Do you have life figured out? I don't.

It's crazy how complex and simple, hard and easy, weird and normal it is. So full of sin and redemption. Full of joy and pain.

Right now I'm exhausted and rambling. rambling. rambling. Maybe it's because it's after midnight. Maybe it's the dark chocolate reeses cup kicking in. Maybe it's because I have spent the past few hours philosophizing with my husband. And maybe it's the perfect time to write.

There are no inhibitions.... no bars held. Wait is that even the right expression? I don't know. That's the dangerous thing my Mom used to tell me... She'd say midnight is like having two alcoholic beverages and every hour after was like having an additional drink. She's right. She is talking about how you lose your guard and because you're tired you share more than you should. That's not good. I don't want to share more than I should... but I do want to share honestly.

So here goes. Honestly....

Life is pretty hard. I recognize that i have it good. I recognize I'm blessed. I recognize God's faithfulness. But it's still hard. It's hard getting up and facing the day and changing the diapers and making the meals and getting the kids up and dressed or dealing with the guilt of I let my husband get them up and dressed and to the bus stop without my participation. It's hard changing diapers over and over and over again. And emptying the trash. And wiping boogey noses. It's hard seeing Samuel throw up or see him grimace in pain or clutch his stomach and tell me how bad it hurts or see him do his dance of pain. Where he sways back and forth and then arches his back and tells me his bottom hurts. It's hard when he tells me it's itchy on the inside and there's nothing I can do. It's the tumor dying... and it's uncomfortable and hard.

It's hard getting the stares... having to explain my life or not being allowed to explain my life. It's hard when I don't get my way... and when I do get my way. It's hard watching others suffer. It's hard seeing the kids throw a tantrum or scream in frustration because they can't communicate through speech. It's hard to change the wet sheets on a child's bed... again. It's hard to fill and refill and refill again sippy cups. To be the last to eat breakfast or the first to start on dishes... of the never ending laundry pile. Of dishes that get chipped. Of possessions that break, rot, leak, ruin, shattered... Of a.c. to be repaired and washer and dryer to be fixed. Of promises of help that didn't come through. Of unexpected help that wasn't asked for. Of the blessings and joys and laughter and tears that somehow come all mixed up and let out in various times and various ways. Of the cavities that need to be filled. Of the discipline of exercise and eating well and preparing nutritious meals. The question of what supplements... what alternative medicine do we follow for Samuel. Of juicing carrots. Of hoping for a cure... to hear it's been five years... no cancer...

Driving. Driving. Driving. To chemo and labs and bandages changed. Of hooking up feeds to two children nightly. Filling the food bags and priming the pumps and setting the rate and dose. Were medications distributed? Whose allergies are flaring? Whose asthma is acting up? An EEG appointment coming up this week. A reminder to reschedule opthamology. 6 month well check-up on Tuesday. Field trip for Libby on Thursday. Scholastic book order due. School pictures purchased. Appointments made and kept. Trim their nails... how do they grow so fast. Making games while in the waiting room. Distracting in the midst of suffering. Practicing sight words and numbers and birthday dates. IEP meetings. Broken vehicles. Is that my container of bread dipping seasonings all over the floor? Is that sprinkles crushed into the carpet? Cracker goldfish found in the fish tank. Shredded toilet paper. Blinds broken by little hands anxious to see through the slats out the window.

Lollipops at 8 a.m. Flipflops that must be found because tennis shoes just won't do. School project. Purchase poster board. Purchase Graduation gifts... who is graduating again? I know I forgot a birthday somewhere... Drink water and breathe. The tension in my neck and back is intense. The days mingle and linger and I want to savor them like the last bits of frosting on my fingers on a chocolate cake. I want to engage the now. Be present. Aware of the miracles of life around me. Of survival. Of fighting spirit. Of hope found in a six year old who would give of herself so that her brother wouldn't have to suffer. Of Ian being anxious to come home so he can "see Michael... my brother."

Of expressions mixed up, mispoken, and jumbled coming off the tongues of my children and at times out of my own mouth whether it be exhaustion speaking or just confusion of an overworked mind.

I yearn to be like Paul... to know how to be content in all things... whether with plenty or with nothing... with sickness or health... with gain or lack. With winning or losing.

Mike blessed me by reminding me... there are always those who have it better and always those who have it worse. He reminded me of a beautiful woman we saw a few weeks back. Not beautiful by the worlds standards but beautiful in my eyes and God's. She was severely burned and she had no hands... and she was laughing and her eyes were full of light. I have a whole body. With no burns. I have all my limbs and faculties. I have so much. I am cradled by grace by a Father who knows best. Who holds me in the midst of my self-pity. Who wrestles me in the midst of my despair. Of my false humility. of my self-hatred. Who loves me and knows me and loves me in spite of knowing me. Who created me and has plans for me that are beyond what I can know and imagine. Who created the earth and the fullness of time. Who knows the hairs on my head and every star in the sky. Who isn't afraid of my anger, sadness, worry, or lack of faith and at times disbelief. He is so good. He is beyond my understanding.

And He who faced Job and spoke truth to Him also speaks to me. He speaks to me through His Word. Through the illumination of the Holy Spirit I can know Jesus. I rest in this. I place all my imperfections, failures, and worries before Him and I ask Him to fill me. To empty me of my pride, selfish, self-centered, worried, hurting soul and to fill me up with His love. His joy. His strength.

To serve my children knowing that I do this unto Him. Of sharing the Gospel... this beautiful, sweet, rich good news of redemption... He has saved me from myself. He has made me a new creation. And there is much renewing and redeeming that is still happening even now.

Even as I type on my husbands laptop. Mike lays sweetly beside me at rest. Peter is sleeping also.His hands above his head with no worries or concerns pressing on Him. My tired eyes droop. The bags around my eyes are dark circles. My earplugs are in. I'm nodding off.

This rambling. Rambling. Nonsense that is sense to me. This life that is so hard... and so important. It's worth living because He wants me to live it. And this pain in this world... if I could just comfort... comfort one weary soul... He cares. He sees. He knows. He accepts. He loves. He adores.He enjoys. YOU!!!! Rest in that today. Whether your head be about to hit the pillow... whether enjoying your morning cup of coffee... whether downcast in Spirit. He is with you. He is there in your midst. Open your heart. Give Him your burdens. Fall at His feet in awe and in worship. Arise knowing He is your strength for this day and for always. He will guide your paths... and HE never lets go.


Caren said…
Thank you for that Jenn...thank you for your thoughts after midnight! The Lord speaks thru your writing. Thank you for being open to that.
Sarah said…
Thank you! He IS sufficient. Thanks for that reminder.
Kate Van said…
Jennifer, i'm so thankful the Lord gave me time today to read this, I needed these reminders. The past two days have been very hard for me & yet your pleading for me to run to Jesus is what I needed to hear. Love you friend- keep up the posts when you have a semi-free minute!

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