Tuesday, May 14, 2013

catching up

I've sat many times in front of this computer, staring at my blog, wondering what to say, where to begin, how to put my thoughts into words....so much has happened in the almost two-year absence. A lot.

Eden is nearing her second birthday. Yes. Her second. How did that happen? The last I mentioned, she was just a newborn! Yikes!  I truely enjoyed her babyhood, and am getting used to her outspoken toddlerhood!  :)  She is a force to be reckoned with, that's for sure!  It was so much different with her than with the others. Maybe it's because she's a girl, and I had been immersed in boy-stuff for eight years and had forgotten there were other ways of doing things. Or maybe it was that she is just a completely different personality. Maybe the bonding was just deeper with her. Maybe a bit of all of that. I absolutely loved breastfeeding her and I felt so "whole" and closer and deeper with her. I hadn't breastfed B or R due to their prematurity and hospital stays, so it was so wonderful to be able to do that with E. I have to admit that I don't remember loving it as much with A or K, though, as I did with E, but maybe that was due to me being a new mom and still adjusting or maybe it was because I was just happy to have the chance to do it again for E.  Or maybe a bit of both! ;)

It's amazing how much changed in me after having Eden.  For the first time since starting our family, I felt confident! I felt like I knew what I was doing and how to do it. But most of all, I knew that what I was doing worked for ME and I was confident in that and didn't care anymore what anyone else thought! And that says a lot! :) I was HAPPY. Truely happy.

2011 ended off great. Things felt "right" and "good".  ....

And then 2012 was tough and hard and scary and full of so many complex things. Abi almost died in Spring and that threw off the whole year! I can't even express how that feels. How do you explain into words what it's like to be up against that FEAR...the reality that your child can be alive and then suddenly dead? How do I even mention it in a small paragraph without getting into it? I can't. I'll have to leave that story for a later date. She almost died, but God gave her back to us, and when I think about it my chest still heaves and tightens.

After her attack, we had the Olders tested for allergies...and wow, I had NO idea there were so many they were dealing with! That was quite a shock!  So we had a few visits with an awesome pediatrician (whom I still call our "Family Hero"! I love this man!) and learned how to deal with things and learned how to NOT fear every cough or runny nose or need for inhalers or even the sound of an ambulance.  And just as things were settling down, my Father had a heart attack while helping out Hunny at our house last summer, and that threw our family off once again. And that is a scary thing too! He should've died as well, but for some reason, God granted him life and healing (of which he is still doing) and that is overwhelming. And then in the Fall, I had chest pains that ended in an ambulance arriving at our house for the 3rd time in one year! I was fine and am still undiagnosed, but there are a few ideas...but I've never had that type of pain since. It may've been some muscle issues (it wasn't asthma) mixed with fear of my own heart attack, I don't know. But thankfully, I didn't need to be admitted to the hospital and things did settle down.

So much changed last year. Abi changed; she grew up and graduated from elementary school! (She's in grade 6 at the middle school! Eek!) But it was also in her personality, where she had to deal with her own fears and battle to overcome them personally. She has emerged and flourished this year and I am so happy to see that. My heart ached for her last year and I spent many days in tears and crying out to Jesus to heal her and to give us a glimpse of His future and a sense of peace in the journey. And God is good; He answered! Oh, God is so good!

When I look back, really look and list everything big that happened, and stack them up beside each other, I can see how I have changed and how God used it all. It's all connected in some way. The confidence I felt after my fifth child, the feeling of growing out of my immature-young-mother-feeling to a strong and weathered  mom, to the depth of my reliance and trust in my Heavenly Father. God doesn't do things just for the sake of doing them! Everything He does is GOOD and it all points back to Him. And I can see that. I may not feel it is good at the time, and really I don't think I can say that Abi's near death was "good" either, but I can say with confidence that He is good. And I find my strength in Him.

I remember thinking last year that I was frustrated with my lack of spiritual growth. I wanted to change. I wanted to feel the excitement I felt when I was younger. I wanted the passion back! My belief in Him hadn't changed, but the way I lived had. I just lived. Woke up, tended to children, ate food, struggled with kids, did necessary chores, climbed into bed weary and started all over again the next day. Always the same. And I wanted something MORE. And I remember that despite that desire, I still feared to change. I didn't really want to change. I didn't want Him to challenge me! I was frightened what it would mean if He actually took my desire for real and forced something upon me. I was so scared of what He'd demand of me. I had heard so many times of how God will put something really tough in front of you, some huge obstacle that you had to overcome...maybe it was something you had to let go of, or something you had to face, but it was always something that would be a challenge because we can't grow and change on our own. It just doesn't work that way. We need to have a fire under us to force movement sometimes! But the idea scared me...so I never really did anything different to change myself, or grow or search deeper. Every effort I made was just surface enough still. :(  And it was so frustrating.

Do I feel that nearly losing my Daughter and my Dad was God's "obstacle" in my life; my challenge to grow? I don't know. But I do know that those events did cause my faith and my beliefs and my relationship to go deeper. I know that I really do not have a clue! And nothing is in my control and no matter how much I love something, if it's time is up it's up and I don't own anything. And that was scary too. But it also made my faith fall onto the One who IS in control.

I recently finished this wonderful book and there is a quote in it that has struck me that I keep thinking over it. The character, Kale, is angry and upset that her friend is missing and her friend, Dar, explains: "Kale, in your mind you've made us the centre of what is happening. Wulder is the centre." (Dragonspell by Donita K. Paul 2004. Waterbrook Press. pg 82)  No matter what is happening, and what I am going through, it is not about me! But I can trust the One it is about!

Things still aren't settled in our family yet and there is still change to come, but I don't fear it like I used to. It's amazing what you can go through and survive when you have to and have your focus on the right thing!


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