Have you ever had one of those days? It was a crazy enough week with my husband traveling all week and my kids are involved in sports, youth groups and play instruments (and that doesn’t include my inner city buddy in the mix) but then another one of my kids got sick. I couldn’t believe it. Three of us went down with influenza right before Christmas (again when my husband was traveling. Seems to be a pattern here). At one point last night my son’s fever was so high and his color was so ashen, I called urgent care and they told me if his fever went up a tenth of a degree, I needed to bring him in. The driveway still needed to be shoveled and my daughter needed help with her homework. Calgon…take me away.
This morning while I was shoveling the driveway at 6 am (yes, we have a snow blower but no, I couldn’t get it started), I was feeling pretty sorry for me. I wasn’t feel 100% and frankly, I am tired of taking out the trash, tired of helping my kids with math I can’t figure out and doing all the driving to games, lessons and practices. My husband has traveled for the 23 years we have been married and sometimes it is tiring and hard. I wanted to start crying but with the below zero temps, I figured my tears and snot would freeze and then I’d have a snotsicle to contend with.
One of the moms at my kids’ school has been battling cancer (see blogs: Pew Lifting and My Hero has a New Purse) and the prognosis is not looking very good. I pray for she and her family almost every day and today while I was shoveling, God in his grace brought her and her family to mind. And as I began to pray for them, grace showed up. I was suddenly overwhelmed with a tremendous sense of embarrassment and gratitude. Embarrassment that I was complaining about essentially nothing compared to what so many people like this family have to endure. Gratitude that although I was not feeling great, I had the energy and stamina to get out of bed, get dressed and shovel my driveway. And as I shoveled and prayed for this dear family, the cold didn’t feel so bad anymore, the pain in my back from shoveling didn’t seem to hurt quite as badly and I turned my frozen frown upside down. I knew in that moment that extra grace had been bestowed upon my undeserving heart and mind and in an instant, it changed everything.