I'm up with the sunrise to feed a hungry baby girl for the second or third time since I fell into my light sleep last night around 11pm. I can't remember if it was two or three times that she woke me up, announcing her empty belly.
Now I sit here rocking her bouncy chair with my foot, the only thing that will keep her content for now, guzzling a latte before our biggest little wakes, full force and full of life. And while I prepare mentally for his energy level so early in the day, I say a quick, "Thank you, Jesus", under my breath because just three days ago he lay lethargic and weak, battling a virus that stole the few ounces of fat his active body had, leaving him looking so fragile. Breaks a Mama's heart to see her baby that way.
Just as our boy recovers, though, it's Daddy's turn to take a hit. And we pray for quick healing as he is preparing to leave for the Jungle in just six short days. And I try to carry his load, too, because he needs the rest more than me right now. We pray I don't get the virus before I'm alone with two kids while Richard is away.
And we go through the motions of the day to day.
And we're all tired. We feel it in our heavy eyelids and our tense shoulders. Little man expresses it in whining and discontentment. Baby girl just sleeps away during the day. Peaceful baby dreams.
Seems like each day we get disappointing and sometimes even tragic news. So our physical exhaustion is coupled with mental and emotional exhaustion and sometimes it feels like too much. And we try to count our many blessings and "overflow with thankfulness" (Colossians 2.7) and trust that He is good. But some days it's just hard. Some days we ask why we're here. Some days we wonder if just maybe we misunderstood His calling because this doesn't "look right"....
Today I cling to the verse that we've honed in on as our "life verse" because it's the only thing that makes sense right now.
"But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20.24
These days we make a conscious decision that these "things", they won't move us.
The untimely death of friends and babies taken too soon.
The long delays in visa progress and the discouraging outlook of aviation medicals.
The lack of friends and community to build us up and to pour in to.
The long nights and early mornings with new baby and sick baby.
The holidays away from those we've loved the longest.
The distance from where our heart is planted on the other side of this foreign country we now call home and no clue when we will be reunited.
The frustrations of broken toilets and cars that won't start and ATMs denying cards and hot days with no wind to refresh and broken dishes and all those little things that add up to mountains if we don't keep our perspective in check.
But we choose. We choose that none of these things will move us and we will not count our lives dear unto ourselves because this IS our calling and we ARE where He has us and it IS worth the hardships and the tired and the loneliness if we can finish our course with joy because the Gospel is worth that.
And we know that the trials only serve to make us more like Him (James 1.2-3; 1 Peter 1.6-7, 4.12-13).
We ask for your prayers right now, because they're needed.
Pray for strength and rest.
Pray for wisdom and faith.
Pray for peace and perspective.
Pray we won't be moved.
Thank you, friends.
Some of the faces that motivate us to push through.