Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Trials & Perseverance

"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him." - James 1:12

We've had quite a week in the Conkling household. Actually, it's been quite a summer of busyness, stress, hectic schedules, stress, trials, more get the picture.

This past weekend capped off what has been an emotionally trying time - for both Jack and I, for both of our jobs, for both of our relationships with each other and with Mackie, and, ultimately, for both of our relationships with Christ (I'll really speak for me on this one, though!)

Here's a run-down of why our past week was a bit more hectic than usual:
- Mackie decided naps (and all sleep for that matter) was overrated. She's weeks away from turning 2 and definitely giving us the diva 'tude. Doesn't matter when we're trying to put her down....naptime, bedtime....the little miss starts wailing and crying when the lights go down, "Bob" (VeggieTales music) goes on, and prayers are being said. She knows it's bedtime....she knows mommy and daddy are about to heave her room...she knows how this stresses mommy and daddy out. And yet she continues. On good days/nights, she'll scream for about 10 minutes and then crash. Naptimes have been more of a struggle, as she'll go on and off for 2 1/2 hours in her crib...weeping and then falling back asleep, wailing and then falling back asleep. A vicious cycle. Sigh.

- On top of the little miss's sleep struggles, she has decided to test her diva 'tude with my mom and the sitter on the days she's there and I'm in the office. She's in a pack 'n play and last week it was awful! She broke free numerous times and discipline didn't phase her. I think she may have slept 30 minutes both days during naptime. Not good.

- Work keeps piling up. Great to be busy, just a tad bit stressed when the temperatures continue to rock out in the 100's and I'm going on 7 months pregnant. (this summer has NOTHING on the "famous" summer of 1980....and I'm sticking to it. Because I'm pregnant) I'm all for the heat, but really?!

- We ended up taking Mackie to the on-call doc Saturday morning after she woke up with a barky, croupy cough. Maybe that was the reason she wouldn't sleep? Nope. Clear ears. Clear chest. Just lots of gunk and snot in the nose/chest area due to the dry (SUPER dry) air. Went home with samples of nasal spray and a breathing machine for treatments. (the machine was not a success, by the way)

- Jack had a stressful work week, too. It started with some staffing issues early on in the week, and then the motherload of (our) stress came on Saturday. Shortly after arriving home from a birthday party (with my babe who was finally sleeping, mind you!), I received a call from my co-worker and Jack's boss. He was frantic. Something happened at the pool. Something big. Something serious. Something that I had to drop everything, find a sitter to watch the sleeping babe, and rush down there that instant. There had been a major emergency. CPR done on a toddler.....a toddler, who was a mere month older than my sweet Mackenzie Claire. Media was calling. Photographers were showing up. It was time to come up with a media plan and statement - on top of helping out my husband in his frazzled, stressed, and emotional state. Praise God the little boy started breathing again after 1 minute of CPR and is going to make a full recovery. But the stress and toil on my husband remains. He should have taught his lifeguards better. He should have been there. He should have trained them more. (these are all thoughts going through his head as he tosses and turns at night, not sleeping as he's stressing out)

That said, our marriage has definitely been tested. I had a break-down of all break-downs on Sunday morning, as we went off to work to assist with the follow-up drama from the day before. We missed church. I hate missing church. It throws the whole day off and I feel like it's a weird day of the week that doesn't exist. My hormones were in full effect. I was tired. I, too, was stressed from a few hectic weeks at work and an emotional week to come. I let it all out at my poor, emotionally-ridden husband  - 15 minutes before we piled into the car and headed to the pool. Sigh. Am I good with timing or what?! Let's just say the entire day was me moping around and full of anger, bitterness, self-pity, and every other ugly sin the heart has to offer. Ugh.

We're taking it a day at a hour at a time...a minute at a time. It's hard to strip away the pride. It's one of my biggest struggles. And so, when reading the above verse from James, I was more convicted on the follow-up verses (found below). My sins that came rip-roaring through these trials of summer were caused because of me. NOT God. It's not a "why is God doing this to me?" It's more of a "What selfish, sinful desires do I have right now that are taking me away from honoring, serving, and glorifying God?"

"Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God,' for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire." - James 1:13-14


Kristen said...

Thanks for sharing Amy! I'll be praying for you. It does often seem like our troubles pile on top of each other. But what great verses you mentioned to remind us it's not all about "why me?" and help us change our self-centered focus. And remember with the sleeping issues everything is a phase...this too will pass.

Fish said...

Wow...I wish I could give you a great big hug right now and we could have a few tears over a great cup of coffee. Thanks so much for sharing and being so completely honest. The best part about this post is I see God at work in your heart and that encouages and spurs me on. Thanks for clinging to our Savior and being a huge example to me.

As for your sleeping babe...we've been going through something similar with Culley. Not exactly at naps...but bedtime has been horrid. Cry, cry, cry...Mommy, Mommy, Mommy...etc. etc. etc. Honestly, almost every night I think of the Conklings and Mackie. Hang in there...many, many prayers are coming your way!

Miss ya, friend...