Getting By

Last week was a rough week.

Monday, we learned that our friends’ unborn daughter has been diagnosed with open spina bifida with a probability of added complications.

Thursday night, we got the shocking and heartbreaking news that an old friend of mine died unexpectedly. She was in her late twenties.

In between, I worked on the sewing project from hell, cleared out two clogged drains in one day, and ignored my writing.

I spent a lot of time with my head buried in books, trying to find some relief in fiction. I read through close to a dozen novels in one week. I’m honestly seriously embarrassed and ashamed by that confession.

We adjusted fairly smoothly and quickly to this new life here, a seminary family, and I think I forgot that it’s still hard, and that there’s probably a good reason for why I feel tired all the time.

The good thing – the grace learned from seven years of waiting for seminary – is that we as a family have finally learned to stop living as though life is going to start sometime in the future, when everything has settled down and things are calm and smooth, and instead to be in the here and now, experiencing life as it happens. It may be messy and exhausting and frustrating at times, and I may still miss out on a lot of it because boy do I not function well without sleep, but at least we’re in it, not on the outskirts waiting.

Joy turns six tomorrow. Six. Five seemed ridiculously older than four, and six even more so than five. And in the midst of everything else we’ve got happening, we carved out time this weekend to go out for a celebratory breakfast, and then take a hike through the woods. Tomorrow she gets her presents and cake (we like to stretch birthdays out as long as possible around here). A few moments of calm and rejoicing amidst the storms around us.

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It’s good. We’re good.

(also, Sunday night right before bed Joy came proudly out of her bedroom to read me a story she wrote and illustrated herself titled “Kristen and the Dragon,” and you guys, I was planning on teaching things like story structure etc later on this year but but she instinctively gave it a beginning, middle, and end, and I was so proud I almost cried when she read it to me. THAT’S MY GIRL.)

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6 thoughts on “Getting By

  1. I’m so sorry to hear about the death of your friend. I’ll pray that the Lord comforts you. I lost a dear friend a couple of years ago, and sometimes my heart aches with wanting to talk to her.

    I’ve been going through a rough patch and burying myself fiction too. Sometimes the emotional break really helps.

    • Thank you. It was such a shock – she’d suffered horribly from Lyme Disease for well over a decade, but had been doing well for the last couple of years, was actually able to get out and live life again, and so to have her die NOW just hit everyone so hard.

      I’m sorry to hear about your rough patch, too. Praying comfort and relief for the both of us.

  2. There is nothing to be ashamed of in reading a dozen novels. Much better than drinking a dozen bottles of vodka or something (no hangover, for one). When life throws us these heartbreaks, it’s crucial to get that reassurance that things will still work out okay in the end – to comfort ourselves with the stories in which justice and peace is restored. It gives a little more strength to go on – just like those moments of peace and beauty you’ve shown in those photos.
    And happy birthday to your big little author!

    • Thanks! I do think I got a bit of a book hangover by the end of the week. Which is still better than an alcohol hangover.

      Thank you for the birthday wishes for Joy, too! She’s such a great kid. Five has been so much fun with her; I think six will be even better.

  3. I am sorry about the death of your friend. I’m sorry that you had a rough week. I hope and pray this week has been kinder to you. Your new friends and their babies have been in my prayers.

    I can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that Joy is six years old and now writing her own stories.

    I think the hardest thing to adjust to in adulthood is to stop living life as though it’s going to start some time in the future. There are some who can’t ever make that adjustment.

    • “I think the hardest thing to adjust to in adulthood is to stop living life as though it’s going to start some time in the future.” Pretty much.

      Thanks for your prayers. The beautiful thing in all this has been seeing people all around the world, regardless of any theological differences, come together to hold this family up in prayer. A true picture of the Church as family instead of an institution.

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