Thriving

It’s been a long break, I know. Thanks for sticking around.

We made it to The Farm in Virginia and it’s quiet. It’s wide open space. It’s walks through the woods and down by the lake. It’s meals on the deck in the day’s dying light. The children play and fight and swing on the tire swing. Christy and I laugh and scold, cook meals and dry tears, fold laundry, drink coffee, and talk, talk, talk over the four little voices of our children. We talk about nourishing food and books we’ve loved. We talk about child rearing and birth. And now there are two daddys coming home from work in the evening to their turn at reading the same book for the third time, changing diapers, separating fighters, and cold beer served with a welcome home kiss.

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The Farm is the haven we have been looking for. The place we’ve hoped for with room to rest and breath. When the sunshine streams through the windows and lays like ribbons on the wall it feels like joy. I snuggled down under the warm covers with my love beside me and my kids wide awake and waiting for permission to start their day, way too early. The new little life inside moves and kicks and makes me change positions.

But this perfect place couldn’t stop the bleeding that sent us for an ultrasound at the hospital. Our little one is safe and growing well but the magical birth that I’ve been hoping and dreaming for – the miracle of a new life coming peacefully from deep inside to the safety of my own bed – may not happen the way I have imagined after all. It appears that my placenta is low lying at best and may be actually covering the cervix somewhat. The baby is in a breech position since there isn’t really space for him to relax into an optimal, head down position. For the last few days I have been trying to picture a peaceful, monitored hospital birth that doesn’t end in hemorrhaging or a c-section. But it’s hard.

It feels as though the brick wall I’ve been crashing up against over the last couple years has followed us to this secret place. Now I wake up in the morning and remind myself of all the things that should get me out of bed but I can feel that same old friend come close and grip my heart and it’s hard. I spend the first minutes of my day fighting for control over the depression that is so easily slipping its way in close.

And, of course, I carry the guilt that, as always is the case, there are so many individuals in much worse situations and somehow they bear up and even thrive. I want to thrive. I want to push up through the stones and blossom! I read a quote yesterday written by Walter Brueggemann that I hate but I know it’s true: “Holding on grimly is an act of atheism.” I am actively trying to unclench my fists, push away that old dark friend, to thank and praise a God who I know – I. KNOW. – is good.

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quiet, hot summer

We are here, I promise. Our days right now are quiet and hot. The last couple weeks:

My nephew, Adoniah Jude, was born on August 2nd – four days after we got home. It was difficult for me to miss the birth and I sat on Skype with Lili in Indiana and my dad in Bolivia until I finally slept, waking up to check on updates every hour or so throughout the night. I am so proud of my sister and am amazed at her strength and endurance through an extremely long and intense birth. I just saw the little guy today for the first time. He is precious.

baby and mum

August 6th was Ayden’s fourth birthday! 4? How did that happen? It seems like just yesterday I was holding him in my arms, an infant needing protection and a quiet, safe place. Now he is a four year old riding his new bike down the road, nailing bits of wood together, becoming always a little bit bolder in the ocean waves, making me a cup of coffee in the morning. He is sensitive and gentle and deeply moved by others’ suffering. He recently drew my attention to an elderly woman in a wheelchair who only has one leg. She was being pushed door to door by her young granddaughter to ask for what help would be given them. Ayden’s initial response was a desire to help this woman. I am thankful to God for giving Ayden, my little flame, a fire of compassion at such a young age.  We spent his day with friends at Tenacatita beach.

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Over the weekend the kids started showing signs of chickenpox so we have been keeping a low profile – which is not an easy thing now that Abuela, Tio Tomas, and the Philips family of 3 are here! We want to keep Ayden and Willow away from baby Adoniah and from the many children and adults in our neighborhood who have never had the virus. They don’t understand it and at times it can be difficult to say “no”. Their cases are quite mild, so far, and they are not in any discomfort though it seems to be worse during the night; they have not been sleeping well.

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I am reading a lot and trying to get recipes and menus organized so that when the season is in full swing we have fewer runs to the local taco stand or pub and more homemade, nourishing meals. I have been holding on to many verses from Psalm 68 as I watch and read about the conflicts in Gaza and Israel, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine. It can easily become overwhelming and depressing… “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation.”

I just finished reading “I Shall Not Hate” by Izzeldin Abuelaish and would recommend it to anyone interested in understanding a bit more the conflict between Israel and Gaza. It was extremely eye opening to me and has caused me to re-examine my own quickness to judge situations and people.

Ben is working away on fixing up espresso machines and grinders, doing projects on the roaster and the house in general, and basically being the rock of our home. He is always helpful with dishes, picking up toys, running errands, entertaining the children, letting my sleep in, improving our home and our business, encouraging us and always learning and growing himself. I am so blessed!