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and yet there's more

November 12, 2008

Sometime Monday evening the baby’s illness started coming out the other end. At first I noticed he had a lot of gas, which is really funny because he calls toots “hiccups”. So every few minutes I hear him saying “hiccups” and I know what lies ahead. Many changes of clothes and loads of laundry. At least after three kids I can recognize the signs and be semi-prepared for what is coming.

Well, I was right. I’ll take diarrhea over puking any day, but it still isn’t much fun. Then apparently yesterday afternoon he filled his diaper (and then some) while he was sleeping. When he woke up from his nap, he had the worst diaper rash I have ever seen on one of my kids. By the time I got him all cleaned up he was so hysterical that he threw up again. Thankfully it was only once, and after a nice bath and a whole tube of desitin, he’s doing better.

In the midst of all this, sometime over the weekend, I got a cold. This is my 3rd cold in the last 6 weeks, and considering that each one lasts about 10 days, I’ve spent about a month congested and not sleeping well. Bear with me, I’m not complaining, I’m making a point.

I just recently finished reading The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom. If you have never read it, you should. That book completely changed my perspective on life. To imagine everything she went through as a result of trying to help Jews during the Holocaust, and that in the midst of her suffering, she was able to praise God and be thankful. It is extremely humbling.

So what does this have to do with anything? Well, Sunday night at about 2 AM, I had just laid the baby down after another trip to the bathroom and I was laying on my pillow with my husband sleeping soundly at my side and my big boys sleeping in the other bed and my very sick little one sleeping momentarily in the play pen beside me. I realized in that moment how much I have to be thankful for. I was thankful that everyone else was asleep. The trip home would be so much better if everyone was well rested. I was thankful for the hotel ice chips. They are much easier to give to a baby than the big cubes my freezer at home makes. I was thankful that I had decided to let my oldest son bring his baby blanket on the trip. It is very soft and similar to the little one’s blanket (that had been puked on and was now dripping dry in the bathroom) and was very helpful in getting him to settle down and sleep. I was thankful for the one functioning nostril that let me breathe with my mouth closed – a grossly unappreciated skill. I fell asleep thanking God for every little thing that came to my mind. In that moment I understood that my circumstances, good or bad, should not dictate my thankfulness, and that God would get me through the night and the next day, whatever it may bring.

Well, the euphoria that resulted from that moment lasted through approximately 2 loads of laundry after we got home. You would think that being home would be easier than suffering through sickness in a hotel room. But the day to day frustrations compounded upon my exhaustion and a Nyquil hangover brought me to a point of wanting to just run away. I realized that at some point I stopped being thankful and started feeling sorry for myself. Instead of praising God that the baby didn’t get sick in the car again or that I had plenty of clean sheets and clothes to get through the continuing sickness, I was looking for sympathy. My thoughts had switched from thankfulness to sorrow. And as a result, a semi-normal day yesterday was a hundred times harder to handle than the puking in the car.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  I Thessalonians 5:16-18

God doesn’t just tell us to praise Him because He likes to hear it. An attitude of thankfulness makes our trials feel smaller. Keeping my focus on God and not on my suffering helps me to remember that He is in control and that He has the strength to get me through whatever comes along.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. kermooch permalink
    November 12, 2008 11:19 am

    Okay, Lord, I get it. Thank you for using Kendra to remind me. I will cancel my pity party and get about being joyful and thankful again. Kerri

  2. Debby Morton permalink
    November 13, 2008 12:43 pm

    I hope that everyone in your home is getting better. The Hiding Place was one on my favorite books, I just loved it. Tramp for the Lord is also another excellent read.

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