Refiner’s Fire, My Hearts One Desire, Is to be Holy

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and that makes me sad. Blogging is very cathartic for me. But it seems that ever since I got out of summer school, where I was given two hours a day of writing time, I just haven’t had time to blog. And ever since Owen got diagnosed with Cancer, I haven’t had much time to do all the other “extra-curricular” activities I had been doing before either.

God is with me in this fireWhere I Was

Prior to Owen’s diagnosis, I was working daily on my marketing campaigns for my children’s book How to Love Like Jesus, developing the content and finding the programmers for an awesome marriage app with my business partner Nikki Marie at TheMomIWantToBe.Com, and continuing writing resumes and memoirs for clients. Then two days a week I was exercising in a fitness camp and had even lost my pregnancy weight–finally down to my pre-pregnancy weight right around the time we learned what Owen had. I was feeling really healthy. Really energetic. And generally joyful through Owen’s sickness, we had yet to understand.

Where I Am
  1. Now I’ve gained all that weight back–eating carbs again and haven’t found the time to exercise.
  2. I’m not blogging.
  3. As for the marriage app– haven’t touched that project at all. Of course this is also because Nikki just had a baby and therefore hasn’t pushed me on taking the next step.
  4. I’ve replaced that time with taking care of my sick husband, my kids, and both my husband’s and my duties with our house. (that alone will take up every second of time!)

And add what I’m not doing, I’ve struggling with a few other complications.

  1. My back has started to really hurt. I don’t know if it’s that I started doing more of the heavy lifting after Owen’s surgery or because my 4th C-section has led to some really rough scar tissue pulling on my back muscles, or a combination of both. But I’m in pain. A lot. And I pray it is just temporary. I can’t imagine living with this pain the rest of my life.
  2. Little Scotland has been struggling with constipation as she has taken in more formula and solid food (my milk supply crashed after Owen’s diagnosis) which it has led to a little tear in her rear-end that really hurts her and she no longer wants to eat solid food. She’s 9 months old. Just wants a bottle now. Doctor is not happy. Wants me getting her back into food. Says once her tear heals she should forget and eventually hunger will win. But I’ve got to let her deal with her hunger. Not just give her a bottle because that’s what she wants. So I’ve got a fussy baby right now.
  3. Owen’s 2nd round of chemo hit him much harder than the 1st round. So what we were expecting to last just 5 days, lasted 9 days and even now which is day 12 he still has to take a nap, gets nauseous, and feels generally irritable from the effects of the chemo, which then provokes me. We’ve had way more arguments and spats this time around than the previous one. It’s been emotionally exhausting.

So as you can see I’m just tapped. I’ve got no creative juices. I’m just trying to get through it all. I cry about once every day over something. I’ve blown it at times as a mother and a wife because at times I struggle with my own selfish desires.

It’s easy to be a giver and caretaker when things are good. But when times get tough, there’s a breaking point, and then selfishness kicks in–What about me? What about my pain? What about my needs? And I think that when Owen is feeling pretty well and even when he is feeling so sick there’s not logical reason to believe he could meet my needs at that time. But the thoughts still come. I’ve been struggling a lot lately with those feelings. And then when I get into that, I don’t serve as joyfully as I once did. Selfishness reveals the ickiness inside me that I’m desperate for God to purge me from. Maybe this is part of the plan, part of why I have to go through this. God uses all things for good in the lives of those who love him and are called according to his purpose. God disciplines whose he loves. God’s spirit sanctifies and convicts his Children.

So I’ve been praying a lot–thanking God for the blessings in my life and asking him for forgiveness for my selfishness and the strength and love to keep serving my husband and kids above myself. Right now as I write this, I feel His Spirit inside me telling me this truth:

This is only a season. And even in this season of back pain and a sick husband and an endless list of to-dos, there is still much I’m blessed by.

My Blessings in this Trial
  1. My raise which as afforded me the finances to hire a housekeeper twice a month to do the deep cleaning.
  2. Extra time with my kids during summer vacation.
  3. Owen is so honest with me. And his transparency about his struggles and thoughts have been rather humbling and inspiring
  4. Our friends and church family who have  blessed our family with donations, meals, prayers, and emotional support.
  5. My husband who has not allowed his Cancer to stop him from running his business and bringing in income.
  6. Owen’s family who have come out to help us with our house needs (landscaping, housecleaning, cooking, and babysitting).
  7. Owen’s friend and masseuse Evan has given me one massage and offered me one more hour for free to work specifically on my pained area due to my extra work and scar tissue.
  8. Benjamin, my third child has finally accepted potty-training and is cooperating now with going to the bathroom in the potty. Buying one set of diapers is right around the corner!
  9. Reading Proverbs this summer has really opened my eyes to recognizing my own foolishness and therefore, desire for wisdom and growth as a person and child of God.
  10. My wonderful time in the Writing Project, working with other teachers and reigniting a love for teaching that had waned over time.

Well I’m glad I wrote this. I know this blog was not craftily put-together. I wrote this one more for myself than for my readers. More because despite my lack of creativity or eloquence, I needed to get my thoughts down. I needed to analyze my situation and find meaning and purpose in it all. And it has worked.

silversmith sweats over his fireIt doesn’t mean that my back has stopped hurting, that my Scotty has started eating solids, that my husband feels well, that my house is in order, that my app will bet made any time soon, or that my husband and I will be free from arguments. But it does mean that despite all those struggles, God loves me. And he is using this all for good. I just have to be in this fire with him for a while. It’s the only way for silver and gold to be refined. And its the only way God can refine me. But just like a Goldsmith or a silversmith, who knows the metal is finally ready when he sees his own image in its reflection, God has to sweat over me and with me in this heat to form me into the image he has planned for me–His Image. That is love. And so while it may seem like I’m someone cursed at times, I’m really a blessed woman. My husband too.

This whole trial reminds me of a hymnal I remember singing in the back pews of CBC (Community Baptist Church) of Alta Loma when I was a girl:

Refiner’s Fire

My hearts one desire

is to be holy,

set apart by you my master

ready to do your will.

 

 

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