This has been a weekend of reflection and preparing to move forward. It has been a challenging summer. Between bed rest stir craziness and a brain that has been utterly unable to engage worth anything, I have not been my best self. I have prayed for help to get my brain in gear and pray in a seemingly constant way for things to be OK with my baby and my body. Even when I am not consciously praying, it seems that I have had the perpetual thought of concern mixed with hope, stress, fear, frustration, uncertainty, and a host of other emotions about the possible outcome of this pregnancy.I am finally at a point where I can sit for periods of time without worrying that I am going to cause major harm. I can stand long enough to get some actual work done, or even to prepare a meal for my family! (Tonight’s split pea soup was delicious, even if a bit out of season in this hot sumer weather.) In other words, I finally feel like I am basically out-of-the-woods. I am still extremely careful and completely aware of what my body is telling me. BUT, I can move forward! There is less fear and more hope. There is less stress and more anticipation and excitement. It feels incredible to feel the mental change that is finally following in the footsteps of the physical changes!
Now that I sort of have a grip on my physical challenges and less worry weighing down my brain, I have wanted so badly to figure out our next steps in our business, my role in our business as we move forward into some new phases of business, my fall term classes, and lots of other things that I have been utterly unable to even begin to convince my brain into figuring out so far this summer. It has taken a frustratingly long time to get my brain to re-engage my brain, but last night it finally happened! I finally feel like I have a place in our company again and understand what it should be. Not only that, but I actually feel like I am mentally capable of doing it too now! I finally feel good about what I will be doing scholastically for myself this fall term and even feel peace about the balance between school, work, and family that will come with this class schedule! It feels SO incredible to finally, actually be starting off in a forward direction again!
I had my heart so full of excitement and gratitude over this new shift towards progress as I went to church today. My heart was light and filled with God’s love for me! As I went to my last meeting of the day, I was struck by one simple scriptural passage that was shared. It is found in Proverbs chapter 4, verse 26. The words that struck me, and stuck with me through the day, are “Ponder the path of thy feet.” I feel like that is what this summer has been all about for me. Pondering my path. Trying, with everything I have in me, to figure out what path God has wanted me to be on.
There have been times when I started to wonder if He even had a path in mind for me or if I should just simply “go for it” on whatever random path I picked. Each time I would wonder that, I would be overwhelmed by a feeling that I needed to simply relax and wait. That the Lord DID indeed have something in mind for me, but that the time wasn’t ready yet. Patience may be a virtue, but it is not one of my greater virtues and that kind of answer to my pleading prayers was a touch hard for me to handle. In that one way, I was grateful for a brain that seemed absolutely willing to shut down and simply coast for a while, or I think my impatience might have gotten the better of me. I might have started forcing my way down an unwanted path or simply gone the last little stretch separating me from complete insanity.
Last night finally opened the window to see the path that the Lord has in mind for me and seemed to trigger a reawakening of my mental abilities as well. My brain has not been so alive in months and it feels empowering and thrilling all at the same time!
The second half of my musings tonight about paths being taken relates to my incredible kids. Part of the challenge with arranging my school schedule is recognizing the need to be there for my kids in a host of different ways. Some need me to be there to boost up their self esteem, others need me to help them in their battle to learn to read, and still others simply need to be sure they have some of my time and attention to create a feeling of security and love in their world. I need to be here for them, no matter what their specific need is. I felt like answers to how to offer that to them also came last night and I feel incredibly hopeful and excited to spend the time with them that I will have to offer. My oldest, ONE, celebrated her 10th birthday this year and is quickly approaching the years of horror known as middle school. She gets one more year of shelter in her elementary, surrounded by a group of super incredible kids. (Her class list for this coming year is as stellar as a mom could hope for!) But that simply means this is my last year left to help her prepare herself to be strong enough, to love and respect herself enough, to recognize good and evil enough to be ready to face the halls of the middle school. I MUST help her to find, choose, and come to love a path that will help her be happy, feel fulfilled, and help her to come unto Christ. It is a daunting assignment – to say the very least. I have similar “path finding” responsibilities with each of my other kids as well. Each one needs to feel God’s love, feel my love, and find within themselves the strength to seek out and choose God’s path for them. I pray mightily that I will be able to do my part in helping them on the journey.
It intimidates me to feel responsible to help each of them move forward in righteousness when I recognize my great need to improve myself in so many ways still. We went to visit BABY BOY’s grave just before dinner tonight. It was so good for my soul. I took two little rubber duckies to leave for him. I needed that chance to connect in my limited way. But as I sat there is was also very hard for me as well. It was hard to recognize that I could give him two tiny rubber ducks (that I had been given for free at a darling little store we passed this summer), but still cannot afford to place a permanent stone marker at his grave. I rejoice – every single day – that this new baby is still here and still growing, but I wish I had known then what I know now about what was going on with my body. I wish I could have given him the help he needed to survive. I wish he was part of my current path! I would not want to trade the life growing within me now for the chance to go back and have him survive, but I sure wish I could have them both to love and to hold and to raise and help find paths of their own. Again, my patience is lacking as I wait to hold my baby SOMEDAY.
Even as I thought such grief filled thoughts, while sitting in private contemplation by his grave today, I was filled with the realization that I want my path – right now – to be filled with preparation to be a better mom to him when I get to hold him someday in the future, than I would be right this moment. I want my path to be a training and developing opportunity to become a better mommy to the ones I have here already. I want that path to lead me to righteous living that will leave me a better, more Christ-like person than I have ever been before. My path matters. Each and every day it matters. It matters because it is drawing me closer to my Savior and closer to feeling worthy of my son, or it is leading me further from both each day. I have no doubt that surely I will trip along the path, but I want to always be sure the path I am on is leading me to God’s light and love. Leading me to become better. Leading me to build and strengthen and lift each member of my family. I am not naive enough to think that the path will be smooth, but with God’s help I am determined to make it down the path He wants me on, even when it is harder than I can imagine! I am not on my path alone. God is always there, shining His glorious light upon it to help me know where at least my next step must be placed. I may not see the end of the path, or even what is around the next corner, but He sends His light to lift me up with enough strength and courage to take at least one more step. I feel so grateful and so very blessed!
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