January and February threaten to slay me every. single. year. It sneaks up on me and I totally don't see it coming until it's too late. Why don't I get the hint when giant tentacles of school, after Christmas blues, projects, sports, and job stress threaten to overtake my joy? Too often I'm tempted to cry 'uncle' and give in to worry, anxiety, children's special needs, appointments, teaching, fatigue and the overwhelming opinion that God is out to get me for these 60 days. Y'all, every year this happens…..and it's only on then other side that I see how foolish I was. Me. now. Oy. Meh.
It's so easy to simplify others lives in our minds and compare isn't it? I fall into this trap a lot….especially in the last couple of months when I have been drowning. Then I made the biggest mistake I could. I didn't lay it at the feet of Jesus. I tried to struggle through on my own. It robbed my joy. Never ever a good idea….and most definitely not the blessed path we could be traveling through these same struggles. Once I realized how negligent I had been to read God's word, hide God's hallowed scriptures in my heart, pray and confess where I was struggling to find even the slightest moment of joy in the midst of overwhelming days…..the light came. My days aren't' any easier….in fact I wonder where the strength is going to come from as I look at my schedule…. but I no longer doubt. It will be there if I ask. Boom.
One thing I have been doing is using Bible Gateway for my devotions instead of my regular Bible. I did this under duress since I am a creature of habit and have no desire to be torn from my well worn ESV leather bound version…. but I wanted to compare translations easily. I love The Message version of the Bible and have that usually on my lap side by side to my ESV. Well, Bible Gateway will parallel the verses for you from any translations you choose….right on your laptop. Comparisons at your finger tips! I can't tell you how much I have learned about scripture from studying the history of the day then comparing translations to better understand the culture and what the author is trying to say. It has definitely untangled many 'is this doctrine or preference' moments for me. Try it….I think you may be surprised at what you thought a certain scripture meant…..to only find out it means something totally different.
I do try to rise early and have my quiet time before anyone else is awake….which works a good majority of the time. However if you read our great Christmas Pox story…..and add the fact that we have special needs children in our house our nights over the last two months have been fragmented. Being able to pull out my laptop, scroll through the word of God in silence…..in the quiet, in the dark so as to not awaken a sleeping child that has snuck in during the night, has been a godsend.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. The needs of adoptive kids are way beyond the norm. Most people just don't get it….and that's ok. They aren't in your shoes everyday to experience the widespread emotional pendulum swings….not to mention the medical needs mixed in with jobs and life. It can be daunting. Maybe next year we'll plan a January vacation somewhere on a deserted island….only if they have Wi-fi for Bible Gateway of course:)