My kids. I have spent the last month enjoying them. Enjoying being a mom. Enjoying staying up late with them and sleeping late with them. Enjoying playing and having fun with them. No deadlines. No agenda. Just a mom and her kids.
The pool. I've had the joy of watching both children make significant progress from fearing the water to enjoying it. My son has become a little underwater fish! My daughter is finally learning she can be in the water without holding on to someone/something. It's awesome! Also this summer has been ridiculously hot and I personally think there is no better way to beat the heat than the pool.
My anniversary. Dwayne and I will celebrate our 7th anniversary a week from today. Can't believe it's been 7 years. We've been through so much together and I love him more now than ever. I'm grateful for him. I'm grateful I get to sleep with my best friend each night. I'm grateful that we will get to go to Hot Springs this weekend and be alone together for more than a night for the first time in over two years. For free. Yes, you heard right. Grateful for friends who have parents who like to bless people by loaning out their lake house. What a blessing.
My health. For the first time since before I was diagnosed with cancer I feel healthy. I feel strong. I feel good. I'm working out. I'm trying to eat better. My doctors are extending the times in between my visits. Bless You Jehovah Raffa!!
The hard stuff:
Money. It's like a broken record isn't it? We've been through so many phases of understanding with this. We've questioned. We've been self-loathing. We've been mad. Fearful. We've cut corners in every possible way. We've been on food stamps. We've maxed out credit cards.We've tried me working outside the home. We have fasted, prayed, wept. We've been given to. We've had money seemingly ripped from our hands. We've been wise and frugal stewards, and we've made unwise purchases (although usually for good and noble reasons).
It has been hard. Hard. HARD.
This test has been relentless. Often we can't see up from down. We can't see the thin line between God induced growth and Satanic attack. We hear lots of voices of condemnation. We feel heavy and burdened. We can't breathe.
...and then there's moments where God so clearly breaks through. Like last night...
I've been wrestling with Him. Trying to discern His voice in the middle of this fog. Asking Him to fulfill promises like:
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! " (Matthew 7:7-11)
And my Spirit cries out that this is true! My Daddy is good and loving toward all He has made. And He has a good plan. But my flesh, my mind, even my heart sometimes questions. Why? Why the wait? Doesn't He know how hard this is? Is He there?
I was crying out to Him in small group last night, asking Him these things in my heart and He led me here:
The LORD is faithful to all his promises
and loving toward all he has made.
The LORD upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
The LORD is righteous in all his ways
and loving toward all he has made.
The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them (Psalm 145: 13-19)
I was weeping as I was reading this. And the Lord started speaking through my dear friend...that He rejoices over me. That if only I knew how He looks at me even as I struggle, with love, with joy! I could see Him in the moment that my friend was sharing. I could see His gentle eyes full of love! I could see Him singing, dancing, praying over me (because He lives to intercede for us, for me. See Hebrews 7). The joy of this moment filled my heart and I began sobbing uncontrollably.
I needed that. It felt like a dam that had been plugged up was released in me. I still don't have all the answers to all the questions, but I know He loves me. I know that He has a plan. I don't know what it is, but I KNOW He has a plan.
Last night I was holding my husband as we both pondered how we're going to get through even this week. Immediately the lyrics to the song Hold Fast came to mind:
Hold fast. Help is on the way. Hold fast. He's come to save the day...