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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Quarantine, day 4.

Our adventure to the lab for blood work and to the car wash yesterday did not combat the cabin fever as much as I would have liked.  We also delivered dinner to Jason at work.
I have no idea how we are going to top the excitement today.

The children and I are eating to pass the time. Grits with salsa was their latest experiment. Meanwhile, I'm putting away peanut butter eggs as quickly as I can fake trips to the garage to "check the laundry."  Which is ironic because I didn't even do any laundry yesterday.  I'm just glad I have the giant Sam's Club bag.  

I've attempted to keep them busy by doing math. Unfortunately, it caused violent coughing fits and they were unable to sit up and "do their times."  Josie completely forgot what multiplication and addition mean.  

The patience level in our home is at an all time low. Simply looking at a sibling is grounds for removal from the family circle. Every child is ready to expel her roommate. That is, until someone coughs. At that point everyone cuddles and soothes the victim. And all is good...until someone makes eye contact and they remember every bad thing the other sister has ever done since the beginning of time. 

In spite of the enormous amount of time I spend telling them to clean up, the house looks like dwarves live here with no Snow White.  And my girls are no happy forest creatures.  If I asked them to whistle while they work, they might just snap.  Speaking of snapping...garbage bags and a bonfire are looking like an acceptable solution to the overflowing toy/clothing/accessory problem.

Going out back is a temporary fix, as they are determined to drag the entire house out back to play.  The sliding glass door was pretty much open for an hour yesterday.  I'm wondering if it's worth the cost to install a revolving door.  If we can find one the dog is capable of operating, that might just make me the happiest woman on Earth.

I guess I will let them play with pop beads for a bit while I learn the Dewey Decimal System and reorganize our school books.  That seems like fun.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day is not about me.

This Mother's Day has been strange.  My girls have been sick on and off for several weeks.  I've missed church more than I've been in church for the last two months.  I've barely slept some nights, and other nights were just not enough to catch up on the exhaustion of all the work that goes into keeping up with housework, feeding children, homeschooling and that doesn't even touch the outside obligations I have taken on.

And then last night Jorja came into my room at about 11:30, crying and holding her ear.  My gut reaction was an ear infection, but she said it was below her ear and when Jason and I got a good look, we noticed her cheek was swollen from her earlobe down to her jawline.  She couldn't open her mouth wide enough to even let me check for strep.  She just kept moaning and crying.  At 11:30.  I was spent. I felt the hope of making it to church slipping away.  I admit it...I just wanted to give her ibuprofen and put her to bed.  But we've never seen this set of symptoms before and after googling them, Jason said he was taking her to the ER just to be sure.  She had been sick for two straight weeks.  He told me to stay home and rest so I could go to church in the morning, but I said I would take her since there's no way I would sleep while they were gone anyway.  I was wished a Happy Mother's Day by the paramedic checking us into the ER at Mayo. We sat in the room, Jorja and I. She played on the iPad, I feigned interest and tried to stay alert.

Preliminary diagnosis: Mumps.

Treatment plan: Quarantine and tylenol.

By the time we arrived home, I knew there was no way any of us were going to make it to Church. Again...

Happy Mother's Day, indeed.

So I cried for just a minute in the driveway when we got home.  Then I sucked it up and went inside. Trying to be grateful that,'s only mumps.  And trying to remember that I may be tired, weary, frustrated, weak, but I am made strong.  Not by anything I have done, but by what is done for me.

My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
(Psalm 73:26)

When I am ready to give in, He is there.  Forever.  Without Him, I would not be the mother who received today four of the most perfect framed poems written by four of the most amazing daughters to call me Mother, all orchestrated by a husband who loves me much more than I deserve.

So, you see, Mother's Day is not about me.

And, fellow mother, it is not about you.

It is about a holy, wise, strong, forever God.

On Mother's Day I don't expect to be relieved of my duties as mother and put on a pedestal by my family.  I don't expect cards, gifts and displays of affection that rival those of a monarch.

Because Mother's Day is a day to celebrate the simple fact that we have been entrusted with miracles. And that we aren't left to struggle through long days and sleepless nights alone.  We are given these gifts and we are given the tools to raise them in the Lord.

If only we stop making the day about us, and make it about Him, perhaps we wouldn't be disappointed when the day doesn't go just the way we envisioned.  Perhaps if we focus our hearts on gratefulness and not recognition, we would see just how much we have already been given.

So on Mother's Day, I will not wake up ready to be celebrated, but I will wake up ready to celebrate, whether it's here at home, in the ER, or at my church, with just my husband and children, or with our friends and family.  I will celebrate the one who made me a mother and who gives me the strength every day to raise the children He gave me.