WARNING: The following post is a bit if a pity party. Come at your own risk!
I think I echo all of humanity (at least those of us not living near the equator) when I say this is the winter that will not end. I can’t help but think of the Chronicles of Narnia when Mr. Tumnus sadly remarks, “Always winter, but never Christmas.” Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my share of soft, white snow flurries and bundling up and hot cocoa and the whole bit, but for me this winter has seemed at times to be an endless season of gray. Frigid, dark, gray. You would be justified in calling me “Debbie Downer” at this point, because (as my husband noted) I’ve not been very inspired the past few months. We have had a bit of a rough go of it this winter. Our (typically healthy) house seems to have been festering in sickness–which as any mama will tell you, leads to weariness, piles of housework that can’t get caught up on, and tears….from all involved.
Abe, my Christmas baby, woke up the day after Christmas lethargic and feverish. Then, he pretty much looked like this for 8 days. (Thank you, flu, for your Christmas gift.) While he was the hardest hit, we all dealt with the symptoms in some form or another through New Year’s. We missed a few church services which our spirits desperately needed, and we stayed quarantined in our home until everyone appeared to be better.
It seems that about the time we finally got healthy again, the “Polar Vortex” made its arrival, again limiting any opportunities for leaving to house or fellowship with our friends. This cold winter, in no hurry to move along, felt like a dark cloud hovering over us. Difficult circumstances arose for Andy at work, followed by the tragic death of his boss. We were jolted to a halt and reminded of how precious life is, and how every moment is a blessing…but sometimes the gray has a way of shadowing the blessings.
As Andy traveled to Montana to attend the funeral, Cora came down with a terrible cough and fever. After our first trip to the doctor, we came home to Motrin and breathing treatments every 3 hours. We took turns coughing and having fevers as, this time, Cora took the hardest hit. After a week of no real improvement her temperature suddenly spiked, so I quickly took her to a different doctor who ruled out flu, RSV and strep. We were given an antibiotic and more breathing treatments with direction to return for chest x-rays if there was no improvement in two days. (She was almost her normal self today, so I think we can get by without enduring that tomorrow! Praise God!)
So, while I tend to try look at the bright side of things, I’ve struggled the past few months to see it–although I know it’s there. I’ve grasped for a reason to sing, and scolded myself for not seeing the blessings through the frustrations. I’ve whined and cried and thrown my share of pity parties. I’ve told myself and everyone else that the antidote is spring bulbs, green, sunshine…and while I know that will help, my heart knows the only true source of light will be from the Light of the World. One of my favorite songs that has brought me encouragement says,
I need a reason to sing
I need to know that You’re still holding
The whole world in Your hands
Will there be a victory?
Will You sing it over me now?
How comforting to know that even when I dwell in a sluggish fog, that He IS still holding the whole world in His hands! To know that my struggles, which are so insignificant compared to the struggles of most, are held in His hands daily. That there IS victory in Christ, and the darkness only lasts for a season.
As I shared my less-than-joyful thoughts on winter today with a friend, she shared with me this verse from Song of Solomon 2:11
Look, the winter is past, and the rains are over and gone.
How marvelous! I can trust that winter will not last forever. It seems silly, I know. But sometimes you just need a promise. The gray will eventually make way for new life and that is a reason to sing!
(Side note: I am not usually the type of person who takes or posts pictures of sick children, as I am usually caring for them. However, it has been a large part of our life lately, and inevitably I like to capture life–for better or worse. Don’t think I’m a terrible mom for snapping moments of sick children. 🙂
Also, I must give thanks to my family for the tremendous sacrifices they have made in helping me cope with sick kids the past few months. My parents have been selflessly showing up at my house to help and letting me bring my sick kids to their house so we could all get a change of scenery! I could not have sanely survived without their concern and help! I truly have much to be thankful for in spite of a bit of sickness!)