Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Oh, No. Yet Another

About 90 minutes after I applied the Oil of Oregano, Anna broke out in a body rash. I panicked, thinking she was allergic and would go into shock. Not likely, I know. But there was still that feeling of "Oh, no! What have I done?"

Since learning of her anemia, I've been so nervous about her health! In a saner moment, I remembered that babies younger than 12 months tend to get rashes with their fevers and viruses--something that happens less often in the older baby.

I called the doctor to see if she should be seen, but he was only having office hours until noon today, and my family was gone with the van. He suspects the rash is related to the virus. No, I don't usually call my doctor this often. Rarely, in fact.

He said it is unlikely that a resistance would have been built up against the anti-fungal cream, by the way.

I'll take her into the office tomorrow if the body rash doesn't clear. If it's an allergic reaction, I want to learn to identify it as such. All trace of fever is gone, and her face, shoulders and trunk are the main rashy areas. It's probably a non-specific viral illness, which are common in summer.

Sorry. Another boring post to read. I figure each sentence I construct--no matter how boring the topic--leads me one step closer to writing for a part-time living someday.

Someday in the very distant future.

Now this is a post worth reading, found below. Joy, the author, is wise beyond her years. She grew up in a solid Christian home, and it shows. I had trouble linking this, as I downloaded a new browser (Chrome), which I'm not used to yet. Here is the cut and paste of her post:

August 19, 2009
Coming to the hard stops of soul care...
I have a dear friend who has gently been watching over me from a distance.

Yesterday, she asked me how I was doing- really doing. Not the "I'm fine, just great!" question. More like the "how are you and God these days?" question. Followed hard upon with the next question- "are you taking care of yourself?"

In my dear friend's mind, the two are quite intertwined. One can't be answered without the other, because to her, taking care of oneself naturally means that one is meeting with God too. Me? I tend the separate out the two by default- as if one could exist without the other, like somehow one could technically be okay without the God-flow in our lives. And there, I err. And I know it too, that I cannot survive, cannot breathe in the space of my days without the sustaining force of my Lord, and yet- and yet...I starve more often than not. I hold myself back from the provision He has so graciously given me, mine for the taking if I would only stop. And listen. And pray.

Sometimes when my friend asks these hard questions, I shrink within. I know she expects an honest answer, and the honesty is sometimes too appalling. Her gentle touches seem to wound, but they are the best kind- the type that excise the infection from a gash and set it to proper healing. But yesterday, I bloomed with the joy that I could answer positively to both questions. Yes, God and I were meeting. He was there, and I was attendant. And yes, I was taking care of myself, as best as I can possibly could with a brand new babe. She probed a bit further, just to be sure, as she knows I have struggled with postpartum depression in the past. And as we talked, I mentioned that it bothered me that it took me until my fifth child, my miracle baby, to finally learn the art of self care. Of soul care. Was it not important with the other four children? Was not my need for sustenance important all the other days that I have walked this journey? I am not sure why. I am still puzzling over this.

As our conversation drew to a close, I was thinking about why this time was different, why I could honestly answer my friend, without one shred of guilt, that yes, I was caring for myself in both the physical and the spiritual sense.


I tend to try to do too many things at once. Just one more task, one more minute, one more, one more, one more. Until am I exhausted, drawn out, and unable to function. This is my biggest danger when a new baby is in the house, and I knew it. Saw it for the trap it was, and had been prayerfully considering it all summer long. It wasn't until I read Katherine's post, No NAK , that something clicked in my mind. Here's a small snippet of what she said:

NAK is online slang for "nursing at keyboard." I've made this mistake in the past. I won't do it again. The amount of time I spend nursing my newborn is tremendous. If I used every nursing session as a chance to check email, Facebook or Google Reader I would be on the computer for most of the day and night. Nursing is a special time to bond with one's baby, building the foundation for a lifelong relationship. I can't bond and build anything if I'm balancing a nursing baby on an elbow and knee and staring at a screen.

Now, Katherine's post was talking about time spent online in general, and this was just a small part of the whole article. But she goes on from this paragraph to say that she has set up her space near her rocking chair as place for prayer. (She's Orthodox.) I think that's what clicked together in my mind as I read this over a month ago now, before Josiah was born. I feel like I've definitely come to a place of balance with my online time, and I don't feel the least bit guilty about my current usage. My thoughts tend to reflect Katherine's in practically all points. But on the other hand, I am horrible about regular prayer times. It is one of those things that constantly discourages me about myself, because as I've said, it's akin to starving!

I resolved at that point that nursing and prayer time, as much as I was able, were to be definitively linked after Josiah was born. I had also decided, in tandem, that no longer would I try to do forty things at once while nursing (you'd be amazed what you can do with a sling or a moby and a willing baby). I would sit down, I would put my feet up, I would have something to drink nearby, and I would stop. The only thing I would 'allow' myself was the chance to read, but even then, only in the early evening hours.

For the last three weeks, that is exactly what I have been doing. Every two and a half, three hours, I stop. I rest. I pray. I marvel at the miracle of Josiah.

And wouldn't you know, I am in a much better head space, emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually?


Ann Voskamp has been doing a series on spiritual disciplines, and this month's focus has been on prayer. Today she wrote an article called prayer: why we struggle (and how not to). Please click over and read the whole thing, the whole series. It is very good. But here is what caught my eye:

"I never notice it when I just pray after reading Scripture, early or late, when we pray before and after meals. Prayer's short, convenient. It's only when I began to follow the way of Jesus and the early church in fixed hour prayer, feeding my soul at certain fixed times like I eat at certain fixed times, and I was confronted with this consistent struggle to cease working and kneel in prayer, that I realized the true ugliness of my lack of prayer.

It's a startling, wrenching thing to discover that it's not time, or busyness, or pressing concerns that prevent one from prayer. The extent of prayer in one's life is a direct function of whether something else has been set up as more important than God. "

My nursing/prayer times immediately came to mind. It has been very hard for me to come to these hard stops and well, stop. To meet God. It has been a constant struggle actually, to just be still. But even in these short three weeks, I realize how much the better I am for it. And I am shamed by that realization, that statement, that something else has been set up as more important than God. And I question, with Ann, as to why I let my soul starve when the answer is so very simple. Yet I cannot help but see the sort of humor my Lord has, as he has brought me to sustenance through the very act of sustaining- of nursing! As I am nourishing Josiah, through God's grace, the Lord is nourishing me. It makes me smile to think upon it, this gentle irony. Oh that I would learn! His ways are always better.

Isaiah 66:11-13

11 For you will nurse and be satisfied
at her comforting breasts;
you will drink deeply
and delight in her overflowing abundance."
12 For this is what the LORD says:
"I will extend peace to her like a river,
and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream;
you will nurse and be carried on her arm
and dandled on her knees.

13 As a mother comforts her child,
so will I comfort you;
and you will be comforted over Jerusalem."

Posted by Joy at 01:55:03 PM in Listening, Momma musings

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