A Family Flu is About God, Episode 2

Few things are more alarming than each of your children breathing in your face to wake you at different times of the night with high fevers and terribly sore throats. They all want to cry on your shoulder or snuggle into your cheek while they wait for the ibuprofen to kick in. Makes you want to just empty the vitamin C bottle in one setting, does it not?

Welcome back to another episode of “A Family Flu is About God” except this time it’s either a terrible head cold, or strep throat. So, I am telling myself as I sit here next to two of the 5 sickies, that this situation is about God, not poor me and how I slept last night. Poor me is not poor at all, although the enemy wants me to linger there and wallow. 

I am not poor. Self-pity is easy for us women, and it must be hunted down and snuffed out. I have the riches of Christ inside a tired body. I know this because of two verses:

“Whoever serves, [let him serve] as one who serves by the strength that God supplies”  1 Peter 4:11

“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14

 I draw from those riches as I pour another syrup cup of meds for a little one while the other asks for water from the couch. I could pout about how I can never catch a break, or I can remember that Christ will supply my every need as I obey the call to help the high needs of my children. And the good news is, that when I draw from the strength of Christ to obey him, the endless well of strength and mercy is still overflowing. So I will be dipping my cup with weak, shakey hands from the strength of Christ, and trust him as I imperfectly care for the kids. 

Another thing God has taught me is that when this is over, somehow I will resemble Jesus more. I will trust him more deeply. So, the next time, whenever that is, that I feel the hot breath of a child whisper, “mommy I don’t feel so good,” I know God will also say, “Okay, remember when we got through this last time?”

A Mother’s Tempatation to Quarrel

“Did you do your chores? Why are you down here eating breakfast if you haven’t finished your chores? What have I said a million times? Do I need to say every morning exactly what to do….”

This has been my tone for some time now with my children in the morning. I see them pouring cereal or popping bread in the toaster and instead of “Good morning, I love you today” I’m quizzing them on their obedience, ready to send them back to bed.

I have been reading James, and today was when I opened to chapter 4. God had something to say to me before I started my own chores or making toast for myself.

“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions[fn] are at war within you?[fn]” James 4:1

I felt a prick of conviction and God wasted no time in trying to wait on me to figure out what he was using this passage for in my life. My desire for obedience, a clean upstairs and not having the responsibility of reminding my children for instructions took the throne of my heart and was producing quarreling and fighting towards my children.

I began to reflect on why the mornings have been hard for me to look forward to lately. It’s been hard because my misplaced desires request to be the king for the day and instead of taking them captive and holding them up for observation side by side with scripture, I invite them in and join me for my morning coffee and together we fret about how this day will begin once the children wake up. My passions are at war within me. And so, I quarrel and fight with my children.

But, just as Joel 2 promises that God will restore the years the locust have eaten, I trust he promises to restore the few hours of the morning the locust have eaten as well and gives us grace to begin again. He will rescue us and remind us of our calling if we open his word. He will lift our eyes and remove the desires and passions from joining in on our morning coffee and replace them wih himself.