Love…does not insist on its own way…

August 1st, 2011

“It’s so sweet to see a little child giving up their way, isn’t it?  And being happy about it.”  ~my son Joseph, observing a younger brother

I have come closer to quitting during the past month than I had since Verity’s birth.  Quitting pumping, that is.

We wouldn’t have guessed when Verity was born that I would still be pumping after a whole year.  That one-year milestone was a big one!  But it leaves me feeling a bit…lost.  What goal should I have next?  Another year seems a long way off.

I have struggled with a feeling of resentment lately over how much time pumping takes, and how much I’d like to do something else with that time.  But Verity needs this most perfect of all foods for a while longer, and we have the hope that Katerina will also benefit.

It’s just that…there is a cost.

Every Sunday, I choose between missing an hour of the morning meeting, including the sermon [which I know will be excellent, and like a true Welshman I do love a good sermon], or missing an hour of fellowship time.  We leave the picnic early because the Port-a-John doesn’t have electricity, and if we leave now it will still be almost six hours since mom pumped.  I remember halfway through an evening with company that in my busy-ness I forgot to pump right before they came, and if I don’t disappear for an hour, I will pay for it later with lowered milk supply.  Now that I am making travel plans, the pumping is adding a layer of complication at almost every turn.  There are other choices and other sacrifices involved.  If I listed them in detail, you might mistake me for an ungrateful, whining ancient Israelite.   If I didn’t mention them at all, you wouldn’t understand this post.

At times recently, a groaning feeling of impatience has risen up within me.  I am so tired of this.  Oh, when can I just leave it behind and move on?

But there’s something more going on here.  I teach my children that work is a blessing.  I teach them that a free man does his work out of inner joy and a slave does his work out of outward compulsion.  If I work with a heavy spirit, doing my duty only because I have to, and complaining at the hardness, I am no better off than a slave.  I am choosing to live life like a slave.

If I do not work with love, my work is worthless; I have become a clanging gong; I am nothing; it profits me nothing.  My work is without eternal value.


I can choose once again to take joy in the work God gives me to do, and embrace it with all the love He can put into my heart.


Note to those of you who prayed for me this weekend, after a week that held two or three activities every day, with each tiny crack of time filled up with travel plans and preparations:  I was organized and ready by midnight last night.  There were a few extra moments to decorate my big binder with leftover Samaritan cards and that little reminder from a dear friend of mine.  We had a serenely lovely start to our new school year today!  Thank you so much for praying for me!  

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12 Responses to “Love…does not insist on its own way…”

  1. Ginger says:

    What an encouraging post!
    May I encourage you that you are doing the very best for your precious Verity. Try buying breastmilk from a milk bank and you’ll see those hours as dollars saved. lol
    I made it my goal to nurse Julia to 18 mos, since she was 14 mos when I got pg. That goal helped me, especially at the end when I wasn’t producing as much and she was hitting me. ;) Love is patient and long-suffering. hehe 

  2. Susanna says:

    Thank you for this encouragement, Ginger!

  3. Tami Swaim says:

    I needed to hear these words thank you.  The work involved in raising children for the Lord is so daunting.  There is joy in the journey yes but the work~ yes there is work involved!  And as you have eloquently said dear sister our attitude in the work makes all the difference.  Managing Joel anywhere from eating to sleeping to cooperating for therapists to behavioral to …you name it…it’s all been work lately!  Much work!  “Lord into your hands I placed my life.  Forgive me for taking it back.  Help me to drink from my cup, my portion willingly and not begrudgingly.  Help my dear sister Susanna as she works through all the issues related to her up coming travel as well as balancing everything already on her plate at home.  Thank you Father for our calling.  Thank you …for work…this work and thank you for counting me worthy to walk the path you’ve taken me down.  Strengthen us Lord!  Amen”

  4. Susanna says:

    Thank you so much, sis!

  5. Kendi says:

    Look into donor milk! It’s what our two adopted babies have thrived on. Check out There’s also “human milk for human babies”, which is on FaceBook and very popular now. Of course, nothing is more perfect for Verity than your own milk, but if you aren’t able to supply both children with milk, then donor milk is second best.

  6. Susanna says:

    Thank you, Kendi! My body does make lots and lots of milk, though, amazing to say! And I truly am so grateful for that gift! And for so many other things which I want to write about soon! But thank you for reaching out with that kind suggestion!

  7. Deanna Rabe says:

    I loved your analogy of the freeman and the slave – their motives for working.  I am going to borrow that with my children!
    We started school this week too, it has gone well.  Now just trying to implement a big household schedule…

  8. Mary Feigum says:


    I love reading you blog. I think I have commented only once before. I have a son with Downs (Ole) who just turned one on July 9th. We struggled with breastfeeding and I had to pump for the first 6 weeks. Just doing it six weeks was such a struggle! I can’t imagine how you have managed for a year. I am still breastfeeding Ole at bedtime and in the morning. He is getting a lot of teeth and we are really slowing down. It still is the best way to lay him down for a nap. He has gone from the 5th percentile to the 75th in one year. I credit this to the Lord of course and also to being able to breastfeed.      But I thought of you first thing when I woke up this morning. I was wondering if you have a battery back up on your breast pump. I used mine tons. I even learned to pump when I was driving using a hands free halter and a big shawl. It saved me tons of time as Ole had lots of heart appointments and the doctor was 3 hrs away. we live in a rural area of minnesota. I dont use my pump anymore it sits gathering dust. My insurance company paid over 500 dollars for it. it has a nice carrying case that looks like a black carring on bag. the battery back up works great and you can get a quite a few hours of pumping before you have to switch the double A batteries.  It is a medula in-style pump. If you want it I I could mail it to you. I cant think of a better place to send it. Or a better use for it. Lots of manufacturers suggest not reusing pumps. I am an RN and I know they do this because people use the same tubes and are not diligent about keeping their machines clean. I assure you this is not the case here. I couldnt get your trip off my mind and I thought how handy it would be for you to have a pump with a battery back up in a nice carrying caswe. E-mail if you want more info. I cold even send you some pictures if you wanted. Either way God bless you in getting your little girl home and safe. I will be praying for you.     

  9. Susanna says:

    Mary, I am speechless.

  10. Carla says:

     I just saw your most recent post and then checked some older ones..

    first, prayers for you and your sweet girl, I cannot imagine…

    second, thanks for the encouragement, my 2 1/2 yo nurses 1-2 times a day and I will be pumping like crazy to increase my supply when I return with our 1 yo from Ukraine in the next few weeks!!!


  11. Shauna says:

    I don’t know if this will be helpful, or too late…
    But I also pumped breastmilk for my son for most of a year.  Near the end I discovered a power adapter that let me get power from the car in order to use the pump.  That totally helped to free up our time and schedule as a family!

  12. connie says:

    I did the same – pumped for my littlest one for almost 3 yrs, because she was tube fed. you can do it.  I believe this.  I found the yahoo group PumpingMoms (or Pumpmoms?) had lots of shortcuts and hints that helped me a lot, though by now you surely have plenty of your own.  Is there anything else you need to support your journey?  I only just found your blog.  I also have a power pack if you need it.  Not sure how many you would need :) … but let me know what you need.  Bottles?  I also found that Milkshare was a wonderful place to find moms who would share that amazing gift of their own milk to help supplement mine when my supply was suffering.  Please let me know if there is something you think of, even if you think it’s crazy to even mention.  I want to help.

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