Never make the mistake of thinking you are safe. You see, we've had two different bugs floating around our house for the last two and a half weeks.
Some have had one, others have had both but two of my children have had neither. We went two days last week to work/school/practices and followed our schedule as well as any exhausted- tired-of-cleaning-germy-nasty-sick-stuff people can follow. I began to think I was home-free. Friday night I stayed awake until 1:30 just trying to get a handle on the accumulation of stuff on the kitchen counter/table/couch/laundry room floor. I didn't get much done but went to bed telling myself that if I slept a bit I'd wake up ready to tackle the germs and piles. As I was laying my head on my pillow thinking of how much I was going to enjoy this weekend with well, healthy, robust, rested people, I heard it.
The blood curdling cry that is reserved in our for only two things during the night...Blood and throw up.
My precious boy Hunter was so very sick. Sick was everywhere. Every room, every surface, other children. Sick had reappeared. Sick. Stink. Yuck.
We were up all night. He had the worst tummy cramps I've ever seen in a person. He was in agony. As I wiped his face with a washcloth, I prayed for him. When I was spent and he was spent, he sat down holding his stomach and crying out in pain. He was so tormented. One round after another of vomiting and sickness. He could barely talk and through his sobs and racks of pain he cried, "Mom.Please.Pray.Don't.Stop."
This, my six-year-old. How his determination blessed me. That he knew where to take his pain blessed me. His belief that Jesus heals blessed me. That he wanted to hear the sound of my voice talking to his God blessed me. He was so sick...and he blessed me.
That my children would walk with God is my deepest desire. What a blessing to experience it this night. What an encouragement this round of sickness was. Weird, but true.
Because lately I've been convicted. I want, need to pray more. Pray more in my house. Out loud. For my kids. I want them to hear me labor in prayer for their hearts, their lives, their futures, their callings, their mates, their choices. I just read recently that hearing your parents pray like that changes you. I want my children changed. Changed because I love their God enough to pray. There are many things I can't do. Many things I leave at the foot of the cross each day. But, pray? I can do that.
And, we know. Prayer changes things. Prayer moves the heart of God. Moving God's heart on behalf of my children. That's something I want. I need. I will fight for, sacrifice for, move for. I will.
I am starting by making a commitment to not be too tired to lay hands on each one at night. Yes, I try to but lately, in all the sickness and even in the busyness before, prayers were becoming short utterances, generic utterances. Let me be clear. Utterances God heard and used to touch my children. To answer deep cries of my heart that I cannot even utter yet because God has yet to reveal them to me. But utterances. Heartfelt but felt by a tired heart. This heart has been strengthened. I will start once again, holding them, praying specifically for them...while they are awake.
I will also listen more. Listen to God. Listen to them. When the Holy Spirit nudges me, I will stop and pray. I will ask for opportunities to take advantage of in the organized chaos of daily life. Today I'm stepping it up a notch. My children need me. God is calling me. My children are calling me too...
That night was a long night. Once it was over, the stomach bug landed on me. About lunch time on Saturday, Alyssa caught it. And, I'm remembering that taking a shower is a luxury. Just because the kids go to school doesn't mean it will happen. Just because I need it doesn't make it a reality. No, I'm not knee deep in dirty diapers but I am surrounded by this flurry of activity that never seems to stop. So I will look for quiet places in the busy times to grab a child and speak life-giving words over growing minds, growing bodies, growing relationships.
The stomach bug left me stronger this time. More thankful. Ready to take action. A better mom. The laundry is still everywhere and the piles are only slightly smaller but my heart has been stretched...and that 's a good thing.
We've all had the stomach bug now. I think Alyssa experienced the end of it when she had to come home from school sick yesterday and Hunter got well by sleeping on the couch all afternoon long. Except Andrew. He has not had the stomach stuff. Hopefully, he doesn't count. But only when it comes to bugs.
"Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8