Monday, March 19, 2007

Sustaining Grace

Here's a quote I've heard many times and have written down on a little piece of paper, occasionally placing it on my counter or kitchen cabinets to remind me just what sustaining grace is and looks like in the midst of trying circumstances. Perhaps it will encourage your heart today, too.

"Sustaining Grace:
Not grace to bar what is not bliss
Nor banish all sorrow, but this:
Grace that orders all our pain
Then in the dark is there to sustain."
John Piper

Many times I wish God's grace would bar what is not bliss and banish all my sorrow, but I am grateful that while this is not true, He does provide the reassurance that all our pain is ordained by His loving Hand and will not remain any longer than He, in His perfect wisdom, determines is best. Admittedly, I have faltered in my faith and trust of God's loving hand in the past week. I have grown weary and at times, dropped my shield of faith and the flaming arrows of the Enemy have pierced my faint heart. Nevertheless, God remains faithful and is amazingly patient with me, consistently providing aid and restoring me when I have fallen. Thank you, Lord.

Bella has improved somewhat with her reflux, but not to the place that I would prefer. Feeding can still be a bit of a challenge with her gagging and arching and still just not eating as much as I think she should be eating. But, after borrowing a friend's baby scale, I saw that Bella seems to be gaining the weight she should be at this stage of her life. So, I'm giving thanks and trying not to worry too much about how little I think she eats.

This week I am taking the boys to their dentist appointment with the help of my Mother-in-law. I have not yet figured out, nor want to try to figure it out at this point, how to handle three children under three at a doctor's appointment. So, I'm grateful my mother-in-law is available to help. I am concerned about Judah's teeth. There is some staining on his teeth that I'm unsure what it is or why it's there. Tucker has no staining and the two of them are on the same medicines, eat the same food, keep the same dental hygeine. So, I'm eager to hear what the dentist has to say about this. Also, the dentist will be assessing again any potential drastic discrepancy in Judah's jaw bone growth as the one side of his face swells up and seems to grow at a faster rate than the other.

Please pray that:
  • Judah's teeth staining will be a non-issue, and we'll be able to simply get them scraped or something like that to remove the stains.
  • Judah's right jaw bone will not have grown disproportionately to his left.
  • Bella's reflux will improve even more on her prescribed medicines and that she will begin to eat better.
  • God would help me guard my heart against unbelief in His goodness
  • Our family would know God's sustaining grace in an experiential way as we continue to make this transition to having three kiddos.


Zoanna said...

Excellent encouragement for me today, Briana. I have been trying to extend my adoration of Christ in prayer by praying thru the alphabet which our small group at Bible study started. We got to the letter "o" and today I wrote in my journal "s.shepherd, savior, sustainer." I acutally chose to write about Him as shepherd, but Sustainer was certainly at the forefront. I love the line about our pain won't last longer than He. You put it so eloquently. As for the teeth staining, your dentist may tell you waht ours did: it's invetible and was there since you were pregnant. Maybe not. One of my kids has white spots that were there from his first tooth, and subeseqnent adult teeth. Dentist said they're calcifications in the buds before birth. No rhyme or reason. Is there a way you can Tucker on a different day since he is not having any dental problems?

Briana Almengor said...

I'm glad the Piper quote encouraged you. It's hard not to be encouraged by anything Piper writes.
As for the teeth: Judah's stains are dark and surround his gum lines. And, I find it to be the best solution to take both boys to the dentist at one time, minimizing days on the calendar that we have to run to a doctor. Besides, twin moms have this thing about making the one do whatever the other does. :)

jessi said...

Hi Bri,

Just wanted to pop in here and say "hi" and that I've added you to my blog routine. I've only recently gotten into the blogosphere, so I look forward to keeping updated on ya'll. Good reminder of grace... Blessings.

peg said...

I missed you so much at the retreat..I saw a lady that reminded me of you at one of the stops on the way home and my heart stopped for a second. There's only one Briana, and I love you!!
Praying for your kiddos and you & Lawrence too.
Maybe your blog name should be the title of this entry! Just a thought :)