How to Make a Mom’s Sick Day Easier

With a child on my heels, the flu bug took over as my daughter stood watching… and giving the play-by-play. 

“Oh, Mommy,” she gasped. “What is happening to you?” 

Head hanging, sweat dripping, and tears surfacing… I looked at her and told her it would be okay… even though it was clear to the both of us I was not. 

When mom goes down, the ship starts taking on water. The quicker she heals, the faster it rights itself. The best way to make a mom’s sick day is to shorten its duration, and for that… rest is key. 

Pray for Her Healing

Instead of drilling mom with “how-too” questions, give her the space she needs to breathe. We are creatures of habit, and when the routine things mom does suddenly dissipate, we feel like fish out of water. 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6

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Distorted Expectations

The MidWest had more than it’s fair share of rain this summer. We count the days of summer …and it’s unfairly interfered. 

Life is like that, at times. Unfair and uncomfortable. We count on certain things to go a certain way. For my tween daughters, every emotion, discomfort, and awkward situation rains down upon them as though they’ve been caught unexpectedly in a torrential downpour. They don’t need us to throw a rain poncho over their every problem. Tweens need to know it’s a normal to get caught in the rain sometimes.

If we don’t want to get drenched by life’s storms we have to remember our umbrella and choose to use it. Better yet, when we can …avoid standing in a torrential downpour. We so often try to force our circumstances, blaming our umbrella for failing to keep us dry when we take it out into sideways rain and expect it to do the impossible. 

Faith …an umbrella between reality and the rain. The wind may blow it inside out, it may leak, we may forget to open it …but through every storm, Jesus remains. God’s Word is our heart’s guard. Prayer is our lifeline. Starting the day and traversing through life without it compels us to seek all kinds of crazy solutions for our inconveniences. Life is inconvenient, but out of our discomfort beautiful wildflowers often bloom …right where they’re planted. 

We shouldn’t expect perfection from an umbrella. It’s a thing. It’s fallible. The weather is the weather …even the people paid to predict it don’t always know what it’s going to do. Our expectations distort when we entrust humanity to protect us from raindrops. Only God is capable of instilling that kind of bubbled protection over our lives …and He doesn’t. 

We will get rained on here. Things will not go our way and people will let us down. We will let others, and ourselves, down. At some point, we’ll all stand drenched in a downpour. But not without hope …just wet! The sun comes out, and everyday God’s mercies are new. Great is HIS faithfulness. Jesus is our umbrella this side of heaven. In the sideways rain, hail, and torrential downpours, He shields us. 

To our kids, we model the resiliency of our faith in Christ by how we react to the rain. A young collegiate cross country runner, rainy mud runs were my favorite. Donning my favorite hat to keep the rain out of my eyes, I laughed through every knee-high puddle and splash of mud. I set my mind, not just to make the best of it, but to see the fun in it. 

The world wants us on edge every time life rains down on us. But if we choose to see the good, our kids might, too. Some tragedies are beyond a sunny explanation …but even in those moments, we have a good God whom we trust will right every injustice. We can’t explain the cause of every storm or season of suffering, but we can choose to put our favorite hat on and embrace what we can about the rain.

As Christians, we can run through the rain gripping Joy …because the battle has already been won.

Expect the rain …but know the sun still shines.

Megs


A Prayer for Moms of Bullied Children

“This has been the best school year yet!” my daughter exclaimed. I was glad to hear it, because I knew the reality of hardship that she had chosen not to focus on. 

It’s challenging for a mother to let go of an injustice that has befallen her child. Bullying is an epidemic, and it’s not limited to physical harm. The mental torment that some children receive in the classroom can distract them from learning, and lead them to question the very core of their self worth. 

Moms can make a big difference in how their kids cope with bullying by listening to them and repeating to them the truth about who they are. But the most powerful weapon in the war against the bullying is prayer. 

Father, we praise You for our children. Each one is crafted differently by Your creative hand. Every child carries a piece of Your purpose in his or her heart. They have taught us a knew depth of love, and helped us to grow closer to You. 

Thank You for trusting us to take care of these precious souls. We are grateful to be mothers, and thankful beyond belief that You have blessed us with the privilege of watching them grow into the people You made them to be. 

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When Gratitude Feels Unnatural

God places people in our lives who bother us. He sets us in situations that make us feel uncomfortable. It doesn’t always feel optimistic to live in the pocket of God’s will of our lives, even when we undeniably trust Him. But, there is one verse that can help us bound forward obediently, without having to paste on a fake smile through gritted teeth. Beyond the sustaining joy we experience from a life walked behind Jesus, we can reprogram our thought process to a happier tune though the instruction of Philippians 4:6

“Don’t be anxious about things; instead, pray. Pray about everything. He longs to hear your requests, so talk to God about your needs and be thankful for what has come.” 

1. Turn your anxiety into prayer.

“Don’t be anxious about things…” 

What do we do when worry starts to creep into our thoughts? Flip it into a prayer. For example, when worried about pain and sickness and lack of a cure, we can utter a prayer like this: 

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The 40 Keel.

It started off as a grand adventure. We would paddle across the serene lake our cabin rested on, to the river, and all the way out to the great freshwater lake. Up and out early with visions of grandeur we would hold onto forever, we loaded into our kayaks and pushed off the dock. It wasn’t in the quiet stillness of morning as we’d woken up to so many other days, but in the choppy result of a steady wind. Soon after we embarked on our journey, both of our kids needed a tow line. Every paddle felt like going backwards. Our cabin neighbor came gliding up beside us. We wanted to know why … and…how.

“I have a keel,” he explained. “It drops down and stabilizes the boat so it goes forward instead of back and forth.”

U2, who I’ve been mildly obsessed with since walk-mans were cool, turned the 40th Psalm into a song that hit me on a new level as the melody drifted through the marrow of me as I flipped the final page on my fourth decade. King David, who wrote the song, reaches into the core of all that makes a human heart beat and break in awe of the unfailing love God has for all of us. The song played and I pictured myself in all stages of life blaring it as an unbeknownst anthem.

Life starts out as such a grand adventure, doesn’t it? But without a keel, we paddle back and forth and sometimes backwards. There’s something about turning the page on a decade that causes us to reflect back and look forward. For the next ten years, I want to steer steady, with the keel dropped down, each paddle as efficient as it can be, no matter the weather. To weather storms with more grace and poise, and for forgiveness to flow out of me faster and easier. It feels time to step up and into the girl God made me to be all those years before the swells crashed into my reality faster than I could bail out or paddle through. 

There’s never been a day in my life I haven’t believed in Jesus. If anything is worth celebrating at 40 …it’s that. So I chose to celebrate by getting baptized. He has loved me through the most impossible circumstances and when I was impossible to love. He reminds me who I am and continues to grow me into who He’s purposed me to be. No one knows me like Him. It’s love, unconditional and eternal. No strings, stipulations or shame. It’s out of this world …and worth singing about. In and around the water I’m reminded of how His Word flows through and connects all He has created. No matter what storms flare up in the next decade, I’m all in. 

This is 40. A few nights ago I sat up to roll over and pulled my neck out. For now my daughters say my smile lines are beautiful because they haven’t morphed into critical teenagers yet. I have to say I like them, too. Looking back, I’m tempted to remember the heartbreaks and mistakes. But the past is equally lined in triumphs. Laughter, love …and fearless adventure. So much laughter. So many friends. And now daughters … Jesus isn’t interested in keeping score in our lives. He commands us to go tell it …maybe …to sing it.

Sing your song.

Megs