Do you ever get that slightly frustrated feeling that comes from so much change in such a short period of time? I think I am having a hard time keeping up with all God is doing in my life right now.
For starters, God added Owen to our family. He is honestly the happiest, sweetest, darlingest baby I have ever had. He rarely cries unless he is hungry. He is a champion nurser. He smiles and coos all day. He naps and sleeps well. He clearly loves all the interaction with his brothers and sister, and adores his mama and daddy. I truly could not ask for a better baby. Of course, as with ALL babies, they take a lot of time and energy. Like all his preceding siblings, he nurses A LOT, and he needs to be held and snuggled (not that I mind this) and bathed and changed- frequently.
It all just takes a while to adjust to. I feel tired much of the time. Please don't misunderstand me. I am most certainly NOT complaining. I am very blessed. I would not trade all my little ones for any amount of sleep or money or quiet. Yet, my physical body DOES become weary. I find I no longer have a desire to stay up late. I wish I could motivate myself to get up a bit earlier. I love the IDEA of being up early, getting off to a good start. And I love being able to have some time in the mornings when things are quiet, before the children are awake. The day has a decidedly different turn when they wake ME up, rather than the other way around.
I take comfort in verses like Isaiah 40:11 "He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young."
Another major avenue of change is all Trever and I are learning. We have discovered several excellent books, authored by David Bercot, that teach about historic Christianity. Specifically, the teachings and example of the church directly following Christ, in the first 2-3 centuries after his death. Pre-Constantine Christianity. I think this is so important because I discovered that much of what I "learned" about Christianity growing up was all heavily influenced by the theologians of the reformation. And they were certainly teaching things that were a long way off from early Christianity.
I can save a lot of that for another blog entry. But at the same time I feel it is important to mention it because Trever and I are striving to make changes in our lives in order to line up with what we believe is the true essence of Christianity. To be specific. living out, as literally as possible, the teachings of Jesus. Especially the teachings in the Sermon on the Mount. And we are teaching our children to do the same.
I often make mistakes. I sin. I blow it. Often I feel like I have no witness whatsoever with those I love so much- my family. I have been a very poor example in the past, and sometimes that makes me reluctant to talk to them about the things I am learning, about the faith I am desperately trying to embrace and follow. I wonder if they will shrug it off as another extremism in my personality. Worse, I fear they will find me hypocritical. After all, who am I to say anything after all I have done?
I wonder what it was like for Paul. Not that I compare myself to him, per se. But I DO think he struggled with the stigma that followed him the rest of his life. He had persecuted Christians. Hated them. Watched them die and felt he was doing God a service. And then he became one. That certainly raised suspicions.
At the same time, he did not allow that fact to detour him in his walk of faith and journey to know and honor God. I must follow his example. And I would like to start by making a public apology to my family, friends, in-laws (who are of course FAMILY, but I wanted to be specific) and acquaintances...
I'm sorry! For any of the many, many things I have done that have not been Christ-like. For all the times I have not done my utmost to truly, whole-heartedly follow Jesus. Most especially, for the times I have done things or had attitudes that were wrong.
I know I am not perfect. Trust me, I need no convincing. *insert sheepish smile here* But, in the words of William Law, "We cannot offer to God the service of angels; we cannot obey Him as we could were we perfect; but fallen men can do their best."
And that is what I intend to do from here on out- my best.