Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I am a sucker.  I knew I was going to have one sick child at home with me today, but I thought maybe I would get my act together and get something done.  This morning the 9 year old tells me she still doesn't feel well.  Mind you this is the one who was sent home sick from school yesterday.  This is the one who went to the doctor and was told that she was fine.  This is the one who is quirky quirky quirky.  I tell her to get dressed, eat, and see how she feels.  She does and I think I am home free until the bus pulls up and she says "mom, I can't make it."  In a complete moment of weakness I say fine.  Not even 2 minutes later I hear feet running around in the bedroom.  Not only hers, but the 7 year olds as well. AAARRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!  Can you say sucker?  I need to have my  head examined.  I can't send the 7 year old- she was running a fever of 102 at the doctor's office.  I have to keep her home.  However, I should have just sent the 9 year old.  I knew it, but I think I was secretly hoping they would entertain each other so I could be productive.  They are actually doing pretty good at that.  They are having a race at the moment to see who can get dressed first.  I should just drop everything and pray that God sets my path today.  I should ask him to get rid of all distractions so I can do what He has planned for me today.  My to do list is overwhelming.  Of course,  if I just ventured downstairs and started attacking the piles on my desk, the odds of feeling accomplished would be better.  Instead I sit on the computer!  It is my time!  See- I ask God to take away distractions because I don't want to do the work myself and be disciplined.  Even when I want to be good, I still look for the shortcuts.  I have decided that being a grown-up isn't all that fun.  Like most things, it takes a lot of work.   Jim and I often joke that someday the real parents are going to show up at our door and tell us our game of house is over.  I am missing out on so much of the present because I am feeling guilty about the past or wishing for the future.  I wish I was strong enough to live in the moment.  I know there are an abundance of blessings right here and now, but I often miss them.  I want to be content in the present, but I have messed up so royally in the past, that I can't let go of it.  I know that God has already moved on, but for whatever reason, the hold is too strong.  I am beginning to believe I have the strength to work through it, but it is frightening just the same.  I began praying for surrender a long time ago, and God has been answering by showing me just how little control I actually possess, but I still have figured out what it is He wants me to do each day.  I am making progress, but it is a long journey and I have just started.  I think there is freedom in knowing that I will only arrive on the day I enter Heaven.  It isn't overwhelming- it is reassuring to know that I just have to do my best each day, and some days will be better than others.  I will never be perfect, but I can aim for perfection.  Each day I get closer to the goal- in spite of myself.

winter in chicago

This week started off with a bang. My 7 year old started complaining of a stomach ache last thursday.  I hear "my tummy hurts" a lot, so I did the mom thing and asked all the right questions and determined she was ok.  Saturday morning after I got home from a 3 hour meeting at church, I was informed that the pain had travelled to the throat.  Now this child has the biggest tonsils in the northern hemisphere, so I looked down her throat and saw.....tonsils.  Nothin' but tonsils.  When my wonderful husband got home from his 4 hour meeting at school, he checked it out.  He is the resident expert on all things medical.  He saw....tonsils.  We discussed it and figured we could send some ibuprofen into her system and all would be well. By 3 pm she was giving us her big eyes look and we decided to call the doctors.  They told us to take her to the hospital.  See, in all our financial wisdom, we are part of an HMO.  We can't go to any urgent care centers- we go right to the ER and plop down out $50 and get told that it is a sore throat and to go home, get plenty of rest and fluids.  So- we decided to just forge ahead.  She had no fever, we saw no white spots, and we wanted to make 5 pm church.  We go to church, pick up the 4 kids who were coming for a sleep-over and go home.  We had a great night- we also invited friends over, so there were now 11 children and 4 adults in the house.  The 7 year old isn't herself, but she is hanging in there.  Sunday arrives and she now has a fever.  Guilt is rushing over me- we should have just gone to the hospital even though it is 45 minutes away.  We should have gone even though she had no fever.  We should have gone even though she did fine.  Ah well.  Jim takes one load of kids to sunday school.  I take the other.  I go back home and take care of the sick child.  I go back and pick up my load of children (who are staying at our house all day- their mom, like me, isn't fazed by mere viruses).  The kids play and have fun and run around.  Jim needs to head back to church at 2:15 to rehearse for the Celebration Event that is happening at 4.  I leave my 13 year old in charge of the sick one, and head out with just 6 children.  It is an amazing event that may be covered in a different post.  Monday comes and I know that today I will take her to the doctor.  Now she has the fever, she can't really eat and she has that strep voice.  I get the other 3 off on the bus and get the sick one to go back to sleep.  At 8:30 I get in the shower so I can be ready to go to the doctor right at 9 when they open.  At 9 the line is busy. Over and over and over. I finally get through and get in at noon.  I should be so productive right?  Well, I make the mistake of showing the 7 year old how to use the intercom option on our phone.  Every few minutes I get an update.  "Mommy?, my throat really hurts, is it time for more tylenol?",  "Mommy?, I finished my ice water, could you please bring me some more?", "Mommy?, Do we have any jello?", "Mommy?, the movie finished, should I watch another one?", etc. etc. It is now 10 something and I get a call from the school. My 9 year old is in the office and has a 1 degree fever and says she has bronchitis.  I respond with the ever so compassionate "Of course she does."  The 9 year old informed me of the bronchitis in the morning and I checked her temp (normal).  She had asked me to write a note to her teacher so I emailed the teacher informing her of the "illness".  I told the 9 year old that I thought she could make it and prayed over her and sent her on her way.  I made the fatal mistake of telling her that if she absolutely could not make it, to call and I would come get her.  The phone rang about 45 seconds after I poured the milk in my cereal for breakfast- even though I had been up and awake for several hours, it was the first chance I had to eat.  I think I threw the school secretary a bit as I laughed and asked her what my daughter wanted me to do.  The secretary kind of paused and then said, "well, she does have a fever, I think you should come get her."  I left my raisin bran crunch on the table and left.  I had to call my friend on the way to school because I was laughing like a maniac.  I just couldn't stop.  I felt like I had the giggles and if I couldn't calm down they would think I had been hitting the bottle when I walked into school.  I gathered my composure as best I could and collected the sick child.  I called the doctor and asked if I could bring both of my sickies in to be seen.  We make our way there and the results are not surprising.  7 year old has scarlet fever (which only means strep throat with a lovely rash all over her neck, back, and tummy).  The 9 year old is fine.  It is worth the $10 for her to hear it from the doctor.  This is my quirky child.  She is really smart, but really anxious.  She is also the one who broke her leg in 3 places over the summer.  We try to be a bit more cautious with her.  So- we head to target to get the meds for the 7 year old and then head home until it is time to pick up the other 2.  It is a long day- my husband has to attend the school board meeting so it is just me and the kids.  I think God gave me the giggles earlier in the day to frame my mind.  It was only yesterday, but I am not sure what I actually did all day long.  I know laundry got done, and dishes were cleared, and people were fed, but it sure seems like a lot more should have been accomplished.  Ah well.  The children all made it through the day. I laughed instead of cried.  My husband got home earlier than expected.  I loaded pictures on facebook.  Not a bad day.  

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I am always amazed when I actually stop and reflect upon how God is omnipresent in my life.  I have my shares of trials and my life is far from perfect, but I really have nothing about which to complain.  I am blown away by the goodness of God and how evident His blessings are in my life.  We had a Celebration event at our church tonight.  POP is starting a capital campaign.  It is called the Dei Campaign.  It is an exciting time for our church and for us.  It is a time of sacrifice as all the members of POP are called to give above and beyond for the next 3 years to make a difference.  I am excited to see it play out.  I am excited to be a small part of something so cool.  I can't decide if I am more excited about a new church plant,  a new Hispanic church, the mission tithe, or paying off the mortgage.  It is all so wonderful.  Jim and I are making changes in our own lives as well.  I  feel like we are on a campaign of our own, and it is a turning point in our lives.  I am full of hope.  I know it will not be easy, but I know that God is working with us, and we will be so much better off by being disciplined and changing what we do.    I feel like our marriage is only getting stronger, and the more challenges we face, the stronger we are.  It is a blessing.  I am so in love with my husband and feel so blessed to have him love me.  He is a gift.  When I think about how blessed I am,  I can't help but wonder why God loves me so much.  My husband is my soulmate, I have 4 beautiful daughters who are good and kind and compassionate, my friends support and encourage me  each and every day.  I get to spend my days hanging out at school being with my kids and am surrounded by people who really love God.  It can't get much better than that.  Yet- there is so much more.  Life isn't easy.  It isn't all good.  There are demons that haunt.  There are physical ailments.  There are hardships.  It gets easy to forget that blessings are among the trials.  God does not leave us.  He can use anything.  I am just now beginning to get to the demons in my life with open eyes.  I am seeing how God has been with me through all sorts of things- times when I made poor choices, times that I am still not fully ready to accept responsibility for my actions because they are difficult to face.  Yet this time is different.  I am full of hope.  I know that it will be difficult, but I am ready to start a new road.  I am surrounded by support and encouragement, and God has me in His palms.  He will walk me through it.  It is a new day.