Am taking a short break from uploading new photos and new entries for a while. This week and next week will see E preparing for the BIG test on 24 March 2007.
Some friends will know what this test is all about, and how much it means to E, and by extension the family too. We covet your prayers!
A little more on what to pray for: the test will stretch all the way from Saturday morning at 9am till evening at 5pm. A gruelling test of intellect, knowledge, and thought, pitted against some 3,000 or so candidates all over the world competing for a few hundred places altogether.
We need prayer for health, as E seems to have come down with a persistent cough. The medication is making him drowsy - not ideal if you want to cram for an exam!
Your prayers are also desired for a sense of peace as we submit our plans to God. This is the third year running, and I think the fact does not escape E's notice - all the more reason to feel anxious, to want to give it all and expect the best. But at the end of all human effort, is God's will for him - his career - as us, as a family unit. And we have to simply submit to that.
As the wife, I'm just trying my best to lend support to my husband in this last leg of the preparation without putting too much pressure on him.
This means cooking more nutritious food (not just to heighten the nutritional value of my milk for DM!). And keeping DM out of his way as much as possible, although as the Dad this may not necessarily be what he wants.
(Dylan's been crying and fussing a bit more these few days - his voice is quite hoarse now.
E thinks I'm spoiling him because what he really needs most of the time is someone to carry him and rock him to sleep.
As mom, of course this pains me, and to be quite honest it does stress me out a bit, when peace and quiet is really what is needed at home right now.)
This is so surreal, this situation we're in right now. Having both of us at home, out of work.
I want to treasure this feeling. These moments - waking up with husband on my left, and baby on his mattress on my right. Not having to rush to work, both of us.
Being woken up at 8.30 in the morning for breakfast in bed - 2 eggs soft-boiled to perfection.
I tell myself that all the more reason to spend my days wisely. To make sure the time we spend is quality time, so precious it is.
At the same time, I worry about how this will all end when I return to a work at a new place in May.
So many adjustments to be made. When I'm still adjusting even right now.
Just something else.
Got the email from Harvard today confirming my place in September this year. This means I need to get everything else in order now - sending over the sponsorship form, sorting out visa and travel arrangements, applying for housing at affordable prices.
Somehow, I'm not as elated as I ought to be.
Perhaps it is just that our lives are in such a flux right now - not knowing if E. can stay the year with me and baby, or if I'll need to send my mom over to babysit.
Of course, it will be great for E if he has to go away come Jan/Feb 2008.
But the uncertainty unsettles me, and while I go about making arrangements all I can do is, once again, to lift my prayers to heaven.
And trust that He walks beside us in all ways.
Remembering that -
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lid down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
(Psalm 23: 1 - 3)
Just a final thought.
I think what a baby does do to a marriage is that it forces man and wife to confront theory with reality. I remember sharing with the girls about how easy it is to, in theory, tell ourselves that in God's order of the household, the marriage comes before the children.
That I must honour my husband and place him above my love for my own, yet below my adoration of God.
Practice, however, shows me that it is easier said than done. My 11-week old is fully dependent on me for so many things - sustenance, comfort, safety and security. My husband, on the other hand, takes care of himself, and in many ways me.
So much of my time is devoted to keeping the little one safe and out of physical harm, to show him the little things he can learn, like how to unfurl his fingers so that we can both sing "Twinkle, twinkle little star!" and "Jesus loves me this I know". And I do so happily!
Yet, the Spirit counsels me in remembering what another dear Christian colleague, divorced and hence a single parent with two boys, shared with me many years ago.
She said a Godly marriage is like a triangle - two diverse and different individuals converging towards a single point - and that is towards knowing God.
Hers is a sad tale of a marriage "unequally yoked" to an unbelieving lawyer. And as the children came, their interests and priorities diverged, rather than converged.
I remind myself to seek God always. To see His face - and remember the selfless love that teaches me how to love others.
May I learn to do so wisely.