I can finally put away the last throw-up bowl.
• One week ago today, I was rocking my very sick baby sleeping peacefully though hot with fever.
• Six days ago, I quickly walked my 3-year-old son out the sunroom door to the grass where he let out the sickness that just hit him.
• Five days ago, I watched my lover-of-life-to-the-point-of-no-sleep five-year-old peacefully sleep on the couch as the sun rose and set (in that order).
• Four days ago, I lost touch with God’s peace and fretted over my son’s apparent lack of nutrition after sleeping through two-and-a-half days straight without a crumb staying down.
• Three days ago, we thanked God for our baby’s first birthday, I was blessed by my loving husband who stayed home to serve me as I continued to nurse small children through illness and grow another little one in the womb. I rejoiced at the healing hand of God upon each of my three children. I rejoiced at my son’s return of an appetite and milestone of a piece of toast staying down.
• Two days ago, I continued to rejoice at the improved appetite of my son. And I did laundry–lots and lots and lots of laundry.
• One day ago, the bickering of the oldest two was music to my ears after the silence of sickness. God bless them.
• Today, my husband was able to sleep in for the first time in a long time. The children helped me make pancakes, and we served them with fresh raspberries heaped up high, real maple syrup pouring bountifully, and freshly chilled goat’s milk from the pasture. A friend brought us chicken soup. Family visited. And if you stepped into our home today, you wouldn’t even know what the week brought through our lives.
It was a merry day.
“Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them. Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God.” Daniel 3:26-28 ESV
No, we weren’t persecuted for our faith like the men in Daniel, but I love the example of them coming through the fire (and causing others to praise God as a result, nonetheless!). I think that if you were with us today, there wouldn’t even be so much as a smell of smoke on us; at least, I hope there wouldn’t be. There were definitely times when it felt like a very difficult trial, even a furnace hot on my heels.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,” James 1:2
And you may think it’s easy to say, now that it’s all gone away, that all is well over here. But it’s God who is good, by whose grace we all stood, and the one who gives us what’s His. We are blessed and happy, and what a wonderful life it is!
To comfort the little girl as I hold back her hair, tears slowly streaming down her face. As she expresses to me that often life is too hard and “will you pray God takes this sickness away?”
To change out the bowls so my son doesn’t smell what had happened and was done 5 seconds ago. And to do it again like it never happened, teaching him to move on and keep smiling.
To hold a baby, hot with fever, for 48 hours without rest. Except for when my arms let her down to fetch a diaper and cool towel.
It’s a blessing to be a mother of children and nurture them through every need. Though I won’t meet but a fraction of them, God is all sufficient and able. I am still thankful to be here to give the tender touch, compassionate eyes, and encouraging words when appropriate. I have felt the comfort of a mother’s love through fever, cough, and pain, and I remember it clearly every time and again I can rub my own babies’ feet.
“Thank you, mommy”
“I love you; you are the best mommy in the world”
“You never make any mistakes”
Just knowing my love has met them there and God’s love filled in all my gaps, they know I’m not perfect and know I make mistakes, but the beauty is what they see.
The beauty is what I see.
Through the mess of laundry comes beautiful service.
Through the long nights come the beauty of a lamp that doesn’t go out.
Through the voices in need I hear my beautiful calling… “mommy”
Through the fear I see the beauty of sacrificial love and the fact that I’d give anything for my child.
The stomach flu isn’t disgusting, gross, or detestable, it’s a beautiful opportunity to serve. To be the most beautiful woman you can be for what turns out to be such a short time.
I am thankful for this week, and though I’m sorry my babies were sick, I am thankful God chose me.
These are the best days of my life.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” Matthew 25:31-40 ESV