Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Count Your Blessings (Reprise)

Last week was a tough week.

Lauren seemed to be declining again. She "just wasn't quite right" as Cristi described it to me. She was also falling a lot -- like her legs were just giving out underneath her. That was certainly a disturbing new development. The doctors were beginning to get concerned. Of course we're always concerned that she'll start going d0wnhill before she gets her heart.

Work wasn't going well. I have two main programs I'm responsible for. One is already on life support, and started getting worse. The other one was going fine, but then an organization I work with decided to start throwing a fit about stuff I didn't think was that excitable.

I was starting to get nervous about finding a house. We thought we found one, but it looked like it was going to fall through. Then, instead of going to Philadelphia to see Cristi and Lauren, I'd have to stay here looking at houses...and I really missed Cristi.

The kids were off to Georgia with Opa and Oma, and I was left by myself. I absolutely HATE being by myself. I wound up working late every night only to come home to work that needed to be done around the house. Then stay up late, get up early, repeat.

The stress was mounting to the point that I just wasn't sure how much longer I could take it. Everyone always talks about how positive we are. I do try to look for the positive --to have joy -- in every situation...and in most cases, it helps. But it didn't this time. Little annoyances just kept happening -- things that ordinarily wouldn't be that big of a deal. But they were this time. The veneer had cracked, and I feared I had somehow lost God's protection and comfort. I feared that others might be disappointed that "the Schwambs who are so strong" hadn't cracked the code on perpetual peace after all. How can I encourage others when I've no longer got the calm assurance that all is good? I actually felt a bit like Elijah when he was hiding in a cave, running from Jezebel. He said, "I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” (1 Kings 19:10). Okay, so I didn't really feel like people were trying to kill me, but I sure felt the kind of stress that Elijah felt...and it's okay.

God calmed Elijah with a gentle whisper. He calmed me with the gentle whisper of friendship and prayer. It was then that things started looking up. I went to praise team rehearsal last Wednesday, and it was good to be around people, and good to be prayed over for my stress. My spirits began to lift. My kids would be back that weekend. Two days later, I got notified we got the house, which meant I could go to Philadelphia -- two more weights lifted. Lauren stopped falling, and today seems to have her energy back. I briefed my 3-star yesterday on my program with so many issues and got kudos for a good brief. And, Brennan passed his milk challenge yesterday. Wow! So much relief over the last several days. Life is definitely good again.

And God continues to be faithful.

Cristi posted a new blog entry a couple of days ago (you can read it here), called "Count your Blessings". I think it's time I did the same:

1) Lauren is at the best children's heart hospital in the world, getting care from top docs. You couldn't ask for more.
2) A wonderful wife that I truly love with all my heart and, amazingly, she tolerates me.
3) Two kids that have been through more than kids should ever have to go through, and they just roll with the punches.
4) God continues to answer my prayers -- about Lauren, the house, work, Brennan, ...
5) A boss that lets me take off whenever I need to, with no questions asked
6) An amazing base of care and concern from a ton of friends that I know -- and some that I don't
7) Two sets of parents that would move heaven and earth to help in any way they can
8) I get to sing my heart out and throw all my cares away at least once every week
9) I don't have to worry about health insurance costs. The military is truly a blessing.
10) Facebook and e-mail. It's been our lifeline.

"Your light broke through my night, restored exceeding joy. Your grace fell like the rain and made this desert live. You have turned my mourning into dancing! You have turned my sorrow into joy! This is how we overcome!"


  1. You spelled night wrong in the last paragraph, if you want to correct it.

  2. Addison is really cute! :) I'm glad the cloud has lifted, Tim. Actually, your honesty was encouraging, dealing with your sadness and stress last week. I was having some sadness over Nathan's pain and brain injury, my brother's dissolving marriage, and our family's loss of my aunt Jerri, and Don's health concern that has since been resolved, on Wed. Coming to praise team was also a comfort to my heart, and strangely, praying for your discouragement was encouraging to me, as well.
    2 Corinthians 1 comes to mind, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all of our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ, our comfort overflows." If we did not know your "veneer" was cracking, we couldn't offer you comfort that we have received, and offering you comfort comforts us as well, and all of our sufferings we share with each other and with Christ. You and Cristi are strong, and that makes me glorify God, because He is strengthening you both....and he is using comfort that He has given to others to comfort you, and He is using the comfort you have received to comfort others. (I think Paul said it better than I can! :) ) God bless you guys!

  3. Thanks, Jerri! You always find the perfect scriptures!

  4. Thanks....that is because I always remember the ones on which I have relied heavily! :)