The bad news: Double ear infection. Stomach bug. Runny noses. Sore throats. And, a UTI.
The good news: Antibiotics. Tissues. Throat-relief lollipops. And, good sleep and better spirits today.
The last few days have had one surprise after another with each kid, at some point, coming down with something new. But now that we are loaded up on meds it's time to join the world again and get outside. Phew. My house was starting to feel really small.
In spite of being sick, though, we were able to spend a lot of time reading books, playing games, and doing puzzles together. That quiet time of talking and bonding is worth a whole lot in my book.
Yes, there were intense demands on my sanity. But there were naps to even those moments out. Yes, there were interrupted nights. But there was a husband to help me out. Yes, there were "oh my word if I get any other bodily fluid on me I will scream!" occasions. But there were plenty of hugs and "I love you Mommy" to balance things out.
Sick kids wear down a healthy Mom. And when I get tired I tend to make small issues bigger issues. Oh - and I'm prone to crying, which always puts my dear husband on high alert because I'm not a crier. Ever. So when tears come he's in a tailspin.
Unfiltered comments that would usually roll off me become hurtful darts that discourage me. Now, that's a sneaky tactic from the Father of Lies, if I ever saw one.
My school plans and my ministry plans and my family plans are all askew. Sick kids did that earlier this week, and being tired now has me blaming myself for the rest of the week. But wait, isn't that another tricky lie I'm believing? Are my plans really better than the plans God has for the circumstances he allows?
I've been told I should drop some of my responsibilities because I'm not being fair and giving my best efforts to the ones that are most important. Smack! A blow to the confidence I put in myself to manage my calendar and my abilities. When really, anything I am and anything I do should happen in light of obedience to what I know God is asking me to do - and not what others are asking me to do.
And so those tears make an appearance. Briefly, but they still happen.
I need a break. A retreat. Some refreshment. And every time I hear well-intentioned family and friends suggest an afternoon away from the kids, or an evening out over coffee, or an hour spa pampering, I'm unsettled on this. Sure, it all sounds nice. But it's all very temporary and self-indulgent.
When I look at Jesus and the demands on his life and ministry, I don't see him skipping through Jerusalem looking for Starbucks. I don't see him catching a chariot out of town for some R&R. I do, though, see him retreat to solitude for prayer. Even when he's tired. Even when he's weak. Even when he feels empty.
Time with his Father in prayer enables him to keep going. Empowers him with Truth and stamina. Reassures him of his purpose.
So while there is occasion to enjoy coffee or a kid-free escape with friends, what I really need when I'm tired and overwhelmed and discouraged is some closet time. Time with my Jesus.