Living as hermits these last eight months, Duane and I figured it might be nice to attend a wedding within the Twelve Tribes community. These weddings are always so inspiring and centered completely on God. The groom represents Christ when he returns and the bride represents the bride of Christ (or his church as some hypothesize). The actual bride and groom are kept a part the week prior to their wedding and during the reenactment of Christ's return, he summons his bride and she comes barrelling out of where she's been kept hidden during the ceremony to this point and the two stare at each other with such intensity and love and gratitude (and other intensities we won't mention) that you can't help but well up with tears from the sheer weight of the moment... like you just witnessed the most sacred of sacred between a man and a woman just before they become man and wife.
There's singing and folk dancing as though you'd just stepped into a historical reenactment of "the good 'ol days". The groom dances for his bride with his fellow men... and not just any dance... one the groom created for his bride as a gift. And vice versa. They are beautiful! My cheeks hurt from smiling the whole time we are there.
All of this rambling to say, it is a privilege to be invited to these weddings and we delight in sharing the day with these beautiful people who live in community.
With our itchy son, we have avoided attending Friday night Sabbaths with them among other celebrations for fear of his allergies and flare ups. Heck, we feel like we've been avoiding EVERYTHING because of this! But this invitation arrived after Ethan had had two GLORIOUS weeks.
Yes, two amazing weeks of ROUTINE, CONSISTENCY, NAPS, etc... I even had a glimpse of my old self, puns and all, much to Duane's chagrin. Hee hee hee. So we stupidly figured we'd attempt a whole day at this outdoor wedding...
The community was so diligent in making sure they cooked me a special meal according to all the restrictions. The day was beautiful but chilly, the music was merry and inspiring, they served the delicious looking brownies without too much heart ache on my part... well, ok, maybe there was some tummy aching but my heart was fine.
Upon our return, Ethan began to be irritable. At bath time, we noticed eczema flare-ups on his body, which he has been mostly free of for a few weeks now.
Oh NO!!! Out came the hydrocortizone cream in hopes of nipping it in the butt... and hands, and tummy, and legs, and arms... sigh.
The night was not so good. While he had spent the last few weeks consistently waking up at 11:30, 2:30 and 6:00, that night he woke up every forty-five to sixty minutes. Ok, one bad night... not too bad a price to pay for a lovely day.
Oh but it does not end there, my friends.
Ethan won't nurse for more than five minutes in total now and he is clearly irritated by SOMETHING which I figured would have cleared my system by now. Mind you, I had also tried spelt bread the Wednesday and Thursday before... could it be delayed reactions to gluten in spelt?
ARG! I was feeling so much better getting nearly three hour stretches of sleep at night and I have spent the last five nights wondering if I should re-post my boy-for-sale advertisement!
All these thoughts of "what did I eat? What did I drink? Could it be too much honey in the hibiscus tea? Was it the oil in the salad dressing? Is it the chicken we've been eating the last few days (which was likely fed wheat)" Followed by the thought "Dear God, please don't let him be so allergic that we can't even eat the animals that have eaten his allergens... seriously!"
It is like a game of Russian roulette and I just do not know which thought will be the one that does me in. I have been joking around that I think Ethan will be the death of me... now it doesn't seem so funny anymore.
Today I had a melt down... sleep deprived again, feeling hopeless and mentally exhausted from trying to figure out what went wrong, feeling scared as I watch his diapers become less and less wet and wondering what this is doing to my milk supply and dealing with the guilt of wanting to pack my bags and join a convent... arg, today was just too much!
And is it right that my instinct is "well that does it! We're never going ANYWHERE!" Even my friend who came over had eaten a muffin and drank a coffee with milk (not something I typically allow in the house but I hadn't told her before hand). Anyways, she held Ethan and the kid broke out in hives on his face! Was it the muffin? Did she kiss his face? Was it the milk? Was it the dog hair from her Shi Tzu? Could someone shoot me now so my brain just STOPS?
How do you LET GO and LET GOD? So much fun... NOT! So I am working on my own vows... not to sell my son. More seriously, I am working at rejoicing in the now and not wasting my energy on "this is NOT what I bargained for! This is NOT fair!" But it is really hard some days not to give in to those self-pity feelings.
Ethan never asked for this, either, and he has to live with this for the rest of his life. I often forget this is not about me... this is about what Ethan endures and will have to endure for who knows how long. And that breaks my heart.
Keep up with your prayers because he is still doing better than ever other than this mild set back. He is nearly crawling and gets into EVERYTHING including wires which he likes to yank on and unplug from whatever devices are connected to them... I think I can feel the gray hairs coming in...
Love you all out there and for those of you who have recently spoken your vows, will soon speak them or you are living them... I pray that you feel a renewal of love and commitment to the one who won your heart... that you remember that God made that special someone just for YOU and vice versa... that together, you are the image of God's most holy union. I pray you are happy right where you are, in your heart, in your soul and in your thoughts. God bless you, my dears!