Monday, April 1, 2013

The one where I say yes.

There is only one man in all the world
and his name is All Men.
There is only one woman in all the world
and her name is All Women 
There is only one child in the world
and the child's name is All Children
~Carl Sandberg
In early February, despite lots of hand sanitizer, breastmilk and frequent reminders to, "Cough into your elbow, please," all three of my girls got RSV.

Upon getting the diagnosis, I covered my daughter's ears, so that I could utter desperate and cathartic prayers/curse words, and break down crying in front of my pediatrician.

And then this:

More desperate and cathartic swearing/praying as my sweet six-week-old, Ruby, landed herself in the hospital.
I'm pretty convinced that on the inside, we are all whiny, selfish three-year-olds.

I actually have two whiny, selfish three-year-olds, both inside and out. One thing I really love about one of them, my daughter, Brynne, is her honesty about what she needs. After a good ole RSV- coughing-fit, she would scream say things like:
I'm sick! I'm SO sick! Please hold me, Mama, I'm SO sick! 
I have no idea where her flair for drama comes from....


When Brynne asked to be held in her helpless, whiny, sick state---sometimes I would be filled with compassion, and hold her. And, sometimes my own inner-whiny-selfish-three-year-old won out, and I just could not muster up any grace for my daughter. I just can't be a rock-star parent all the time!


I think God sorta digs the whole whiny-selfish-three-year-old thing, in fact, I think that's why he said, Let the children come to me...:
I'm tired! I'm SO tired! Please hold me, Jesus, I'm SO tired!
Jesus is a rock-star parent all the time. He wants to hold me anytime my whiny three-year-old self needs him to. And he really wants to hold you too.  

So, through this whole RSV ordeal, I've learned a few things. Jesus really can hold you. I mean, really, physically hold you. You just need to do two things:
1. Do not, under any circumstances, use any variation of the phrase, "I'm fine."
That terrible "f" word. F-I-N-E

People love to give. We are all constantly fighting our inner whiny-selfish-three-year-old. It's hard some times. No one wants to be a jerk all of the time. One of the best ways to fight that inner jerk is to serve others. Please, please allow people to serve you! Think of it as doing your civic duty to keep jerks at bay.

We belong to each other. Mr. Carl Sandberg got it right---we are All Men, All Women, All Children. We were designed to be in community to serve one another to love one another---you should not walk through hard things alone. Embrace community---let community love you and serve you.

Nothing squelches community more than the "f" word. Swallow that word and pride and...
2. Say yes.
When people offered to bring me good coffee, non-hospital food, a shoulder to cry on, arms to hold Ruby, so I could take a shower or sleep---I said, "Yes!" I mean, really, who can say no to good coffee?!

This wasn't, and still isn't easy for me to admit that I can't do it all. That I'm not God.

But---that's a good place to be.

I'm actually thankful that I was in that place of desperation.

Not because my girls were sick, but because, when I said yes, I felt God's arms wrap around me tightly through each generous act of love. I felt others carry my burden.

Sleep-sacrificing, good-coffee-bringing, burden-carrying---this is what Jesus was talking about when he told us to love one another. That is community. 

And. When you let your community love you like that---that is what it feels like when God holds you. 

I want to challenge you. Be in community. Let yourself be known. Love. Be loved. And. Say yes! You'll feel God holding you too.

Linking with Jen.


Holly Tumpkin said...

Ohhhh myyyyy THREE sick baby girls. NO one could do that alone! Glad that God milks all those situations to teach good from. You poor mama, that's alot to go through, and for them too! Prayers that all are well now and you get caught up on sleep and everything else! <3

SarahFae said...

That's a good word, my friend. Thanks for sharing!

Emily said...

That's so awful that all three of them got sick, but leave it to you to find a bright spot in all the craptastic sickiness. I'm working on the saying "yes". I need to work harder.

PS. I missed your "voice" so much!

Alicia said...

Uggh... there's nothing like a sick little one to wear a mama down.. and 3? Glad you said "yes." We're weren't made to do this mom thing-- or life, for that matter, alone. Praying a healthy spring your way. Glad i stopped from SDG.

Kristen@ Hope Abound said...

Our March looked very similar to this. It seemed like one right after another fell into the arms of RSV, strep throat or pneumonia. It helps so much to be able to let go of the "I got this!" pride and allow our friends, family, whosoever is willing to help to actually help us. I'm praying that your family will make a full turn around and bounce into April with a clean bill of health. Lot's of hugs friend!

Anonymous said...

I think that's the hardest part of all in mothering - that we' cannot do it all and be the rock-star mom every moment. The pressure goes away when we realize He doesn't expect us to be perfect - He just expects us to love unconditionally through our imperfection! So glad all your little sweetys are better! Wishing you a good-health spring!

cat said...

Simply beautiful Julia. I do hope they are all fine (terrible word I know) now.

We had our little run in with RSV when the twins were 6 months old

Lauren said...

Aww, I'm so sorry Ruby ended up in the hospital :( That's awful.

Ordinary Girl said...

Oh gosh, I can certainly relate to having a little one in the hospital. My heart goes out to you. I hope you're all feeling much better by now. And good for you for saying yes. I have such a hard time asking or accepting help but certainly learned recently how necessary it is sometimes. Thank goodness for the people who are there to say yes to.

Just Another Mom of Twins said...

Hoping the house is feeling better and thinking of you all! :(