Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Blessing of Sickness

Tonight we went out as a family for the first time in a month.  It probably wasn't the best idea - I have a second case of strep throat and Jaden is still recovering from a double ear infection, but we had no food in the house and were on the hunt for dinner.  We ended up at the mall for some Chik Fil A and discovered they were about to start their monthly kids' show, where almost 100 kids showed up to watch a bubble show.  As my boys sat on the carpet with their daddy, I watched as they laughed and stared in amazement at the bubbles.  After a month of being inside from various bouts of illnesses, this was the first time we've all been together outside where I saw their smiles return, and it was so nice.  I ended up drinking the end of Martin's Coke Zero, which is why I'm wide awake at 12:29am and will likely suffer for this tomorrow!  Oh well - it was worth it.

This past month has made me quite introspective, as lying on a bed with a fever for days on end will do to a person.  Coupled with the inability to speak from strep throat, I have been quieter than ever before and it was probably good for everyone. :)

What has stood out to me this month is that when you are alone on your bed, left with only your thoughts, you start thinking about who and what are really important in your life. I saved my voice for only those who I cared the most about - my family and close friends.  Those conversations were short but encouraging.  My kids heard less yelling and nagging, and more "I love you," and "I miss you."  My phone conversations were less idle chatter, and full of more encouraging and sweet words.  Sometimes less is truly more.

I started to think about how I spend my time:  so many days spent running here and there and everywhere, mindlessly filling my time with busyness.  As my schedule had to be cleared, I saved my energy for the things that were most important to me - time with people I loved.  I went to a Women of Worship night at my church and sang, and it was wonderful, but the next morning got sick - again.  I felt better and went to a birthday dinner with some good friends, and the next morning got sick - again.  It's like my body was trying to recover, and the minute I tried to fill my time with even good things, it rebelled against me again saying, "I told you to REST."  I haven't had energy to shop, or peruse through stores (like that happens a lot), or just do much of anything.  Only the things that were most important rose to the top.  Sometimes less is truly more.

I was also reminded of those who reached out to us, and it made me think twice about my relationships. For some I thought I was close to barely noticed, while others I barely knew made gestures of love.  One woman, a mother of one of Micah's classmates, called me three times this week to check in and see how we were doing. She stopped by one afternoon with a bag full of DVD's, puzzles, popsicles and treats.  I was brought to tears by this woman who we barely just met.  I know we were not struggling with some disease or anything, but the feeling of loneliness can be overwhelming in a season such as this.  I received encouraging emails from people we barely knew at church, as well, reminding me that the church truly is our family in time of need.

I don't think we went through this season for a particular "lesson", although I hope to take away insights from a time like this.  After $500 in medical bills this month alone, 4 antibiotics, blood tests, and 10 doctors' visits, here is what is priceless:

-Knowing that my family will be okay
-Realizing that I need to spend my time on what is truly important, instead of just being busy
-Enjoying my time with my family
-Cherishing our friends who have reached out to us
-Talking less, listening more
-Knowing that less can be truly more.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post! You're absolutely right, it's positions like that, that really give us the opportunity to think about what's important and WHO'S important in our lives. I'm so happy to hear you are surrounded by such loving people, Jaimie. So many times when I was reading your FB posts or blogs, I wish I could have just taken dinner or picked up the boys for a play date so you could rest. But being so far, all I could do was post a msg to you on FB and pray for your family's recovery. I'm sorry my friend, I wish I could be there for you more. But you know you're always in my heart. I'm so happy to hear you are all doing better and that you're focusing on yourself more. You deserve it!