We’ve had an incredibly crazy ‘back to real life’ transition after vacation. Just crazy. And disruptive. And uncomfortable. And stressful. And overwhelming. (The trip itself was amazing and awesome and definitely worth the post-trip stress and probably its own blog entry, however, I’m busy marveling at something tonight that I want to share instead.)

At one point, I came back from the barn close to tears because to top off the rest of our ever-lengthening ‘this needs done immediately’ list which lay atop the ‘pick up sticks’ list of things that needed done before the next urgent thing could be tackled (yes, it’s so overwhelming as to need that kind of confusing description!) was the looming possibility that Dandee’s mastitis was returning with a vengeance.

It never actually LEFT in the first place and started before we ever left on the 3rd. I was still getting (get out your ‘farm speak’ translator!) subclinical signs from the milk, though the quarter was in much better shape than the day I left, the antibiotics in her system were either to the point of drastically waning or gone and this was conveniently coinciding with the quarter steadily ballooning/forming hard spots over the last couple of days -all signs of it blowing up again. In which case, I would be going back to hot packing and milking every 3-4 hours which FEELS like constant milking all day and all night (and which makes getting ready for a long trip more difficult, I speak from experience now!)

Matt calmly, lovingly, encouragingly reminded me that none of these temporary nuisances are going to last forever, but I was still feeling like a complete and utter basket case… an exhausted one at that. After he left, I found myself pleading: “God, I am willing, if not exactly perfectly able at certain moments, to handle all the rest of this mess with the eternal perspective of a Christian, but I just can’t deal with mastitis on top of it all without curling up in a corner and whining pitifully for several days or maybe a month… or two… or 12… and in a padded room at that! Please just fix that one part!”

I probably wasn’t that eloquent, but He understood. He always does.

And knowing full well that God is not a genie and being cognizant of fact that God can/will do what He will do and that my job is to praise him whether it lines up with my ideals or not (but still trying to keep in balance the equally true idea that God also loves to give good things to His children… these kinds of tensions are at least one of the reasons why writing about spiritual things accurately is so difficult, FYI! 🙂 ), I went to bed dreading/resigned to an even fuller, more stressful day ‘tomorrow’ hoping only that I wouldn’t blow it completely in the face of adversity. Matt may be amazing, but he probably can’t handle it all by himself while I sign myself up for a vacation in the psych ward, so…

Now there simply isn’t any reason I can think of for actively developing mastitis (especially mastitis that’s been hanging on that long despite 2 rounds of antibiotics!) to reverse itself without some form of intervention as you nursing moms may know.

Yet, the milk looked almost perfect the next day.

And do you know, I haven’t once done an extra milking. I have spent an extra 5-10 minutes massaging the affected areas/very carefully stripping out that particular quarter each time which is but peanuts… putting a drop of water on a forest fire.

Instead of blowing up into a big issue like I expected, after a few days of fretful “Is it actually better? Why is this hard spot smaller today? Will the whole things be hard as a rock next milking? Clogged because I’m not taking proactive action (didn’t have time to do such things, or I would have at least started hot packing and milking 1-2 extra times as a precaution) Is this quarter ACTUALLY IMPROVING? Am I the delusional victim of wishful thinking?” it feels next to normal tonight. Now it’s not a blind man seeing or feeding the 5,000. There’s no guarantee it won’t be rock hard and completely plugged tomorrow. (hey, it happened to my substitute milkers right after the first round of antibiotics wore off and I was pretty sure that’s the road we were traveling again a few days ago!)

But for now, it appears that ‘the problem has resolved itself’ (my husband’s favorite Gulliver’s Travels line). It’s a ‘little’ thing.

But if you consider how great God is and how very small my daily ‘problems’ are by comparison (both to God Himself and to the scale of problems worldwide), God’s grace in these little things is a pretty BIG deal. Worth celebrating. Worth noting. And I thought it might even be worth sharing.

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