One of the things I love about blogging (but is also sort of terrifying) is that those of you who read along with me here are reading a story in progress. This story, my family’s story, the story God is writing in my life, through my life, it isn’t finished yet. I have no idea exactly where it is going, what turn is coming up next, or what is just up around that bend. This blog serves as a place where I can keep a journal of sorts of my family life, the growing of my children, the growing of my own heart as I keep step with Jesus. I try to be as genuine as I can be here with respect to the privacy of my loved ones, sharing what God is doing in our lives, simple and ordinary as they may be. I believe strongly that we are participating in the work of His kingdom here, in the safety of these four (rented) walls, raising up warriors, worshippers, disciples of Jesus. I believe He has given us this work for this season, and in the midst of a million ordinary moments, He meets us. While wiping a child’s tears, He whispers to me that a day is coming when He will wipe all of mine away, too (Isa. 25:8). While disciplining a child, He reminds me that it is the child He loves that He disciplines (Heb. 12:6-7). While cleaning endlessly, He whispers to me that my labor is not in vain (1 Cor. 15:58), though it feels vain when children muddy what was just washed clean. While growing impatient with the occasional foolishness of my children, He reminds me of His endless patience with me and my own daily and continual need for Him (Ex. 34:6). Wherever I see beauty, He sings to me of His myriad beauties, and reminds me that His invisible qualities are clearly seen in what He has made (Rom. 1:20).
Somehow, these ordinary moments become an avenue, a road, a confluence where the truths of Scripture and my own heart meet. Somehow, in His mysterious greatness, He can take what is ordinary and make it holy by His presence with me in it. Does that make sense?
Anyway, all this to say, I see the Lord at work in my simple days at home raising these precious children. He is working in me, walking with me, keeping company with me here. I hope to share that in the pictures, the moments, the stories that rise up out of our life onto the “pages” of this blog. It’s a story that is in the process of bring written, and that scares me a bit sometimes, not knowing what is up ahead or how I might be able to share that with you, my sweet few faithful readers. 🙂 It’s not a story I’m in control of, but I know His promise to me is that He will perfect that which concerns me, and my future in Him is sure and secure, even as the waves of my circumstances tumult around me.
About nine months ago I shared here about Phoebe’s diagnoses with Celiacs disease. It hasn’t been an easy journey. My soul has gone quiet in a lot of ways, as I’ve been processing and working it out with the Lord. She hasn’t responded quickly and easily to the diet change, as we had hoped, and so the work of finding how best to feed her and help her to grow, while gently working (with the help of a team of therapists) around her fear and aversion to food feels like it takes up about 80% of my attention. That is terribly wearisome sometimes, and being prone to fearfulness already, it often requires a lot of spiritual warfare to keep my soul in a place of quiet trust in the Lord.
All of this front loading to say, we finally have seen some growth from Phoebe, 3 pounds since February (!!!), so we wanted to celebrate and take her out for a special date with just mommy and daddy to a local restaurant, Posanas, that has a dedicated gluten-free kitchen. There are not many places we can take her to eat where we feel “safe,” and so this was such a treat for all of us. My mom watched the other two kiddos (thank you, mom!) so we could both go with Phoebs, as she requested. As we were driving there, she said, “This is the first time you and Daddy have both been with just me!” I sort of laughed because of course that’s ridiculous, she is our firstborn, so there were two years where everything we did was just with her. However, she’s right, we haven’t taken her on an outing alone with just the two of us all to herself. She loved it (and so did we)!
We don’t go to downtown Asheville too often, but we should! Look how beautiful this place is! It was a particularly lovely evening, and we thoroughly enjoyed our time walking around on our way to and from the restaurant. Phoebe ordered the ricotta gnocchi mac n’ cheese, Brandon and I ordered two appetizers (Prosciutto wrapped rabbit with a strawberry rhubarb sauce, and a different kind of ricotta gnocchi) and a gorgeous kale salad. Phoebe didn’t think she was going to like her mac n’ cheese at first because it looked so different from what I think she was expecting, and she sort of wilted and almost started to cry when it came. It was a brief moment of panic, but then she tried it and loved it! She was thrilled that she had a knife of her own and a real glass cup, too. The chocolate cake was simply to die for.
It was a special evening celebrating and thanking God for three more pounds, and for places to go where we can show Phoebe a whole world of foods that she can still have. We are really thankful to those who work hard to create delicious, kid-friendly options for children like ours with special dietary needs!
So for those of you who are following along, for those of you who have been praying for us and for Phoebe, I wanted you to hear and experience the good news along with us and humbly ask you to continue praying, if you so desire! We always have so much to be thankful for, and we ask God to keep us thankful even when we feel beset with groans and complaints and bad news. It is wonderful to see Him working and healing and restoring our girl, and our hearts are full of praise.