To answer the question, namely the second one, good, I guess. I'm never sure how to measure things like that, since its all very relative to our particular situation and what we would consider "good" having no measuring stick or previous experience with that. We're eating and sleeping and exercising some. We laugh a lot, but we still cry plenty. Usually, I find, in the quiet (which only happens when Gabby is sleeping) and I have time to think or read or look at the pictures of her all around me-- those are the times I cry the most, but a lot of times the moments I treasure the most and find the most healing.
Often, because the weather has been amazing lately, I find myself reading or spending quiet moments on our porch. A lot of the time I lay flat on my back and stare up at the tree--Liv's tree. I think about what she liked so much about looking at that tree and I try to appreciate and praise God for those things too. That tree, the monstrous ancient one outside our house will always be Liv's tree. But, there has been a second one added to the collection now
I try and look up when I go visit Liv here too, at the cemetery. I don't lay flat on my back on the ground (I feel like that might draw a crowd at a cemetery) but I look up at the recently very blue sky and the half live/ half dead leaves on "her tree". I listen to the wind whipping through the branches that sounds just like applause. I slowly begin to understand. It is not slowing down for the sake of slowing down. It is slowing down to notice and appreciate and understand the world that God has given us--a world that is desperately broken and sinister and decrepit, but that is full of wonderful things and moments like these. Thats what and who Liv was. She was the victim of a very broken and decrepit body. Many days were painful and difficult and sad, but always, we were grateful for any time with our little girl-- even the bad ones. And in those moments we take to appreciate her and who God made her to be, even in this sad world, we are like her and we draw closer to the heart of God.
I am continually finding it difficult to fully explain the role of faith in how we are "doing". I know, but it would be next to impossible for me to find appropriate words. Thankfully, God gave us books. I am reading this book by Nancy Guthrie called "Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow". I've read some other books, even others of her books, and while some of them are semi-helpful, this book has helped me think the things I am feeling. This is how we are doing...
Most of us have known what it is like to be full--to be full of ideas and full of promise, to have a full plate. Full feels good. But now we know what it is to be empty. And empty doesn't feel so good. One of the main ingredients of sorrow is emptiness--a deep and devastating emptiness left behind by empty promises, empty arms, an empty womb, an empty bank account, an empty place at the table, an empty bedroom, an empty bed. But as bad as empty feels, sometimes emptiness is actually good. God can work with empty. Over and over in Scripture we see that God fills emptiness with his own power and life.
We are feeling empty. But, are completely hopeful, and even expectant knowing that God will fill us again. Maybe soon. Maybe differently than we expected (in fact, probably) but having full faith that he will fill us with himself.