At the EXACT same time that Landon and I were using the hospital for a small and unpleasant vacation, Lauren was at home.
Being terribly sick.
Her cheeks both held bright, red splotches of color and her lips were vibrant in their heat. Glassy-eyed, she slept and threw-up and cried and stared into space for three days. She didn't eat. By the time I came home late Friday night, she'd lost weight and gained new purple bruises under her eyes. Sad, tired eyes.
It's nothing we haven't been through before -- probably nothing you haven't been through before, either. Sickness with little kids is inevitable and common. And even though we usually know our children will come out okay on the other side of the germ-bridge, there's always that little doubt, clawing for permanence in our minds: what if?
Now that I have three children, our life is more crazy than ever. (It doesn't have to be: I'm just not very adept at creating calm, peaceful settings. Much as I wish I were...) But very little has ever affected me as much as having two very sick children needing me at the same time, while my oldest was turning six-years-old without fanfare because of all the sickness surrounding her family. And not being able to attend to all of my children's needs tore me apart. It felt like a punishment: in order to care for THIS child, you must forsake THIS one. An impossible choice.
But it wasn't impossible, and, thankfully, it wasn't even a choice.
Because I'm surrounded by help.
On the days I feel overwhelmed, it's probably because I've forgotten my help. My foundations of support. My network of love.
Lucky for us, they show themselves when I need them most, even if my eyes were closed to their presence. They dull the double-edged blade of my inability to be everywhere at once, doing everything at the same time.
They are my capable husband, taking days off of work to care for his daughter. They are my parents and mother-in-law, bringing supplies and making sure my one healthy child wasn't without love on her birthday. They are my friends, sitting with me in the hospital so I wouldn't be alone after Justin had to go home, and calling to offer any (any) assistance that would make this all pass by more smoothly.
They are my Lord, receiving the burden of my prayers on strong shoulders as gracefully and lovingly as a mother.
My precious children are all fine now: Landon is without his rattly cough; Lauren's cool, pale cheeks have returned.
And what's more, I've been renewed with hope. Because I'm not alone, and I never will be. My double-edged blade can become dull and pocked with gouges. It can crack and shiver with the weight of another blow. It can become stuck and mired in circumstances that require more power than it has to give.
Because I am not alone.
We're seeing the Bigger Picture through simple moments -- moments that force us to stop and take notice of the ways our worlds are important, meaningful, and beautiful. Please join us today at Melissa's place! Grab the button, link up, and read a few others to encourage them as they walk this journey of intentional living.