I am sitting here with glands swollen like elephants, a throat that feels like knives are having a slasher party down there, a head that feels like someone is trying to hammer open a melon, and chills (any good word pictures for chills?)
What am I doing on here then, you may wonder.
Well, in spite of my poor wretched body issues (that will of course, fade in time) I am floating on stars. It's not that big of a deal really. You might think we just received our long awaited reference for an adoption (we're not adopting), or a check for a large sum of money. But in fact, all we received was two lovely packages in the mail.
I am not sure why these things encourage me so much. But often for me, it is the little things. Now, my life is not super dramatic (Don't roll your eyes at me. Really. Deep down I know it's not.) and it is pretty much made up of little things. Little events, little victories, little struggles (that I make rather important and all encompassing), little tasks, even little people just now. So it is no surprise to me that just a few small gestures can make me feel like the floodgates have opened.
For instance, the other day, it was sunny out. Sunny. And clear. With blue skies. I felt like I had to look up all day long and just mutter "thank you" over and over again. I couldn't get enough of it. You know what it did for me? It reminded me that even though most of the days will be gray here... there will be days of sun. There will be reprieve. It gave me a glimpse of hope. A little thing, I know-- but it was big to me.
Then there was a day where I didn't cry as I sat praying at our kitchen table, looking over the vast sea of houses and construction cranes jutting the sky like a herd of Brontosaurus. It's great to cry. I'm not against it. But I felt okay, not like I was barely going to make it through the morning. Did my hormones just calm down that morning? Or was it a comfort from a Great Comforter. Maybe both. But anyway, little thing as it was, it too gave me a glimpse of hope.
I've also written a little of how much it has blessed me watching our kids play and be together lately. They still fight and lash out at one another every single day. But there is so much good to see too, and it has encouraged me. It's such a little thing- but it has lifted my spirits.
The Man and I, we are so blessed. But there are plenty of times when we don't bless each other. There are times when, in the midst of a struggle between us, I have felt exasperated and caught in the dead end of a narrow alley-- having no idea where to turn and feeling rather hopeless. But God in his goodness, He has helped us time and time again. He makes me humble when I don't feel one ounce of humility. He sheds light on both our selfish hearts when all we want to do is rage and retaliate. And when that happens, as it did again the other night- I feel hope.
So today, when we received two unexpected and unsolicited packages in the mail, I was lifted high by such a little thing. My mother has always sent packages, and she is a supreme package sender. She sends gifts and thoughtful treats and anything I ask for with regularity. And while I delight in her packages, somehow you expect your mother to do such things. Not that it doesn't make you grateful, or even feel undeserving, but it is just that you are not blown out of the water when she makes the effort time after time. But when someone sends you something who has no sense of obligation (my mother, let me be sure to note, is no obligated gift giver. And she attaches no strings... a post for another time) to do so, it encourages my heart in a whole new and different way.
One package, from my SIL, who is like a sister, was nothing more than a down maternity coat. I have deliberated about whether or not to buy a coat, for this, my last pregnancy (knock on wood. Or call a surgeon). The winters here are bone chilling. Everyone wears down (in our other city, wool was the rage, but here we can only find down). I had half heartedly decided to try and eek it through with bulky sweaters and scarves and perhaps going out less. But then this. A little thing. So thoughtful.
The other package was from an old college friend. We lead similar and yet polar opposite lives on two sides of the globe. She is a mountain girl with four little ones, homeschooling and skiing and living a faithful life as best she can. She was a dear friend and gift while I lived in Jackson, Wyoming back in the first couple years following high school graduation, and I am blessed by what a gift she continues to be. Encouraging notes, a reminder every now and then that we are comrades in this walk, and now this package which was brimming with goodies and thoughtfulness. I know it is a small thing, but I felt hugged both from her and from on High.
Now I am going to go lay my pathetic little body down for hopefully a bit of rest that will lead to recovery. In the meantime, it seems a very flesh and blood picture to me of the fact that when we are weak, He continues to care for us.