The last three weeks have been really (really really) rough on me. After my hubby and kids got sick, I came down with what I thought was whatever they had - the flu, a cold, whatever. Well … turns out I was wrong. It was pneumonia. It was bacterial. And it required a 4-day hospital stay.
To say I've been "discouraged" is a bit of an understatement.
As a result of this surprise illness, my family has had to:
- postpone our move.
- cancel our "tot ziens" ("going away" party).
- eat the costs of changing flights.
- disappoint several members of our family, who were looking forward to our visits in March.
- soothe the fears of two kiddos who'd never been away from Mommy for more than 1 night.
- reevaluate what our collective health means to us.
I've definitely struggled through all of this. I'm a prototypical "type-A" personality. I love being "on the go," I love "doing," I love "achieving," I love planning and controlling.
While going through all of this, I've been continuing on in my study of the book Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. It's an awesome book, and in chapter 12, the author shares the concept of blessing others, of filling afternoons with acts of kindness, instead of wallowing in the pit of despair over our struggles.
Let's just go ahead and clear the air. I've definitely been wallowing. I've been sad and I've cried "why me" and "it's not fair!"
But, as the days have gone by, I've started taking Lysa's advice.
When I feel completely sick and tired, instead of crying, I've started reading. Through the book of Psalms. I've used what I've learned to encourage others.
I've started focusing on my son's birthday party, coming up a week from Saturday. Every little detail of the party is taking me probably three times as long as normal. But, with every stitch that goes into a DIY stick horse for a little party attendee, I'm praying for that child. That we might show him/her and his/her family a little bit of Jesus.
During the late afternoons, when I just can't keep up with my kiddos, I'm letting them watch a video on TV. This is usually a huge "no-no" for me on weekdays and they're loving it! And, I'm learning (and teaching them) that we all need some grace.
At night, when I can't really do anything, because I'm so spent from the day, I'm checking in on Facebook to see who might need a little encouragement. Because, with 500 friends, 500 unique individuals, there's always someone who needs a little online blessing. And, it's something I can do right now, so I do it.
More than anything, this week I'm reminded of how much we all need acts of kindness in our lives. We need to give them, we need to receive them.
As Paul wrote to the churches in Galatia, "So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith."(Galatians 6:10)
Love and hugs to everyone from Holland!