Last night we had our reveleries. We enjoyed good company and good food (pancakes with Nutella! Yum!!), came home and collapse in post Fat Tuesday joy. I have always enjoyed the idea of a good feast before a fast. We need strength for the road as we take our long journey through the desert to the lonely hill of Calvary.
For the first time in weeks, my husband was feeling better. Our friend even remarked upon how relaxed he was. I feel in so many ways last night was a preparation for our own dry patch. Today we went to the doctor for baby girl's 6 month check up and also a follow up about everything going on with my husband. Baby girl is doing great! After a dip in her weight she's jumped back up to her old curve, thanks to breastfeeding, some supplemental formula, and most recently some solids I'm preparing for her. Besides all that she's crawling, rolling, cooing, standing and being generally amazing. The report back on my husband's health was not so positive. After an upbeat appointment with the specialist yesterday, our family doctor basically said she couldn't believe he'd been going to work, and gave him a note telling him to stay off work for two weeks. She prescribed him a new medication that has a two week adjustment period that will make it dangerous for him to be at work. To help him feel better, things will have to get worse. Suffice it to say he's following doctor's orders, but we're all stressed.
I guess this year for Lent, God is trying to give our family a special lessons and gifts. The gifts are easy to see: the gift of time together, the chance for Hubby to heal, the chance to be home for the oldest boy's birthday, and most of all, the chance to learn once again to trust in God's enduring love and providence. God will provide. I know we'll have to work hard to make things work, but I trust He'll guide us through it all. As for the lessons, they are not so far from the gifts. I feel God wants us to learn to let go. To let go of our stress, fear, and the idea that work is more important than my dear husband's health.
This Lent, we will give up our expectations for what life "should" look like, and try to embrace the gifts God gives us in our adversity. I pray by the time we come to stand at the foot of the cross to weep with Mary for our loving Saviour, we will do it with hearts overflowing with gratitude and trust. We will see God's daily providence for us alongside the eternal providence of His Cross. We will come and mourn with deeper faith, and rejoice that God can roll any stone away. But first the desert. First the journey. And in this journey we walk with Christ always by our side, teaching us the everyday path of His Cross. God, let our hearts stay grateful.