A couple of weeks ago…
First week in a very long time without the slightest pressure to blog, and what a relief!
That week flowed along furiously and beautifully.
At least, the parts of it that I could remember flowed beautifully. I do have a forty-year-old mommy brain, after all.
By Saturday evening, it almost felt like the old days around our house again.
Clean, tidy house, full of sleeping children, and smelling like the freshly-baked shoofly cake that was cooling on the table, destined for the next day’s meal with our church fellowship. And it wasn’t past midnight!
Laundry was completely caught up, a feat that is not to be underrated. Even the ironing basket was empty.
And all that in spite of an atypical Saturday in which Joe, Joseph, and Daniel all worked, in addition to the usual chores, two piano lessons, three dishes for the next day’s church meal, and four little-boy haircuts.
I considered blogging about how well it was all working, but the early bedtime called my name more insistently.
That week was so fast-paced that I only took a few photos, and those hastily.
“Oh look, how cute! John Michael, could you run upstairs for the camera?”
*snap, snap, snap*
…set the camera up out of reach of small fingers, and go back to preparing the little girls’ supper in the midst of the pre-meal whirl of activity…
I jotted down a few notes about Katie’s progress.
She is more affectionate, more relaxed, more consistently cheerful, more receptive to learning.
She’s caught on to the toileting idea.
She’s cooperating with all the therapy we do with her, physical, occupational, and speech. She’s getting more comfortable with the concept of play.
Sounds good, huh?
Before I knew it, Saturday night had arrived again, leaving me–WHEW!–breathless. It would have been nice to blog on the 7th–the date two years earlier that we had received the news of Verity’s Down syndrome.
I had found a photo taken at random one Sunday night, and nearly forgotten.
This woman had a baby girl in her belly. She would soon walk wearily up the stairs and make the telephone call that would change her family forever.
But the 7th was date night, so I refrained from blogging. Joe and I ate our meal together and quietly reflected on the previous two years. How tremendously grateful we are that He took us from the Before into the After.
By that Saturday night, both Verity and Katie had finally succumbed to the illness that had already run through the rest of the family.
The next week and a half was pretty much a blur of caring for two very fretful little girls with intermittent low-grade fevers, next to no appetite but a need for food and drink anyway, uncontrollable deep cough that woke them many times each night, and in Katie’s case, an intestinal bug that had to work its way laboriously through her system, causing the need for many baths and outfit changes (hers AND mine).
By this past Saturday night, I was hanging on for dear life! I hadn’t eaten or slept a whole lot, and my already-sore wrists and lower back ached all the more. I joked, “I’ll rest when I get to Heaven.”
I kept thinking of Jesus’ words, “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.”
I had to look it up and see the context, and was greatly fortified in my soul.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, let him follow me; and where I am, there my servant will be also. If anyone serves me, him my Father will honor.”
And it struck me–
This week is why many people don’t want a child with special needs. This is what they’re afraid of!
This non-optional sacrifice right at the very core of life. The painful giving up of self, over and over again. The self that is still alive and active, believe me!
We know He doesn’t shower us with resources to ensure that we would never feel uncomfortable again. So now I am feeling uncomfortable! Will I now ask, “Father, save me from this hour?”
For this purpose I came to this hour, to pour out the strength of my life to the weak and needy, like Jesus continually does for me! This opportunity to fall into the ground and die is what the whole of my life until now has been crafted for!
Both girls are clearly past the worst of it now, and are working their way back to healthy.
Verity was the first to succumb and the first to recover.
Katie had regressed in every area where she’d made gains, but most of all with eating. Even the sight of the syringe and bottle of milk made her cough and cry until she gagged. So we’re back to tiny tastes of yummy foods to remind her that eating is fun!
She had been so cranky, pushing me away or just tolerating me. So it brought tears to my eyes this morning when she laid her head on me, patted me, made her happiest face, and crooned her happiest Katie-words.
Our happy and healthy girls are back, and we are grateful.