I am thankful:
~ for a wonderful slumber party for Samantha and Kora in Carthage with Aunt Gina and Uncle Justin. The girls had the best time helping with meal prep and their lifelong dream came true: the opportunity to EACH choose ANY KIND OF BREAKFAST CEREAL THEY WANTED FROM THE GROCERY STORE. It was a thrilling moment for my girls. Even though they were sad to miss a visit with Grandmommy, who was off on a getaway, they were tickled that she left them a surprise “goodie” at her house. And they took the short drive over to Marshall to get to see where Big Sister Carson Grace will be attending college this fall, and then had several other fun adventures. Such a special outing for my sweet girls.
~ for reminders from the mouths of babes. Driving down the road, I was alone with Tatum K, and I let myself vent aloud (LOUDLY) about a frustration for a moment. Tatum asked me, “Mama too mad?” And I said, “yes baby, Mama is mad.” And she replied immediately, “No Mama! Mama too happy!” Sweet little encourager.
~ for the great blessing and answered prayer of a busy season for Giddyup & Whoa! I am still painting daily, and currently have NINE pieces either completed or nearly so. So very thankful for the support of our little business!
~ for an afternoon outside on the patio with my coffee and the cool breeze from a summer rain.
~ for my hard-working, wonderful husband. He is putting long hours in at work these days, more than 70 hours this week and 12 days straight. And then he comes home and does whatever needs done. The kids and I do our best to see to it that the house is shipshape and a welcoming, restful place for him to come home to. But even when he’s not at work, he’s helping, cleaning, fixing…anything that needs done for us or anyone else. Josh ALWAYS does more than he HAS to do. And he rarely, if ever complains. I love the example that he lives out for his children. So I was thrilled that Saturday (FINALLY a day off) once he was done with his yard work, and I had gotten Littles down for naps, he grabbed my hand and said, “grab our coffee and come float in the pool with me!” And we did just that. The bigger kids were forbidden from coming outside, we cranked up our 80’s/90’s rock station, and we floated on our hot pink rafts. It was perfection. I love that we are still crazy about each other, no matter what life has thrown at us along the way. And I love that some of our best times together can literally be at home doing nothing.
~ for Cooper, who left today for his week at Pine Cove Camp. He was thrilled to have the opportunity to go, and I know it will likely be the very best week of his summer. Praying for him to have a blast with his friends, and that he would receive all that the Lord has prepared for him while he is there. Sure gonna miss him this week.
Even as I actively choose joy and count my blessings, I’m ready to leave this week behind and am hoping for a far better week to come. Out of the blue, Tatum K started running fever on Wednesday. No other symptoms, just fever. As one would expect, a temp of 102.5° made our little spicy girl pretty droopy. All she has wanted was Mama’s lap and the “show-pad.” If she managed to move from my lap, she needed me holding her hand at all times. Another day of fever followed, then another. Today is Day 5. Since Wednesday, I think she has eaten 6 popsicles, 2 apple slices, half a yogurt, and a bowl of tomato soup.
Now listen, I have nine kids, we’ve had nearly every kind of bug AND we have survived cancer, so I’ve seen plenty of fevers. I know she’s OK. Her color is fine, no tummy symptoms, not complaining of any pain. She’s drinking well and having plenty of wet diapers, so she’s not dehydrated. I know that it’s most likely a virus, and that viruses just require supportive care and have to run their course. So I really didn’t feel the need to drag her to a clinic so that the pediatrician could tell me, “She has a virus, she needs supportive care, and it needs to run its course.“ I sound remarkably calm, right? Wrong, wrong, WRONG. Instead of cancer giving me a good perspective on not sweating the small stuff, cancer has wrecked me. During Sawyer’s treatment, fever was our mortal enemy. I watched for it like a hawk. I took Sawyer’s temperature AT LEAST DAILY when he looked well, hourly or more when he didn’t. And the panic clenched tighter with each rising degree if the thermometer began to inch closer to the magic number that would send us barreling back down the highway to the Dallas ER more times than I can count. That was my norm for 4 years. He’s had plenty of fevers since then, all completely normal and without incident, as have all the other children, including Tatum. And I’m sure I’ve had my share of moments of irrational fear. But this time has been different. I’ve really been trying to search it out and better understand myself and my reactions. Part of it is that she’s had no other symptoms. Other fevers have been in conjunction with colds, tummy bugs, teething. But there’s been something deeply unsettling about a fiery hot, rosy cheeked toddler laying wearily on my chest that sends me spiraling. And when I think back to how many days upon days I lived that with Sawyer, especially before we knew he was sick, it’s not really very mysterious.
So I sent a “please-talk-me-down-off-the-ledge“ text to our pediatrician. He was abundantly kind and gracious, even checking in on her via text each day. We talked through symptoms and lack there of, and what to watch for. I’m confident that she’s OK. Her fever has been significantly lower today, and she has perked up quite a bit. I knew she was ok before I texted him, but I still couldn’t shake that sticky, unsettling feeling of fear.
Why is that? Why do we still freak out when we know the truth? I think about how I get onto my girls when they panic every time it lightnings or thunders. It doesn’t matter how many times I reassure them, explain what causes lightning and thunder, or how many times I remind them that they are safe…they don’t believe me enough to stop being afraid. I would never think of admitting that I do not believe God enough to stop being afraid….but that is exactly what I’m doing. I’m not beating myself up, I just know that the more I honestly confess my struggles and confront the fears that relentlessly ambush me, the more Jesus will build my faith and further my healing. Lord I believe, help my unbelief. I love this quote from Ann Voskamp’s prayer, “We may not be fearless but we will be strong and courageous and faithful because our faith in You is greater than the fears in us.” And I openly share this because I know we are all working through our own junk.
Big praises to Jesus for our friend, Georgia, who is home after a wildly successful brain surgery on Monday! And big prayers needed for sweet Baby Lucas as he recovers from his first radiation treatment last week and has a big week ahead of scans and treatments. And for one friend who said the hardest goodbye to her baby boy last week, and another friend who is hoping to meet her son this week. Thank you for continuing to lift these precious families in prayer.
Thanks in advance for praying for Tatum K. As of 9pm, she’s still not fever-free, but this afternoon she was clearly feeling better.
Let’s pray to choose faith over fear this week. Thanks for giving thanks with me.
“Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”” Mark 9:23-24
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” II Timothy 1:7
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Philippians 4:6-7