We've done middle of the night clean-up for HOURS, and we've done evening clean-up that required us to miss a much anticipated double date (yes, I cried - I was already dressed!!). One little man threw up literally 11 times inside of 3 1/2 hours; for goodness' sake, he and I both thought he was going to die. We've done 2 carpet cleaner retrievals from the far reaches and we've done, "OK, so who has to miss VBS today?" We've done, "No one walks 5 feet without their bucket!" and we've done, "How in the world did you miss the bucket?!?!" We've done body aches and cold clammy skin and pale faces and wet rags and we've run the dishwasher because for the first time in the history of ever we were in danger of running out of buckets. We've done early morning Walmart runs for Diet Sprite and Saltines and we've done the late night, "No, you may not have a drink because if you throw up one more time you're going to turn inside out!" We've done lots of breathing through our mouths to avoid the "barf-o-rama", and we've done the pass-it-to-a-brother routine . . . you know, just to keep things interesting. Neeeeeext?!
I hate the flu. I'm sick of the flu! I am sick, sick, sick of the flu, and did I mention that I hate, hate, hate the flu? There is a binding misery to so much throwing up. If you get a runny nose, who cares? and a cough is totally manageable, but the flu? With the flu you can't turn left or right without thinking, "Who is going to get it next and will it be on his birthday and/or in the middle of the night, and will we at some point have to break down and buy our own carpet cleaner?!" You can't play, "Oh, he's probably not contagious," with throwing up in the same way you can with snot, so getting the flu completely takes over the calendar. It's stressful. It's frustrating! It's so persistently, unbelievably gross.
But here's what I'm thinking . . .
There's been a lot of flu at our house lately. If I accompanied every bit of it with ranting like the above, I'm going to be one pathetically grumpy mama so I'm making a list called "Sick but Grateful", and I'm not limiting it to the flu. Please read on, get in the spirit, and then comment below with your own "Sick but Grateful". Buckle up ~ we're going to love this!!
I'm sick of all the throwing up ~ but I'm grateful God has blessed me with all these little people who call out, "Mama!" when they're at their worst. And that I can't get there fast enough because I am Mama, folks, and there really is no greater honor.
I'm sick of changing sheets that were clean an hour ago ~ but I'm grateful for strong laundry machines into which I can throw the dirty ones. And for sheets! And for beds - one for each Treasure, and a BIG one for my very tall husband and me to share, snuggled close in the middle. And blankets to keep us warm. And extra blankets for days and nights and weeks like this. And did I mention strong laundry machines?
I'm sick of having to clean the carpets ~ but I'm grateful for friends and family who are willing to loan us their carpet cleaners. And a strong, diligent husband to run the machine. And that we have carpet!
I'm sick of all the throwing up ~ but I'm really grateful for a toilet to which I can direct a vomiting child. And that a couple of our kids can direct themselves, praise Jesus! And that said toilet is both conveniently located inside the house and flushes when we're done. And that we even have 2 toilets for when things get really crazy!
I'm sick of it being 110 degrees in JUNE ~ but I'm grateful that we have air conditioning in our home and cars. And that we have access to a great community pool. And that I am not required to wear a head-covering that goes all the way to my feet. Ponder that for a moment, ladies.
I'm sick of cleaning the house only to watch it get dirty again in record time ~ but I am oh so grateful that the Lord has given us a comfortable home. And that it is filled with dirty, forgetful, learning, growing, giggling, noisy, messy life! And that my precious messies are learning how to clean house now too (tee hee!).
I'm sick of doing the hard work in hard relationships ~ but I'm grateful that the Lord is helping me. And growing me. And teaching me. And that His promises never fail. And that obedience is always rewarded, sometimes even in this life. And that no matter how I feel, there is always hope because there is always Jesus.
I'm sick of it taking 2 months to lose 2 pounds and only 2 days to gain them back ~ but I'm grateful for a great new workout routine. And for all the summer fruit that is available now. And for something that seems to be shaping up into motivation. And that God's mercies are new every morning.
I'm sick of figuring out what's for breakfast, lunch and dinner Every. Single. Day. when I do NOT enjoy any facet of meal preparation ~ BUT I am deeply, eternally, emotionally grateful that the Lord always, always, always, provides more than my family needs to eat. And for variety. And for enough to share with others. And that no one in our family has food allergies. And that I have never had to send my sons to bed hungry. And that I have never had to choose which child to feed this time. And that I have never been forced to bury a small body in the hateful ground because there just wasn't enough nourishment available to sustain him. I am so, so grateful.
I'm sick of having migraines ~ but I'm grateful they're not as frequent as they used to be. And that effective medication is available. And that insurance even covers it sometimes. And that it is reasonably priced. And that I have plenty of clean water to drink and a soft bed to lie on when I don't feel well.
I'm sick of increasingly difficult pain points in every area of life ~ but I'm grateful that I'm alive to feel the pain. And that I know Jesus and His multi-faceted healing. And that I'm able to share Him with others. And that nothing is ever out of His control.
I'm sick of cancer.
I'm so, so, so sick of cancer ~ but I'm grateful that the Lord showed it to us really early and that Daniel is doing so well. And that he is so brave. And that the side effects . . . oh, Lord . . . and that the side effects are really actually quite mild.
I'm sick of cancer ~ but I'm grateful that one of the best children's hospitals in the country is 1 hour from our house. I'm grateful for great nurses and docs, and I'm grateful for a terrific prognosis. And that so far Daniel hasn't had any kind of relapse.
I'm sick of chemotherapy; of packing Daniel's little body full of poison ~ but I'm grateful that cancer-killing meds are available so that the boy-killing disease can be controlled. And that he swallows pills like a champ. And that we don't have to give him shots at home any more. And that the pharmacy does free mail delivery. And that, Lord-willing, it's only for another year-and-a-half.
I am oh so sick of dealing with insurance ~ but I'm grateful that we have insurance. And that it's great insurance. And that cancer hasn't bankrupted and indebted our family as it certainly could have.
I am sick of uncertainty about what the future holds ~ but I am grateful that God holds my future. And that He will never leave me or forsake me. And that everything will work together for good because I love Him and I am called according to His purpose. And that when I'm finished here I will see Him face to face. And that if I continue to look to Him here, there will be no wasted pain.
I am sick of my sin and failures, but I am eternally grateful for God's mercy and grace. And forgiveness. And love. And that my Name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life. And that maybe, just maybe, in spite of my confounded brokenness, He can still use me for His glory.
So I'm sick and tired and I'm sick of being tired and I'm tired of being sick, but mostly? Mostly I could never breathe deep enough or shout loud enough to fully express my undying gratitude for all of God's rich blessings, nor will I ever understand why He saw fit to lavish them on me in the first place. But I'm grateful.
Now how about you? I've heard it said that everyone's trying to swallow something that won't quite go down and I think that's true, don't you? What's your "sick of"; your "won't go down", and what can you find in the midst of it to be grateful for? Please share below and together we'll count on thankfulness to drain some power out of the punch the enemy thinks he's packing. May gratitude focus our hearts and minds on our Faithful King and we be known as people who are filled with the resulting Jesus Joy!
Nothing is too big or too small so don't be shy. It's your turn . . . Go!