A week ago I was in the hospital. I had contractions that needed several doses of medication to come to a stop and some abnormal blood work that prompted the doctors to want to monitor me closely. I spent three days there. Things improved and I was able to come home. It was SO good to be home.
But now I must be patient. I must be still. I must let my husband and children do many things for me. I must let friends and family help me. I want my baby girl to have as long as she can to develop. Other complications may still interfere and make outside safer than inside before she is full term. I have accepted that.
In the meantime, I must be still. It is frustrating. It is difficult. The truth is, I generally feel fine. Since leaving the hospital, contractions have been minimal. But I know, the moment I push myself just that little bit too far, even if it is going up and down the stairs just one time too many during the day, they will start again. I must die to myself, to my need to constantly move and do in this busy house and I must be still.
Lent has begun. We did not hide the Alleluia. I do not have the mantle letters spelling "Repent" out. I couldn't make our traditional pretzels yesterday. I have not printed out any calendars to help my little ones mark the days. I don't have any particular book or devotion ready to go. Does it matter?
My children have spent the last two weeks laying themselves down to serve me and each other. They know what Lent means. God has shown me how I must be still, how I must pray, how His grace is sufficient to carry me through every crisis and concern. God has whispered to my heart that the best way to prepare is to spend time in His word. So I will find a simple way to do this. All I really need is a bible and the prayer of the church. I have been humbled by my husband's tender love and care for me and our sweet girl.
This is Lent. It is good.