I (Jessica) meant to write a new update each week on Sunday, but it might take a while before that becomes super consistent. Thanks in advance for bearing with me.
It was recently confirmed that the pain in the lower half of my body that happens most nights is indeed sciatica, which is unfortunate, but I’m glad to finally have a firm idea of what is going on. Sciatic nerve pain in pregnancy is normal and not dangerous . . . however, it really gets to me every now and then on an emotional level. I woke up this morning around 5 and even after having slept in a good upright position on my back, I was in too much pain to sleep any longer. So here I am at my favorite coffee place, working on our budget, reading Scripture, and trying not to start the day with a bad attitude.
Also, I just remembered I didn’t program the coffee maker to brew for Devynn when he wakes up. Oops. Oh, well. Let’s just jump straight to the Verse of the Week before anything else.
“Why should I fear in times of trouble? The iniquity of my foes surrounds me. They trust in their wealth and boast of their abundant riches. Yet these cannot redeem a person or pay his ransom to God – since the price of redeeming him is too costly, one should forever stop trying . . .” | Psalm 49:5-8 CSB
We’re talking at home and in our life group about spiritual disciplines these days, and especially in the New Year season I’ve noticed it can be tempting to treat habit building and general life cultivation as ends rather than as means. I’m encouraged by these conversations so far because they drove home to me the distinction between godly discipline and worldly discipline. It’s a subtle distinction, though, not a concrete one. I think this is why we confuse them so often – especially when we live in a country or regional culture that is oriented around work, progress, success, and independence. Should we only care about spiritual habits? No – God is God in all things, and the Christian faith runs contrary to the dualism that separates earthly life into strictly “sacred” and “secular” realms. However, we shouldn’t pursue self-betterment . . . even things like financial security or good health. . . without having the ultimate goal of glorifying the Lord and moving toward eternity with Him.
We’re trying to keep this in mind as we evaluate which habits and rhythms need to change in our life in anticipation of the coming months. I’ve been getting better, completely by God’s grace and the help of YNAB, at managing our finances (something I’ve really failed in throughout the first year and a half of our marriage). Devynn has been making great strides in spiritual disciplines and leadership, and with taking on the more overwhelming or physically challenging household tasks (a list that grows as baby grows). Overall, I think we’re experiencing the joys of notable sanctification/growth along with the pain of conviction and discipline. Such is the Christian life, and marriage tends to heighten the severity of both feelings.
Keep us in prayer as we face challenges in these areas and have our faith and perspectives tested.
Hopefully our next update will be more timely, encouraging, and photo filled! I currently have a couple of first draft articles sitting in the WordPress editor as well, and I anticipate publishing at least one of them tomorrow.
As always, Soli Deo Gloria.