And I started this post after 7 days of children with stomach-bug-fever-coughing-virus-nose-wiping.
And yes. I fed them juice, jello, applesauce, yogurt drinks, and.. Cheetos. Because that's all they were keeping down.
And now I'm finishing this post a month later after we also went through a round of chicken pox (even after the vaccination). And I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one out there carrying around a tub of Lysol wipes.
It can be frustrating when schedules have to change, parties are cancelled, Bible study is missed, laundry starts to pile-- And sickness interrupts plans.
Especially my plans.
But that's what I'm trying to learn... What I need to learn--
“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one's 'own,' or 'real' life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one's real life -- the life God is sending one day by day.” ~C.S. Lewis
I want to make the best use of each day God gives me, "...making the best use of the time." ~Colossians 4:5 Because He is the Sender of my days.
So when those seasons of sickness hit, how can we best use the time?
1. We can remember that the pause is a gift from God-- A time to slow down and examine where and how we are using are time, spending our moments.
2. We can reclaim the time at home for building relationships with our children-- Sometimes that will mean piles of books read aloud, or Fox in Sox read thirty times in a row (that book "is dangerous" you know). Sometime it will be drippy popsicles and coloring books at the kitchen table. Or mugs of hot chocolate shared while watching episodes of Word Girl.
3. We can use the time to accomplish something-- Clean out a cupboard, write a letter, email a thank you, start a new Bible study, deep-clean a bathroom, read a novel, bake some cookies, weed the garden, make a phone call of encouragement.
4. If we start to get discouraged, we can ask God for His perspective-- For global perspective. For eternal perspective. For a reminder of others who are struggling-hurting deeply. We can ask God to take our eyes off self and to lift them back up to Him.
5. We can ask God to help us make our home a real place of shelter, solace, and comfort. We can show His love to our families.
Thank you God (and Edith Schaeffer ) for the reminder:
"What is a family? A family is a well-regulated hospital, a nursing home, a shelter in time of physical need, a place where a sick person is greeted as a sick human being and not as a machine that has a loose bolt, or a mechanical doll that no longer works-- to be shoved aside because it is no more fun, nor is it useful...
For some people the memory of illness carries with it the memory of loving care, cool hands stroking the forehead, sponge baths in bed, clean sheets under a hot chin, lovely-flavored drinks, back rubs, medicine given methodically by the clock, flowers near the bed, curtains drawn when the fever is hurting the eyes, soft singing mother's or father's voice during a sleepless night...
When illness hits we should remember that this period of time is part of the whole of life. This is not just a non-time to be shoved aside, but a portion of time that counts...We are to recognize that to waste this time is as much a loss as wasting a time we might think of as the height of productivity.
The opportunity to do something practical about making your family remember their sickness with a feeling that yours was the "best hospital in the world" is very real, and becomes the challenge that gives purpose to some of the drudgery. It is a time when each of us can have the chance to be practical about the command in Matthew 7:12...During sicknesses we can both literally and figuratively 'wash feet' as we do the messy jobs that someone has to do, and then say, 'Thank you, Lord, for giving me a glimpse of what it is all about...
...What is a family? A family is a blending of people for whom a career of making a shelter in the time of storm is worth a lifetime! Yes, it is while we are in the land of the living that the family is meant to care for each other, and to be a real shelter--"
May God bless our families with good health, but on the days when the Lysol wipes are sitting on the kitchen counter, May God bless us with kindness and compassion and patience and strength, so that we can show His kind of lay-down-self-love to our families.
Kara @ The Chuppies