There are some days when I feel as though I've been picked up and cradled like a little baby. And there are days when I feel as though I'm forced to walk when I would rather be carried. Wonderfully, today is one of the former. God has been breathing fresh beautiful air in our direction, in the midst of a few trials.

What I can't get over is how wonderful God's children can be. I've been a receiver so many times that I haven't deserved, and I need to express how amazing it always is. When we were in Canada my sister threw a party for us in one of her busiest times. My parents have given us so much I always feel that I have to be stern with them if they want to give us more. My friend Laura rushes around her house to find more and more clothing that she has that she thinks just might look so cute on me, when I haven't even seen her in four years.

Christy bought me glasses when my glasses were so broken they wouldn't stay on my face and I was so broke I just kept putting them back on. Heather watched our kids for free so that my superstar husband and I could take pictures at a superstar wedding. People let us use their house when they go away, people let us borrow their car when we don't have one to drive. Dori just thinks I can do no wrong, and I just need someone like that in my life. (Don't you?) Elena gives me her old magazines and feeds my fish when I'm away. Megan and Marc bought me a scented candle just like theirs just because I was always exclaiming over how much I loved the smell. Our friends Evelyn and Stephen call us to see if we're going to be staying at their house in the City anytime soon, just in case we didn't want to impose... they want to make sure we have a place to stay while we are there.

Crystal gives me little baggies of chocolate if I'm going away for the day. Lavonne opens up her house for me to have time alone, just to sit and be still. Renee and Eddie beg me to play Settlers with them, many people nudge me out of my shell. People slip us little wadded up pieces of money when they think no one's looking. Hundreds of people have given Chinua and I encouragement, many people have affirmed this blog. Our lives are so enriched by the people around us that it's breathtaking.

Lately life has been a little hard. I've been battling my emotions again, breathing deeply to avoid panic more often than I would like. The newest update on the lump is that it is quite possibly cancer and needs to be removed as soon as possible, but after the baby is born. If they find cancer when they remove it, they'll take my whole thyroid out, which is a whole health issue that involves using Synthroid for the rest of my life. I think about a new baby, a surgery, two older children who are not quite two and three years old, some misunderstandings and conflict with really close friends, and renovations on the house that we probably won't be able to move into for about another month, and I'm a little overwhelmed. Oh yeah, and there's the wonderful septic smell that just recently has begun to creep in under Chinua and my bed when we are laying there. It smells like we are sleeping in the sewer. But I want Christmas to be beautiful, and I want to look forward to my Muffin's birth, not anticipate the surgery afterward.

This is why having friends step in again and love us is so good. And why yesterday, after I drove back to the Land fairly exhausted, it was amazing to find a huge box of beautifully wrapped gifts that had been delivered. Our friends Levi and Jessie, who we barely ever see, just wanted to bless us for Christmas. It is maybe the most caring, kindest thing that anyone has done for us in a long time. And that's saying a lot.

Oh--I want to be like that! I want to show such care, and take that kind of time, even though I am so busy and have these little people to take care of. (Jessie's kids are almost the same ages as mine.) And these are the things that I want to remember when my mind turns against me and I grow suspicious and wary. I want to remember all this love around us that swells like an ocean.