Examination of Conscience

We leave for vacation tomorrow, and the house is, predictably, a mess. This isn’t hyperbole– two months of morning sickness followed by recovery from a miscarriage has left things in a pretty awful state. As I was cleaning this morning, I started having these weird little ticky things that I always thought was just one more weird thing about me, but turns out they are actually juvenile partial clonic seizures that I have been having since the eighth grade.

Generally, they’re not a big deal. But when I am particularly tired or sick or stressed, they start coming one on top of the other, and that seriously wrecks havoc with my quality of life. I didn’t understand why I was having them though. After a week of no sleep, I’ve actually gotten two solid nights of eight+ hours of sleep. And my body really does seem to be healing, especially after I visited the chiropractor, so it wasn’t that I was feeling ill. Then I realized– STRESS!

You see, I don’t particularly want to go on this vacation. It’s not that I don’t want to see my friends, because I do. Nor is it that I don’t want spend time with my family, because I love the long talks my husband and I have in the car and seeing my kids experience new things. I’ve just had a rough summer. I had great plans– by the end of the summer I was supposed to have accomplished a years’ worth of homeschool planning, a summer’s worth of Camp Half-Blood, and four month’s worth of gestation. Instead, I have no planning done, we did little-to-no camp, and the baby is gone. Before I knew I was pregnant, I had planned to paint all the walls this summer, as well as the planning and camp. And like my other plans, those disappeared.

So you see, it’s not that I don’t want to go on vacation. I just have this terrible feeling of a wasted summer. My original plans, I was happy to set aside in the hopes of a baby. But now that dream is gone too, and I feel like three months have gone by with nothing to show for it. Instead of a vacation, I feel like what I should be doing is scrubbing floors and painting walls and planning units and organizing school stuff. And these feelings lead to stress, which, in my case at least, leads to seizures.

When I sit down and breathe and pray, I know it’s not for nothing. I know that in God’s economy–which, thank goodness, is nothing like my own–sacrificing my own wants and needs for those I love, even a tiny unborn baby, isn’t wasted. I know what God says in Jeremiah–“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Knowing and feeling are two different things, unfortunately, and I find myself with feelings of sadness and despair.

It’s hard to know what to do with these feelings. So, I do what I can today. I tidy up the school stuff. I build the other set of cubbies. I wash a hundred loads of laundry. I help the children pack. I breathe. Much as I did a little over two months ago when I first found I was pregnant, I surrender myself to the moments. I set aside my plans, and accept what the Lord has planned instead. Apparently, the Lord planned for me to go to vacation in Iowa. He wants to me to be with the family he blessed me with, and to have a wonderful time.

See you in two weeks!