The Good Sick Day 

The gagging rapidly approached. I shot up from a deep sleep to dig defensively against my exhaustion. The bright red clock glowed, “4:30 AM.”

“MO-GAG-MMY-GAG,” my daughter heaved. “I-GAG-DON’T-GAG-FEEL-GAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGG…”

Up and out to usher her away from my room, I prayed my toes would remain in tact and my shins wouldn’t be shattered by the debris of low lying furniture that littered the route to the hallway. Our eyes squinted in protest but my heart jumped for joy when we made it to the bathroom without any projectile fallout.

“Why did you pass the bathroom to run to my room?” I asked her as pulled her new, short hair-cut back. She smiled and started to giggle, and then whatever was ailing her finally released. Bleh. The “every thirty minute” trip to retrieve water sips ensued; and as I attempted to sneak in some sleep between changing trash-can bags, the dim glow of dawn lit.

imageHer sickness seemed to fade rapidly as we pulled away from dropping her little sister off at school, and I was serenaded while she “rested” to the tune of Barbie’s shenanigans. If not for witnessing the vomit first-hand, I’d have pronounced her a big fat faker.

We sat to chat …laughed …sorted through her bookshelf …ate lunch …watched a movie …took the dog for a pier-walk …and went shopping. Cuddled up on the couch that night, I knew God had gone above and beyond answering my prayers for her healing. I silently celebrated the scenery of a Spirit-led day, that lent me the time to witness my rapidly maturing little girl grow up a bit …right before my eyes. #gift

To live in the motion of The Holy Spirit, replace your race with a pace to match His stride. It’s a humble walk, painfully slow at times, but always moving forward. Like the rhythm of a runner’s depart from the start, we can establish a pattern to race with the Spirit as He moves.

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Let’s learn how to harness a “good sick” day, by investigating an amazing verse.

1. On your mark…

“Here’s my instruction: walk in the Spirit, and let the Spirit bring order to your life.” Galatians 5:16a(Voice)

If I break into a full sprint without running things by God, I may appear very busy and productive …but I assure you it’s masking a disheveled and over-tasked mess. Breaking time off to have a real conversation with Him sets the tone for my day and signals the Holy Spirit to start translating.image

When words to describe what we’re going through aren’t present in our vocabulary, or we lack the motivation to mumble what words we do know how to string together, the Spirit relays our message to God. (Romans 8:28) The One who speaks life has an infinite vocabulary.

“Let the Spirit direct your lives.” Galatians 5:16a (GNT)

Start talking to God about life. Through Jesus’ death on the cross, we have full access to the Author…and Translator. #prayaboutit

2. Set…

Being set to launch life the way God intended us to live it requires reading the Bible. What good is the answer to life if we never hear it? The Spirit aides our interpretation (John 14:26) of God’s living Word (Hebrews4:12), and a conversation is born.

“Let the Holy Spirit lead you with each step.” Galatians 5:16a (NLV)

It seems less daunting when broken down into footsteps. God isn’t calling me to change my personality, He’s asking me step into the ingenuity He laid into my life’s foundation. God’s Word reliably directs my footsteps with the disciplinary truth my heart needs to digest His love and direct my steps.

Read His Word in faith that it will answer prayers, apply currently, and ready life to shift and grow. #ReadTheWord

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3. Go.

Galatians 5:16

“Walk in the Spirit.” (KJV)

“Walk by the Spirit.” (ESV)

“Live the way the Spirit leads you.” (ERV)

“Walk habitually in the [Holy] Spirit [seek Him and be responsive to His guidance.]” (AMP)

I discovered that in the original language, and within the context of Galatians 5:16, live and walk are synonymously derived from the Greek verb peripateo.

“Literally, means walk around…The NT uses peripateo to refer to the way believers behave or conduct daily life.” -Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary

Walking is living. Living is walking. “Spirit led” is a daily process that we walk out for life. Step in one obedient stride at a time.

“Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit.” Galatians 5:16a (MSG)

imageFaithful training makes for great races. The blocks are empty and the runners are already rounding the first curve. As the gun-shot-start adrenaline wears off, preparation relaxes us into the rhythm of our own breathing. Don’t look back…#Go

I am forever grateful that she passed the bathroom to come and get me first. I might have missed a footstep…

Happy Walking…

Megs

“Run your lives by the Spirit.” Galations 5:16a (CJB)

Reading different translations of Biblical verses can be done with a swipe of the screen. Bible Gateway is an amazing resource I reference to bridge my gap between average person and Biblical scholar. It’s a very large gap. I’m very thankful for it! You know what they say …”If I don’t know the answer I know someone that does!” #doyourresearch #neverstoplearning

 

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The Stomach Drop.

It’s nice to open the day with a brisk run and a peak at the sunrise from the beach.  Having so much to be extra thankful for this morning, my thoughts drifted to this early Spring…rather…Summer…weather, and how it makes waiting for Cedar Point to open as agonizing for me as it is for my kids.  Staring at it across the water from the end of my street…I feel if I just gaze hard enough they’ll decide to open early.

Cedar Point is the best amusement park in the world.  No really.  It is…officially and stuff.  But, to me, it’s so much more than that.  More even, than all the childhood memories spent wandering within the confines of the beautiful peninsula it resides on, becoming a part of it’s every breath as an employee one summer in college, and now sharing laughs with my own kids there.   It’s a living analogy of my life.

My favorite?  ‘The Stomach Drop.’

CP has built two rides that instill fear in me.  The Top Thrill Dragster.  Sitting on it, you’re about to go 120 mph but don’t know when.  And, Power Tower.  Legs dangling at a ridiculously high height with no warning of the drop.

In that moment before take off, or drop down, I find myself so nervous and terrified…despite the fact that I’ve come out alive hundreds of times before.  Then, BAM!  My stomach drops…I swear I can feel it seeping out of my toenails…and down-or up- I go.  The ride goes by in a screaming blur, and I exit with wobbling legs.

At ‘the park,’ I’m expecting to face some fear when I enter the line to ride.  In life, fear has a tendency to smack me in the face without warning.

Every parent knows that challenges don’t happen one at a time.  They have lots of friends, and they crash the party all at once.  On the cusp of three bouts of stomach flu this week… it felt like it should be Saturday…but the calendar said Wednesday.  Add also, that after days of wondering why there was dried blood in my one-year-olds ears, the quest to unfold the mystery began with phone calls, a doctor visit, meds and ear drops.  The way things had gone this week, collided with my parental instincts at full speed  Already sleep deprived…I still felt like I was waiting for the ride to start.

I was right.

Lo Lo's poor ears...

That night in conversations amongst family, we remembered Lo Lo pulling an end table down on herself a few days ago when we were away visiting family in Findlay.  Driving to pick up dinner, a natural wave of panic rushed through me.

My stomach dropped.

It was a bad fall but yielded no bumps or bruises, so we wrote it off.  I had little time to take solace in the conversation from the pediatrician, who so graciously had patience with my obviously freaked out tone.  Just hour later, Lo Lo’s turn with the stomach flu began.

With a call back from the doctor in the morning, we began a day what should have been spent outside in 80 degree March weather inside doctor’s offices… and eventually… a hospital CT scan room.  Lo Lo had been sick with the stomach flu through the night, and we were both riding on two hours of sleep.

Through it all…my sweet little Lo giggled and bounced around as if nothing was wrong, even though she had been throwing up to the point of exhaustion just hours before, and had blood mysteriously making it’s way out of her ears.

I nervously but graciously awaited the ear specialist to make a diagnosis, juggling both of my daughter’s lack of compliance to sit still…and my oldest warning me she was about to poop.  Trying to piece together, in angst, what the conclusion my daughter’s symptoms were leading the doctor’s conclude…I heard  “….recent fall…possible base skull fracture…CT scan…put her to sleep for the test….”  The words ‘skull fracture’ began to ring in my ears, and then I got lost in the blur of my own tears welling up.  All I could manage was an “I need you now” text to my husband.

As the four of us walked into the hospital to face Lo’s test together, the power of prayer began to take over, shielding me from my own worst case scenario’s and thoughts on what it ‘could’ be.  It was a grim circumstance to hold my Lo Lo’s hand as she’s strapped down and sent through a huge machine for a CT.  But when the test was over, I felt an odd sense of calm, which was confirmed by a positive call from the doctor an hour later.  “Weird,” he said, that Lo Lo was acting like her complete happy self with her symptoms.

No skull fracture.  No ear damage.  Lots of deep breaths.

“Weird.”  I’d rather a weird mystery than the terrifying news other families in similar circumstances have to digest.

As a kid, it’s fun to push that boundary of fear on roller coasters and thrill rides.  Real life fears are much harder to look in the eye, especially with a happy temperament like Lo.  But when we prevail, God-willing, it is simultaneously empowering and humbling.

Finally having the chance to think clearly as I write this, I just remembered something my older daughter had said to me before bed the night before in response to her little sister’s ears (we had seen the doc for the first time that day)….

“I will pray for an angel to come spend the night with Lo Lo, Mommy.  I will pray that God will send an angel to stay with her aaaaallllll night long and ‘pertect’ her.”

Happy Fear-Facing…

Megs

All Better. 🙂

Barf.

St. Patty's Day... 12 hours prior to barf round 1...

“Hi, Grandpa!  I BARFED-ED!  I barfed-ed all over the place all night long.  I barfed-ed on Mommy…on my blankie-but-Daddy-washed-it…on the floor…on my bed…”

She’s right…that’s about how it went…in round 1…

Barf.  It’s gross when you have to do it yourself.  It’s even worse when you’re responsible for another person’s.  I’ve read the Facebook Updates crying out for mercy and praying that the stomach flu would vacate their households so that a little bit of normalcy could return.  As a child, I can remember my mom going into ‘cleaning mode’ when the first piece of barf hit the floor…starting an seemingly never-ending stream of laundry, house cleaning, and sick-kid-consoling.  But nothing…I mean nothing (OK, there are  a lot worse things…but still…)…compares to the fear of knowing your ‘barf-time’ is coming.

Now, I know what it feels like to feel so bad for your trembling little kid that you cast all cares of your own health aside and just crawl into bed with them.  That way, you can be sure you’ll be there as quick as possible to help them through the next ‘barf.’  I’m now acutely aware of exactly how long each round of flu will last, down to knowing when the last bit of throw up is out and we can get some sleep.

I now know how it feels to run out of things to disinfect and wash in the house, and start spraying actual people with Lysol.  Be it lack of sleep or flu dementia…I caught myself dousing myself with it…and actually breathing in the wonderful smell of dying germs…what a moment.  It was the pinnacle of something…not quite sure what.

This post will be too gross to read, I think, unless you’ve been to the Barf-o-ram-a.  But if you have…you can relate to my feeling of joy in the silence between flu attacks…the space you have to rest up until the next kid gets it.  As a parent, you know.  You know you need that sleep, because another round is on it’s way.  That’s exactly what I told my sister on the phone as I laid down to sleep…not sure she believed me…I tend to over-exaggerate sometimes to catch a laugh or two…but that time I meant it…and I was right.  The very next day…round 3 began.

It’s down right heart-breaking to watch your kids get sick over and over like they do with the stomach flu.  On the hour for 6 hours straight at my house.  It’s even more heart wrenching to watch my little kid who can’t fully communicate yet get sick.  My one and a half year old, Lo Lo, who could only cry as her little body convulsed in sickness.  As if that didn’t tear my heart out, when she opened her arms and collapsed on me afterwards I became a teary eyed mess.  Poor kid.  Sprout on the background all night long is a snap after that…

Now, I know how it all feels.

Amazing to me, is how these little munchkins just snap right out of it.  Brianne went from ‘Mommy cuddles…need more Mommy cuddles…” to “Mommy…why isn’t Disney channel on?” in a very short time.  Lo, who can barely move after it was all said and done, woke up 3  hours later with, “Um-Moooommmmm….dink, please.”  Unbelievable.  It takes me a minimum of 2 days to recover from that crap.

So, I know how it feels…and my husband is scared to be in the house.  He’s the last man standing…a “sitting duck” as he calls it.  He feels doomed to get it after watching all three of us come down with it in exact time a part.

Here’s hoping, babe.  If not…don’t worry…I’ve got my trusty can of Lysol and I know how to use it.

Happy Disinfecting…

Megs

Barf round 3 over, and the sunrise is a comforting sight...