Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Lessons Learned from Slowing Down...

These last few weeks, I have had a houseful of sick children. It all started with our little Grayse, who is not quite 2 years old. She had the croup, and we had to watch her every second. Sleep was lost, and multiple hot showers were run to help her breathing. There were a couple of instances when she went completely limp and scared her parents to death!

Unfortunately, through all of Grayse's episodes, we had a couple of important events that had been planned months and months ago. As background, I am president of a statewide homeschool organization, and we have two big events every year-- a Family Ball held in October, and an all-day seminar in February. For the seminar, we hire speakers from out of state, and have separate Youth and adults sessions. The night before the seminar, we hold a casual dinner for all the speakers, seminar committee members, and members of our organization's board of directors. In other words, it's one of my favorite weekends of the year!

This same weekend, Grayse was at her worst. We wondered what we should do! She received a couple of blessings, and she improved for while, but she just wasn't getting well enough to leave with a baby sitter. I had to accept that, since Russell had done more work on the seminar this year, that he should be the one to attend the dinner and the seminar. He really could take my place as emcee. I tried not to be disappointed, but I was. I wondered why Heavenly Father had not miraculously healed my little girl, so that I could participate in the event I had been planning for months. Whenever I started feeling too martyr-like, I focused on my little one, and did my best to get her well and keep her comfortable.

The following week, while Russell left town for a business conference on the East Coast, the sickness in our home exploded. All ten of my children, as well as Russell and I, took turns being ill. Fevers, aches, coughs, sneezes, runny noses, sore throats. The week went by in a contagious blur, and I again wondered why we were being hit so hard. Didn't the Lord know that I had lots of things to do? By the weekend, Russell was in SLC, attending another big event I was missing out on. Was the Master trying to teach me a lesson or two?

As I've ruminated on the events of the last few weeks, I've come to the conclusion that Heavenly Father was, indeed, trying to give me some insights into His plans for my life. In recent months, I have been going, going, and going so much that I have not been able to slow down and appreciate my family. I have not listened, cuddled, or read to the ones I love most. These few weeks of illness have forced me to sit down and hold my sick children, and administer relief and smiles to them. We have played together inside, and I have read good books to them. I have had lots of quiet moments to communicate with God. I've also put more effort into eating better foods-- more fruits and vegetables. My appreciation for the the friends I have in the homeschooling community has grown, and I want to do better about staying in touch.

Really, being homebound with sickness has helped me count my blessings and grow in gratitude. I am so thankful to a loving Father in Heaven who gave me this time to ponder and put things back in perspective. Maybe we all could use a little "slowing down."

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