Friday, April 16, 2010

tending sick lambs

The stomach flu is making the rounds through our church body, and did not fail to visit our household.  Yours truly was affected first, which may explain the absence of recent posts.  Illness brings out the nester in me.  I do not score highly in compassion or mercy when taking a spiritual gift test, but as a mother of many, I do have reserves of both which do show up when my little lambs are sick.  I remember reading Edith Schaffer's book ,"Hidden Art" in which she describes the days of her childhood illnesses as being some of her most fond memories, because of the loving care of her mother during those times.  This had a great impact on me.  Nobody likes being sick,but everyone likes a bit of special tlc.  Family illness is a great time for the well members to take extra special care and attention to the ones who are ill.  Edith pointed out that fresh sheets, books being read aloud, extra pillows, and other simple acts of thoughtfulness are good for both the ill and the well.  I see this as being a great training occasion for our children who are well.  Therefore, although I especially enjoy tending to the ill ones, the other children can help me and learn ways to ease the discomfort of their siblings.  i must take time to praise my wonderful husband, who does most of the icky cleanup during times of illness.  he is known for having a a"cast iron stomach" which is able to deal with just about anything.  I, on the other hand, if neccessary, can cleanup, but will likely be sick myself during the process.  :-(
Sickness is a time to slow down, to think of one another, put our own agendas aside for a time, and serve each other.
Laying a towel on the couch or daybed, then a clean sheet, comfortable pillow, more towels around the floor, and a large bowl, is the usual temporary home for our sickies.  The little ones need to be close to where we are, so they usually don't stay in their beds.  Sips of water every 10 or 15 minutes keeps them hydrated even if they are spouting from both ends.
We managed to make an 8 hour trip to get to our vacation house with only one remaining sickie, who did very well in announcing her needs, so as to not make horrible messes in the van.  Today, our poor daddy is sick, our first day of vacation.  He is just glad it wasn't yesterday.  There is always something to be thankful for.

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