Most of you know I do most of my writing in the early mornings, and well, here I am yet again. I find it hard to sleep when there are things on my mind.
Our kids have RSV this week and it's been so terrible watching them endure the discomfort of this virus. The worst is how my little ones' eyes puff and darken when they're so tired and sick, they can't go much further. It breaks my heart (and my sleep cycle). Luckily, we've had some great help and the kids are on the mend.
Still, it's so hard to work full time when your kiddos are this sick. I imagine working mamas feel me on that one. You just want to hold your kiddos close as they cough and struggle to find comfort. But your clients also want clarity and comfort, for its their priorities that mean so much to them. It's a constant fight--one that I'm still learning how not to lose.
I'm reading a book called Prayer in the Night by Tish Harrison Warren. I highly recommend it. She talks about learning to pray in the midst of our troubles, even when we can't seem to find the right words.
This prayer she offers, often attributed to St. Augustine, resonated with me:
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous, and all for your love's sake. Amen.
Wow, right? I think about the NICU nurses who served my babies selflessly night after night in that hospital in Arizona. God bless them.
I also love the idea of angels guarding those who sleep. I remember in times of true sadness (miscarriage, the death of my father), sleep would seem like a desperate approach to end another day of mourning. I am comforted by the idea that God sends his angels to guard that sleep so that those who mourn (or those who are just very, very tired) can wake in the morning with fresh eyes.
I think about the sick people I love and those who have died before me. I am comforted to know that God blessed them during those moments and welcomed them to Heaven with open arms and resounding songs of praise.
I think of the suffering. Mental health has been on my mind alot lately, and I pray especially for those suffering from mental health challenges. These are the challenges we cannot see, and for some, they can be more painful than a physical wound. I pray that God gives us patience for all people suffering.
Finally, I love the idea of shielding the joyous. What an amazing thing. To a woman who has suffered two miscarriages, joy is not something I take lightly. When you have a miscarriage, joy is ripped away from you, like a purse being snatched. It's violent, ugly, and leaves you physically poor. Feeling joy after a miscarriage is one of the hardest things I've ever done. I remember I didn't even really go shopping for my children until they were nearly born. I couldn't bear the pain of having to put items away if I lost them.
Still, I hold onto the idea that God shields the joyous because he knows how fragile true joy really is. What a humbling, satisfying thought.
What a work in progress we are. My family, in particular. We have good days and bad days. Funny days and weird days. Easy days and really really hard days. I asked Michael last night if he ever wondered why God gave us quintuplets and he thought for a minute and said:
No?! Really? You've never questioned?
Even after wiping five hineys in a row? After cleaning up all the pizza crumbs under the table? After cleaning up red stamp pad mess all over the furniture? After finding Barbie shoes in your pillowcase?
You've never questioned?
Michael said he figured God knew what he was doing and he just took the blessings we were given--and he was grateful.
Grateful, indeed. Some updated photos for you:
|Luke and Millie|
|First Day of Junior Kindegarten!|
|Photo credit to Isabelle|
|Millie at Miss Sara's wedding|
|Ava and Clara when I asked for a smile|