It was a rough transition for us when the twins were born. We had a great deal of help from family and friends, but it was still a challenge. Caring for them seemed to take so much time. I (Amber) felt tired all the time. It took over an hour to feed them. Then, I was trying to build my milk supply up so I would pump afterwards. After that, we would change and put them down, only to get them back up again to start the process all over again. Most of the time, I could only sleep for an hour or possibly an hour and a half at stretch. Poor Naomi went from being the center of attention much of the time to hearing, “Sorry, honey. We’re feeding/changing/putting down the babies. We can’t hold/hug/read to/play with you right now. You’ll have to just play by yourself.”
The evening times were especially challenging. We were both tired and cranky. The twins seemed to both want to eat and be held constantly from 5-8pm and were frequently crying during that time. I tried to think of fast and easy dinners, but was constantly stopping mid-process to feed/change/burp/hold someone who had started screaming. The house by that point was usually a mess with multiple “I’ll pick that up in a minute” things lying around or half-done projects like laundry in the middle of the room. It wasn’t a pretty sight. For the most part, we tried to make sure that no one else had to suffer through it by trying to avoid people at that point.
My sister, Amy, however, was different. From the minute she showed up, things started getting better. She enthusiastically greeted and took some time to play with just Naomi while I worked on getting the babies fed. Any dishes in the sink would get washed then put away. As she played with Naomi, she would walk through the house and tidy things up. John could go get stuff done finally without having to be interrupted with a feeding, a diaper, a story, etc. because he knew I had help. Even our cranky babies cheered up with the funny faces she made for them. So, we started asking her to come over more often. Then, it just ended up being every night. About 30 minutes before we knew she would be coming, we opened up the blinds so we could see when she got there. We would tell each other that we only had to make it a little bit longer then Aunt Amy would arrive. When we saw her red car pull into the driveway, we all breathed a sigh of relief. When we came back to PNG, I knew I would miss her and it would be tough not having that “phew, now things are better,” part of the day.
We were both excited to hear that she is planning on visiting us in PNG this summer. It’s now only a few weeks away until she arrives. Those times of the day when I start getting overwhelmed and cranky, I think about how whatever I’m doing will seem easier with her helping out. It’s not long now until she gets here.
I told Naomi she was coming when we found out. I said, “Your Aunt Amy is coming for a visit soon.” Soon is an interesting word. When I tell her that her daddy is coming home from work soon for lunch, she’ll run to the front door to see if she can spot him. For anyone reading this, two months away is soon for someone coming across the ocean to visit. For a two-year-old, it seems as if I’ve been saying “soon” for a very long time. Sometimes, I wonder if she thinks it will never happen.
For months, I’ve been telling her what different things we’ll do with Aunt Amy when she gets here. When I’ve been cooking meals ahead, I tell her that we’re getting ready for when Aunt Amy comes. We share memories of what things she did with Aunt Amy back in the States and what will be the same or different. We remind each other of different things about Aunt Amy. Naomi sometimes throughout the week will point at something and say, “Aunt Amy have this too!” I’m excited about her coming so I want Naomi to be excited as well.
It struck me how this is how we should be anticipating Jesus’ return. We should be sharing with other people about what he has done for us. He did make everything better when he was on the Earth. He healed people, taught lessons, showed love, saved us. When he returns, everything will be even better. I know in our minds, just as in Naomi’s, it seems as if God has been saying “soon” for a very long time. Sometimes, we wonder if it will ever happen.
My friends, it will happen. He has promised he will return and he will. Until he does, we should be telling others about him, reminding them of what he has done. When things are challenging, we should be reminding each other that we only have to make it through a little while and then he will return. Now is the time we should be preparing for his arrival. Remind each other about him when we sit at home or when we walk on the road. Tell each other when you lie down and when you get up. Not because we have to, but because we want to. It’s exciting! He’s coming back!