Monday, July 1, 2013


Disclaimer: I am so guilty of the following, that I hope you see this not so much as a charge from a guiltless judge, but more of an inner-workings-out of what's going on in my heart right now.

It seems to me that there is a very peculiar inclination of the human heart. We have the tendency to allow place and our sense of home/belonging to rise up in our hearts to a seat of great prominence. We identify ourselves and others with where we are from - which, oddly, may not be where we are living currently. What's one of the first things we ask a new person, or tell someone we've just met - where we're from, where we live. It can be general - New Jersey; regional - North Jersey; or specific - county/town. It seems innocuous and just idle chatter, but why is that what we go for instead of other topics? Why do we care about where people are from?

It's not as if this is a modern phenomenon. All through the Bible, in fact, the general theme for much of it, people are searching for home. Thrown from the Garden of Eden, we are ever wanderers, looking for the place where we belong. We are aliens, not at home here on this earth, but always searching for a place to call our own despite that. Ruth got it right when she left Moab with Naomi because she knew Naomi was more a definition of home than Moab. 

But what happens when we become so attached to where we were that we find ourselves unable to truly live where we are? 

I am always quick to lament the loss of good food - bagels, pizza, Chinese food, and diners do not exist here. At least, not with the quality which I grew up accustomed to eating. (Though, thank the Lord, we have found a good pizza place in Lexington, so I know there may be hope yet.) (And that is not a sarcastic thanks be to God, it's genuine.) And not only food, but The City, the Adirondacks, the Shore. All things irreplaceable. All things I love dearly. All things that are wrapped up in my sense of self. Even things like weather and seasonal patterns of agriculture. Family and friends go without saying.

I become so busy lamenting what I've "lost", that I forget to find the joy in what I've gained. Comparison is the thief of joy, as Teddy so eloquently pointed out, and joy ought to be the desire of our hearts.

But it goes beyond robbing ourselves of joy. It's straight up disobedience. I find myself thinking of Jonah here. He was so determined to not go where God had appointed him to go, that he spent three days and nights in the belly of a great fish. His disobedience led to his suffering greatly. My disobedience and hardened heart has led to my suffering (needlessly, I'd add). By not trusting God that he has brought me to a good place, how my heart has suffered in the throes of self-inflicted sorrow, jealousy, anger, bitterness, and grumbling. When God led my husband to a job 800 miles away from where we were hoping to live, from where our families lived, I can tell you that I channeled my inner Jonah. I suppose it helped that we had no other job offer to persuade us one way or the other, our path was quite clear. But it didn't help. I still grumbled. I still do grumble. Jonah never did "get it" in the end, but I know there's hope for me yet.

The strangest part of this whole problem for me personally is that I am an Anthropology major. I love people and places. I love to travel. My heart has yearned for nearly 20 years to be in Kenya. And yet I hold on to New Jersey like some kind of anchor.

Do you know what anchors do? My five year old told me about an imaginary anchor that would float in the air. Then she started laughing hysterically and proclaimed how silly that would be! Do you know why? Because even a child knows that anchors do not float. Anchors sink, grab hold of the bottom, and stop the ship. Even a very great ship is held by an anchor properly placed. Anchors, however, can be hauled up and put down in new ports.

There should be no anchors in my life that keep me from moving forward. Forward in the direction I ought to go. Forward without grumbling or complaining. Forward to the far horizons.

New places do not mean that old places aren't important. But we can not physically live in two places at once, and our hearts shouldn't strive to either. 

Ebenezers are stones of remembrance, erected under the direction of the Lord, to ensure we don't forget His goodness and faithfulness. They are used to help us teach our children as we pass by them. The old places do not need to be forgotten, but Ebenezers are not meant to be idols.

The places we have come from have influenced us, formed our view of life and our place in it, but we should not confuse that with our inherent worth and self. By rejecting the new places, and honoring the old, we take the gift God has given us, and rob it of the joy with which it was given. Once again, our pride and disobedience declares that we know better, and that everything would be much better, if only He had let us stay right where we were before. For pete's sake, even the Israelites, after escaping from Egypt, declared it would have been better to remain slaves that be brought to die in the desert. But they didn't die then, they were saved.

By remaining obedient and faithful, trusting the Lord's wisdom and not our own, we can start to let go of the petty things that seem so important - food, fairs, cities, mountains, and beaches - and begin to appreciate the good things we have here and now. Wherever we may lay our head at night becomes home simply because we remember that our home isn't here anyway.

"For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling" 
2 Corinthians 5:1,2

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


I headed into James 3 today. It seemed particularly relevant in light of the current cultural climate, right after the State of the Union and all that. (Amazing how the Bible seems to be for all people, for all times. But I digress...)

Generally, I hate politics. No, correction, I hate talking about politics. People who like to talk about politics are passionate. And you know what passion breeds? It breeds an air of pridefulness that begets rudeness, coarse language, and disrespect. This happens because, of course, we all believe that we are on the side of right, sometimes Right, and if we don't allow that we might be wrong, we aren't open to discussions that actually progress. When you enter a debate, you are hoping to win over your opponent, so naturally, you defend yourself as to be not allowed to be persuaded that they may, in any way at all, be right. That right there is some Grade A Pride. And it's not just politics, that just happens to be the area where I find it the most distasteful. It might be some other area for you - theology, parenting, sports, etc.

Well, this is to be somewhat expected from a large section of the population. We can not hold to account those who are not committed to living life in step with Christ. If someone doesn't sign a contract, you can't hold them to its terms. Though, I should say, that most people have a sense that we ought to be civil and polite - this is one of those culturally understood things. There's at least a pretense most of the time.

But I find myself both frustrated and saddened by the blatant disrespect I see at large in the Christian community. How are we to be salt and light when we have no distinguishing factors? How can we claim to be set apart when our actions and speech so closely resemble those around us? Many communities of faith hold to a standard of living in grace - there are certain non-negotiables in the tenets of Christian doctrine (although even this is sort of unclear and has led to all kinds of sects, cults, denominations, etc) - but there are areas where we allow one another to live in grace because there isn't any clear cut right or wrong answer. 

Should you buy a Toyota or a Ford - or must all Christians drive a Chrysler? Or should all Christians forego driving and use the money they save on gas and ownership to fund orphanages in third world nations? Yes, of course that's a silly one, but sometimes the things we hold one another to are silly things.

One area that is explicitly clear in the Bible is that we are to be in control of our tongues (and I'm sure that fingers would have been included had the Holy Spirit chosen to reveal the future nature of our communication). This means more than not swearing, lying, sharing dirty jokes, name-calling, or being rough and sarcastic.

It extends to the way that we treat others. And not only other believers. Anyone can be kind about people who agree with them.

Our speech should be such that it is gracious and kind. And I'm not saying we need to go around talking like we're a bunch of empty-headed shadows. What I'm saying is that every person you encounter, read about, or see is made in the image of God. That alone deserves respect. That alone should make them worthy of the time it takes to edit yourself whether in speaking to or about them in person or an online forum. 

Everyone knows you should never read the comments section on blogs or articles. If you really want to support the theory that the milk of human kindness has run dry, simply pop on over to any blog, however uncontroversial, and you're bound to find that some fight has broken out. And not just disagreements, but all out ugliness.

And we all tsk-tsk and shake our heads saying, "Wow, people, if you wouldn't say it in person, don't say it on the internet" or "I know I should never read the comments. What a bunch of wack-a-doos" or "Who are these people that post on the internet?".

Friends, they are us! We post on the internet. We get into fights on forums and in the comments sections of "news" articles and blog posts. We write either openly harsh or passive-aggressive status updates on Facebook. It's not just "them" - whoever "them" happens to be at the moment. (Oh, it is so hard not changing that to "they"... squirm.)

Pundits love to rail on and on about personal responsibility. Guess what? We are personally responsible to act in a manner that is befitting a child of God. That means our speech ought to show respect to those who are made in the likeness of God. That would be, let me see... Everyone!

The stubborn, backwards thinking super-conservative? Yes. The stubborn, backwards thinking super-liberal? Yes. The President of the United States and other political figures leading us? Yes. The teacher that didn't pass your child because your child failed to do the work required? Yes. The mom the does/does not cloth diaper/wear their baby/breastfeed/co-sleep/stay-at-home? Yes. A million times yes. No, nearly 7 billion times yes.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.  And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
James 3:17,18

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Worry & Grace

I am not a worrier. At least, not generally. I would say that I can most accurately be described as a go-with-the-flow kind of gal. If I'm really honest with myself, I'd say I'm proud of that. 

I like not being a worry-wart. It gives me confidence to know that I can handle most anything that happens. Schedule upsets? No big deal - though, let's be honest, there are rarely any real schedules to keep. Unknown future? What good would knowing do me anyway? I can not change what may or may not happen, and I could only prepare so much because it will probably not pan out as predicted. If I was a worrier, someone who needed that control over life, I would waste the day away fretting about how it isn't fitting my expectations or desires. I very much like not fretting.

And besides, I can always give myself a big pat on the back and say, "Ah, good job. You are not a worry kind of gal. You get extra brownie points because you are extra obedient to Jesus' words (Matthew 6). And not just Jesus, but Paul too (Philippians 4). Well done, you!"

Isn't that what we all want to do? Give ourselves a pat on the back for being super spiritual?

Really, truly, though, there are some things I do worry about. And they are inevitably silly things most of the time, and nearly all in the past. A few examples:

One thing I worry about is whether or not I went on a date with someone in college. Back story: went to see a movie with some friends. Some time later, someone asked if it was a double date. I didn't know. Then I worried that it was, but that I wasn't aware it was, and that maybe I hurt someone's feelings because I didn't know it was. But how could I know if no one told me? It doesn't matter. I still regret not knowing, not for my own sake, but for his. And of course I'll never know now. This was eons ago. Ages and ages. And it doesn't even matter at all, but I still find myself worrying about it.

Another thing I often worry about occurred around Easter of 2007. We had gone to Walmart and it was packed. Supremely busy. We grabbed whatever one or two items we had gone in for, then hopped into the self-checkout lane. A lady waiting a few turns behind us started an argument with me over something silly, then ended in a huff with, "I'll be sure to pray for you, 'cause you sure need it." I nearly cried (I'd chalk it up to hormones since I had just found out I was pregnant with A), and got very flustered. I still worry about that woman, about that whole interaction. What did I do wrong? What could I have done differently to ease her night and make her Easter better? Nothing, I'm sure, but it still bothers me 5 years later.

I worry that the words I speak to strangers might break their spirits. I worry that perhaps the day I'm in a bit of a huff with a particularly slow checker at the store might be the day they are suffering. Perhaps that is the day that they so badly need a smile and a friendly chat from someone, anyone.

It does no good dwelling on the past, but the memories haunt me all the same. I never will know if I went on that date, and I never will know how that night could have turned out in Walmart if I had just held my tongue when the lady first started to snap at me.

But I do know that I can adjust my expectations and attitude to find grace in the future. I can be kinder, gentler, more gracious. In fact, as I have grown older, and undoubtedly wiser - I'm sure you'll agree,  I have this desire to be gracious. When I am gone from this life, I want people to say, "What a gracious woman, Bekea was. How well she soothed and encouraged those around her." (Or something to that effect anyway, feel free to ad lib as necessary since I don't want the service getting too redundant.)

I want to be the balm that soothes the weary, broken, discouraged, or otherwise needy spirits I may meet along the way.

I never want to worry that I am the root of someone's bitterness, discouragement, despair, or discontent.

My heart's desire is to be a beacon of God's grace. I don't ever think it should be hard - I'm friendly, kind, compassionate, hospitable (I know, I know, humble, too). Seriously, though, I sometimes joke that I do belong in Kenya because I so very easily expect everyone to find themselves welcome at my home any time - provided they do not mind the mess, noise, and munchkins. I deeply love people. If you are a friend I made in college, we may have lost touch and are no longer as close as we once were, but my love has not dimmed. I'm merely a pathetic failure when it comes to keeping in touch. If letters were written purely by intention and love found in the heart/mind, consider yourselves all recipients of many, many more letters. To remember things like "Blessed so that I may bless".

I just wish I could be better at getting that out into real life. Practically speaking, I am not a very good beacon because I am, in truth, a bit lazy, quite forgetful and I procrastinate often.

What really worries me though, is that by putting this out there, and by professing that my heart's desire is to grow and change, that I'll be forced to undergo some moments of growth and change

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. 
(Pr 16:24)

And I really do wish I could find out about some of those things in the past - like that date/non-date. It'd help me move on to something else to worry about, haha!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Another recipe

One thing I love about spring and summer is the abundance of delicious food we get from our CSA box. Sometimes there are things that we aren't too sure what to do with them - though our farm does provide some recipes to help out - and other times I can barely wait for the first week we get a favorite item.

In last week's box, we got quite a few greens - as you're going to at the start of a season - including a huge head of Napa cabbage. I had a few ideas of how to use it, but ultimately decided that I was in the mood for cole slaw. No one else in my family particularly likes it, which is fine by me! So I grabbed a few things that I needed to use up and concocted one of my favorite slaws to date.

Dan claimed this was the best cole slaw he's ever eaten. He doesn't like cole slaw, so I think that's a compliment. He had a serving and didn't balk. I'm sticking by his statement.

Now, my measurements are estimations since I didn't actually measure anything out. Also, since I used whatever was on hand, you can feel free to adjust as necessary. I think one of the beautiful things about most recipes, particularly salads, is that you can add in whatever you had around. This would also be tasty with some broccoli or carrots thrown in.

So here you go, my Napa Cabbage Slaw, or The Best Slaw Dan's Ever Eaten

For the dressing:
1/2 c  Mayonnaise
1/4 c  Greek Yogurt (Sour Cream would probably work too)
2 T    Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 t  Kosher Salt
1/2 t  Celery Seed (I love Celery Seed!)
1/4 t  Ground Black Pepper

Combine all in a medium bowl until blended and creamy

For the salad:
1 Large Head Napa Cabbage Shredded/cut into thin ribbons
1 Tart Apple, julienne/thinly sliced - I used Fuji, but Granny Smith would be divine
2 Small Cucumbers, seeded and julienne/thinly sliced (I didn't cut the seeds out of one cuke and it added a lot of water)

Combine in a large bowl. Pour on dressing and coat well. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours - the longer the better. I had some for breakfast and it was somehow even better than at dinner. 

I love summertime salads - no cooking, no heat, no boiling water to add to the humidity. Ahhh. Give me greens in the summer and I am on happy lady.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bitter Roots

I'm generally of the mind that we ought to mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice. It runs counter to my nature to hold against someone the blessings God has given them, and I don't say this in some kind of boastful way. In reality, I recognize this personality trait as a God-given gift and over time, I've seen myself mature in the way I am able to be compassionate and caring towards others, because there was certainly a time in my life when I was not mature. When I'm able to comfort a friend, I am able to praise God that I was given the right words or actions at the right time. I know that not everyone is given the same gifts, and I appreciate that some people are able to be administrators because they have the discipline and self-control to be persistent and follow-through without procrastination (because I am not that person!).

Even though I'm not blessed with the same gifts that someone else may possess, it doesn't let me off the hook. I'm still commanded in the Word to be Holy (1 Peter 1), and to clothe myself with humility, seeking to be evermore like Christ. Which, of course, is hard. Patience has never been my strong-suit, but does that mean I can simply snap at my children and write it off as a personality flaw that I've been doomed with since birth? N-to-the-O! 

In the same way, there is no excuse for jealousy or ingratitude. And, let's be honest here, they go hand in hand. When the ugly green monster of envy rears its ugly head, what flows forth from the mouth except that which is in the heart? Ingratitude, bitterness, hate, covetousness, rudeness and idolatry just to name a few.

And you know what the worst part is? Most of those emotions, directed towards others and their circumstances, are truly being directed at God (James 3). When we whine or complain that we don't have the newest, best, biggest whatever, or when we moan and groan that we are in some circumstance in life that we wish was otherwise, what are we doing but telling God that he has not given us enough? Or that we somehow know better than He does about our own circumstances? And yet He tells us in Isaiah 55:
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." We can't even fathom the depths of the Lord's mind, and yet we presume to think we know so much better.

By doing so we are only giving into our own flesh and the selfish desires we harbor in the darkness of our hearts. But if we have been redeemed, we can't have any part of this. We're reminded over and over again that we are now children of the light, and we must put off the things that we did when we were in darkness (Romans 13, John 3, Ephesians 5, James 3, 1 Peter 1, 1 Thessalonians 4, Hebrews 12... and on and on).

So what's our excuse? I am, of course, left without one. At least any legitimate one. And so it's time to clip the bitter roots and strive for contentment and love.

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no "root of bitterness" springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;   Hebrews 12:14&15

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.   Romans 12:9-16

Sunday, April 24, 2011


I've been known to have a strange and wandering mind. I'll find myself thinking on something and be halfway down two dozen rabbit trails within a minute. It's probably a family trait, as I've seen it play out in conversations amongst my extended family. Start on one topic with four people and about two minutes later we've got seven different conversations going on.

So, all that to say, my mind. It wanders.

At Christmas time I thought about who could have been there for Mary during the birthing of Christ. Due to Jewish cleanliness laws, I have no trouble believing Joseph (who is called "faithful to the law" in Matthew 1) had no part in it. It'd be unheard of in that culture. So another woman (or women) no doubt. And seeing as how everyone was coming into Bethlehem, I find it easy to assume that they probably weren't even alone in that stable. Who else would the inn maker have offered it to in order to make a little more money during this extremely busy time? And if not even a person staying at the inn, surely there would have been a woman nearby who would have been sought out. It's not as if childbirth is this quiet, peaceful event. So I always wonder - who was the woman/women blessed enough to usher Jesus into the world? 

Anyway, that thought niggled my mind. (What? Niggled is a word, my spell check says so...) As I came into the Lenten and Easter season, being a mother, once again I thought of Mary. My dear, sweet, wonderful children are perfection. But, they are also dear, sweet, wonderful human beings. So they sin. It seems to happen quite often. I began to wonder how life must have been for Mary (and Joseph), raising a sinless son. Surely there were still frustrations and arguments because Mary, after all, was human. She sinned. So did she recognize that her son was sinless and that any hindrance in that perfect familial relationship was purely  from her own failings? How long did it take before she realized this? And what about his half-siblings? How did they feel having a perfectly sinless brother? I mean, couldn't that get down right annoying? Or would it all have been ok, since, ya know, Jesus would have handled it all perfectly.

I don't intend any disrespect or facetiousness. I honestly wonder. Because how often do we attribute the frustrations of motherhood on the actions or attitudes of our children? But how often ought we to really consider that we are also to blame? All the time, it seems to me.

So my heart goes out to Mary, living with her sinless son, all the while harboring her own sinful heart.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Comfort (Warning: VERY long post ahead)

It isn't unusual for babies and small children to have some kind of security blanket or comforting friend.  I mean, even my 20 year old brother still sleeps with Blank, and I'm pretty sure he's not embarrassed to admit it. I'll admit that I have a teddy I sleep with, gifted to me by my husband as the first birthday gift of our relationship.

As with all things, no two kids are ever the same in the way they need comforting. My daughter, AM, is three now (be still my heart). When she was only a few months old, someone gifted her a very soft & fuzzy white blanket - only about 12 inches square - that had a small angel tucked into a pair of wings. The angel was quickly abandoned, but that blanket has stayed. "Fuzzy", as he is affectionately called (yes, he), could be found stuffed under AM's nose, and is usually a dull gray color between washings. I'd post a picture, but it'd probably gross you out. My very thoughtful mother-in-law even saved us by buying 2 more of the exact same blanket to use as backups (we quickly stopped bringing him into stores for safety reasons). Of course now all 3 are often needed, though we can usually manage to convince her that one will suffice. Car trips, nap & bed time and general being around the house are all occasions to need Fuzzy within reach. When it came time to send AM to preschool, we were able to convince her that Fuzzy would keep her car seat safe and warm while she went to play. I'll be honest, I was a bit worried.

EF has never had any one toy or blanket he felt particularly drawn to as a source of comfort. I think AM's devotion is enough for all. Though, bless her sweet heart, if EF is feeling blue, AM will offer up a Fuzzy to him. You have no idea the level of sacrifice this entails. This simple act of empathy always make my heart grow 20 sizes as it swells with pride and joy. What else can fill a mother's heart as she sees such displays between her children?

Those simple acts remind me so clearly that God uses humble and seemingly foolish acts to demonstrate his own qualities. If my daughter is able to find comfort in a blanket, and then share that comfort with her little brother, how much more will the God of all things lavish his comfort on my own troubled spirit?

2010 was a year when I needed God's comfort in a profound and extreme way. Few people know that before Ainsley, Dan and I were expecting another child. It was with joy we found ourselves "in the family way" just about a month and a half after getting married. And it was with a very heavy heart that we celebrated our first Christmas as a couple, no longer looking toward a baby in our future. The first few months I spent here were lonely - new state, new apartment, no job, no car - and then were filled with the grief of losing my child. I thought I could never feel so devastated again. I was wrong.

In July, Dan and I discovered I was pregnant again. We were nervous - 3 kids ages three and under left us thinking that life was about to get extraordinarily overwhelming - but so joyful. Children are always a blessing and we knew that the Lord was able to give us beyond all that we'd need. Little did we know that once again we'd have to walk the dark road of grief. And let me be honest here - you may think going through something you've gone through before makes you prepared to handle it. You'd be wrong. In fact, this time around, it seemed things were harder, the grief heavier. I'd say it's because we knew the joy of children, and were somehow more aware of all the potential joy now taken away. I'd say it's because you think after going through two healthy and relatively easy pregnancies (as if any pregnancy could be called easy! HA!), you think you're safe, protected. (Obviously that's just not true, but it doesn't stop you from believing it anyway.) I'd say it's because this has been a time when most of my friends have announced their own expected bundles of joy. Now, let me make this very, very clear: I am so insanely happy for the friends of mine who are about to become parents (whether for the first or second or third or... you name it... time), but it also breaks my heart a little bit. With every announcement (and I counted at least 2 dozen among my Facebook friends within a few months), I felt reminded that I was no longer on the list. With every status update about sleepless nights, weird cravings, contractions, milestones and ultrasounds, I felt the painful stab of knowing that I wasn't experiencing the same thing. 

I needed God's comfort. I needed it bad. I was getting so depressed, it was beginning to play out in my life. I would find myself snapping at AM and EF as it insidiously eroded away my patience. My head was saying, "Snap out of it. You know God loves you. You know He plans all things and is wiser than you'll ever be. It's not their fault, stop taking it out on them", but my heart was just crying out and seeking ways to make others as miserable as myself. I spent nights unable to sleep, tossing and turning with the thoughts of my children I would never hold. I sought consolation among friends who have experienced miscarriages, or who knew me through other terrible moments in my life. And, as one friend shared, "It's like carrying a 500 lb stone for the rest of your life. It's not that the stone gets lighter, it's that you get stronger."

In effect, I was trying to make myself unavailable to the comfort and grace God wanted to lavish upon me. I would shake my minuscule fists and scream, "I'm angry. I'm hurt. You have taken away such joy. I don't trust you to give me anymore." And most people would stop there, nursing the anger and frustration until there was such a wall built up that it seemed impenetrable. What foolishness. God can do all things, and he promises to give us comfort. It took a long time, the prayers of many and immersing myself in the promises laid out in places like the Psalms, Lamentations and even the New Testament. 

Why should we ever seek comfort anywhere else? 

Lamentations 3
18 So I say, “My splendor is gone
   and all that I had hoped from the LORD.”
 19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
   the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
   and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
   and therefore I have hope:

 22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
   for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
   therefore I will wait for him.”

 25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
   to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
   for the salvation of the LORD.
27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke
   while he is young.

 28 Let him sit alone in silence,
   for the LORD has laid it on him.
29 Let him bury his face in the dust—
   there may yet be hope.
30 Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him,
   and let him be filled with disgrace.

 31 For no one is cast off
   by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
   so great is his unfailing love.
33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
   or grief to anyone. 

And so while I would gladly welcome a new bundle any time now, I can honestly say that I am finally feeling that comfort. I'm no longer devastated when I read all those Facebook statuses. And I can never thank the Lord enough for opening my eyes to the grace that has been there all the time. (and those who have been lifting me up before the Father)