Friday, September 17, 2010

Immunizations and Bible Study

Thoughtful cake consumption
Yesterday, Quint had his 12 month well baby visit where we found out that he isn't well. It's just an ear infection, but still! I hate that I'm always clueless about him being sick. He had been especially whimpery right after his 3 day birthday spoilathon with family and friends giving him so many toys that he didn't know what to play with first. I figured that we'd just spoiled him and therefore I have been pretty tough about "I'll only give you that if you stop crying before I hand it to you," and other "suck it up and tell me what you need (which he can usually do with meaningful looks and hand gestures)" type things. I'm trying to squelch the guilt for being tough against bratiness that was actual illness.

During the birthday weekend, he started preferring just me to anyone else. Maybe it was just too many people, but we all thought he might be entering a "nobody but the mama" phase, which is normal about this age. He only wanted me and pitifully would even hold out his hands to me while we were in the carseat and I was driving. So, turns out, that was a painful ear infection.

Last night, after 2 immunizations, and with an ear infection, he had a temp of 101.6 at 1am. Poor little guy. I couldn't remember if that was considered a terrifyingly high temp for a one year old or not. A temp of 100.4 is terrifyingly high for a newborn, so I was concerned. Thankfully, we've got one of those 800 numbers to talk to an RN 24/7 and so I called them. I gave him ibuprofen before I actually got on the phone with them. The nurse was very helpful and put my fears at ease. Forty-five minutes later, when I could tell the temp had gone down, we all went back to bed.

*DING! Major subject change*

For the last couple years, I have not been doing my part on my relationship with God. I've gotten out of the habit of my daily prayer journal and Bible reading, and at times have had long gaps in praying at all. My prayers have primarily been very short, and very heartfelt, things like, "Thank you Lord for a beautiful, healthy son," and "Thank you Lord for my wonderful husband," and "Thank you that we have everything we need in life."

I have my Bachelors in Religion and my Masters in Biblical Studies. During my Masters, I mostly lost the ability to read the Bible devotionally. I spent all my time researching and studying the Bible critically, picking apart verses and passages for what the author might have meant in the original languages. It's a matter of missing the forest for the trees - examining the trees so closely to determine their species that you miss the beauty of the forest. As a result, while reading, I would completely miss how loving and wonderful God is, how He wants the best for me, and wants to teach me how to live. It had even gotten to where I would have these horribly cynical thoughts about so many verses I read or faith-filled stories I would hear. I hated that!

So a while back, I asked my husband to read with me at night basically to make me read each night. I know he reads his Bible each night. Quickly, it became apparent that I needed to specify the type of reading I needed. He would open the Bible to somewhere in Leviticus, read how to treat a medical problem, snap the Bible shut and say "Blessed be the word of the Lord." Wow, that was great. I certainly feel closer to God NOW. Another day it was military movements of troops. Another day it was how Paul traveled from here to there. Hmmm... This isn't working. So I asked him to read me something edifying to my soul. He read me some other passage that was hard to apply to my daily life and then chided me for being ungrateful for the Word and how ANY passage could be edifying to the soul if you tried hard enough. Hmmm... that sure helped. I am now both grateful and edified. And feel like a slug.

OK, so I'm a little disappointed that Hubby doesn't lead me spiritually, but he never has before. Did I really think he would suddenly start just because I asked? His relationship with God has always been quite different than mine. I see God as a loving Father who disciplines lovingly. I think he sees God as a strict disciplinarian who is just waiting for an excuse to throw you into hell. Sometimes he seems almost Catholic in his guilt and fear of God, but he is certainly Protestant in terms of Mary and the saints and whatnot. We're Methodist by the way.

So I asked my pastor for help getting back in the habit. He gave me a thing called a Life Journal which gives you certain passages to read each day, and a few instructions on how to prayerfully examine a passage for it's personal meaning to you that day. I'm only 2 days into it, but I really like having structure and instruction. Obviously my own sentiment of "just go do it" was falling pitifully short. This was evident in the fact that my prayer journal was dusty at the bottom of my stack of bedside books, and my Bible was under 3 other bedside books.

For years now, Hubby has come and tucked me in at night. He comes to bed hours later as a general rule. If we go to bed at the same time, we can't shut up talking and laughing and we wind up falling asleep 2 hours later than planned. So, Hubby would take away my book, kiss me, and turn out my light. So now he comes in while I'm doing my Bible study and asks just how much longer I'm going to be. I really don't want to rush through this just because it's late. I know that I will do that on occasion of course, but I certainly don't want that to be the habit. So now I need some snappy comeback/solution to having my Hubby make sure I get enough sleep balanced with the "don't rush the Bible study" issue. Anybody got any great ideas about that? I'm all ears.

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