This past week provided a number of very interesting milestones in my life. Each, in their own way, reminded me of how life moves on in relentless small changes and realizations.
I took my first week of vacation since arriving in Midland this past August. I have found it challenging to force myself to take days off and to get away from my work. I love doing ministry and the temptation to constantly reflect, write, or tinker with even mudane tasks is great. But, I flew to Jacksonville to visit my daughter Ashley, her husband Kevin and my new granddaughter, Caitlin Elizabeth.
After 20-odd years, I had forgotten the crying, the endless string of feedings, and the cumbersome travel equipment. But, my week with Caity also reminded me of the tiny steps we take every day as we learn and grow. I watched her gaining control of her visual focus, searching out faces and voices. I got to see many smiles of gleeful recognition. And, as the video shows, she has just begun that first phase of controlling her body that starts with rolling over and holding your head up high.
I had promised myself that I would take an actual vacation over Thanksgiving. Other than checking emails, I shocked myself by doing just that. I refrained from writing, managing calendar events, or contemplating future sermons. And I returned home much refreshed and ready to jump into the busy December holiday season.
I also returned home to a phone message about the delivery of my new CPAP machine. After my cardiologist suggested a sleep test two months ago, the results determined (to my complete surprise) that I apparently have rather severe sleep apnea. Last night was my first wearing the manageable, yet still cumbersome gear while sleeping. It took several attempts to get all of the straps and hoses into their proper places (I think!) and I managed to sleep fairly well through the night. Needless to say, though, I felt completely like Caity performing her first rollover, or reaching out in an effort to clasp a toy.
Our lives are never finished products. When you take time to consider the challenges, the little steps from one age very much resemble those we take in every phase of growing and learning