Heading into this week with gusto, I was hopeful that we were putting our five-week streak of sporadic sickness behind us. I made an effort to spend part of my Sunday getting organized with a plan and a to-do list. The past month has been a whirlwind of a new school for my older boys, Christmas, a ski trip, birthdays, and, unfortunately, intermittent sicknesses. I was reinvigorated and ready to reset.
At 3am Sunday night, my three-year-old Benji walks into our bedroom and says his tummy hurts and throws up – somehow the sweet thing makes it to the toilet in the midst of my husband's and my half-awake, stumbling confusion. His preschool teacher at church had told me earlier that day that he had licked the bottom of his shoes in defiance during class, so I couldn’t help but think this was payback. Monday was a holiday, and we took it easy, thinking we were on the up-and-up headed into Tuesday. Tuesday morning arrives, and we are all dressed, ready to go, for one of those days you’re going to leave the house at 7:30 and not return until evening – lunches are packed, everything’s organized and in the car. As we are all getting on shoes, Benji throws up all over the kitchen. “Ok God… I guess this is what You have for me today… again.” I reschedule the day’s plans, some of them having already been rescheduled 3+ times before, and I get into sweats. My oldest comes home later that day with a fever and is down and out with some other type of bug. What?!? Why?!? I just want to get a few things done and get out of the house!!!
It’s now Thursday, and I’ve literally cancelled everything I had on the calendar this week. I’ve been inside on these beautiful Colorado 50-degree days. I’ve cleaned up every bodily fluid you can name except for blood, thank God. As I’m getting my oldest tucked into bed for a nap, I turn on his music and an upbeat Bible verse song comes on. I hum along to it and realize I’m singing “in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”. Haha, ok God, You’re funny! I see what You’re doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
When God speaks to you like that, you better think and pray on it. So, with a third cup of coffee (why not?) and an unknown amount of time until I would get interrupted, I sat down with God.
Lord, I rejoice that You sent Your one and only Son for me. I certainly can’t achieve the perfection You require on my own. Hello? I can’t even help but be frustrated that my poor kid is sick and that I have to give up what I want. I rejoice that with Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I know where I am going (heaven-bound, baby!) and that the sufferings of this life are not compared to what is coming (Romans 8:18). I can’t wait to see You, Jesus, face to face! God, Your grace is sufficient for me. What You’ve done through Your Son on the cross and through His resurrection from the dead is all I really need. You have done so much more though. You somehow, for some reason, want fellowship with me. You WANT to spend time with ME! You are here with me and I’m with You, and whatever You allow in my life, I just want to please You while I’m in it.
I can’t pray every waking moment of the day, but I can certainly talk to You and trust You all day long, knowing You are always there. You just want me to abide with You and come to You with my rejoicing and thanksgiving but also with my heartaches and frustrations – the big ones and the small ones.
Lord, I am thankful for You and the blessings You have so abundantly poured out. Thank You for Your Word that sustains me and leads me through the ups and downs. Thank You that the time I spend in Your Word on good days helps prepare me for bad days like this. Thank You for Disney+, that I can so easily entertain my kids when they are sick so I can spend time with You to get refreshed and be ready to serve them the next time bodily fluid erupts out or when they are so full of energy despite the thermometer saying 102. Thank You that we only have tummy bugs and head colds. Thank You for knowing exactly what I’d need, before I knew I even needed it, and for reminding me of Your love for me through my Bible studies this week. Thank You for a husband who helps take some of the burden so I can take a bath or go to church. Thank You for mid-week church service, solid Bible teaching, and a fellowship of believers who loves our family and provides comfort and encouragement when I need it most. Thank You for friends that check in on me, send funny memes, and bring flowers just because. Thank You for making me a mom – that I can get just a glimpse of the unconditional love You have for me, and thank You for teaching me, through motherhood, to be more flexible and gracious in circumstances I can’t control that are, quite frankly, gross. Thank You also for my mom who loved me through it all too.
Then verses 19-22 say: “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”
Oh man! I quench the Spirit when I’m frustrated, angry, harsh, or even when I just withdraw and am a quiet pouter. I don’t want to do that. Lord, fill me afresh with Your Spirit, that I may pour love, patience, and kindness on these precious children, even when they puke at 3am.
I will delight in Your Word, Lord, and will mediate on it day and night (Psalm 1:2), and I will not despise it. I will hold fast to Your Word as You are good, and You know what’s best for me because You know all of me – the past, present, and future – and You created me for a purpose. I will do my best to test all things against what You say in Your Word and will try to abstain from what is evil, but You know I will screw up. When I do, I will repent and return to You, because You are good.
In texting with mom friends this week, it’s been abundantly clear that many families are dealing with sickness, and I so wanted to share how God has comforted me in hopes it comforts some of you too (or at least makes you laugh at the "joys" of motherhood, ha!) You are loved!