Dear Self,

Here are a few things you must take note of.  The Lord has been good to you this week.  He has blessed you with down time to think and perceive and give thanks.  He has given you the opportunity to give and receive love in unusual ways.  Sickness and trials have a way of loosening the hinges on the doors of our hearts.  You have a selfless husband who, sick as he was, definitely fulfilled his calling to love you (and your children) as Christ loves the church.  You were blessed with family who dropped everything to lend you a listening ear, take you to the hospital, run errands to the grocery store, walk the dog, cut your grass, and the list could go on.  Take notes, set up those “memorial stones” (Joshua 4), and praise Him from the depth of your being today!  Remember…

  • Your 10 year old is much more capable than you even realized.  When everyone in the family except her succumbs to the worst gastroenteritis your family has ever known, you will be amazed at how patiently she deals with it all – the laundry, the dishes, the entertaining of a cranky two year old, running for cold cloths, buckets, blankets, thermometer, and whatever else the sickies need.  She will even fill in on the piano for you at the last minute for Sunday worship, and it will be the most proud moment of your mama life!
  • Your 2 year old loves your singing way more than he usually lets on.  He may have outgrown sitting still for cuddles, but when Mommy has been away at the hospital for a couple of days, the sparkle in his eyes when he sees you coming through the door again will let you know the depth of his love.  And when you start to sing his favourite songs with him on the couch and he climbs up and snuggles in, asking for another one and another one, you realize he really has missed his normal tuck-in routine.  Weak as you feel, you will want to sing to him forever just to see that smile!
  • Don’t ever take a Ventolin puffer after days of diarrhea and vomiting!  It will plummet your potassium levels so low that your body will tingle from head to toe, so much so you will think your skin is vibrating all over.  Then your heart will race faster than it ever has and every muscle in your body will involuntarily contract, rendering you essentially paralyzed.  You will lie on the bed, your body stiff as a board, using those deep breathing skills acquired during multiple rounds of natural childbirth.  As you wait for the ambulance to come, you will wonder if you’re dying, and with all the strength you can muster in those contorted facial muscles you will keep telling your family that you love them.  When you finally do get to the hospital and are left alone in a room in the emergency department it will feel like an eternity before the nurse comes.  You will look at those numb, locked fingers at the end of hands that feel so foreign on arms you can barely move and wonder how you could ever press your call button, and you will feel more alone than you ever have in your entire life.  Then God will remind you of a moment earlier that day where that aforementioned 10 year old daughter sat cross-legged on the livingroom floor reading her favourite psalm aloud to comfort you and your sick babes.  Psalm 23 it was.  And you will remember you are never alone!
  • Don’t underestimate the power of a good cry.  At the end of a long week that saw three trips to the ER battling gastroenteritis, bronchitis, and horrible reactions to medications, don’t be surprised if sleep is a bit elusive that first night home.  Even though you consider yourself a very strong person who can set your mind to something and persevere no matter what, you will soon discover that fear cannot be dealt with by determination.  Irrational fear requires digging deeper than bravery to find something even stronger to combat it.  Instead of a stubborn courage, it requires a scary surrender into the arms of Jesus!  Your own home, your own bed that would normally be a place of comfort for your tired body and soul might not feel like the safe place it ought to when filled with traumatic memories that tend to crowd your mind as night falls.  And then it will hit you that you haven’t cried all week.  And as your husband and daughter surround you and rub you and you give in to the healing of a good cry and listen to that Rich Mullins song that God brings to your mind at that moment you really will experience the arms of Jesus, your Prince of Peace!

    Linking up today with the weekly wrap-up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

    4 thoughts on “Notes to Self from an Unexpected (and Horrific) Break Week

    1. What a week you’ve had! I trust you’re recovering and healing up now.
      Beautiful entry on the goodness you see around you in the midst of sickness. I love your line, “Sickness and trials have a way of loosening the hinges on the doors of our hearts.” That is beautiful. And true.


    2. I’m sorry you’ve had such a tough week, and glad the Lord encouraged you in the middle of it all. I’ll pray for you.


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