Mine will end ... theirs does not.

This was my view today.

A(nother) day with a fever and aches so, everything happened here ... on my bed.
Prayer, reading, games, a science video, snacks, and rest.
Moms do not have the luxury of hiding under the covers when they are ill, as much as we would like to do so. The house chores can be left unattended, but the people cannot. (My people, at least!) Because of this truth, we have to get creative. I'm not sure how other moms do it, but I find that bringing them all into the same small space reduces the ability for complete anarchy.
Today, I organized each activity and then curled up in a ball to rest until they needed me again.
I was proud of them! They knew how poorly I felt, so they did their best to work together and
"be kind" as Isaiah had prayed earlier.

Thankfully, Micah was home until the late morning, so he took Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie on a long walk which ended with a treat of hot chocolate at a local coffee house.
How precious were those 90 minutes!
Thank you, Micah!

In the late afternoon, I asked Josiah to grab my camera so I could snap this photo.
I wanted to remember this day.
Every time I looked at my children, I thought of my friends who suffer from chronic illnesses. I had a conversation with one of them just last week discussing what daily life looks like for a mom who is in constant pain. While they can accomplish many things, they cannot accomplish everything, and they hate it. Guilt plagues them as they watch their husbands and children "pick up the slack," while they are equally grateful for the support.

I feel like the Lord allowed me to understand a little bit of their struggle this week.
Four days of canceled events, unprepared meals, older children helping care for the younger ones, school lessons directed from a pillow, and little interaction happening between me and Dennis because I am in pain or sleeping when he gets home left me feeling like I am disappointing everyone. 
The thing is, I know my illness will come to an end. Before long, our house and our family life will be functioning as usual.
My friends, however, never know from one day to the next if it will be a 'good day' or 
a 'manage-the-house-from-bed day.'

They say we can never understand someone until we walk a mile in her shoes.
Today, I felt like I laced up my sneakers and took my first steps.
I am thankful that pain and fatigue and discomfort are not my 'normal,' but I am grieved with the knowledge that for many, many women - it is.

Lord, thank You for letting me experience a very small piece of what my friends suffer on a weekly, and sometimes daily basis. It is clear that Your grace alone is what sustains them when they are at their weakest ... just as You promise when you say, "My grace is SUFFICIENT for you." Thank You for being such a faithful God who meets our needs, even in the silly ways and the strange. A meal here, a gift card there, a friend who invites their children to play, and husbands who willingly choose to serve their wives when their wives are not able to serve them. Burden my heart to pray for these friends when they need it most, and remind me of this week, so I can offer encouragement based on understanding. And if I may be so bold, as You invite us to do in Scripture when we come before Your throne ... HEAL them, Father! Remove the illnesses, the diseases, the pain, and the suffering. Make them whole. I ask this with personal desire, but according to Your will. Heal them, or use their continued suffering for Your glory and their sanctification. They are Your daughters, and they love You. Thank You for loving them first.

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