We have such beautiful girls. Samantha is fighting her molars, but at the same time she has started giving hugs and kisses, and I don’t think there is anything in the world cuter than a hug from a 14-month-old. We are truly blessed. And I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, with the NFP discussion going on on a friend’s blog. Some people struggle to figure out their signs and when they’re fertile, and it leads to frustration, fights, and general trouble. I, on the other hand, have a regular cycle and a hard time not knowing if I’m fertile, now that I know what to look for.
We have met two beautiful young men with special needs through the youth ministry now. And I keep wondering, “Will we have a child like this?” All children have their own challenges, of course, but talking to these parents, you can see the years of struggling to help their child get by in society written all over their faces. Again, it’s something we just haven’t had to deal with, at least not yet.
And I’m meeting more and more women who have had to deal with miscarriages. Growing up, I thought that was a very rare occurrence. Now that I am an adult talking to adult women, and maybe the things brought up in polite company have changed since I was little, but I’m finding it frighteningly common. My friend Julia wrote a beautiful, moving post about her friend who lost a baby in utero. But again, we’ve only suffered through this vicariously, it has thus far passed us by.
And I’m left wondering, maybe it’s the flip side of what these struggling families wonder, “Why not us?” Surely we can’t escape these hardships forever?
Maybe it’s just the rain outside today, but it’s strange the way the suffering of others can cast a gloom over our own bright times. Or maybe it’s not strange at all. Maybe, and I think Julia (see above) is right in this – we have the chance to bear each other’s burdens, even if only tiny pieces of them. The Triune God did not design us to suffer alone, or to rejoice alone, for that matter. Which is a little difficult for a loaner like myself to accept sometimes, but I can’t think of a time I’ve opened up my suffering and not been thankful for having done it afterward.
We’re hoping to have a crowd for dinner tonight. And we’re hoping to pray the Liturgy of the Hours after dinner, despite the two (or more, depending on who comes) little ones bounding around the room. It seems like this is where all my writing, all our work is tending these days. Community. For joy, for suffering, for prayer, for play. Community.