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on hold

As Dan alluded to in his very eloquent blog post yesterday, it's been a tough week around here. We've been holding vigil for baby Nathan, our dear friends' newborn son who needs some heavy lifting from God and science to clear a staph-infected blood clot in his heart. Not nearly on par with that level of urgency but still stressful nonetheless are some financial troubles we hit this week. My claim for extended unemployment benefits, while approved, was never successfully processed last week, which left me frantically placing about seven hundred phone calls to the Massachusetts department of workforce development. Each time after entering in my social security number and cycling through three menus of options I was told: "We are now experiencing an unusually high volume of calls. Please try your call again on the next business day." (After hearing that message twice on Tuesday and four times on Wednesday and every half-hour on Thursday, I began to wonder what this government agency defines as "unusual." But whatever.)

Then I got sick yesterday. I am so tired of being sick and pregnant, of the snow and the cold, of all the laundry being dirty and mouse poop in our kitchen drawers and everything being all up in the air. It's infuriating and exhausting. I would like poor little Nathan's health trials to be over. I would like to have enough cash in the bank to pay my midwife next week. I would like to get over this yucky cold which keeps me away from the hospital and makes me offer Harvey videos of trains instead of read-aloud time with real books.

And despite all this, like Dan I am aware of God's presence and provision which sit with us in and despite what's going on.

Unlike Dan, I often ruminate on tragedy. Imagining tragedy in vivid detail is pretty much my main nervous preoccupation. If the dog runs off in the woods I imagine what I will do if I find him lying by the side of the road half run-over, or how I will react when I come around a corner unprotected and bonk into an angry pack of coyotes. Neither is very likely, but it seems important to me to plan how I would react. Since I was a child I have always believed death or a horrible disfiguring accident were just around the corner. When any member of my family goes out in a car I figure it's about a 50% chance that they make it back alive. When I go out I put the chances of my house still standing when I return at about about 60% (good odds!) Violent house fire? I worry about that pretty much every evening before bed.

All of which is to say, you can take the girl out of her Jewish mother, but you can't take the Jewish mother out of the girl.

(Although I don't know if I really phrased that properly...)

Yet I also know in my heart, not just theoretically but experientially, that God is good, that in all things he works for the good of those who love him, and that he has a plan to prosper us and not to harm us. Bad crap still happens, of course, and God is not a push-button robot to stop bad things from happening, but sometimes he does stop bad crap from happening, and if he doesn't he's certainly right there with us when the crap hits the fan. That may or may not be comforting, depending on my mood and the time of day and how much I want certain bad things not to happen. I would prefer my worst fears not to come to pass. I also know that if necessary God will walk with me straight into the middle of my worst fears and I will find them, like a vacant tomb, empty. And either way, what can we do? whatever happens God's all we got and we're in this for the long haul.

None of this comes off as a coherent blog post, but it does help me unload a bit and if nothing else offer an excuse for not showing you cute Harvey pictures for so long (I think the photos on my camera are a month old or something.) Harvey is very very cute. His current preoccupation is asking me to buy everything I can't offer him at the moment. "Harvey Helicopter...Mama buy one?" Um, not right now sweetie. Why don't you pray about it.


Thanks for this post; while you may have felt like you were mainly unloading, I also find helpful and important reminders about God's love in our lives, even when we feel life is going crappy.

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