We are officially in sunny Orlando, FL! We are looking forward to a week away from the hustle and bustle of our lives and spending time with family. We are here with Jake’s parents as well as his siblings and their families- 18 of us total.
We made half of the drive on Saturday afternoon and the boys were so keyed up by the time we made it to the hotel that they stayed up until 2:30am. Malachi has been wildly excited to go on this “adventure” as we call it, and especially excited about seeing his cousins. We finished the drive this afternoon and we are all settled into a very nice condo that some very kind friends gifted to us for the week. Tomorrow we are going to attempt to go to Disney…I am sure I will have some fun stories about our adventures to share with you!
Prepping for the trip was the stressful part as I had to try to gather all of the prescriptions we needed to get through the week. Little known fact: the first part of each new year the companies we order things through have to re-verify insurance which takes 3-5 days. Then the actual shipment takes another 3 business days to make it to us. And I can’t request the refill until about a week before we run out of the last batch. Boy, were we cutting it close to get all of the supplies here in time…Malachi’s diapers, formula and feeding supplies for both boys, seizure medications, CBD oil.
We found out Friday at 3:00 that we weren’t going to be able to get one of Malachi’s tummy meds here in time (apparently there is a national shortage) so we had to find a pharmacy with something that is close to his prescription. This is a recipe for disaster as his seizures are linked to his stomach. Just in case we brought extra emergency/rescue meds. I am praying we won’t have to use them.
Malachi is healthy again but very weak from last week’s struggles. We attempted therapies this week and while he tried very hard he still grew exhausted quickly.
Levi also went to his therapies and managed to get a black eye during his physical therapy session. His balance and coordination is still pretty bad and he took a hard spill into the corner of the wooden balance beam. Ouch!
While we were watching big brother Malachi at horse therapy I asked Levi if he wanted to get on the horse too. He typically replies with an adamant no, but on this day he said yes! After Malachi was done we plopped him up on there, which lasted about 6 seconds, but still a big step for our hesitant Levi.
If you are a new reader, one of the many hats we wear in our small town is soccer coaches. Jake and I have coached the high school girls for the past 8 years and a 4 years ago we started a boys soccer team at the high school. I have come to terms with not being able to be out there as much with the kids, but this week the weather was pleasant so the boys and I were able to be out there for a bit. I took Malachi’s wild raptor so he could have fun riding while mommy and daddy were focused on the teens.
The boys also go to work with me at the church office on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and it is getting increasingly difficult to keep Levi from getting into trouble there. If I turn my eyes for a second he is on the phone, typing on the computer, or trying to grab and run with the papers the copier is spitting out. It is physically and mentally exhausting trying to keep up with him and get work done. But he is super cute pretending to talk on the phone.
Levi has a very big imagination and it is highly entertaining to all of us to see what he will come up with next. Last night he found a pen and paper in the hotel room and walked around “writing things down”. I took a video for you:
As we inched closer and closer to leaving for our trip I caught myself several times allowing worry to take over. The what-ifs swirled in my mind when I closed my eyes at night. I mapped out the fastest route to the local children’s hospital, printed out up to date medical summaries on each boy, and tried to think through and prepare for every possible scenario.
Then I started worrying that we were using Jake’s vacation days for something frivolous and something big and pressing would come up later in the year…like a surgery or a long hospital stay. Those days that he builds up are precious to a family like ours. I remember having to sit alone for Malachi’s second big brain surgery because Jake had to be at work and I never want to experience that feeling again.
Then I started worrying what people will think…I know this sounds silly but stick with me. When Malachi was born several of Jake’s coworkers donated their sick days so he could be close to the hospital after his sick leave was done. People have monetarily helped our family in many ways. What would people think about us taking such an elaborate and long vacation?
I don’t believe in “me” time. I think that concept is something that the world created to make us feel better about our selfish tendencies. I believe so strongly that when God calls us to something hard that He will provide the energy and strength we need…we don’t have to proclaim “me time” so you can refresh. Refreshing comes from the Lord.
But I do see the benefit of making conscious efforts to give Malachi and Levi this family time. Mommy and daddy intentionally stretch themselves as thin as possible each week in an effort to “in humility value others above yourselves” as the Bible says in Philippians 2. This week we will be able to divert all of that energy into putting our children first and giving them our full focus.
So as the week and the worry went on I had to keep catching myself and remembering that worry is not of God. It is actually the opposite of resting in Him. When we allow our mind to stay focused on the potential bad things we lose sight of the good things God has in store for us. Even when the blessings come our way we tend to miss them because we are distracted by the worry.
So for the remainder of his week I am going to be trying extra hard to not let worry steal my joy, or worse steal the joyful moments from my children. Inevitably I will fail over and over and over again, but maybe those moments of weakness are the reminder that I need to stay closely leaning on the Lord.
I know this is a short and choppy entry- I am thoroughly exhausted from staying up with these boys. Please pray against all emergencies and sickness. And a week of no regrets for mom and dad as we navigate through a new adventure.