It's been a long week. A very long, L--O--N--G week. Kyler left early Sunday morning with another group of teens and adults for Daytona, FL, and the Student Life summer conference being held there this week.

Originally, we (the kids and I) were going to go, too. I have yet to go on a summer trip with Kyler and the teens. (Funny, I'm always home very pregnant or nursing an infant. You'd think we'd learn and get our timing straightened out...) Anyhow, it took awhile to get the student numbers, hotel rooms and costs straightened out. And there was the little fact that I'm nearly five weeks from my due date. And exhausted. So...we stayed home.

The week started out not so great. Actually, it was plain abysmal. The exhaustion was overwhelming, the boys were not cooperating, it was taking me hours to complete the smallest of tasks, I was stressed out over what I hadn't accomplished, and consequently (and unfortunately) my attitude was terrible. I think it actually took us until Wednesday to achieve some sort of balanced routine.

Of course, my pregnant body responded to all of this emotional chaos with many warning flares intended to slow me down. I started having contractions. Real ones, lots of them, and particularly at night when I was attempting to rest. I know, I know, bad news bears. Fortunately, I'm not as dense as you may think, and fortunately, my husband is very wise and knows how to reason with me so I will listen, particularly when I'm overwhelmed.

He told me, "Your only job this week is to relax, take care of the boys, and don't have a baby."

So far, I've complied quite well. I have relaxed, the boys have survived, and so far, no baby.

The remainder of the week has been equally as challenging as the beginning, but I've managed to change my focus. It's funny how quickly we (well, I, at least) can let the little things completely derail our focus. How quickly we become so overwhelmed we completely miss Satan swooping in to take advantage of us when we are already emotionally compromised. He's a master at that, you know.

The last few days I've stopped trying to be a superhero, and I've started enjoying the time with my kids. Of course, as soon as I resolved to do this and asked God for His help and guidance, Satan was right there, ready to test that resolve with a multitude of well-aimed jabs. The boys were whiny and inconsolable. They wouldn't eat. They wouldn't nap (and therefore, neither could I, even after they had stayed up until 11pm and woken up at 7am). They refused to play together without trying to annihilate each other. Exorbitant messes, stains, and soiled clothing were left behind in their wake, wherever we went in the house. That very night, already hours past bedtime, Cameron threw yogurt and fruit all over the kitchen floor mere seconds after I had served it, while Kayden simultaneously peed all over his chair and left an enormous puddle under his seat.

But God is faithful, and He has rewarded my determination to hold onto a new perspective the remainder of this week. And, he has reminded me of indeed how blessed I am. Yesterday, I learned about the nephew of one of our church friends who drowned in a pool last week. His funeral was today; he was two years old. Today, I woke up to a call from a friend about a little boy from our church who had fallen in the pool at home and was fighting for life in a nearby hospital. He is only three years old and his name is Christopher. Please pray for him. Pray for the swelling in his brain to return to normal, pray for his lungs to continue improving, pray for the circulation in his left leg to normalize, and pray for strength, courage, and above all, continued faith for his family. We know God holds him in the palm of His hand, and we know He has a plan, and it is good. I also know that in that place of pain and suffering for his parents and family, particularly when the life of a loved one, especially a small child, is so uncertain, is exactly where Satan is, waiting to place seeds of doubt, anger, anguish, and unbelief.

It floors me how amazingly self-absorbed and spiritually ungrounded I can allow myself to become when I don't make every effort, even in the everyday small things, to stay rooted in Christ and guard my heart. It has been a long week, but I am so blessed to have had the week I did.

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