My daughter Evangeline turned 16 weeks old this week and looking back I have to say that the last 4 weeks have been better and better. I would say this is due to a number of things that I would like to reflect upon:
1) Evangeline is more responsive
At last, all my singing around the house, silly noises and games, little toys and reading aloud is reciprocated and greeted with gummy smiles and coos, squeals and excited arms and legs flailing! How much fun is 4 months! Even when she wakes from sleeps early she is usually so happy and pleasant to have around.
2) I have had time to reflect and rebuild my faith, that is, to take time to relax and lean on the Lord now that my sleep deprivation is being healed by a bit of extra sleep each night ( praise God Evangeline sleeps so well still!) Being a minister's wife always carried for me many associations of busy-ness and spiritual contentment and although I don't want to try and be too busy for a while - I want to try and be a welcoming and available person who brings calm and encouragement. This takes time and requires some peace and concerted effort - starting to try and do this more and giving my self the time to be mentally at rest.
3) 'The rare jewel of Christian Contentment' by Jeremiah Burroughs. This vintage gem of a book has been my peace in many troubled times over the last few years and it was definitely time to read it again. I am summarising it into a word processing document to keep my mind focussed on the task - so I don't let the call to nappies, housework and procrastination distract me too much. I remember someone said to me in Melbourne that I found it easy to be submissive because I was 'gentle and quiet'! ha! ha! So funny - only when I bury my head in that book every day do I manage to convince people I am anything of the sort! ha ha!
4) Luke is settling into his role more
We are enjoying being allies and praying for meetings, events and people in his care. The bible study has been meeting at our house for some time now and we really enjoy the hospitality aspect as well as the time to study and discuss scripture together. The 'Gospel in life' series by Tim Keller is one of the best studies I have done in years - I pray we can top it when we study 1 Corinthians though - pray that we all grow!
5) Repentance repentance repentance!
Repenting of worry, anxiety and stress. I'm over it, tired of it, weary of it, it's exhausting. I worry about Evangeline's sleep ( she sleeps well 8 out of 10 days and every single night), about Evangeline's development ( no issues), about whether I am doing enough ( which makes me more stressed and then ineffective because I need time to recover from the stress). Long way to go but greatly enjoying repenting of stress and trying to break the habit of being a worrier.
All in all - we survived and enjoyed this last month, Luke is finally getting more attention from Evangeline although I am still pretty much the centre of her world - which of course is a priveledge - but I pray that the centre will God some day!