Learning Contentment

I feel like I am living someone else’s life. Living here at the hospital is a totally different world. To a degree Joel and I are falling into a pattern: our days have begun to have somewhat of a routine. We have been here for seventeen days with no end in sight. Of course, I know there is an end, it is just the details up to this point have been so vague.

Prior to this, my life had a rhythm: the kids and I moved through our days together. I would make meals with the help of little hands stirring a pot or finding ingredients for me. There was laundry that was in an endless state of accumulation. My little helpers would sort the socks, shift baskets around etc. We would do school together, learning all sorts of things. Of course there was all the other housework, some days it got done and other days it was waiting for me the next morning.

We had play time where I would eat pizza cooked by Hannah. Together we would build tents in beds. I would be amazed at Taliah’s daily drawings. The boys would baffle my mind with their creativity as they would build all sorts of wonderful things from Lego. I would watch as the kids would pull on their boots and head out the door to build tepees, slay dragons and discover new lands. Countless hours were spent reading stories from old classics to new found adventures. And then there was cuddle time…or when I would receive an unsolicited hug or smooch from one of my little (or not so little) ones.

It may sound rather ordinary but it was my life and I loved it. I am convinced one day, hopefully sooner than later, Joel will be out there running around getting himself dirty with the other kids…and I will be back to my ever growing laundry pile. In the meantime I have found acceptance of our situation; it is not what I would have picked for us, but it is our life right now. No amount of complaining can change that.

Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians ….I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4: 11b – 13; to be honest with you all I don’t think I am as far along on this path as Paul was. I am still working on being content in all things; there is a big difference between acceptance and contentment. I think I am much further along this path than I was 18 days ago.

I am learning what it is to walk in His strength. The neat thing I have learned about God is He is never finished with us. Just when we figure we have mastered a characteristic… patience, trust, compassion etc. God pulls back a layer and encourages to go deeper. He doesn’t want you to ‘just’ love others. He wants you to dig deeper and love more… to love harder…from somewhere deep within, inside you. He wants us to never be satisfied with the minimums but to give our all. And just when we think we are giving our all He brings us to a place where we can go deeper. It is only possible, though, when we are walking in His strength.

Some of that strength came in the form of His faithful. Uncle Kyle came for a visit today and then we had Sim and Trussje, Savannah, Mr. and Mrs. Dejong (or as some at church know Mrs. Dejong as the cookie lady) who, of course, made sure she had cookies with her. Finally, the Kline family stopped in, bringing Timbits and cards from all the kids from his Sunday School class.

Joel finished off his day with a massive meltdown, I wish I could help him to not become so frustrated. So far, tonight, he isn’t sleeping too soundly and he has a fever. I am hoping this new week will bring some answers as to how oncology wants to proceed. We progress one moment at a time. Blessings!

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