Her hot little fingers searched out mine and held on tight. The technician placed another concoction of glue, metal, and medical tape on her scalp. Micaela wanted to go to sleep so desperately. It was two hours past her normal bedtime and there were still a handful of sensors and cables that needed to be attached to her body for the sleep study to commence. The technician was kind and patient. Micaela protested loudly and consistently. But, as her body began lose it's fight with sleep, her hand found an anchor in my touch.
As the night progressed, Micaela woke often and tried to sleepily tear off her leads and nasal canula. The technician and I would hold her down until she fell asleep again, and then reattach whatever had fell prey to her angry fingers. However, I learned quickly that if I could notice her waking up quickly and put my arm on her back, she would settle before becoming fully awake. Touch is so powerful.
But, more than that, as the years go on, I do believe that physical affection is Micaela's love language. If you don't know about the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, you should check it out. I have known my husband's, Adela, and my own love languages for years, but discovering Micaela's has put a precious edge on the relationship we share as mother and daughter. I know that spending extra time in the morning to massage her feet, hug her good morning, or sit by her while she eats, seems to fill her love tank up, preventing her from becoming irritable or frustrated.
Micaela left the sleep study exhausted, but, I didn't realize how much she was needing love and reassurance until we got home. If any of us sat still for longer than half a minute, she was on our lap, head, or whatever part of our body she could get a hold of or touch. Eventually, Jovani simply stopped working on projects and paperwork, settled her in his chair, and cuddled her for the rest of the afternoon and evening. That left me free to spend special quality time with Adela as she told me all about another Lego creation she was making.
I fill with gratitude to my Heavenly Father that he has showed us how to love our children and each other. Family's like ours who have a child with special needs and multiple disabilities undergo a lot of stress and hardship. Yet, our little family is close to each other. We feel loved, seen, and appreciated even when we are exhausted.
If you are struggling within your own family I would take some time to learn your love language and the love languages of the people you do life with. We all could use a full love tank these days.
Can you remember the last time someone came to you for love, affection, and reassurance?
I sat down that morning with a feeling of dread and defeat. My only thought was, "Let the funk continue." It had been one of those weeks. Everyone's mood was off. The days were long. The list of work and chores grew ever longer. I seemed to go to bed defeated and wake up resigned.
All the while, I had a growing premonition that I might be the source of all my bad attitudes. This premonition was verified when reading a book by Levi Lusko. He explained that we are created in the image of God who spoke galaxies into existence and our words hold power over our life. He said, "Your words can unlock a life you love or one you loathe."
What had I been speaking over my life the last few days? Well, it is too embarrassing to say it all.
I stepped out in faith and proclaimed, before the coffee was fully drunk, that the day would be a good day, full of blessed things. I proclaimed to have a kind and caring family, a fantastic job, and abundant love and energy to serve others.
There is a scene in the biography of Helen Keller, born deaf and blind, when she finally realizes that the signs her teacher has been tapping into her hand hold meaning. The ecstatic little girl runs around touching objects and people so that her teacher can sign the name into her hand. I was reminded of this as I eagerly ran around (in my mind) and began to label things with delighted faith in God's promise that He brings all things together for the good of those who love Him (James 1:17). There is a fearful power in what we label, verbally and in our thoughts, the people and circumstances of our life.
Yes, Micaela is going through a late "terrible twos" phase, but she is blooming and discovering her voice.
Yes, Adela wants to stay home with her dogie calf and complains about getter ready to go in the morning, but how great that she has such a love for the outdoors and her home.
Yes, Jovani has a lot on his plate and works constantly, but I have been given the great privilege of being a wife to a hard-working man who cares deeply for me and our family.
Truly, we can label anything blessed. We just give it to God and trust Him.
I know there will still be moments and days that I forget to speak life over my family and work, but, there is grace for that. For now, I am thrilled to discover this precious power God has given each of us.
What have you been speaking over your own life?
Two days of fierce wind had left our new-to-us kittens in dire straights. In a new home and environment, it is common for these little critters to get mild eye infections, but, after two days of dirt and sand assalting them, we had several cats and kittens who couldn't see at all.
One by one, Adela caught them and set them in a towel on my lap. Then, I worked on them with soap and water and patience. The crust and gunk removed, they blinked at the daylight, then hungrily made their way to food and water.
For days, we treated those little ones, washing and medicating them. We waited for their eyes to stay open and clean on their own and did our best to prevent more serious infections.
I can relate to them. In the last several months with the holidays, the surge in COVID cases, virtual schooling, and the election, I feel like my head and heart are so full of worries and gunk that I can't see anymore. I bump around, dazed and unsure.
There is a lot going on in my world. In preparation for Micaela's upcoming sleep study, we will need to isolate from school which means going back to virtual schooling. I'm back in the swing of taking orders for freezer beef and am also facilitating the sale of retail cuts. However, most of all, I am missing writing. I do have extra time. I just can't figure out a direction and focus to go. Every morning and evening I come to my Heavenly Father asking Him to clean up and clear out the gunk that has accumulated around my heart and in my mind. I will have to continue this until I learn to put on the armor God gave me so that nothing sticks in the first place.
We are all being assaulted right now. Some of us are wearing it, letting it build up and fester. Others are hiding from the assault, waiting for it to pass, waiting to live again.
However, we will be assaulted for a while. The dust storm on the farm comes and goes, but the crud blowing around in the world right now seems to just be gaining speed. To ignore or to hide cannot be an option forever. We need armor.
Have you been feeling the attack these days? How are you responding?
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"...and God was already there with me."