I haven't written in awhile because God has been really dealing with me in some areas of my life, and I have been afraid to start talking about it before I had it figured out in my own mind. :) I still wouldn't say that I have everything figured out and I pray that He isn't finished dealing with me yet, but I've missed journaling in this way so beware, I may get long-winded. :)
A week and a half ago I decided that I was done with the breastfeeding. The yeast didn't seem to be getting any better, and I started bleeding when Rosemary was latching on. I thought that breastfeeding was tying me down somehow, and told myself that it just wasn't worth all the pain, hard work, and effort. I patted myself on the back for making it 6 weeks, planned out my gym schedule for the week so I could get back in shape, and planned to drink all the Diet Coke and caffeinated coffee I could handle. I thought, "Now I'm a free woman! No more pain! No more having a child latched to me 24/7! I can finally diet and lose those last 10 pounds!" . . . . except that, my breasts still hurt. Only now, they hurt so badly every time I heard her cry, knowing that she wanted me but keeping myself bound up tight. And except that, sweet baby Rosemary didn't want the formula. Where she had pooped effortlessly every time she nursed at the breast, she now grunted and strained and didn't poop at all. I did go to the gym, but instead of being happy that I was burning tons of calories, all I could think was, so what? So what if my body gets skinny again in record time? The thing my body is supposed to be doing right now is feeding my baby, not sweating in a gym. Never before had I been so dissatisfied with my workout. Even the Route 44 Diet Coke from Sonic didn't deliver anything but a stomachache and extreme thirst for water. So, exactly 24 hours after I had "quit breastfeeding", I pulled her to my breast again, all the more determined to make it work. It hurt like CRAZY that first time or two, but as John Mellencamp said, "It hurt so good." :) It felt right, and wonderful, and satisfying. Even in the midst of the pain. So I chalked it up to a 24 hour hiatus and hit the ground running trying to attack the yeast, build my supply back up, and give this sweet baby nature's best nutrition. Supposedly all the kinks get worked out with breastfeeding by 12 weeks, so I'm over halfway there. And I'm asking God to be gracious and work out the kinks before then. :)
Breastfeeding isn't the only thing that has felt like an uphill marathon lately. I cannot tell you how many times in the last two weeks I have come to God, my eyes drenched with tears, saying only, "Help me. Help me. Help me. Help me." That's really all I could get out. But I knew He knew what I meant. I've needed supernatural help just with functioning lately. I have been almost paralyzed with feelings of inadequacy. I'm not organized enough, or neat enough, or disciplined enough, or consistent enough. Several times a day I have been hit with the realization that I cannot complete the task set before me, the way God wants me to, on my own. And instead of causing me to turn to Him on a daily basis like I ought, it has just made me think I am not good enough, that I'm not getting the support I "deserve" from other people, and that if I only had this or that I would be better at my calling. This weekend, God saw to it that I get to a mom's retreat with other homeschooling moms from our church. I think the speaker was speaking right to me. The book we studied was "In the Arena of the Mind". It focuses on Philippians 4:8 ("think on these things"), and Philippians 2 ("let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus") God showed me how majorly I needed to change my thinking. And how majorly I needed to spend time poring over Scripture, each and every day, to have any success at all. I have used the excuse that Rosemary is #4, and that mine is a full-time job, and I am sleep deprived, to keep me away from my relationship with Him. That is where I can refuel and recharge, not in a coffee cup or another hours' sleep or a good workout. More of HIM is what I need. A focus on HIM, and not myself. All the focus has been on me and what I can accomplish. The focus has to change to Him and what He can do through me. God has me in a very humbling position right now. I used to wear heels and spend my lunch breaks at the tanning bed or at lunch with girlfriends. I used to work out with a trainer six days a week. I used to, I used to, I used to. But that is not where He has me now. I have to let go of that and stop trying to be what I used to be. I may never be a size 4 again. But in the end, what will matter? My size, or how God was glorified in my life? I may never wear heels on a daily basis again. But do I really want to walk in those shoes? God has me barefooted or in sensible, comfortable, "roll up your sleeves and get to work" kinds of shoes now. And I am blessed among women for it. Lord, help me to keep that in mind. Help me to be where I am with all of my heart, and love YOU with all I've got.