111 days. That’s how many days it has been since Thanksgiving. Out of those 111 days I think that someone has been sick in this house for all but maybe 10 of those days. The only days I can literally remember not one of us being sick was from Christmas Day to New Years Day.
101 days of sickness.
The person most sick has been Kye, which, for obvious reasons, is the hardest. He is a 21 month old boy. He is active, rambunctious, learning to test me and test his limits, and so very busy. Over the past 111 days he has also added a lot of whining and picky eating to his repertoire of descriptors. He used to be my best eater, but sick kids are finicky and when they are sick for almost 111 days straight they live and breathe pickiness.
Although I have nothing to contend with Laura Ingalls, this is my version of The Long Winter.
I’ve had my own sickness during this time, starting with the flu, two other stomach bugs, two colds, and a bout of pink eye that lasted for 6 days and was then followed by a weeklong head stuffy cold.
Sometime back in January I said, “This has to be it. We have gotten all the illnesses there are to get, right? I think we are done being sick.” That was more than 60 days of sickness ago. Now I have been taking care of sick kids for 111 days, not to mention homeschooling for the first time, trying to keep Heidi Haines Photography up and running, and all the general household upkeep and trying to make healthy food for my family. I am tired. And just a little bit discouraged.
Back in January I wrote a post about how God has been good to me. I still firmly believe that, but you want to know what else I have also discovered since then? Seeing God at work in my life has more to do with me that it does with anything else.
I know this because I learned it the hard way. In February, after some 80ish days of sickness, I got really tired, so tired and discouraged that I didn’t care anymore. I stopped acknowledging God’s blessings in my life, I stopped saying thank you, I stopped being grateful. God did not change during this time. He didn’t stop being the same consistent, faithful God that He is without fail. The only thing that changed was me. I got burnt out on sick life and stopped looking around me - I started to only look at myself.
Want to know what happened? I became icky to be around. I was crabby, every day felt so hard, and even Steve, who loves me like no other, didn’t have much tolerance for me. To be honest, I didn’t have much tolerance for me either. I think the only people who actually wanted to be around me during that time were my kids, bless their little hearts.
After all this, I finally have an answer to the one inquiry that was posted in response to that blog that I wrote back in January. The Lord was good to me last year, so good. BUT, He has been good to me every year. Yes, lots of years were harder for me than last year, but that has nothing to do with God. What changed is that I changed last year. I spent the entire year being thankful and grateful on a daily basis, saying out loud, “Jesus, I am SO thankful for my kids, I am so grateful for my house, I love my neighborhood, I am so thankful for ______” I acknowledged Jesus in my life and I acknowledged my blessings every day. And I felt SO blessed, not because Jesus was blessing me more, but just because I was being thankful and I was content.
We are still not done being sick. Two days ago Berlin went sledding and her face connected with a chunk of ice after a full speed jaunt down the hill. She looks like someone took a 2x4 to the left side of her face. The scariest moments in parenthood are the ones when you realize that your kids will have accidents and there is nothing you can do to stop it. She could have been hurt so much worse and it was so scary. I still feel a little sick when I think about what could have happened. The next day Kye woke up with yet another fever. After our second trip to the doctor in one week I was told that he either has pneumonia or is just getting another cold. You have GOT to be kidding me.
Although this is completely discouraging, the one thing that I will not forget this week is to say, “The Lord has been good to me.”
The Lord has been good to me.
Despite the emotionally longest winter I have had in years, the Lord has not changed. He is faithful, He is consistent, He loves me, He is at work in my life, and He sees me. He sees me. Yes, my kids have been sick for a long, long time, but there is still so much good in my life. So much to be thankful for.
The Lord has been so good to me.
(Small disclaimer: I actually started this blog on Tuesday, when it was 111 days. Today it makes 114 days.)