What happens when your kids get sick?  You take care of them.  What’s involved with them being “sick”?  Anything up to and including the following:

  • fever
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • whining
  • complaining
  • no appetite
  • contagious Jurassic-sized germs, coughs and gags
  • missing school
  • missing work
  • favorite blankies/stuffed animals/real animals
  • the ad nauseum replaying of a show/song/movie you didn’t hate before, but you really do now
  • trips to the store for very specific liquids, drugs, snacks
  • crying (not them – you)

Sound familiar?

And who takes care of the kids when they get sick?  You do, of course.  And who usually ends up getting sick after the kids are better?

You do, of course.

And who takes care of you when you’re sick?  You do.  Of course.  Unless you’re married, except your husband probably throws up at the sight of anything “icky” so you’d much rather clean up just your own stuff than your own and his, so yep, back to just you.

And unless you’re bedridden on Venus, you still have to do “things”, because there are always things to do.  Why can’t things stop needing to be done just for a couple days, especially when you’re sick?

Errands, cooking, cleaning, dropping kids off, picking kids up, shopping for your very own specific liquids, drugs, and snacks, constantly taking your temperature so you won’t infect the immediate population of the free world, school work, home work, work work, feeding the animals, buying more slats for the back fence because the dogs put a hole in it, picking up an emergency wireless router because yours mysteriously and unexpectedly died, sorting laundry, washing laundry, drying laundry, throwing laundry into a pile because you don’t want to fold it because you’ve done enough laundry.

Any of that and more could happen or need to happen.

No-matter-what-you-are

However, two things hit me when I first thought about this idea (because I thought about it as I was complaining to myself this morning):

1 – God puts us through sucky stuff for a myriad of reasons:  to toughen us up; to make us rest because we haven’t been doing a good enough job of that on our own; to give us experience in a situation so we can help somebody else through that situation some day.  A whole lot of reasons, but there are reasons.

2 – No matter what you are going through, someone somewhere is going through something worse.  Depending on the scale you want to visit, there are homeless vets in our own country who cannot get the help they need (which is a travesty…shame on us).  There are single parents taking care of kids by themselves because the other parent ran off.  There are thousands of people running away from their countries because extremist terrorists are kidnapping, torturing, and slaughtering families.  There are families whose loved ones are fighting these monsters and are in dangerous places and away from home.  There are families fighting an inner terrorist of some form of addiction or illness, and some are losing the battle.

Like with cancer.

Cancer is more prevalent now than ever and we are finding ways to treat it, but sometimes it just can’t be treated.  This makes me think of one story that cries “grace under pressure” so loudly, it brings me to tears.

Many of us have known Joey and Rory for years, have listened to their music, marveled at their voices, and at their love story.  But, Joey is fighting against cancer for her life now, and Rory still writes about their love story.  And no matter what, Joey is still a mom.  She smiles through the pain she is enduring so her child only sees the smile, not the pain.  Because that’s what a mom does.

Joey and Indiana in the hospital
Joey and Indiana in the hospital

This is not, in ANY way, meant to convey the “someone is worse off than I am, whew, I feel better” idea.  It is meant to remind us that there are others who are enduring suckier days/times/seasons, and these are perfect opportunities for us to pray for them.

Philippians 2:3-4 ~ “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

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Becky is a single mom and a reluctant disciple, called to share her story with others in her own unconventional way.  She is ill-equipped but knows God will equip her along the way.  She does her best to trust in His plan for her journey, and not to judge others on their journeys.  Unless the waist of their pants is at their butt cheeks; then she thinks they should pull those puppies up.  Or if somebody says she eats too much chocolate; then she just can’t be friends with them anymore.  But she will pray for them.  Join her to discover how your plans and God’s plans come together in this life of groovy trails.

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