Parenting & Church Planting: Choke

May 20, 2011 — Leave a comment

courtesy of gracobaby/flickr

Did you know your kid can choke to death on its own spit-up?

We were informed of this as we were preparing to leave the hospital with Jubilee, “Keep an eye on her for any signs of distress,” the nurse reminded us as she ushered us out the door, “and don’t forget, she’ll spit-up more than you think she should.”

Words to live by.

For the first few weeks of Jubilee’s life, we were keenly aware of how fragile her existence was: the basics of supporting her head, feeding every half hour, watching for signs of infection, counting the ratio of wet to dirty diapers and their correlation to ounces of milk and formula ingested all kept the sensitivity of our little girl’s life in constant focus. In fact, on her first night home with the baby, Sarah was almost certain she had permanently ruined the kid (a story for another time) and woke me in a “Honey I Broke The Baby” panic.

This may be news to some (I was surprised by it, anyway), but newborns are totally dependent on their parents for everything.


Including not choking on their own saliva at times.

In the same way, it also doesn’t take much to de-rail a new church. There’s a lot of work and attention required to make sure agenda harmony remains intact, financial mis-steps don’t keep things from getting off the ground, tired leadership doesn’t take their eyes of the prize, and that the schemes of the enemy are guarded against — that some seemingly inconsequential thing doesn’t scuttle the work.

Really, there are moments when you’re afraid to take your eye off the thing because you don’t know what small thing will make it choke.

It isn’t glamorous. It isn’t always exciting. But it’s important. And it reminds you that as much as you try to be careful, vigilant, and aware, you aren’t the Sustainer of life… just a steward of it… and relying on Christ’s ability to uphold all things “by the word and might of his power” is most important of all.

Helping a new kid or new local church navigate beyond this ‘could-crash-at-any-time’ stage does take active, loving vigilance, but the Creator’s care far exceeds your own, and you can choose to be overwhelmed by it all or rest in his faithfulness.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go use a snot sucker on Jubilee–at almost seven months, she still can’t even blow her own nose.

Jeremiah Gomez

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I am on a journey...enjoying the adventure of learning to live a life that isn't my own.

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