Space for Growth
Sometimes, with gardening, I admit to not know what I am doing. However, I have accepted my condition, realizing that with every project and plant, my knowledge grows. For my perfectionistic soul, this is one of the most therapeutic activities. Plants require love and care, but they are alive and so much of what they do and how they develop is out of my control. I can see my work being rewarded, but I receive little surprises every day that I venture out to my plants.
This week, I have been battling weeds. I decided to be extra smart and sow perennial seeds into the south side of the old bunkhouse. Then, next year there would be happy plants ready to bloom and grow. The problem is that the seeds take 21 days to germinate and, in the meantime, New Mexico weeds have done their thing.
I waited and agonized for my seeds to come to life and finally, I was rewarded for my patience. Tiny, unfamiliar sprouts lifted their heads from the dirt, shadowed by hundreds of iron weeds and careless weeds. So this week, with agonizing precision, I have endeavored to remove the weeds and give them space to grow.
The funny thing is, I am just like those baby plants. The space and stillness given to me in those early morning hours, create the space for peace to enter my soul, fueling me for the hours of busy life ahead. It is in those quiet moments that I feel my heart stretching out, taking new and health shape.
So, why do we resist the quiet? I think of the past school year and how I tried to fill every breathing waking moment. Surely, there was ample opportunity for my mind and heart to stretch and grow unencumbered by my vicious insistence on taking ground and marching forward.
As I look at the summer months I pray for the wisdom to make sure I find space for stillness during other seasons of my life.
Where do you need to create more quiet and space for your soul to grow?
The Time Will Pass Anyway
The summer has opened up to me and the time is so sweet. After the school year packed with activities and extra responsibilities with Jovani away, I want to soak up the extra space and at the same time, fill it up with every possible long-awaited dream.
However, at the top of our list, is potty-training Micaela.
It is time-intensive but going incredibly well. Still, I find myself growing impatient with her, wanting her to play less games and do more responsible tinkling on the toilet. Today, we got into an epic battle about the whole thing, mostly because it is laundry day and I am all "hurry, hurry, hurry." I feel God whisper into my soul with the some words a friend shared with me years ago, "The time will pass anyway."
And it will. The time will pass at the same rate whether I relax or worry. The time will go on, oblivious to my plight.
Surprisingly, this gives me so much peace. It reminds me that the only thing I have control over is the state of my heart as the summer days wax and wane. And, as I hold on to this reminder, I am at rest. I can trust God with these days and moments and everything will be as it should.
So, you might ask, what am I up to? Well, I'm teaching Adela Spanish and some housekeeping skills, potty-training Micaela, taking the girls to swim lessons, taking them both on an experience once a week, gardening both vegetables and flowers, writing, podcasting, cooking for my happy husband, and reading to my heart's content. It's a lot, but it only becomes too much when I stop resting and trusting in God's perfect will.
There is a quote by John Mark Comer that reads, "Hurry is a form of violence upon the soul." If that is true, then patience and rest is sure to heal this soul of mine that had been in great danger of running on empty and in desperate need of repair.
And, even if it will be a busy summer, I am still resting in Him.
What do you need to trust God with so that you can find peace in the passing time?
Micaela's staring spells began last spring. She would go into these long moments of unresponsive staring and then snap out of it like nothing had happened. By last September it had gotten so bad that we started trying new medications and rescue meds to help her. I hated it. They made me sick to my stomach, thinking about the destruction that could be happening to her brain as it went through so many little seizures daily. It seemed so unfair after having her awful nocturnal seizures under control that she should have to go through this, too.
Our neurologist is one of the most wise and caring health professionals we work with. While she listened compassionately and trusted my observations and judgements, she insisted that a 24-hour EEG needed to be done in order to get a better picture of what we were dealing with.
I dreaded the appointment. Micaela has spend the last year or so in that independent-don't-touch-me phase and thought of hooking her up to a few dozen electrodes sounded like my worst nightmare, but, we put the appointment on the books for June and got ready.
My heart aches with happy amazement. The appointment was full of one unexpected blessing after another.
First, Micaela was so sweet. Seriously. She held my hand like a champ as we navigated the hospital, gave out hugs like it was her job to every nurse, technician, and doctor. She even THANKED the EEG technicians as they hooked her up to the machine and tediously worked the electrodes off of her head the next day.
Second, Micaela didn't fight the placement of the electrodes. The pediatrician on call at the hospital suggested that we swaddle her like a baby, and Micaela loved it. She seemed relaxed but curious as her head was measured, marked, and decorated with rainbow-colored cables.
Third, our family was completely provided for the whole time. Our close friends treated Adela to a fun-filled sleep over with their kids complete with going to the rodeo and eating doughnuts. The nurses were constantly making sure Micaela and I had everything we needed and we were comfortable and well-cared for.
But, the last unexpected blessing was the one that still makes me catch my breath. When they completed Micaela's EEG set-up they showed me where the button was to mark and record the staring spells. I was vigilant, watching her carefully and marking each one of those horrid episodes. And, guess what, there was no seizure activity. None at all. Those staring spells are just staring spells, possibly caused by Micaela processing some internal feelings or sensations. I couldn't believe it. I had been so sure.
As they discharged us from the hospital yesterday, we walked into the sunlight with so much less fear and worry. My husband and I feel like we have been given some of the best news we've heard in years. Our little girl's epilepsy is officially controlled.
I know it is foolish, but I hadn't considered that this blessing might ever be ours. I am so thankful for those who have faithfully prayed for her all these years. She is a testament to God's goodness and the strength of faith. Oh, my Christian brothers and sisters, you have been so loving in your continued prayers for her and for us. Thank you.
Image explanations from left to right, top to bottom: Micaela had just gotten her EEG leads removed and was enjoying a doughnut, Micaela loved playing "Doctor Micaela" with her stethescope that Presbyterian gave her the whole time, this is the monitor recording her EEG at night (I stared at it a lot), Micaela had just finished getting her EEG placed and hugged her baby doll hard, Micaela was a champ during the light test, making sure that she doesn't go into seizures with light flashing.
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"...and God was already there with me."