Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Not a Food Fight...A Food War!

  The food war is on. Every day battles are waged. Some are won. Some are lost but the war continues.

  Jellybean has been cleared to start practicing eating but we have one problem that cropped up just a few weeks ago. After my boasting that Jellybean had no oral aversions, I am kicking myself. Technically, I guess I was sort of right. It is more like a food-in-the-back-of-his-mouth aversion. Anything that squirts or squeezes food into his mouth can bring on a gag attack.

  At first, I was despairing because I love to feed people and how could a baby in my house not want to eat???? Apparently, it is very easy. Google "tube weaning" and you will find story after story of children who struggle to eat by mouth, not to mention the scads of websites that claim they can help.

  My goal is to offer as many interactions with food as I possibly can throughout the day but that makes it impossible to go anywhere and even harder to keep the house clean. Baby  food is on my coffee table. It is on the baby and his seat. It is on his toys and blankets. It is on just about every dish towel I own. It is on this laptop screen and for reasons I wish not to explain right now, it is on the ceiling. It. Is. Everywhere.

  Are we making progress? Um. Maybe.   

  Jellybean is a tough cookie to crack (no pun intended). He is not motivated by many things. Usually, we have two choices if we want him to do something - make him do it or forget the whole thing. Forgetting it is just not an option so everyday I am offering food in some way. 

 Two days in a row he took food into his mouth using the sponge brushes we use to clean his mouth then the OT came and he refused to use them and hasn't since. Yesterday he sucked a teething biscuit in a mesh eating utensil. He refuses to use it if you put fruit into it. He has rejected every bottle and sippy cup we own except to chew on the underside or handles which pose no threat of putting liquid into his mouth. 

  Sometimes, I admit, it is frustrating and in my head I am yelling, "Eat, just eat! It's a necessary thing and will be good for you to come off this feeding pump!" He would not understand if I did yell it out and there is a reason that he does not want to do it. Part of it is that he still cannot maneuver food with this tongue correctly and he just freaks out if something gets too far back. It is hard to watch and not be able to do anything except keep trying. 

  I realize that I do not do a lot things that I should for a lot more silly reasons and this helps to keep me patiently persistent. Sometimes I wonder how God is so patient with me or how godly friends are so gracious...or wait, are they just not doing something they should do? 

  We have things that we battle against as we follow Christ and many of us struggle with doing things we should do, we know we are commanded to do, and that honor God. Making disciples is a big one. I have heard every excuse in the book from women on this one yet, Jesus commands us to do it. Correcting a straying brother or sister is another. That one causes a gagging fit of words from us because we "aren't qualified," we "are sinful," and we "don't know how to do it." 

  Now, I am shaking the finger at myself when I say these things. There are really no good excuses. IF we are taking in spiritual food, we have plenty to give, plenty of resources to use, and plenty of qualification. I think we just prefer the spiritual tube feeding. It is a whole lot easier to sit back and just take it in. Easier for now...one day we will have to explain before God why we did not do what we should have and I think that will be the time that we get choked up without excuse. 

  So, to the battle in the armor given us by God! (It does sound easy blogging it but let us hold each other accountable) If you eat an elephant one bite at a time then we can serve God one step at a time. What does it look like to do that right at this moment? 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Restfully Trusting

  Tummy time can wear a little soul out. The breath was a rhythmic sighing sound in my ear as I laid on the floor next to my Jellybean. He had been kicking his legs vigorously for about 10 minutes  as if he was sure he could swim on land. When he proceeded to not move one iota of an inch, he just went to sleep.

 I contemplated my options because it was, after all, a little late for a nap...but he had worked so hard...but I will have to stay up later to get him to go to sleep...but building muscles really is exhausting. Finally, I opted for moving him to his reclined seat so that he could get his next feed without refluxing. If he woke up, it was fine. If he slept, it was fine. Old age has taught me not to be so finicky about situations.

  Scooping up his tiny body, I could feel it was utterly relaxed and he would not be waking up.

  How blissful it must be to trust so much that you can sleep even while someone is moving you. You don't know what is being done with you and yet you continue to rest. To quote a line from my favorite scene in Napoleon Dynamite (I know this does nothing for my credibility so just give me some grace), "I want that!"

  I want that kind of faith in God so that no matter when or how He moves me, I completely rest. I want to lay flat out trusting in the midst of whatever turbulence is brought my way. The kind of faith and trust that Peter had when he defied all he knew about water and gravity and stepped out of the boat. He knew he could trust that Jesus had power above all creation.

  Don't get me wrong. What I want is not to be unemotional or uncaring like a zombified shell. It is a complete peace knowing that God is in control no matter the circumstances or outcome. Sure, tears will come in difficult situations but the moment does not imprint an immovable marker that becomes an idol for wallowing. My eyes should not be moved from my Lord. 

 I do so want that, especially in this season of battling isolation, differing doctors, and aversions to feeding and social settings. I do, I do, I doooooo!

 "In my distress I called upon the LORDto my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears." - Psalm 18:6

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Puppetry in Life

  Some of you may know that one of my secret desires was to be Annie, which doesn't really make it a secret does it? Well, my top secret desire is still virtually unknown but I suppose I must reveal it to get to the idea that has been rolling around in my mind as of late since Jellybean and I watched Sesame Street the other day. 

  Long, long ago in a land not too far away was a girl who loved puppets. She spent hours making elaborate paper bag puppets with stories behind each character. There were no random puppets that were just dogs or just a girl. They had personalities and life before they were developed out of construction paper and odds and ends. Most of them were part of a circus. This girl especially loved the Muppets. She dreamed, even in high school, of working for Jim Henson and cried when he passed away a week before she officially graduated. 

 When she first started dating her boyfriend-turned-husband, he unknowingly but endearingly, called her a muppet and then began to call her Fozzie. And even though, this was her sister's favorite muppet and not hers, she knew she would spend her life with him because he had somehow tapped into her secret being. She was, after all, very awkwardly cartoon-ish in real life and someone would have to find that quality charming to live with her. That is one reason why she loved puppets. You could hide your real self while being anyone or anything and secretly it would be your real self. 

 It was easier than being Annie because one didn't have to look at the crowds of people or feel their judgment. Singing a wrong note or stammering while talking was what made puppets so easy to love and made people smile. Who doesn't love a puppet? 

 Now she is old and a slight wisdom has set in - of course, it has not done much for the awkward cartoon-ishness that still exists in her DNA. Although, she realizes that she is a lot more settled, content, and finds it somewhat easier to be who she is, but why? 

  She never became successful making puppets or being a puppeteer. She never worked for a puppet show. She didn't even make paper bag puppets any more. The one thing that is different is Jesus as her Lord. That difference gave her the Holy Spirit living inside her, guiding her, correcting her, and strengthening her. Kind of like being a puppet...yet, it makes her more of who she really is and more alive than she ever was at any time. 

 Or maybe the truth is that we are just puppets without Jesus??? However you choose to think of it, this girl will unashamedly proclaim that Jesus is the one who moves me and gives me my being and I pray that it shows.