This has been a rough week, to say the least. We've had very little sleep, we've been at the hospital probably the same amount or more than we've been home, and 3 of our 4 kids have needed to be at the hospital for one reason or another. At this point Rachel wins the healthy award!

This morning I took Ethan in because he woke up swollen and covered {head to toe} in hives. Turns out he's now allergic to Penicillin. Oh the joys.

Its easy to get totally bogged down and feel like a semi truck is pushing its way through our home, but at the same time, it really makes me stop and think about perspective. How bad things could be.
So we've had a rough week. Some people have rough years. Some people know suffering as their normal way of life. This isn't that bad.

We found out we have to move from a home we love and unexpectedly found ourselves looking for a new place to live, in 30 days.
It means we had a great home for 2 years that we enjoyed living in. 
And are overwhelmed by God's provision of a new home. 

Jason's Grandma had health issues that put her in the hospital - which we then took a last minute trip out to see her.
It means we have a car and the means to go see family. 
It means we have family to visit. 
And Grandma is doing well now, which is a huge praise. 

Miles was climbing last week, fell and fractured his skull.
It means we have a healthy, active son, who likes to explore and use his imagination. 

We ended up having to call 911 and have him taken to the ER where he had a CT Scan and we found out his skull is fractured.
We have health insurance and an emergency service to come out and help when we don't know what to do.
We had to call 911 because Miles was suddenly very unwell, but had we not needed to, his fracture would've gone unnoticed and could've been much worse down the line. 
We got quick, amazing care only hours after his fall, as apposed to surgery or something worse. 

We had to stay overnight while Miles was monitored by Neurologist before going home.
it means we have awesome friends who cared for our kids and freed us up to be with our baby. 

We came home to find out Ethan and Kara have strep throat.
It means we're out and about where they pick up germs and again, thankful for health insurance and meds. 

Jason had to work from home the days we were here so I could do Dr. appointments and other scheduled appointments.
It means he has a job. 
It means his job allows him to be flexible. 
It means we have an income... to pay all the hospital bills ;-) 

I could keep going on and on with this list... just stopping so the post isn't too long. 

I'm not afraid to complain and I don't think, as a Christian, I have to always have a smile on my face and a nice message to share.
I know its been a miserable week, trust me. I've had moments where I just stop and cry, because I am so physically, emotionally and mentally tired. I'm realistic about it, no worries :)

I'm just fully aware of what real trials look like.

I pass homeless people in the car
I hear about parents losing their children to cancer
I meet wives who've lost their husbands
we have friends who are unemployed
friends who are carrying a baby they won't get to enjoy life with once she's born
one of our friend's Aunts recently passed away.
countries where people are being persecuted and killed for Worshiping God, who I Worship in freedom every day.

We had a rough week. To be fair, its been a rough month. But nothing we've gone through is unfixable. Nothing we've experienced is a load too much to bear.
I'm sitting here blogging while my oldest daughter and youngest son play the piano and my other daughter dances around the living room.
We're fine.
It was just a rough week.

I have no idea what tomorrow or next week holds. It could be so much better... it could be so much worse. I don't want to worry or dwell on it. God is there and He will meet me there and walk me through it just like He has every other season of life.

You have to pray when life is easy and good, because jumping into a prayer life when life gets hard is just messed up.
This is a good devotional on prayer that my friend wrote.

Its also easy to have a difficult season and to forget the blessings and freak out over your whole life - not to pick on women, but I think we have trouble with exaggerating our emotions. I know I do.
"This is SO bad. Its ALWAYS this way." yeah... not really.

The other day I finally listened to this sermon that Dr. Paul Tripp preached at our church when we were in California. The title is, The Difference Between Amazement and FaithIt was timely {thank you, Lord!} and excellent. Like, literally just what my soul needed. I also linked to it twice there, so you have no excuse ;-)

I loved what he said about faith and trials and what it means to be tested. I get so confused and start thinking its punishment, or bad karma {ick} or other such nonsense.
There's a bunch of garbage I have to filter through when I go through trials because I see things on a human level. I gage how I feel and what I see, and what's affecting me and then make snap judgements and silly comments because... I'm messed up :)
I'm a sinner and 99.9% of the time, I'm clueless.
I don't stop to SEE Jesus in the trial. I have a hard time, in the bad moment, remembering His promises. I'm quick to think "no fair!" or "why me?!" but I struggle to say "teach me, Lord. Grow me. Use me. Help me." 

I'm convinced that in my life, trials are sent to remind me to look to Jesus. To remember my strength lies in Him; my hope comes from Him. My life is all about Him. Nothing else matters but my relationship with Him. Everything can fall apart around me and, gut wrenching, sad, horrible, awful, painful, you name it... if I have Christ, nothing else matters.
This life is a journey;  we're passing through -- and we're passing quickly.
What matters is how we live it out and how we show a world without God, what it looks like when God is at the center of your life. This doesn't mean we can't fall apart.
Remember Jesus crying and sweating drops of blood in the garden? We're not called to be The Avengers.
We're called to rely upon and trust in a Holy and righteous God.
When He calls us, we go.
When he moves us, we move.
When He says no, we stop.
When he says yes, we act.

I'm so tired of being complacent... and yet its something I fight on a daily basis. Laziness brews in my heart and a desire to have life be easy and nice is always present.

In Dr. Tripp's sermon he says over and over again, "the 'I AM' is with me" and that has been my comfort this week. I can walk through fire if I have to. The 'I AM' is with me. I'm good.

A month ago I was stressing over our move. Will I pack in time? Will we find a good house? Will we have to move to a townhouse? When we get a house will I be able to make it a comfortable home?

Then I stressed over school. Will I order books on time? Will I be a good tutor for CC? Will my kids enjoy school this year? Will I be that fun and creative mom or is everything gonna be haphazard and nuts?

When your child ends up in the hospital with a fractured skull and the family down the hall is watching their 3 year old die, the stuff above becomes the silliest nonsense I've ever cared about.
Its in those moments I realize I rely on God for the big, life threatening things, but so often tell Him that I've got the every day stuff covered. I stress, He tells me to bring the stresses to Him and I tell Him to get lost. Really.
"Never mind God. This is a small'ish thing, I've got it. Let me worry my head over it, spend hours and days freaking out over things I think I have control over and then I'll complain a bunch and probably finally go to you after I totally lose my head." 

God wants us. He wants the big trials, the small everyday annoyances, the ugly, the sad, the messy. He wants it. He sent His only son to die for it! Why do we think He'd rather not have to deal with it?!
Its been dealt with. Go to Him with whatever has you worried or stressed. For me, going to Him and laying it at His feet is most of the battle. Once that's done I can breath again. Don't ask Him to take it away, ask Him what He'd teach you in it. He'll take it away when He knows its time.
He's doing a great work. Let Him work. Stop fighting the whole way and deciding you know better.

This is hard stuff to say after a rough week. Its hard to give up what I've decided is the right way and the thinking that MY way is best. Its hard to trust God because I like to make myself into a god.
I'm praying that this season will pass soon. I'm praying that September will be filled with peace and sleep ;-) and healthy days.
But my ultimate prayer is that no matter what, I will be faithful to a God who is always so faithful to me.

6 {comments}:

Unknown said...

Just beautiful Stef! I love your heart and am so encouraged by your perspective. God has thoroughly blessed me by bringing you into my life.

Unknown said...

I guess It didn't recognize my google account. This is Lisa. LOL :)

Stef said...

Love you, Lisa! I feel the same about you :-)

ally said...

Stef, this is amazing. Your perspective on the past month is so encouraging to me. Love you so much.

Melissa Joy said...

This blessed me this morning. Thanks be to God for how He molds and stretches and grows and holds and loves us.
And this --
"You have to pray when life is easy and good, because jumping into a prayer life when life gets hard is just messed up."
-- is exactly right. Spot on.

Charlotte said...

Beautifully said. Thank you for sharing your heart.


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