitated the healing.

Every event as yet has worked out the most divinely blessed results; and so, believing that God rules all, that he governs wisely, that he brings good out of evil, the believer’s heart is assured, and he is enabled calmly to meet each trial as it comes. The believer can in the spirit of true resignation pray, Send me what thou wilt, my God, so long as it comes from thee; never came there an ill portion from thy table to any of thy children.” 

This time last year, this August 5th reading in Morning & Evening, –if I had actually read it!–, would not have brought a smile to my face. This time last year was so rough, guys! We had a stressful move that we regretted, and on top of that a trial like never before that effected one of our children, and she was so hard to love!

It felt like God had given us a huge meal to eat that looked good at first, but then as we began to eat -it was disgusting and rotten, but we just had to keep eating…

My faith was rocked, and my heart was hard and my attitude was sour. I avoided friends and watched a lot of silly shows on Netflix, and regularly tried to imagine up a way I could escape the chaos. :I: was so hard to love, which made me feel even more alone. My entire household just seemed like a huge mess of sin and weakness and unlovableness!

When I was a kid, hearing the story of Jesus calming the storm in Sunday school, I always imagined him super angry at his disciples: “WHY ARE YOU SO AFRAID?!” And I could relate to the annoyed disciples, freaking out at Him for sleeping while their world was rocked. I never really understood His grace and mercy and love for us shown in the gospel. I never understood the significance of Him allowing something terrifying :so that they could see how He would deliver them and comfort them: . And this time last year, I couldn’t either.

And especially this kind of mercy Spurgeon is talking about: that “the worst calamity” could be “the wisest and the kindest thing that could befall to me if God ordains it.”?? That was a forgeign concept to me, as a child for sure , and this time last year, I just couldn’t see it.

But guys, now I can! And I have to share.

After that crazy summer, something had to change- and we decided to try school for my daughter. Sounds simple and insignificant. But I had always imagined I would homeschool. And as we sent her off to school, a burden lifted as I realized quickly what a good fit it was for our family. She was thriving, and I kind of was too.

A big part of this was that my husband was leading with that decision, and I suddenly realized how for years I had a huge vision for our family that my husband really wasn’t on board with! And I didn’t want to live that way anymore. I was enjoying the fruit of his decision to put her in school. And my heart was more :for: my husband than it had been before.

Speaking of having a vision for our family that a spouse didn’t share, my husband had a similar realization of his own, as God made it obvious that our lifestyle of buying fixer uppers to live in and eventually sell was not working for our family. And within just a couple months, my husband sold THREE *so-so* houses, and bought us *ONE* beautiful spacious home that I still can’t believe we are living in.

Through it all, God was slowly working on our hearts, graciously showing us our sin and drawing us to Himself. Making His Word come alive to us; His Gospel more real than ever: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8 & 9.

Last summer, “the worst calamity” was 🌷the wisest and the kindest thing🌷 that could befall to us, because God ordained it. Though initially, I hated Him for it, He has only used it for good.

And just about the time we were settled into our new home, my joint pain and migraines began, and I learned I had Lyme disease.

It was just such a picture of God’s kindness to have this beautiful home to rest in, that ran so much better than our old houses. And more important than a more efficient home, our family dynamics were so much more sweet and healthy, born out of that first trial. Now another trial had come into our life, but this time our world wasn’t rocked. His wisdom in bringing us to this new home was just ridiculously obvious.

As I write this, I know there are friends who have harder trials than this, and haven’t been given a beautiful home to recover from it all in. But I just want to encourage you to wait and see how God will deliver you and show you His kindness and comfort.

Also I know there are friends who aren’t Christians who may be reading this who think it sounds silly. And I know it sounds crazy, but I couldn’t make this up. The reason God could work all things for good in my life is because *He worked all things for good* when He shed his blood for me on the cross.

& after my coffee shop date with Charles Spurgeon and chai , I went to my favorite thrift store across the street. I found a bunch of sweet little outfits for the girls in sweet anticipation for fall; my heart happy as Bron texted me a picture of the girls playing in the big cardboard box from the freezer he was setting up in the garage.

The girls playing nicely together outside while Bron worked and sent me light hearted texts, as I enjoyed some time out of the house- Bron being the one who sent me off!, it was such a sweet picture of God’s redemption and faithfulness in our life. What a difference a year makes!

Emmy was so excited to see what I brought home for her, and we talked about going back to school in a couple weeks. And she’s so excited! I am too. Not because it means she’ll be out of my hair, but because she really does so well at school, and I love seeing her become her own little person. (I also love that the burden of trying to be an organized homeschool mom is off my shoulders, cause God hasn’t called me to that!)

I’m also looking forward to Fall because I feel like this Summer has been all about recovering from Lyme disease. And I don’t know for sure,  but the worst seems to be behind us now, and the Fall and Winter ahead just seem like an invitation to get on with life.

Or,

it might get worse again,

and that’s okay too.

I’ll continue to look to Him for all my needs and I’ll continue to agree with Charles Spurgeon’s prayer :

‘Send me what thou wilt, my God, so long as it comes from thee;

never came there an ill portion from thy table to any of thy children.”

 

 

Uncategorized

When my daughter cheered me on.

This article: [ http://herviewfromhome.com/when-motherhood-is-absolutely-defeating/ ] popped up on my facebook feed yesterday morning and it so resonated with me!

I’ve been feeling this way so very much, specifically toward one of my children. It could be such an ugly shameful thought for a Mother. But if we bring it to the light, the brokenness becomes a beautiful thing as it reminds us we can’t do anything apart from Grace.

And often for me, I’ve been surprised to learn that half the ladies in the room can relate to those ugly thoughts!, and to realize that actually they are not so much ugly thoughts as they are *super common thoughts* for Moms. Especially Moms of the really little ones! And more than that, an opportunity to know in a fresh way how much we need the Gospel.

So, that’s been a continual lesson in Motherhood for me, and even more so with having Lyme disease. It’s like everything that was ever hard for me as a Mom before has been made even harder with Lyme–

my relationship with my oldest child is among those things.

But I want to share a story about how God brought sweetness there yesterday, because I want to write it all down before I forget.

So, yesterday was the 4th of July. I woke up rather grumpy, as I’ve been feeling sick again lately, and I’m one week into my second month’s round of antibiotics, which I hoped and prayed I wouldn’t need.

This summer, my children are living a lifestyle of having a Mommy who can’t always get to their needs right away. There are alot of tantrums and alot of not so pretty moments– both from them, and from me! There’s alot of screen time and alot of piles of unfolded laundry. The sun is shining and it’s beautiful out, and we’re inside more often than not. It’s been especially hard recently for my almost 5 year old.

I listed all my worries and (faithless) concerns to my husband yesterday morning. I went on about how all my friends keep telling me God will use this time in the girl’s life for good, but! it’s hard to see how 3 movies a day and an often tired, often joyless Mama can bear any good fruit!

We’ve been getting into the habit of eating all our meals at our kitchen counter, which is quick and easy, instead of the table- which is never how I wanted our family to live. I want us to be a family who eats meals together around a table and enjoys eachother’s company! But there’s not been much enjoying of eachother’s company these days. And Emmylou, how I so want to have a strong relationship with her, but I feel so ill-equipped for her and her passionate personality most days!

Bron listened ,and then he let me sleep in a little more while he made breakfast for the girls.

He woke me up a little later and said breakfast was ready ::in the dining room::. I wanted to be cranky…but, I couldn’t when I saw his sweet effort to bless his cranky wife.

So, I joined him and the girls around the table. He prayed and the girls fought over who got to pray first prayed. We ate our food, and then Bron asked “So, are you gonna go to Crossfit?” There was a special 9am workout for the holiday, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go. I thought it was obvious that I shouldn’t! I wasn’t feeling good, physically or mentally! But often Crossfit helps me with both of those things, he reminded me.

Also, it would be nice to get out of the house… so, I had 10 minutes to decide, and… I got ready to go! Both girls yammered on about how they want to come too, and somehow got the idea that they were coming with me.

As I headed toward the garage, I heard the familiar dramatic cry of my 4yo, who thought she would get to come! For some reason, I had compassion on her, instead of being annoyed by the whining. And even though one of the main reasons I was going was to get some alone time(!) , I agreed she could come. Bron said he’d distract Sadie. 🙂

Emmy wiped her tears, and ran upstairs. She quickly emerged triumphant in her way-too-big green soccer shorts, and her Hello Kitty sneakers. She asked me to put her hair up in a bun like mine. I immediately saw Grace in the fact that even though I’ve been so hard on her lately, she still wanted to be just like her Mommy. How could I resist?

When we got there, the gym was super full since it was the only workout of the day. I wasn’t sure it was a good idea that I brought her! The music was loud of course, which she doesn’t prefer, and she wouldn’t be able to hear the iPad I had brought just in case. But Emmy didn’t seem to mind. I got her comfortable with her notebook and pen, and told her she could watch me from the couch.

The workout began and I glanced over at her every few seconds, but she was pretty into her drawing everytime I looked. I figured with the loud music and all the commotion, she would just be in her own little world the whole time, and would probably never want to come again. But at least she finally could see what it was like there.

When I got to the last part of the first round,Thrusters [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aea5BGj9a8Y ], my bar was a few yards away from her, facing her direction. I squatted down with the weight, kind of having second thoughts as to whether it was wise I was working out so hard when I haven’t been feeling well! As I stood up and pressed the weight overhead, [picture an epic and strong (but not so epic/strong) lady holding big weighted bar over her head] I saw the sweetest thing. In the midst of the loud, cramped gym, full of all these people who are stronger and faster than me, I saw Emmylou.

She jumped down from the little couch & her pen and paper,

and stood up to give me TWO BIG THUMBS UP!

-with the biggest smile on her face- ,

looking me right in the eye as I pressed the weight up.

She had her eyes right on me, and she was cheering me on. She was so proud of me!! She didn’t care who saw her doing it! I am fighting tears as I type, because it was just such an encouragement to me in this current season. I never want to forget those two little thumbs up!

Emmy was so proud of me, even though I’d truly been feeling like I’m failing her so much as a Mom. She wasn’t harboring any bitterness about me in the last few days, she probably doesn’t even remember! She certainly doesn’t understand how much I wish I was doing a better job! She’s just a little 4 year old girl,

and she was jumping up and down with her little thumbs up,

and her messy bun,

and favorite big soccer shorts,

proud of me, and happy to call me her Mommy.

I gotta say I felt fresh strength to keep pressing that weight overheard as she watched me, with such sweet, pure little-girl joy and excitement. 🙂

I was so close to not even taking her! And I would have missed that sweet moment that was such a picture of God’s grace to me and to my family in this season; His care for me and His care for my children.

Her cheering me on was a gift to me. A timely reminder that we’re okay, our relationship is not destroyed by a few hard days in a row. God’s grace is there. Love covers a multitude of sins.

But I also was reminded that being strong for her, in my weakness, that’s a gift to her too. And by God’s grace I can keep giving her that gift each day, pushing through the pain of this current season, and showing her what it is to trust God in trials.

I can’t help but wonder if what made my little girl so proud of me at that moment was that fact that she’s seen me on the couch all week. She could sense the significance of me being able to do something difficult even though I’m sick.

If she is almost 5, and able to rejoice with me, and cheer me on now,

I can have hope that when she’s 10 and 15 and 20,

she’ll rejoice with me too. As life goes on, and brings more trials and joys, she’ll see my weakness more and more. And may she see God’s goodness more and more.

And before too long, I’ll have the privilege to cheer her on and rejoice with her as God uses her weaknesses and trials for her good and His glory.

She followed me for the rest of the workout , weaving through all the strong & sweaty people, snapping her fingers (she’s very proud of herself that she knows how to snap her fingers) to the loud music, and doing a couple push-ups of her own every now and then.

I got home, and showered, and we got ready for more 4th of July festivities, and there was sweetness between me and my daughter where there is usually strain.

God used that time I took Emmy to Crossfit to make our relationship stronger, and I hope I never forget!

 

Ladies out there, if you are feeling weak as a Mom, be encouraged. Remember that God uses our weakness for His glory. I’m sure your children are more proud of you than you can imagine! Just in a similar way that God is more pleased with us than we can imagine, dare I say. He uses our children’s unconditional love, despite how we fail them again and again, to remind us of His. And He’s cheering us on.

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