"You can make anything by writing."

-- C. S. Lewis

Thursday, February 21, 2013


This is the fifth consecutive week of sickness in our home. Just when I think we’ve turned a corner, it catches right back up with us, nipping at our heels as it evolves into a new, stronger, different version of itself, eventually tripping us up and overtaking us once again.

It all seemed to start with the Broncos game. We huddled in single digit temps for seven hours, watching as the man with the hot chocolate tray sold out of hot chocolate before he even reached the fourth row. Up at Row 21, our blood grew increasingly  sluggish, in spite of our double, triple, and quadruple clothing layers and chemical heat packets stuffed in our boots and gloves. It was hard to think straight. For the first time, I understood “exposure” and hypothermia. Our Coca-Cola turned to slush and then froze solid in the cup. Someone spilled beer on the girl in front of us, and it froze almost instantly to her jacket. Hours after the game, when we finally got “warm,” the pain in our toes and fingers was excruciating. I don’t think we truly thawed for a few days afterwards. My cheeks were pink with frost nip, and my IPhone, which had shut itself down five hours into our adventure, never worked the same after that.

Ryan got sick that week. And it was Week One.

When I came down with Strep the next week, I heard someone bemoan the fact that they had been sick for a full month. And since I was at such a low point, I cried at the very thought of it. I couldn’t imagine feeling so crappy for another three weeks. It’s a good thing I didn’t know the future, or I would have sunk even deeper into despair. The future is funny like that….if we knew what we were going to have to face down the road, I think that we would lose hope and give up. But since it’s a day-to-day journey, each challenge presenting itself singly, somehow God gives us the strength needed for that day alone.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And so we have kept trudging on, passing sickness back and forth and missing occasional days of work when the bug of the week peaks.

My husband is amazing. A couple of weekends ago, in the midst of having the sorest throat of my life, I was afraid to go to sleep…I feared that my throat was so swollen that it would swell shut and I would suffocate. I know it sounds silly, but I was also feverish, miserable, and not thinking clearly at the time. I was also having flashbacks to the terror I experienced with Mono during my freshman year of high school. But my chivalrous Ryan stayed up with me until 2:30 in the morning, until I felt like it was safe to try and sleep. Then he went and taught Sunday School by himself at church so I could rest. Later that week, I went to work and came home at noon one day -- sick, utterly exhausted, and depressed at how our household was falling apart…cluttered and without clean laundry. Ryan, upon learning that I had gone home, surprised me by coming home early himself, holding me, and helping me get the house whipped into shape. That meant more to me than anything in the world.

In sickness and in health.

Now I am finally on the mend, but Ryan is under the weather. :-(  The adventure continues.


Things haven’t been all bad. It snowed last night…not enough to cancel school, but more than it has all season. So after school, I threw caution and the “threat of cold” to the wind and took Ryley sledding.


She had so much fun!


On Valentine’s Day, her Mammaw and Pappaw paid for her to get a facial/mani/pedi at Sweet & Sassy!


She loved it!!!!


FroYo this past weekend….



And before we were sick: Fun with Wii’s Just Dance!



Ryley is currently grounded from TV and computer, so last night we had a peaceful evening where she dragged out her finger-knitting supplies and sat conversationally on the couch with the vision of snow falling gently behind her through the big living room window. It was extremely pleasant, and I thought to myself how much I love the version of Ryley “sans technology.”

But when it came time to tuck her into bed, I discovered that her room was a massive pig pen.

“Ryley, your room is a mess! What happened?”

“Well, that’s what you get when I’m grounded from TV and computer games. I was digging through my room, looking for stuff to do. When I get TV and computer, my room stays clean.”

Which is a lie. :-)

I know it sounds disrespectful, but that was not her tone at all. She was very matter-of-fact about it, and it cracked me up. :-)


I decided to start writing scriptures on our bathroom mirror with dry-erase marker, to help with scripture memory. Ryley loved the idea, but I hadn’t realized how much. She has since added her own scriptures when we weren’t around. Here’s one:


We’re not complaining…That one’s a good choice as far as scriptures go. :-)

Otherwise, we’ve been watching lots of Jeopardy (new obsession: Ryan likes to impress his girls with his knowledge of useless trivia, and Ryley likes to be impressed). :-)

I watched Downton Abbey through the end, and we faithfully watch Elementary.

We’re listening to a lot of Mumford and Sons and Lumineers. Pretty much anything with banjo. Watching the Grammy's reiterated for me just how much I love music…like really, really love it. :-)

We liked a movie called “Jeff, Who Lives at Home,” which we found on Netflix.

I look longingly at books, and then I decide to go to bed instead of read. And I think that’s ok, for now.

We are eating whatever is cheapest at the store….mainly pasta. And we don’t feel guilty for it. Because it’s delicious. And cheap. And we are not rich.

This year, thus far, has not turned out how I imagined it would. Where is that “next thing”? Honestly, I’ve been too sick to even think about it.  But I find that I am hungry for Scripture…hungry for Jesus. I can hardly sit through a church service without crying. The Word of God is living water for a thirsty soul, and I feel as though I need a good soaking. :-)

When I was trying to pick a scripture to write on the bathroom mirror, I was getting so irritated. I wanted them all. I want Ryley to learn them all. I finally settled on “Be still and know that I am God.”

I’ve heard it several times in the last week. And that’s what I knew that I needed…what we all needed. For whatever reason, God needed me to be still in the last few weeks. I don’t think He made me sick, but I do think that His hand was in the slow-down process. Slowing down my chaotic thoughts…my frenzied, anxious mind. Putting me in a place of stillness.

The house is quiet now. Ryan went to bed early, and all I hear is the sound of the dishwasher humming gently. And there is peace that surpasses my understanding. Peace and stillness.

We’re going to get better. We’re all gonna be okay.