I tend to think that I am immune to the illnesses my kids catch because I hardly ever get sick. Apparently, I should have been more careful last week because by Wednesday this week, I was feeling achy and cold and tired and by evening I had my own fever. And a few hours later Timothy had one, too. And this morning Mikaela came down with it! Lowell is the only healthy one left. Last night Timothy (also known as Fever Boy) (who is also getting 4 molars in right now, thankyouverymuch) woke up about 10 times (I'm not even kidding) so I was not the happiest camper when morning rolled around and my temp was still 102. Fever Boy unfortunately doesn't sleep or nap well when he's sick. Big bummer. Cause I'd really like a nice nap right now!
But I've been surviving and even thinking we could all just camp out with our blankets and make some memories together as we all lay around feeling cold and tired and achy. Around lunchtime, though, everyone was hungry and grumpy and Fever Boy was crying and I almost started crying myself. Not the kind of memories I was hoping for! I made it out of the recliner to go make lunch and saw on my windowsill the verse I'm memorizing right now. Ahem.
"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in persecutions, in hardships, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:7-10I'm still working, especially on days like this, on not feeling sorry for myself. It's amazing to me that Paul was able to say He delighted in his weaknesses and all the other persecutions he suffered. Amazing. I told God I was having trouble delighting in feeling sick with 2 sick kids but remembered what I have been learning about God's grace as I prepare for our women's retreat (in 3 weeks!) See where it says "My grace is sufficient for you"? Well, that word "sufficient" means far more than we usually think. The Greek word it's translated from actually means "to be possessed with unfailing strength." WOW. His grace is possessed with unfailing strength and that strength is perfected in my weakness. (It makes sense especially considering how many times Paul refers to strength and power in the following sentences.) I'm wishing I had more time and energy this week to work on my talks for the retreat, but I'm trusting God's grace to be unfailingly strong in my weakness.
As I made lunch in my nice 20th century kitchen, I started thinking about Ma Ingalls and all the feverish children she tended with everlasting grace and patience (she was amazing-esp on TV!) and about how I don't have to cut wood for fires or do laundry in the snow or medicate my kids with quinine and what-have-you and I don't have to worry about hungry wolves or plagues... We just have a Five Day Fever and Tylenol and Motrin and lots of blankets and a heater and Kleenex and refrigerators and couches and soft pillows a house with insulation and in a few days this will all be a memory. And in a couple of hours my husband is coming home and I'll get a nap. And God's grace is unfailingly strong.