Monday, March 11, 2019

grace in these weary days

My children and I have been sick, in alternating days and weeks, for nearly four weeks straight.

The winter began with the usual colds and then lingering coughs,  but then about a month ago the kids came down with fevers and deeper coughs, upset tummies, etc.  Soon I too was shivering under piled blankets, sinuses hurting, body aching to the depths of my bones.  Struggling to keep the basic necessities done to care for the kids while fighting a virus of my own.  A {very long} week later we were all on the upswing, only to have the eldest and youngest get fevers again a few days later.  A visit to the doctor's office to rule out secondary infections like pneumonia or ear infections yielded a positive flu swab for Nell.  {If this was the flu what had we had before?!}  Another rough week was underway.  We survived it with lots of snuggles and audiobooks and Mr. Rogers, vitamin C and elderberry syrup and my favorite thing when I'm sick and nothing sounds good - sprouted grain sourdough toast spread with manuka honey and cinnamon.  And just when we thought all that was winding down, that we were finally turning a corner, Molly turned two and got a nasty case of conjunctivitis for her birthday over the past weekend.  And Mama got a bad cold.

My feelings exactly, Molly.  My feelings exactly.
As any parent knows {and I've written about before}, caring for sick children takes what I call the usual "busy monotony" of caring for little ones to new heights.  The days are reduced to blowing noses, washing hands, soothing hot foreheads, doing extra loads of laundry, making meals palatable to sick children to whom nothing sounds very good, refilling water glasses and humidifiers, applying lip balm to cracked lips.  Sometimes emptying bowls filled with the contents of someone's stomach.

It's exhausting, and it's frustrating at times, and it's not very glamorous, but I've been pondering lately that I'm actually--


What a gift it is to me to be able to do these things for my kids.

What could be more important?  It's not just that I'm smoothing their sheets, tidying their rooms for them and providing a moment of company while they rest in bed.  It's not just that I'm making a fruit smoothie or sourdough toast or refilling a glass of water.  I get the incredible responsibility to show them a moment of grace.  To show them... the way grace can seep through every crevice in life when we least expect it.  It's in the extra snuggles and reading chapter and chapter together.  A gentle hand on your brow, a mother bathing you and rubbing lotion into your tired, aching body.  Mama finding it in her weary throat to read another book aloud.  Sharing a soft blanket.  Grace in the midst of misery.  What more do I want my kids to know in their hearts and feel in their bones but this -- that there is grace in the hard moments, beauty to be found even in and through suffering, hope and love and meaning in all of it.  Even when it's hard.  Even when it's miserable.  Even when it feels endless.

So these are my moments, my chances.  Will I show them glimpses of Jesus and love and grace in these mundane and miserable moments?

May it be so, God help me.


  1. What a wonderful are a wonderful mom! Sorry you all have been sick though!

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