I have stared at the computer screen for a solid five minutes trying to figure out where to even start, and all I could come up with this weird title- which I will explain about a bit more later in this blog.
I tried to get some cute photos of the boys this afternoon after church. While it was mostly a fail I did manage to get some sweet smiles over the course of several pictures.
Another wacky week of therapies and appointments. I feel like at some point I am being redundant by highlighting all of our medical appointments and therapies, so I will focus on the noteworthy ones. Levi had his repeat hearing test this week, a suggestion made by the NICU in Cincinnati upon discharge. With his medication history he was pre-disposed to having hearing issues, but thankfully he passed! I can’t help but laugh at most of our appointments when they tell me what the requirements are. For this particular one she explained that he couldn’t be moving or crying while she put an ear plug in each of his ears for roughly a minute each.
Sometimes I wonder if I am in some weird psychological experiment to see how many “impossible tasks” medical professionals can throw at a mom until she breaks haha. Bring it on Sigmund Freud.
The boys are still just as sweet as can be with each other. Levi has recently started to hold Malachi’s hand.
While we were in Pigeon Forge last week on our getaway I ran by the outlet stores and stocked up on matching clothes for the boys. While I admit that I love matching them, Malachi genuinely gets a kick out of matching Levi. Malachi is about to grow out of the toddler sizes so buying them the same shirt in different sizes won’t happen again until Levi is Malachi’s age.
And of course, most of the outfits are superhero themed since, well, they are basically superhuman kids. 🙂
Levi is still “crawling” and getting incredibly fast at it. I am worn out from chasing him around the house trying to keep him from pulling out his tummy tube or getting his wires caught on anything.
Malachi was invited to a friend’s birthday party, and since those invites are rare we tried hard to make it happen for him. Jake had a church event so I was solo with both boys; Levi is officially into a separation anxiety phase and can’t be out of sight from me without losing his mind so handing him off to a willing friend isn’t an option. But we got there and settled in.
The birthday girls mom let Malachi in on a big secret that there was a full sized chicken in one of the boxes. Apparently the 6 year old had been asking for one for her birthday so they boxed it up for her to open. Malachi was grinning with anticipation while she opened her presents and the boxed up chicken did not disappoint. As soon as the box opened the chicken sprung out, grazing children in the head as it “flew” frantically around the room. Of course every child in the room began screaming in sheer terror as it looked for a place to land, eventually settling on the head of an older woman in the crowd. Malachi thought the whole scene was the best thing he had heard in a long time and couldn’t stop giggling.
I took this video a few minutes later- I think he was hoping that the next package would be another exciting chicken.
Malachi went to school three days this week, which made him one happy little boy. We saw one of his teachers in town this week and he was so excited to see her outside of the school setting.
The weather here has been beautiful and the boys have been enjoying coming out to the soccer games this week! I have a new set up in the back of the van where Levi can crawl around and Malachi can sit in his special bean bag seat. My mom comes to supervise them and we park them right next to the field! It has been working wonderfully for now.
I have a whole lot of nonsense to blog about tonight, and in no particular order so bear with me.
My first thought tonight was about the importance of choosing contentment. I know I talk about this a lot, but it is so very vital in the life of a Christian. There are so many moments in my day that I feel a mourning moment creeping into my soul as I think how things “should have been”. Truthfully, things like the birthday party this week are hard for me as I am surrounded by kids Malachi’s age all doing things Malachi “should” be doing. That lump in my throat starts to form as I watch them effortlessly climb and jump.
But then my pity party radar goes off and I take my eyes off the children and look at my Malachi, grinning ear to ear listening and waiting for the chicken in the box. The life that he knows is full of joy, and I have to remember to be grateful for quality of life Malachi does have. And if Malachi is content, then it only makes sense that I choose contentment as well.
But contentment is a heart issue. It is something that only God can do as He had to transform your mind and heart. Contentment alone is easy when things are going well. But true contentment in less than ideal circumstances is indeed a gift from God that can only be manufactured by Him.
This Wednesday we started a new Bible study with the kids in our youth group and used this verse as our springboard:
13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
Hebrews 11 is commonly known as the Faith Hall of Fame as it lists so many people acknowledged for their extraordinary faith. Reading through their stories is inspiring and we tend to stop at verse 13. But these verses are just as important for us to remember!
It mentions that even until the moment they died, they were still living by faith. But even more noteworthy is that they acknowledged that they were strangers on earth, looking for a country of their own. The more God works in the Carroll family the more I see the beauty and peace that comes in knowing that this is a temporary place for my family.
I find myself longing for a better country…a heavenly one. A place with perfect legs, perfect brains, and perfect vocal cords. A place without exhaustion and caffeine addictions.
But there is a reason that each of us have been placed on the earth. Do we recognize the significance of that mission? Do we see the opportunities God gives to us to share our faith with others? Do we look to be the hands of Jesus for others?
Are we treating this life like it is a temporary pilgrimage on our way to a heavenly home? Do our priorities in life and the things we focus our time towards reflect our recognition that this life is temporary? Or do we cling to the idea that this world should be about us?
I have been challenged lately by God to “pour myself out”. I laugh as I type this because if I shared a typical Carroll week with you would be blown away by the number of things we pack into a week. But God continues to ask us to do more. So we pour and we pour, and then we watch as God replenishes and uses the pouring moments to strengthen our own faith.
He keeps reminding me that this is not my home. But until that day comes I am called to give, give, and then give some more. And to do so without expectation of return or reward. Simply because that is what God asks of us.
My thought challenge for the week…are you pouring your life into others? In what ways does your life make a kingdom impact? Or are you more concerned with making your time on earth a comfortable one full of luxuries?
Are you trying to make this earthly pilgrimage a reflection of the heavenly life you desire?
Let me challenge you to pray about what you have been placed on this earth to do. What people has God allowed your path to cross with for a very specific reason.
I am literally going cross-eyed with exhaustion tonight but want to write more…I guess I will have to save those thoughts for next week!