My days go something like this…
I wake up rather stiff backed, to the cooing of my son beside me in his crib (this is a new thing for us as he has slept with me since birth and never slept through the night completely til just a week ago). I get him up, play with him in bed, change his diaper and take our dog out. I then hurry to wash all of James’ baby bottles from any nightly feedings as he grows impatient for his morning meal. I feed him and let him have floor time, while I either hurry to catch up on chores or watch some mind numbing show.
This leads into midday as James keeps me busy with drool control, supervised play, feedings, and diaper changes, and teaching him new skills/sensory play. If I’m lucky, he will be happy enough to let me shower while he sits in his high chair. Otherwise he’s glued to my hip, fighting naps and being fussy as I frantically try to figure out what’s wrong. My stress turns slowly into impatience and anger as I watch time tick by and chores pile and my son moans or cries for something I don’t know how to fix.
I find myself fighting new battles in anxiety every day or week it seems, be it rashes, teething, breathing issues (when he was younger), constipation (frequently), new sleeping arrangements for me, James, and Aaron…among the anxieties of life, marriage, church functions, and home that I have to balance harmoniously.
Evening rolls in and Aaron is home, I give him a quick peck and maybe he takes James for a bit so I can do a power shower or a troubled bath in which mother mode still won’t chill as I hear James cry for something through the door. We make dinner, we hurriedly eat as James bounces, or plays on the floor, generally this is noisy squealing playtime so we don’t hear much TV, or James is chill and I get a few minutes to talk to Aaron.
Then it’s bath time for James, and hopefully he takes a nap, though now that he sleeps through the night I’m lucky if he takes a good nap at all, though he might take a 15 min one around 12 or a longer one around 6. Each time I lay him down it’s a struggle during the day unless he really wants to sleep.
Sometimes the nightly routine of coaxing James to sleep lasts 3 hours. And by then Aaron has to go to bed (we sleep alone) and I finally have silence collapsing quietly upon the air mattress in James’ room. I can’t sleep many times for a few hours. I try to get some things picked up in the house, I scroll my phone and I get up a few times to reinsert binky or roll James into a better position. Or sometimes I have to change him and then try to get him back to sleep for an hour.
In all this (which is wayyy better than when James was younger), I still haven’t had the time to write. Even now I do so from the air mattress with James finally sleeping in his crib deeply for the first time all day. I wonder to myself what my hope song is anymore.
I have a blessed life. My son is a blessing and he’s healthy. I have a wonderful husband who works hard and a roof over my head. I have a church family as well as parents who would do anything for me. I know that my struggles don’t compare to many others.
I have a cousin whose son is confined to a wheel chair, he is sick all the time, he had a liver transplant and sees many specialists because he is the only one in the world with this disease. He requires constant care and his mother has suffered more than you can imagine. What is her hope song?
I admit that I just haven’t made time for God very much. Let alone for myself. Or even my spouse. I’m not generally someone who gets texts from friends wanting to come over, though I know many who would open their doors to me if I asked.
I hardly write, and I no longer sing in the church band or preach. I still serve as director of the preschool class, not wanting to abandon my kiddos or the work we started there.
Covid opened my eyes in many ways. It tried (or more specifically satan) tried to rob me of joy last year harder than ever before, amidst the greatest joy of my life, my son being born. James is a light, a hope song to my family and friends and his wondrous view of the world keeps me rooted.
What then is my hope song when all around me is fear, pain, hopelessness, depression, and hatred?
I promise you that even at my lowest, which I tend to hit a lot lately, God is still that hand reaching into the pit for me. My world is upside down now, it isn’t about me anymore, I don’t live for me, and as much as I’d die for James, I don’t just live for him either.
I live to live as Christ. My Bible may be dusty, my mind busy, but all that I do is for Him. I raise James to serve God, I even clean my home to serve God. I don’t always go about it with that mindset but at the end of the day, it really is all about Him.
And so when your hope comes from the very one who already won the victory over life and defeated death, why would you let anything take that away? Why would you fear a virus or who’s president? Seriously, was Daniel ever in tears or shaking in terror under the rule of King Neb?
It’s okay to have a bad day, it’s okay to mourn what has been lost and what the devil has done to our country, family, and friends. It’s okay to be angry! But let me tell you, it’s not okay to stay in a place of depression or fear. We still have a hope that the world needs to see, His light is still shining just as bright as when He gave His life on the cross so that we might truly live.
You aren’t powerless! You’re duty isn’t to lament and cower, begging God to change the world, YOU are the change! YOU were born for such a time as this. Don’t bow, don’t surrender, don’t turn away, don’t be swayed, stand FIRM and remind the world Whose we are!
My life has changed, I have changed. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been worth it. And I wouldn’t change a thing. My hope song is still singing, my light isn’t fading, and this year I will take two steps forward to make up for the year I took a step back.
Pray for our new president, pray for our country, pray for our church, and keep fighting the good fight, keep running the race to the finish line ❤️ Our work has just begun.