Stinky Pits

Do you ever find yourself in a situation and you have to sit back and think “Wait, why am I doing this again?”

I have those moments often, and this week’s moment came when I found myself loading up the boys and heading three hours away for a regional tournament soccer game with our girls team. Malachi had a tummy ache on the way there, which meant lots of pulling off the highway at shady gas stations and trying to burp him. We made it there just in time for kickoff, and by that time I was a stressed mess trying to make sure the needs of my kids were met while attending to coaching the game.

I failed miserably at both jobs, and an hour and a half later I was loading the boys back into the car to make the three hour ride home. The boys were tired of being in the car, and they were both wired by the time we made it home at midnight. As I sat awake with Levi at 3am, I mentally started asking myself the question of “Why are we doing this? Why are we continuing to coach soccer when it requires so much of a sacrifice?”

The next day I was a walking zombie, but that evening we were hosting an FCA Fields of Faith event at our church for the teens in our county. We asked my mom to come to the house and watch the kids for a bit so we could both go and focus on the event. We were so pleasantly surprised when we saw so many of our soccer girls walk through the doors, many of which do not know the Lord.

I don’t ever want this blog to be used as a breach of privacy for people in our circles, so I will summarize with saying that it was a wonderful evening with lots of people growing closer to the Lord, including some of our soccer girls.

God has been reminding me that Jake and I have been called to be seed planters. Sometimes you have to step into the world to find unique places to plant and water seeds for Christ, and for us that is the soccer field. Some years we don’t see the seeds grow, and watching the thorns choke them out can be so discouraging. But then there are years like this one where we see God moving in a group of teens and know that He is hard at work!

On a totally unrelated note, Jake and I do Christmas a bit different for our family and follow “one thing you want, one thing you need, one thing you wear, and one thing you read”. We try to be very thoughtful about the gifts we choose, and this year I have had my eye on a touch activated dinosaur for Malachi’s “want” gift. They are ginormous and will sit within reach right next to Malachi when he is in his adaptive seating. The toy was discontinued in 2009, but I was able to track down a reasonably priced one in Knoxville. We made a quick pit stop on the way to the soccer game and snagged this beauty.

Shhh, don’t mention it to Malachi! He knows we picked up a Christmas gift for him, and the suspense has been making him smile all week. For now the dino is tucked safely in the basement!

The boys are continuing to improve at horse therapy- Levi is enjoying it finally and not bursting into tears when we enter the barn.

As you know, Malachi’s brain damage is extensive and one diagnosis that can go hand in hand with it is precocious (early) puberty. Last week I caught a whiff of body odor and realized that Malachi has one stinky pit. Oddly enough, it is just the one but oh goodness it will knock you down. We have been trying to find a good solution but after showers and scrubbing the smell still holds strong. We picked up some natural deodorant for him and it seems to be working, however Levi has been fascinated watching this whole process unfold. So fascinated, in fact, that he found daddy’s Old Spice and proceeded to cover Malachi’s hands, arms, and cheeks with it. So helpful, right!

I have been having a hard time accepting the BO on my 7 year old son. It seems like such a weird thing to be sad over, but it has spiraled my thoughts toward the realization that, precocious puberty aside, Malachi is growing up. And while my love and acceptance for him will never change, I fear that societies tolerance will change for him when he is no longer a “cute little boy in a wheelchair”. I hope and pray that my fears are irrational and unfounded.

Levi loves Malachi so much, and has been making sure to include him in all of his antics and pretend play. I found Malachi all propped up with an old iphone earlier this week and seeing his inclusive heart for his brother makes me happy. Malachi, on the other hand, didn’t quite know what to think.

On Thursday Jake and I had some friends reach out and graciously offer to babysit the kids so we could go out. For my birthday in March I was gifted a Cheesecake Factory gift card, and covid hit shortly after. It seemed like a perfect night to cash it in and enjoy some time alone. Jake and I spent the evening talking about life, and the many surprises it has yielded.

With Levi’s birthday coming up in three weeks my mind has started to drift towards those early days with him, and the surprise mountain we faced. Sometimes simply verbalizing the struggles can be therapeutic, and this was no exception!

There are certain times each year that trigger bad memories for me, and this particular week each year is always a rough one.

This was the week in 2013 that I was holding Malachi and felt an unnatural jerk from his little 9 month old body. We had been home from the NICU for 5 months and we fully believed that God would completely heal him from his issues surrounding his prematurity.

I will never forget the deep feeling in my gut as the motion of his body felt so rhythmic. I loaded him up and took him to the children’s hospital where they confirmed he was having a rare seizure type called Infantile Spasms- this seizure type has a 75% rate for severe mental retardation. These seizures continue to damage the brain until they are under control and in order to do that we had to start him on an intense steroid, shooting it into his little body twice a day for several months.

We eventually got his seizures under control, but through the course of that leg of our journey our hopes for a normal life for Malachi were dashed a bit. We still believed God could heal him, just we started to understand that His timeline didn’t seem to be matching up with ours.

Fast forward to the next year and Malachi went in for a surgery to correct three minor issues. But while they were in his abdomen they found a very serious intestinal loop that required major surgery. After surgery we were sent to the ICU for a bit, and those memories never leave.

As luck would have it, this was the same week for another abdominal surgery for Malachi in 2018. I am really hoping that eventually we can have the “good” years overpower the “bad” ones for this particular week!

Sometimes I sincerely wish I had a poor memory. I wish I could forget the details, the dates, the facial expressions, the shoe colors of doctors when they delivered bad news. But my mind steel traps them in. I saw a photo of a child in the hospital this week with a particular tape on her IV, and I could immediately smell the tape scent in my mind. I know that sounds crazy, but the details plague me!

I am starting a new study with my youth group this week called “Fake or Follower”, and one of the key concepts is the cost of following Christ. This week I have been reflecting back on different parts of my life, trying to find the ways in which following Christ has “cost” me something.

And during this reflection process God has shown me that the biggest losses for me have been friendships/relationships. I can count time and time again when I followed a direction God has called me to, and as a result friends have been so frustrated or offended that they have chosen to cut ties with me. Some have done so in subtle, gradual ways while others have done so with a barrage of unkind words.

I have mourned so much over those lost friendships, but looking back I would not change the decision I made to pursue the path God called me to. My God is not a God of regrets, especially when it comes to obedience. But I have to be completely honest…each of those lost friendships have hurt me deeply.

The cost of following Christ instead of the world can be painful.

But God has been reaffirming in me that you can’t let the fear of man’s reaction keep you from pursuing the path God is calling you to.

Galatians tells us:

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

This week I have let the creaks of loneliness enter my bones. But God has been reminding me that there is a season for everything, and I have to look for contentment in each season.

Please continue to pray a hedge of covid protection around our family. We seem to be narrowly escaping people that find out they are positive, and I am confident that is the Lord’s doing! May he continue to protect my sweet boys and keep this final week in October a healthy and surgery free one!

Much love,


Empty Cup

This week has been an interesting one. I feel like I say that every week, so maybe interesting is our normal?

Malachi’s appointment with the epileptologist went well and we are going to try to increase his CBD oil a bit more to see if we can decrease some of his seizure activity. We needed to do a blood draw to check his seizure med levels, and I was mortified to find 14 people crammed in a small 15x10ft waiting room. I signed us in and stayed in the hallway as far away from the crowd as possible.

But the longer I sat in the hallway the more I epiphanies I had.

Epiphany #1 was a humbling one: I have no control over my toddler. At home in our bubble he knows the parameters, but in the hospital hallway with an audience in the glass walled waiting room watching him he was a maniac. I teetered between sheer embarrassment and sheer horror as I watched him touch every surface in sight and lay on the what I can only assume to be corona infested floor. This epiphany likely naturally led to the next one…

Epiphany #2 what in the world was I doing?!? Here I was, locked down at the house daily with my boys to protect them, and now waiting in a line in a hospital center that has a general pediatrics walk in clinic inside of it…and only one blood lab. I started looking at the kids inside the glass walled room and saw a variety of sickly looking eyes staring back at me. One of the poor children had sweated through her pajamas, and her hair was drenched with sweat. Another baby was stripped down to a diaper, eyes red and sickly.

I started to ponder what the best parenting move was in this situation: check seizure med levels or leave and protect them from potential sickness.

When Malachi heard about the blood draw

Epiphany #3 was realizing that I am not confident in the children’s hospital to do what is truly in the best interest of my family. This is a thought I have entertained many times before, but it is in moments like these that I have to remember that even in the medical settings with professionals I must advocate for my children.

In the end we made the decision to wait in the hallway for nearly an hour, and I resorted to empty time out threats with my tyrant, corona hungry toddler touching every surface he could.

Malachi handled the blood draw like a professional, which he actually is with the hundreds he has had to have in his lifetime. When the blood drive lady remembers his name and his “24 weeker veins” you know you are a regular.

By the time we left the building my blood pressure was soaring and I was in a pretty angry mood. I also realized that my emotions had overtaken my parenting and I hadn’t been the nicest mom for the previous 3 hours so I decided to stop by the zoo on the way home so Malachi could see his jaguar friend.

The adventures continued this week thanks to sweet little Levi. On Wednesday we were racing around to get out the door and I ran into the bedroom to grab my shoes from the closet. I heard the bedroom door shut and a sinister laugh came from Levi as he ran in saying “door door door”.

Earlier this week around midnight he locked me in the bathroom by implementing the child proof door lock. Jake was already asleep and I didn’t have my phone so I started banging on the door as loudly as possible and screamed. After about 5 minutes of this Levi was crying so hard in the living room (where he and Malachi were hanging out solo) that it woke Jake up. We gave him a long lecture with my hoarse voice on not doing that to the doors and assumed that he would be too traumatized to do it again.

But we assumed wrong. When I saw Levi’s sneaky smile I knew he had done it again and this time he locked himself in with me, leaving Malachi alone in the living room. Jake was at work, but thankfully this time I had my cell phone with me. I called the neighbors but no one was home, so after weighing the options I decided the only viable one was jumping out of the window.

Jake has had to jump out this window before, and it ended up with him rolling down the hill and getting covered in mud. I knew that I didn’t want to do that method, so I surveyed the drop and decided to try a cliff hanger mode.

I locked Levi in the bathroom so he wouldn’t attempt to follow me. Then out the window I went, trying to hang gracefully then drop to the ground. It was anything BUT graceful as I realized I am much heavier and much weaker than I used to be. My muscles were angry with me for asking so much of them (and still are), but I landed on my feet. I went in through the front door and yanked those darn baby locks off the doors on the way to rescue Levi from the bathroom.

The weather was pleasant enough for us to enjoy the pool a few more times!

I have bounced around three thoughts for tonight’s devotional thought, but I keep settling on 2 Timothy 4:3-4.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

I have many well meaning friends in my life that often remind me about the importance of self-care. They will commonly say things like, “You can’t pour into others from an empty cup” as they encourage me to take time to go do things I enjoy, or pamper myself. Admittedly I have a difficult time putting my wants above my boys and I am grateful I have great friends that desire to see me happy.

The mental picture this phrase provides is a logical one, and one that in theory makes a lot of sense.

I do believe that it is biblical to take care of yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually. No arguments here with that. But I will argue with you on whose job it is to fill the cup.

Here is the truth: it is not our job to fill the cup. I believe with all of my heart that God will fill my cup with the exact amount that is needed to fulfill the tasks He has given me to do. When we start to think that we control the amount in that cup with pedicures or girls nights out, we start to take away the dependence God wants us to have on Him.

That mindset can actually do more damage than good, as we start to mentally ration what things or people we could be wasting our cup on, as we believe we will be the ones that have to do the refilling.

In Philippians 2 we read

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 

Did you catch those words?

Christ emptied Himself.

Christ humbled Himself.

Christ became obedient to the point of death.

God will call each of us to do things that will require every last drop of our cup. He will ask us to do things that we have to use our “reserve” on…that bottom layer of the cup we have been saving and pretending is linked to our sanity.

When we walk in obedience and we empty ourselves in humility for others that God directs us to, God will see and honor our sacrifice and gladly refill us for the next task He has for us. I have seen this in our lives time and time again, as raising medically complex kids is a quick cup drainer. But I am so confident that this path God has me on has been hand picked by God…including all the bumps in the road that splash that water right over the edge of my cup.

God will refill our cup so much more full than any measure of “me time”. Part of being a child of God is fully believing that will do just that.

But I also want to make sure that I am being transparent here and share with you that the seasons of the empty cup can be so very difficult. Those times that you have emptied yourself and have nothing left to give can be lonely times- but those are the times that we are reminded to look heavenward, not inward. Dry cup seasons are sometimes there for a purpose, as God is simply telling you to stay still and rest.

Don’t let the fear and discomfort of dry seasons keep you from pouring yourself out for others when God clearly calls you to do so. Like the widow’s oil jar, He will never allow us to deplete without fully intending to replenish.

God bless,


I Am Your God

This week we crammed in as much fall break fun as we possibly could and managed to squeeze in some naps and chores in between. It was the reset that I personally needed to get mentally back on track for taking care of these boys full time. Sometimes I just need the relief pitcher for an inning or two!

On Monday the boys went to horse therapy, and it is always so interesting to me how much better they do when Jake is there to watch. Malachi puffs his chest out and rides like a professional. And Levi cried like he always does when he starts the session but dried it up within thirty seconds when he heard his daddy clapping for him.

On Monday night Jake and I had a very special surprise date night thanks to our great friends. We went inside a legit restaurant for the first time since early March and sat down for a nice kid-free meal. It felt so refreshing to simply get out of the car and walk immediately into the place without unloading wheelchairs and kids. Such a blessing.

On Tuesday morning I went solo to a car appointment and got to read a book for almost an hour and a half without interruption. It felt so normal and pre-children to be able to escape in my mind and focus on someone else’s words and life. I am a memoir gal, and have been working my way through all of the books of Corrie Ten Boom; this particular one she wrote about her father and all of the many spiritual lessons he instilled in his children. It was so challenging to me and caused me to evaluate how well I am instilling hard gospel concepts in each of my boys.

We spent some time at a local park down the road from our house, letting little Levi ride his bike. Malachi got to ride on the swing with dad, and this wasn’t an “ordinary” one like the one at our house…this one squeaked and groaned with each swing much to Malachi’s delight.

We still ran some soccer open fields this week for our girl’s team as we prepare for the district tournament. Jake ran the practices and I brought the boys out for a change of scenery.

Our haircutting friend came by the house that evening and gave each of the boys a much needed haircut. Levi was uncooperative but thankfully his hair is messy enough no one would know!

On Wednesday Jake and I planned a great day of fun for the boys, making the 1.5 hour drive to a large zoo in Knoxville. We made it about an hour from home and I turned wide eyed to Jake as I realized that neither of us had put Malachi’s food in the car that morning. Oops! Thankfully I keep some spare medical supplies in the van for worst case scenarios. We were able to dig out a syringe and an extension and hijacked some food from Levi’s feeding backpack to tide him over until we got home that afternoon.

We stopped for a nice sidewalk lunch on the way and took our sweet old time enjoying the beautiful day. When we got to the ticket counter at the zoo at 1:30 they informed us that the zoo closed at 2:00 that day. Oh goodness. But at that point we were committed as we had talked the day up to the boys and made the drive. So we bought tickets and booked it to the back corner of the zoo so we could take our time walking back to the exit.

Poor little Malachi was genuinely excited about the zoo, as this one had lions, tigers, and rhinos. But due to COVID precautions they had roped off several feet leading up to the glass. I couldn’t push his chair close enough to see any of the animals and seeing him try so hard to see them with his low, struggling vision broke my heart a little bit. He can’t really see them normally, but he can see movement if they come close to the glass by him. He was clearly disappointed so we did our best to describe them.

Then came the redeeming trip on the zoo train. That was the three minutes we needed to make the trip feel worth it!

And of course we let the boys pick out a toy from the gift shop. I am always so amused with how picky Malachi is when it comes to picking out a toy. He uses his signs faster than ever before and said “no” to at least a dozen stuffed animals before we found a jaguar puppet that he could put on his hand. He grinned and signed YES YES YES and we knew we had “the one”.

We headed back home and later that evening I took the kids to a friends house down the road. Malachi got to hold a rabbit and a kitty named Simba, which made him beam with joy and giggles.

Levi’s definitely in the toddler phase and emotional mood swings are frequent and severe. He has been crossing his arms when he gets angry with us, and I have to try really hard not to smile as it just looks so darn cute.

On Friday the boys and I made a trip to visit with my brother and his family in Atlanta. We get to talk on the phone with them often, but being able to run around with the cousins in person was a real treat.

I was also able to catch up this week on the special needs mom to-do list…the list that I let stack up because I just simply don’t want to deal with the phone calls. But with Jake home and no excuse not to, I tackled the list one item at a time.

-I filed a third medical appeal with insurance to cover Levi’s recent Cincinnati surgery.

-I worked with the old diaper company with no luck, so I transitioned us over to a new diaper company that will provide the brand/size we like. Call me a diaper snob I guess…but Malachi complained a lot about the other ones so I just don’t feel right making him wear them.

-I filed grant paperwork to get some financial aid to cover items insurance won’t cover.

-I picked out curriculum for Malachi’s homeschool program and started the pre-approval process for the purchases I would like to make with his state educational funding. Through the Individualized Education Account I have $7,300 to spend on his educational needs this year. That is mind blowing!

-We are also started actively looking for a tutor to come work with Malachi a few times each week so he can feel like he has a “teacher” and some time focused solely on him and for him.

With each tackled task I felt that water level that was resting near my chin drop a bit lower. I felt like I could take a deep breath and enjoy simply being present with the boys without the distraction of the to-do list.

Tomorrow we trend back towards our normal with Jake back at work. We kick tomorrow off strong with a routine trip to the hospital to see Malachi’s epileptologist. Malachi’s seizures are still a daily thing, but have morphed with the help of his CBD to short ones.

This week, however, they started amping up in frequency and intensity- interestingly timed with when we ran out of probiotics. Those fews days were very difficult with Malachi having some major seizures in the middle of the night. I sleep right next to him so I will wake up when he goes into one- he turns so hard that he starts smothering himself in his own pillow. I wake up to him trying to breath through the pillow and choking during the process. We try to race out of the room before he starts coughing or vomiting so he won’t wake up little Levi.

Malachi has intractable epilepsy, so it is always changing. We are currently at 4 different types right now, each with a different trigger. It is predicted that he will develop more seizure types as he grows and there is nothing we can do medically to eliminate the seizure activity. If I had to make a list of the worst things about being a medical mama I am pretty confident epilepsy would rank up in the top three.

Epilepsy is ever evolving, it is triggered by the most random things, and it takes my son away from me for a short period of time. Watching him try to recover after the seizure is over is heartbreaking, as you can see firsthand how draining those few moments can be on his little 7 year old body.

But the reason it ranks near the top of the list is because of the helplessness I feel in those seizure moments. A few years ago I remember telling someone that the only thing I can do is enter the seizure with him and try to give him some stability to focus on. I often try to stay as still and calm as I can so he doesn’t feel my fear. But I also have to be hypervigilant, counting his breaths to make sure they are consistent and keeping him from injuring himself.

But epilepsy has taught me what it truly means to place something in the hands of God.

Isaiah 41:10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

During those seizures I have to be Malachi’s anchor in the storm. I have to make sure he gets through that moment safely and feels secure during those fearful times.

And so often I feel so alone in this job. The epilepsy mom is a unique role- one that you don’t truly understand until it intertwines into your every day.

But as I read this verse above it reminded me that in the same way Malachi looks to me to be his anchor in the storm, God is that same anchor for me in this leg of my storm.

The words “Do not anxiously look about you” ring so true in my ears.

I know I often talk about things that are unique to special needs parenting, but the blessing of our story is that the struggles are universal enough to be applied to so many other situations and lives.

What in your life is causing you to look anxiously around you? What things in your life create a paralyzing fear, as you recognize there is nothing you can do to eliminate that beast that you are staring into.

But even more powerful that the command to not look anxiously around are the simple words that follow it: “I am your God.” So perfectly simple. In the same way I reassure my son in his seizures that I’ve got him safely in my arms, God gives us that same comfort in our struggles.

I don’t know what your “epilepsy” may be. But my hope is that this week we can recognize the calm arms of God wrapped around us in those moments of helplessness. As often as we try to convince ourselves that our struggles and trials are unique, they all have the amazing potential to send us closer into the embrace of God.

Please pray healthy over our family as we continue to try to live and thrive in a COVID world. Pray that the refreshing that I was able to experience last week will carry me for a long time.

Much love,


Enough, Lord

Jake is officially on fall break this week, and it couldn’t have hit at a better time. We are looking forward to a week of catching up on chores, swimming in the pool, going on some small family outings, and taking turns napping. Bring on the sleep!

There is a constant pressure that builds on the special needs mom. It isn’t anything specifically unusual or extraordinary that contributes to it, but I have found it to be a combination of the routine medical needs plus the surprises. I can’t handle the surprises. They mentally break me.

Special needs mothers have to accept that there are so many things beyond our control. One morning this week I medicated and fed both boys, then at the exact same time they both started throwing it all up (Malachi one large and Levi 5 smalls as he walked from the kitchen to the living room). I looked back and forth at each child retching, trying to keep each from choking on their vomit and also trying to survey the damage to know what to get to clean it up…carpet cleaner, tile cleaner, bath towel, garden hose haha?

My morning started calm with everyone ready to walk out the door and escalated to baths, outfit changes, and deep cleaning. Then there was still the question of whether or not to re-medicate both boys.

It is in these moment of chaos that I feel the pressure build a little bit more.

We made plans to meet some friends at the zoo this week, but the night before Malachi ended up having several seizures. He and I stayed up until 3am and woke up just a few short hours later with another big seizure. I knew he was so excited to go to the zoo, but clearly his little body was exhausted.

You can’t plan for the surprises…and I don’t know that it is healthy to live a life anticipating them. But at this point the surprises come so regularly I am not sure they actually qualify as surprises anymore!

We ended up going to the zoo, and while Malachi was very limp he did have a wonderful time. He even got to feed the giraffes and ride the choo choo train which ended up being his favorite. I so badly want to create these memories for my boys, and it makes me feel a bit like a typical mom.

And Levi was a wild man! I haven’t seen him that wild ever, and he had such a wonderful time.

We came home that afternoon and tried to recuperate from the fun day. Both boys slept on the way home and woke up a little more perky. My mom came over to play with the kids while I ran down the road to watch the soccer team play and when I went out to the van it wouldn’t start.

For some reason, this surprise hit me harder than the medical ones. I had a “life is not fair” moment- as if life should recognize that my plate is full and not add things to it. Oddly enough I had just taken the van to the shop this week for a different reason. Life had tossed two van repairs onto my teetering plate in two days.

I tried to call Jake, but he was coaching the girls and didn’t answer. So then I threw myself another pity party with the theme of feeling alone. There are times I so desperately need someone else in my life to take over some of my burdens, and Jake can’t always do that with his work schedule.

I can fully admit when my burden is too heavy to bear, but sometimes when I look around I can’t find anyone to help carry part of the load. It is a weird and lonely place to be in. Most of the time those burdens are too unique to be able to pass off to someone else, but typical things like car problems are in a different burden category.

So I had a good cry over that and then popped the hood to pretend to know how to fix the car haha. Thankfully later that evening one of our wonderfully supportive friends came over and helped solve that problem. And the other repair will get fixed this week while Jake is on break.

Changing gears- we got new neighbors this week and they have some friendly dogs that stopped by for a visit. Malachi has always loved dogs, and loved our two so much before they each passed away. One day we would love to get another dog, but you can refer to the “surprises” comments above to imagine how that would go right now.

Oh how I love seeing pure joy on Malachi’s face. And his toothless grins. He is cutting a few teeth right now, which could be the culprit for the uptick in his seizures.

Levi has been eating and eating and eating this week! I think he must be going through a growth spurt. We met in person with the boy’s feeding therapist this week next to the parking lot of the clinic. We have been doing tele-med with him since March and I felt like it would be good for him to lay eyes on Levi while he ate. I am still not comfortable resuming therapies yet in the clinic setting and can’t imagine us doing that for quite some time.

Levi helping mommy do the dishes

I know sometimes I reuse verses and thoughts on the blog, but there are things God has shown me in the past that He brings to my attention time and time again. This week as I have encountered an overwhelming amount of surprises I keep thinking of a specific verse from the Bible: “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.”

Out of context those words might not mean much to you, but when you hear the story surrounding it, it really takes form in my life and might in yours also.

Take a moment and read this excerpt from 1 Kings 19:

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.

All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.

The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.

When I read this story there are so many things that pop out at me. While I have never been ready to die, I can relate so much with Elijah’s comment “I’ve had enough, Lord.” Have you ever spoken those words to God? I know that I have spoken them many, many times. I have said them in the same tone as Elijah too, in a total moment of defeat and surrender.

God sees our innermost being, and He knows before we even speak it that we have been pushed beyond what we think we can bear. But sometimes it is in those weak moments that we can hear God the clearest. When we are able to handle all of the “things”, we don’t have to turn our eyes to Him in desperation. But it is in those moments where things extend beyond our control that we have no other option but to call on Him.

In this story, God sent His angel to restore strength to Elijah. He met his needs in a supernatural way, providing a warm fire, fresh baked bread, and a jar of water. This part is interesting to me as well, because a few chapters back we read about God providing food for Elijah dropped by ravens and water from a nearby brook. This time it was provided in such an intentional way, almost as if God knew Elijah needed the act of kindness more than the sustenance. Oh boy, how often I have been in that same state of mind.

The second time the angel wakes him up is so powerful to me as well, as if God wanted to make sure Elijah knew that even the tiniest needs, like his hunger, were acknowledged and important to Him.

But the angel’s words just keep playing in my mind: “The journey is too much for you.”

This week I have felt like the journey is too much for me. I feel underqualified, overwhelmed, and emotionally fragile. I feel inadequate, and in many ways I am.

The journey is too much for me.

But like Elijah, I have to find comfort in knowing that God sees that this journey is far too much for me. He sees that I need sleep, he sees that I need someone else drawing water for me in a jar and baking warm bread for me over a fire I didn’t have to create. He hears me say “I’ve had enough, Lord.”

And He isn’t angry at my proclamation, but instead I can see him with a loving smile on His face, touched that I have diverted my eyes towards Him. I am sure He has already dispersed some angels my way, like our car buddy on Thursday night.

And I have confidence that He will give me the strength this week to continue the journey.

I don’t know if anyone else needed that reminder…I know I sure did!

God bless,