Hard November Days; Sleepless November Nights

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November has been a VERY exhausting month thus far. I've had horrible* allergies (*horrible = migraines constantly, runny nose, puffy / iterated eyes, and awful cough) for three weeks straight. It started as a sinus infection for which I couldn't take antibiotics (breastfeeding disadvantage) and kind of morphed into this allergy distopia that just won't release me! Add that to an incredibly busy few weeks at work with lots of weekend / evening hours, a baby who is eating every hour of the night, a husband who's job is nearing the end of a major project (I.e. he's worked to the max), and of course our very wild 2 year old and you can fill in the bone-wearying details.

All of this, difficult enough under normal times, has come during a big season of change and uncertainty for us. We're not sure if we will be able to keep renting our sweet little house for much longer, we're about to start with a new Home Group, and the future looks a bit scary. Obviously, God is in charge of everything--a fact I daily remind my little worrying heart--but it can still be a bit of an emotional battle knowing so little about your family's pending wellbeing. And I guess if I were completely honest I'd have to admit to some depression lately over our lack of close friends. It's not anyone's fault, really, but having a 2 year old, a 2 month old, and 2 working parents doesn't bode well with socializing. We are absolutely starved for close, gospel-centered friendships. Most of our current home group lives close to 20 minutes north of us, so relationships have just sort of dwindled. There's still a lot of love, but not much day-to-day contact.

Plus, I'm pretty much terrible at getting and keeping close friends. I'm awkward, super self-conscious, and always afraid Im doing the wrong thing. Dumb things, like "Do I hug her before she leaves or not? What do normal friends do? Oh crap! Oh crap!" Throw me into a mini internal-panic. It's stupid verging upon banal.

So like I said, its been a hard November. I'm so tired of trying and trying and never quite ever getting the laundry finished by Monday morning. Thank God his perfection has taken the place of my woefully obvious failures. When I feel so lonely, unlovable, and sullen, God reminds me of this great love---He took my dead heart and made it alive! What beauty there is to be found in the Father who's love is shoreless and everlasting! He chose me, (me?!) before I was even born, and caused my heart rejoice at his beautiful name.

even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:5-10 ESV)

Praise The Lord, Oh my soul!

Jenny Smith

3705 Oceanview Drive, Denton, TX, 76208