Thursday, February 28, 2013

My Musings On John 6:60-7:13

In our own time, we can see people who are initially attracted to Jesus become disenchanted and fall away.  Jesus knew more than Judas Iscariot's betrayal.  He was abandoned by many disciples, Jewish leaders and even his own brothers who wanted to distance themselves from him. He knew that there would be those who came to him for his miracles, but couldn't accept all his teachings.  We like to believe that the way we see the world is the way it really is.  We like to believe that our understanding of what is true and good is the whole story.  Jesus was able to see so much more than we ever can.  He sees our struggle with the truth.  He knows how much we want clear rules to follow and simple explanations of things for which there are no simple explanations.

In my own life, I've struggled for many years to be good enough.  If I can just be the best I can be, then that will in turn mean I'll get my needs fulfilled.  Recently, I've discovered that it just doesn't matter.  I can't be good enough.  It's not a matter of being good enough.  I was afraid that if my flawed self were discovered, then I'd be cast out of the life I've spend years building.  Instead, I've found acceptance.  Being the best rule follower and trying to meet assumed expectations only made me unhappy.  While my life was filled with meaning, being a "Good Christian" was creating an impediment to closeness with the very people I needed - especially Jesus. 

Jesus knew, and knows, all of his betrayals.  He still loved the Jewish leaders and Judas, even as they plotted to kill him.  He still loves me, even though I was trying to hide my flawed self.  Being a Christian doesn't mean following another set of rules on top of all the rules in the Old Testament.  It's a new covenant that has nothing to do with earning.  It involves hard teachings that we may not even want to accept.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Standoff

My elder son is pushing back, as they called it in feeding therapy.  He's not having any of the mashed potatoes.  Nope, nada - not one bite.  Otherwise, he's doing well with adjusting to the feeding at home.  He's had a rough day with behavioral problems.  He's testing my limits.  I won't allow for him to succumb to the behavioral adaptations that he previously had.  We've committed to a new protocol for feeding, and we're going to see this through.  I know that we've made the right decision to help both boys reduce their dependence on tube feedings.

Emotionally, I've looked to the vines here at the Vineyard for solace.  They are dormant.  Not one bud of a leaf on either of them.  I can wait.  They will bud.  Then, following the leaves comes the grapes.  The children will grow just as the vines will grow.  My vineyard may not look like another woman's.  However, it's mine.  I don't have to have a thousand hectares of merlot vines.  They wouldn't suit me anyway.  I'm better suited to my two scraggly mystery vines.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Home - To a New Normal

We have returned home from the boys' stay in Intense Feeding Therapy.  The transformation is amazing.  We've gone from two tube fed boys to two boys who eat during the day, with some tube feedings in the evening.  I'm living a life far closer to that of a stay-at-home mother than I have in years.  I see a life that is so easy in comparison to what I used to know.  I didn't think my life was difficult then, but now I look back in wonder.  How did I not collapse?  How could I keep going?  I acclimated; I adjusted.  I accepted it as my life, and did what needed to be done.

Now there is so much more room for Joy.  The Vintner and I have time in the evenings.  I'm not spent and exhausted.  I don't fall asleep in my chair at 9 pm, with my knitting in my hand.  I hold my husband's hand, and we spent the time together.  We laugh; we enjoy our marital life.

I am behind on running the household.  It will take some weeks to find a new routine and a new pattern.  Now my morning prayers are not so desperate for help getting through the day.  It's not clinging to Hope, but  experiencing a small break for Joy and Faith.  There is so much more time to feel the pleasure of Love.  While love kept us going, there wasn't much room for feeling the happiness that it brings.  It was a mature, fulfilling love. Now that we're feeding children, instead of tube-feeding them during daylight hours, there's room for smiles.  Not that one can't smile while a feeding pump is running, but the stress runs so high, that it's all too easy to forget to smile.  Plus, no one really enjoys running a feeding pump the same way they enjoy feeding a child by mouth.  It won't take long for this to feel like the normal life that it is.  From there, the windows will get washed.  The spring planting will occur.  Friends will gather around our table.  Spring blooms but around the corner.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Last Few Days in Intense Feeding Therapy

In the past couple of years, I've only briefly touched on the disabilities of two of my children.  Their needs have been the reason why I've only posted briefly.  I've had very little time to myself.  When I have had time to write, I haven't felt the need to write anything for the public.  The increased attention we have received at the hands of nurses, doctors, therapists and other professionals has made me crave privacy, not explaining to anyone else our situation.  Quite the opposite, I'm exhausted from explaining all day, to so many people.

Now, we are entering a new phase.  My two boys, let's call them Balthazar and Melchior, have entered an intense feeding therapy program.  After a month, they will return home.  We will all be together as a family, without multiple professionals in my home all day, every day.  I'll still have help as a break on the weekends. This will give me time to attend to the things I wouldn't otherwise be able to do, like planting new vines.  It will feel more like the family life we once had, and less like living in a small hospital.

We will also be able to resume a more normal social life.  We'll be able to have help in the evenings, so that we can enjoy the company of friends.  My children go to bed early, so they won't need nurses.  In the past, I've either been awake all night caring for one of the boys, or too exhausted from our days to visit with anyone.  Now that a change is coming, I'm delighted to explore and discover.  I'm glad that I was the kind of person willing to live a quiet life for a time to meet their needs.  I'm glad that I'm the kind of person who will know when that season of life must end.  Now is the time to embrace the change and the growth of a New Spring.

These next few days are about saying goodbye to the hospital and the therapy program and saying goodbye to the last few days of winter.  It's time to say hello to the new buds of spring, and the new buds of our lives.