High Needs Babies & Flying

I haven’t been as good about blogging lately for a couple reasons. First, I’ve been trying to prepare for Bear’s first plane ride. We’re going to North Carolina for the Exodus Freedom Conference in less than 3 weeks! 3 years ago when we went down there, we drove, so we were weighing the pros & cons of driving versus flying. Driving was appealing because I could bring my blender for green smoothies, as well as any food & supplies I might need. But that’s an awfully long time to be in a car with an infant, so we decided to fly. We’re taking a direct flight to Charlotte (only 2 hours), renting a car, and driving the 2 hours to get to Asheville.

The 2nd reason I haven’t been able to blog is that Bear has been extra needy lately. Bear is and has always been what one would call “High Needs”. I don’t like the terms “difficult” or “fussy”; he’s just who he is. He’s been like this from day 1, so I don’t believe it’s something we caused or cultivated.

I remember coming across Dr. Sears’ book “Fussy Baby Book: parenting your high-need child from birth to five”, when Bear was about 8 weeks old. It described him to a T. In some ways, it was really affirming, and in other ways, totally discouraging. I kept hoping it was just a phase that he would grow out of.

All babies are “high needs” in some sense – it’s just some need to sleep and some don’t as much, some need to suck and some don’t as much, some need to be held a lot and some don’t as much. He has food sensitivities as well as acid reflux, which adds to it. He’s doing better than when he was younger, definitely, but he still requires a lot of time and attention.

It’s easy to get frustrated when I’m trying to get something done, and Bear wants my attention. As Bear gets older, I’m realizing he has three distinct cries: his “I’m bored/pay attention to me” whine, which is more about wanting my attention vs. actually needing my attention, his “I need you” cry, where he really does need me NOW, and his “I’m terrified, come quickly” cry, which he’s only done when the dog barks too close to him or when the smoke alarm goes off (and we have a very sensitive smoke alarm!). When he’s just whining, I reassure him with my voice that I’ll be with him in a minute and quickly finish whatever I’m doing. It’s generally when I’m in the kitchen preparing his food or mine.

I’ve been struggling to practice acceptance. I have many things I’d like to do, and even things I really need to do. But I figure soon enough, Bear will outgrow his desire & need to sit in my lap & take a nap like he is now. Today, I can choose to fight against Bear’s needs, or I can accept him for who he is and cherish his babyhood. I think I’ll do the latter 🙂

Why Does God Let Babies Die?

That’s the question I asked Roy today. A woman on a message board I frequent lost her baby today. He was born not breathing, with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. He was revived temporarily, but went to be with Jesus last night. I had been praying for her little baby, for his complete healing, & for her family since she went into labor.

The family seems to be holding up as well as could be expected. They have 2 young daughters. Pray for them.

I look at my beautiful son, and my heart breaks to imagine life without him. It gives me a glimpse into the father heart of God, who spared no expense in sending His only son to suffer & die a horrific death.

Roy responded, “Why does God let anyone die?” Good question. There are no easy answers. The fact is we will all die someday. No one is exempt. Does it seem cruel & unfair to me that a sweet little baby boy should have to go to Jesus so soon? Yes. But at least he is not suffering anymore. For now, their little baby boy has received his complete healing and is resting in God’s arms.

Less than 7 months after this, I lost a child to miscarriage. I wrote an article about that experience: Bye, Bye, Pebble Baby

My Book, Smoothies, & Life

I was inspired by one of my friends in Exodus who recently signed a book deal that I should be more consistent in working on my book. He said he was working on it for a year before he got picked up by a publisher. So yesterday morning, while Bear napped on my lap, I worked on my book. I already have a loose intro written, as well as an outline of about 18 chapters, some of which may eventually be cut, depending on the format I choose for the final version. I went through various talks I’ve given during my days doing campus ministry with Chi Alpha, as well as Exodus, & articles & devotionals I’ve written and pulled information from those, cutting & pasting them into the appropriate chapters. I ended up with over 50 pages of material! So that felt good to make all that progress 🙂

I also just really enjoyed reading over some of my old talks & teachings. I really struggled with those early talks, whereas now I’m much more comfortable preaching & teaching. But even though I struggled with writing & giving them, some of them had important things to say – if I do say so myself.

Yesterday, I was out of spinach, but in an effort to maintain my green smoothie streak, I used broccoli & kale as my greens. Um, let’s just say I don’t recommend it, unless you have a more powerful blender than I do. It was so thick it took me several hours to drink it.

Brain Fog

I wanted to get some writing done tonight since the Bear’s been asleep for a while and Roy is working late, but my brain won’t cooperate. I did get a few things jotted down for my book on the theme of “Perseverance”, so that’s good. And I did some tidying up.

Roy will be at work for a little while longer, so I think I’ll take a shower & go to bed. Night, all!

Trust & Rest

I’ve had an emotionally draining week. There are many situations & circumstances that are weighing heavily on me right now. I don’t need to go into the details of why here, but as I’m processing all the emotions I’m experiencing, I’m reminding of a few lines in a song by Andy Park.

“I can’t understand all that You allow – I just can’t see the reason”

All too often I find myself stopping at this point. I focus on trying to figure out why on earth God could possibly be allowing me to go through what I’m going through. Am I to blame? Did I do something wrong? Am I not praying hard enough, or am I praying for the wrong things?

Today, as I was talking with my friend Eva on the phone, I was sharing how I just need to remember the next line of the song:

“But my life is in Your hands, and though I cannot see You, I choose to trust You

Trusting God is a choice. It doesn’t come naturally to me, and I imagine I’m not alone in that. But I’ve found that God has always shown Himself to be faithful. I have no choice but to believe that this time will be no exception.

So today, God, I choose to trust in the knowledge that You are the Rock, Your works are perfect, and all Your ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is what You are (Deuteronomy 32:4). Today, I choose to rest in You. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30


Travels & Illness

We safely made the trip up to His Mansion today, and Roy did go along, though I think it made his illness worse. And he has to go back to work tomorrow. Poor guy 🙁

I’m building up my list of blogs to read, and I’m specifically looking for more blogs on finances, simple living, and food 🙂 By “finances”, I don’t mean “get rich as quick as you can and don’t care who you step on to get there”. I don’t really have time to explain what I mean as there’s a Bear trying to climb into my lap, but I mean more like simple living/”Your Money or Your Life”-type stuff.


Following Your Passion

Roy & I stayed home from church today because Bear has a fever and isn’t feeling well. And since we’ve been up since about 5 AM, I’ve been catching up on reading some library books that I have out. And since the Bear is snoozing on my lap, I thought I’d type a post on my new Asus 🙂

2 books really have me thinking: “The Simple Living Guide” and to a lesser degree “Your Money or Your Life”. Janet Luhrs, author of “The Simple Living Guide”, discussing simplifying your life to the point where you can easily live within your means and still save money so that one day, you become financially independent. We are on track to be set to retire in 15-20 years if we continue to pay down our debt at our current rate and continue to earn about the same amount of money with annual raises.

This may surprise some of you, but I’ve always desired to live a simple life. Some of you probably just laughed out loud as you read that because you’ve been to our house and have seen all the stuff we’ve accumulated over the years. Yes, our hoarding tendencies still need to be worked on, for sure 🙂 But ideally, I’d love to live in a small town where you go to the village store and the clerk knows you by name (yes, I have watched too much “Little House on the Prairie”). We’d live in a modest house, and I could have a large garden on lots of land with a stream nearby for Roy. Yes, I would miss the conveniences of city life (like being able to walk to the grocery store and not use any gas to get there!), but I think the pros would outweight the cons. And with all the technology we have available to us today, Roy & I could both work from home.

The question is what work would I do? Luhrs talks a lot about finding work you are passionate about. I’m passionate about a lot of things – ministry, music, healthy eating which does not mean “low-fat”, fyi), green smoothies, dogs, babies, recovery – the list could go on & on 🙂 She talked specifically about how great it was to be able to work from home when her kids were small. Her job? Writing! As I read that, I was reminded of how, in recent years, I’ve really had a strong desire to write a book. I’ve never thought of myself as much of a writer before, but I recently had 3 articles published over at Boundless.org, and those were relatively well-received. There are a few different book ideas that I’ve tossed around, but there’s one specific idea that I feel strongly God put on my heart over 3 years ago. As I sat thinking about this, I actually had several ideas pop into my head, so I hopped over to my Asus & jotted them down.

So get ready, Eva! (She’ one of my best friends and has edited pretty much everything I’ve written since we met a few years ago.) It may take me 2 or 3 times as long to write a book, typing with one finger and a baby in my lap, but it’ll get done eventually!

Shameless plus – I have been reading some great books lately! Check out my Library Thing list below for some recommendations 🙂