This week was a beautiful one and we spent the majority of our time outside soaking up the fresh air and doing some spring cleaning.
Malachi has had an exceptional week and his seizures have been very controlled. We are continuing to tweak his medication to find that perfect balance. He is still not sleeping well, but as long as those nasty seizures are at bay we are happy. He has been filled with giggles this week.
Jake teaches math at the local high school and does a project each year called the “Redneck Regatta”. The students build boats out of cardboard using the buoyancy formula and have to successfully float it 300 yards to get a passing grade. Each year I like to take the kids to the river to watch the final products attempt to float. Covid prevented us from doing it last year, so this was the first year Levi was mobile. Thankfully he had a healthy fear of the river and stayed right by my side! Chasing him down while holding Malachi is getting complicated.
Malachi looks forward to this day each year. He loves to hear the students squeal when their boats start to sink. Look at all those summertime freckles making their appearance!
The boys are still doing hippotherapy sessions each week (physical therapy on horseback) and we get to meet new special friends there often. I love watching Levi interact with other children with disabilities. His sweet little mind doesn’t see differences and it is something I treasure.
I snapped this picture as one of the other students was getting on a horse for the first time ever. Levi was ecstatic for him, cheering him on from the sideline. He truly has a special heart.
I have been taking both dogs to the barn with us each week to try to continue with their training out in public. They are doing amazing and mind their manners for the hour that we are there.
Confessions of a Special Needs Mom: Burnout is a very real thing.
If you have been a long-time blog reader I am sure you have been able to pick up on the fact that I am a professional overthinker. I can rabbit trail just about any small tidbit or topic and take it a million directions in the deep recesses of my mind. Caring for Malachi often means I have to be awake 20 hours a day and I am often on the verge of exhaustion. I lean heavily on overthinking in these moments to give my mind something to munch on to help me stay awake.
A few weeks ago I noticed the starter pieces of a nest on one of the columns on the front porch. Over the next few days the nest continued to grow larger and stronger and pretty soon it was full of eggs with a very anxious momma bird sitting on top of them. Her instincts kicked in and day after day she sat on that nest.
Those eggs hatched and I smiled when I first saw those bare necked babies popping up inside of it. I had a momentarily lapse of excitement as I flashed back to previous years and some of the babies falling out of a similar nest and passing away. But each week these newest additions grew stronger and fluffier, and more importantly they stayed in that nest. Watching them became a hobby. I would crack the window open so I could hear them chirping with excitement when momma came with a fresh worm.
And then one day I woke up and they were gone. They had finally grown strong enough to leave the nest and start their new lives on their own. And as they each moved on to the next phase of life, so did that momma bird.
Every day I walk past that nest and every day my overthinking kicks into high gear. And for the first time ever in my life….I was jealous of that momma bird.
It sounds so foolish to say that.
Each day I pass that empty nest and I think of how it represented a snapshot in that momma bird’s life. It has become a memory for her…all the worm hunting, the nest sitting, anxiously watching for predators.
The empty nest represents a milestone that has been achieved by not only the baby birds but also their momma.
What a challenging an exhausting period of life new mother’s go through, whether animal or human. But, oh how exhausting is the life of limited milestones.
But I also fully understand that an empty nest represents a horrifying alternative in our life with Malachi. I find myself feeling guilty for even desiring the moments of encouragement I see other mothers enjoying as they walk the path of typical motherhood.
I guess you could say I am having a Psalm 73:26 “flesh and heart fail” moment.
”My flesh and heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
My flesh and my heart fail often. They wage attack against the plans God has for me, especially when they don’t match my dreams and selfish desires.
But we were never meant to be sustained by milestones. Or fulfilled dreams. Or reached goals. Those things aren’t bad, but when they will only sustain us for a short time.
God is our portion- He alone is the source of our happiness and our blessings. He alone is enough.
We are created to be sustained by God and God alone.
When I find that I am reaching burnout phase I have to come to realize that it is because I have looked for markers of success rather than looking to Christ to fuel me.
Can any of you relate to this? Why are we continually surprised to see our heart and flesh fail over and over and over again?
This week I am praying for a strengthening from the Lord to help me find the beauty of the nest God has placed me in charge of. I pray that He continues to protect my babies and continues to embrace me when I need that renewing that can only come from Him.
Please be in prayer for Malachi’s sleep habits. His little body needs rest but his brain says no.