(photo by the Navigator taken in his former desert home)
This post was started around 14 weeks ago...
Years ago now he took the picture. He wanted people to see that not everything is a wasteland. Beauty can be found in the most desolate of places. War torn. Ravaged. Barren. Places none of us in our comfortable western lives would choose to live.
Two weeks old, her sweetness seeps into my every waking moment. All but one. Well, six to eight moments each twenty-four hour rotation of this orb. This one thing, this one thorn I prayed about regularly during my pregnancy. I remember it well from Little Bug's first weeks. Pain. At times agonizing, bloody pain with nursing. How I feared the unanswered pleas and war raged within this territory, battling doubts, unbelief in His goodness, bitterness, anger.
Where is the blossom among the barreness of seemingly unanswered prayer? When those darker thoughts harden and the ground cracks, splitting between us and Him, how do we battle, wrestle, have any hope of victory?
In the gratitude. The praise.
In the depths of physical pain, songs gradually swell from within. I set a hymnal by the nursing chair, leaving it open as my memory. The hurt gives way to hymns. Set times, eight a day, praising is guaranteed, appointed, a healing salve softening the cracked, bleeding heart. Pain is transformed by praise. This thing I prayed against and didn't want became His tool for perfecting a grateful heart. Waters flow and the desert blossoms. And I take my own snapshots to remember.
A smattering of gratitude since July numbers 121-300:
an oversized chair
good milk supply
a second birthday
a visit from Mema and Popa
a peaceful day of fellowship with family at home
healing in spite of a poor latch
a fat, lazy dog who is great with kids
time with my parents
crickets and cicadas
normal iron counts
seeing older children hold their tiny baby sister
watching them care for Little Bug
a warm blanket fresh from the dryer
warm baby smiles
God, my peace, my memory, my cause for praise