Though I'm hardly on Facebook these days, it was a good way to share some news with a lot of people at once. For a few of our friends who aren't FB users, and for my own journal-keeping purposes, I figured I'd better quickly outline three major changes that our family is dealing with in 2011.
1. First, the happy news! Baby #6 will join our family approximately August 30. After a miscarriage at 7 weeks last summer, I was thrilled to see a heartbeat on the monitor at my first appointment on Monday. I'm just past 9 weeks, and all is going well so far.
2. And the sad news. We learned on Monday that Ted is definitely deploying for a full year, with 4 weeks of training beginning in mid-April and leading up to his report date of May 28. Though we were bracing ourselves for the possibility, knowing that it is a certainty has cast a certain pall over our lives. And yet, we know God's purposes will prevail, and we pray that He alone will receive the glory for what He accomplishes in and through us during this time. We do rejoice and thank the Lord for moving the hearts of our landlord and his wife to allow us to extend our lease one more year, so the children and I will be able to stay put, giving us some much-needed stability and nearness to our support network in the neighborhood and of course at our amazing church.
3. Finally, we have officially begun a new diet/lifestyle. I hesitate to use the word "diet," because that conjures up images of people trying to lose weight. That isn't really our primary goal, though I suppose the taller members of our family could stand to lose a few pounds, LOL. The program we are following is the GAPS diet, along with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. The steps leading to this major decision are too complicated to outline in this (supposedly) short post, but in a nutshell, we hope to heal the bodies of our family members who have been struggling with allergies and asthma and have been on medication for the symptoms. Enough is enough--it's time to stop treating the symptoms and get to the root cause. Additionally, we have learned too much about the food industry, so our change is more than simply cutting out sugars and grains--we're also replacing meat and dairy products with REAL food! More expensive, to be sure, but we want to know our food is coming from good sources that will help us be healthy, not add to our health problems.
Any one of these issues could easily overwhelm me on any given day...but combining all three, I feel completely consumed. I freely admit I'm overwhelmed at the thought of adding another baby to our clan when I feel I can barely keep up with the care and schooling of the ones we have. Doing it all as a single parent makes the task even more daunting. And now add to that the fact that I am cooking 3 meals a day and can no longer rely on the "easy" meals that seemed to free up so much of my time! This week, I have spent approximately 90% of my waking hours in the kitchen. I have been consumed by the difficulties of implementing a new lifestyle. I know it will get easier as time goes on...much time this week has been spent making homemade condiments and soup bases, for example.
When circumstances threaten to overwhelm me, I just cling to my Father in heaven, and I keep thinking of the verse from Lamentations: "Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail." What a promise! He will never fail us. He will never leave or forsake us. When the world seems to be spinning out of control, He's there holding it together. How thankful I am that He is our Rock and our Redeemer. Without Him, who could stand?
And so we are NOT consumed! I have many moments in which I feel I am. (You should have seen me trying not to curse at my blender this afternoon!!) But by God's grace, we will get through this, and Lord willing, it will be triumphantly declaring His praises and His glory!