This is the fourth week in a row that we’ve missed church; I realized at the end of my toddler’s “cold” that besides the cold, she almost certainly was teething, in which some of her symptoms and behaviors make a lot more sense.
It’s been a very tough week, and as much as taking the kids to church is stressful, I was planning on it. Then I woke up this morning and felt uncomfortable pressure in my head which eventually morphed into a headache around my right eye and the uncomfortable feeling as though too much motion might make me throw up. Were I alone, I still might have pushed through with it, but with kids, it just wasn’t going to happen. I feel guilty about it, even with two of the kids having minor cold symptoms as well (mostly occasional phlegmy coughs).
It is often hard to feel gratitude in times that are crazy stressful. Yet in the midst of it all, it’s absolutely gorgeous outside as we’re at the very colorful part of fall, full of soft, golden light, before the leaves pile on the ground and the sun’s light is cold.
I’m reminded as well, from the phone call with my priest friend that I mentioned last week, that despite everything, there’s a lot to be grateful for. I don’t mean this at all in the sense of “I’m glad I’m not those people, because they’re going through something so much worse”, but rather that there are a lot of people suffering through different things. It does no good to compare sorrows, but the realization that there are a lot of people out there who are dealing with really big things. It’s doesn’t make the path less lonely, per se, but it grants a perspective where one is less alone.
I think that’s the best I can do to explain this without getting into specific details. I certainly don’t want to use someone else’s tragedy as an example. All I do want to say is that where there is life, there is hope, but through the sacrifice of Jesus God gave us that hope which continues into the next life. The struggle is worth it, not just for ourselves but for our “neighbor” as well. It’s kind of the sense of where the title of this blog came from; that even in the midst of all the suffering we carry on a breath of hallelujah.
I am also very grateful that my kitchen sink is working enough better that at the moment, I can use both sinks. The disposal died and that has led to all sorts of problems with the sink on that side as well as the dishwasher which drains through the disposal. It’s caused a tremendous backup of dishes in the house, which has not helped my sense of being stressed.
I am grateful to be listening to my toddler, who is singing in the kitchen right now. She’s making a huge mess with a hamburger bun, but she only gets to be little once.
But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.1 Peter 3:14-16