Today has been full. Full of people. Full of hard work. Full of messes. But I would be remiss if I failed to mention that today has also be full of grace. Full of victory. Full of truth.
For starters, I have been concerned about my girls. So much of my time is spent away from them right now, but today they went out to my parents' home to play with my nephews, who just happen to be exactly their ages. It was a morning full of fun and adventure and memories for everyone. Even if I could have chosen something different for their day, I wouldn't have. Grace.
Ben and I powered through his exercises today. I was anticipating them being a fight (and he wasn't thrilled to do them), but they were MUCH easier today. He has also discovered that he actually enjoys some of the exercises. What I thought would be 30 minutes of battle ended up being 30 minutes of positive struggle and victory. And this evening, all three of the big kids did the exercises with their daddy. Grace. I'm not going to tell you who could do the most sit-ups. Hint: it's not me.
One of Ben's tasks for the day is to listen to a special music CD. I'd like to tell you that this is pleasant classical music, but it is NOT. It is random beats. Wolves howling. Eerie music in a minor key. Laura said what the rest of us were thinking, "This is too scary. Turn it off!" When I mentioned that at the center today, I was given another CD to try. Apparently we're not the only ones who weren't fans of the wolves. Grace.
I hid in the program director's office again today so I could watch Ben's session without his knowledge, and I learned a lot about what exercises they are doing with Ben as well as how he is responding or resisting. I'm very pleased with the variety of things they are challenging him to do, and Ben seems genuinely happy to be there. Grace.
One of the ways we are trying to thrive rather than survive is by calling in the reserves. We have been blessed to have one of my former students (who is now in college... yep. I'm old.) as our family helper. Miss Kaitlyn graces our home with her presence 8-10 hours each week. Sometimes she plays with the kids so I can get work done or grocery shop. Sometimes she helps out with work around the house. Sometimes she plays a very intense game of chess with Caleb. Her presence in our home is always a blessing, and today was no exception. My family room floor is now clean. My counters are wiped down. And my children got priceless attention as she and I divided and conquered. It took years for me to admit that I couldn't do it all, but I fully admit it. David and I can't get it all done on our own. Period. Ending today knowing all the laundry is put away and crumbs are a little more under control... Grace.
Caleb is a picky eater who loves carbs. Ben is a food lover who can't eat half the food he loves. With all the new restrictions, I've felt like I'm perfectly positioned to fail at getting everyone to eat; but tonight's dinner of gluten-free pasta made everyone happy. Seriously. This NEVER happens. At the end of the meal, Caleb commented that he really liked the new pasta. Say what?? Grace.
Our family attends Wednesday evening church, and I have the privilege of spending the evening with our church's jr. high and sr. high youth. Even with a baby fussing, it did my heart good to hear our youth pastor speaking on the power of God's Word to change our lives. Amen and amen! Grace.
And Ben. Sweet Ben. This is one of the first Wednesday nights that he has been able to attend church because his tantrums had gotten so bad at home that he kept losing the privilege of going to his beloved preschool program. Not today. Despite having done an hour of exercising with us, an hour of coaching at the center, two hours in the car, and no nap; Benjamin's behavior ROCKED today. No screaming. No fights. No stomping. Just a happy kid who kept thanking me for things. Not sure if this is the result of diet, exercises, treatments, or prayer; but I'm callin' it Grace.
And you. Your prayers. Your notes. Your messages. Your hugs. We are unbelievably grateful for the Body of Christ. Love and grace has lifted us so many times today that even with a cranky, teething baby, stacks of papers, and another huge day ahead of us; I have hope and joy. Unwavering confidence that God is up to something good in our family, even if it is only draining us so there will be more room for Him in the limelight. Your prayers have carried us, and we know that we are safe in the hands that formed the universe. Amazing. grace.
And all I can think to say are the words to the old hymn:
Love lifted me. Love lifted me.
When nothing else could help, love lifted me.