St Joel likes to say that life is a series of hills and valleys. I must be living in the Alps. It's been pretty steep around here lately.
Valley # 1: My sweet and only niece C had her third open heart surgery last Tuesday. Born with congenital defects, it's been a roller coaster watching her endure and improve. Miracles surrounding her treatment and prognosis have continued to amaze me. While she'll never be able to run a marathon (which doesn't exactly put her in the minority) she's expected to live a full and healthy life. Watching my parents and in laws make sure C's parents were well taken care of through the whole ordeal just reinforced that you're never too old to need a little baby-ing.
Valley # 2: Our sweet tutor's husband S was just diagnosed yesterday with cancer. Doesn't matter what kind. I'm pretty sure that's it's the really scary-I-have-to-re-evaluate-what's-important-in-my-life-kind. It's the how-in-the-world-is-regular-life possible-anymore kind. He's not my daddy, but my boys see him everyday while being tutored. He's the grandfather of a few nephews and all I can think of is "Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil..." Because even though his parents are gone I know S is still Somebody's baby.
Hill #1: I found a friend. Not the run-of-the-mill kind, either. She's somebody I went on a mission trip with 17 years ago and we lost touch in college. The trip was first time either of us had been away from home that long without our parents (not for fun) and we had lots of stuff to figure out. Getting back in touch with her is like getting to be my 17-year-old baby self again - a little bit. Incredibly enough, she's as excited about our finding each other as I am. Oh, Joy!
Hill #2: A little blue box. A total surprise, it arrived yesterday as a belated gift from my sweet cousin over at nugget cantina. What a treat! Having only received a blue box a few times, made this time that much sweeter.
Hill #3: The End is in sight. Soccer is almost over and we can soon be a normal family again, hanging out, playing games, going for bike rides in the afternoon. Not scuttling around at break-neck speeds searching for shoes, cleats, shin guards and water bottles.
I know more Valleys are inevitable. I struggle being present today, instead of bracing myself for however low the next valley might take me or someone I love.
I also know more hills are coming, too. I have exciting, fun things to anticipate - and tons to be grateful for everyday.
Whatever is next, whether it's a hill or a valley I hope I can remember what Spurgeon said, "If there were any place better for you other than the one in which you find yourself right now, Divine Love would have placed you there."
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