I used to pride myself on not getting sick. I’m so healthy and full of probiotics and organic homemade juices! I would announce internally (and sometimes to the Jamba Juice lady who was pouring my health into a cup). Then I had kids. And all that awesomeness went out the window.
You just can’t stay healthy with kids! Once you have two (or more), your chances of surviving winter without poo and vomit decrease rapidly.
Two years ago was our worst year. Not coincidentally, it was the year I stopped breastfeeding my third child and my middle child went to preschool and my oldest went to kindergarten. (Kick me in the gut, Winter. Thank you.)
It was so bad, I literally wanted to burn my house down by March. And to make matters worse, people kept saying to me:
“Wow, you must not have enough Vitamin C.”
“Why don’t you diffuse essential oils in every room of your house?”
“Why didn’t you give your kids the flu vaccine? That’s your problem.”
One friend even insisted that something was wrong with us, like we had been cursed or something.
But to all of those opinionated, “healthy” people I say (with my fist held high): TWAS THE EFFECT OF PROCREATING THRICE!
It’s not my fault! It’s theirs! ……. right?!
Keeping three little beasties clean and healthy is a full-time job I just don’t have the skills and qualifications to tackle. I constantly feel like I’m on a merry-go-round of bile and, what’s worse, the spin of debris always seems to happen right when my husband and I have something nice planned! Like in October…when it’s not even winter yet. Sigh.
On this particular day in October 2016, my husband and I had bought tickets to one of our favorite bands. We had planned this hot date for months and even booked the grandparents to watch them for THE WHOLE NIGHT! Pure joy was ours.
Only, it wasn’t.
The night before the concert our baby threw up everywhere. An hour later, our middle child got sick. At this point, we knew our dreams had been shattered, so we canceled the grandparents and conceded to a night of chicken broth and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (which is still an amazing movie, by the way).
But the fun didn’t end there.
Eventually, my husband got sick, and then I got sick too. Two days later, our oldest threw up…so, you see, we all just fell over like sad little dominoes. Cheers, Life!
To say I felt knocked down would’ve been an understatement, but here’s the cool part. I never once freaked out. I didn’t get depressed, lose my cool, yell at my husband, or cry in a closet. And you wanna know why? I had my prayer warriors praying for me day and night! It was the first thing I did when I woke up that night after sleeping on the bathroom floor with my 4-year-old: text my praying friends.
That’s what held me together.
Not the probiotics or the vitamin C or the essential oils or the ibuprofen or the crackers or the bone broth. Nope. We all still got sick. But God met us in the dark places when our heads were in the toilet, and that’s why I’m inspired to write about it.
“Though I walk through the darkest valley I will not fear (Minnesota in the winter),” (Psalms 23:4, my addition in the parentheses).
- I will not fear sickness.
- I will not fear lack of sunlight.
- I will not fear family drama.
- I will not fear boredom.
- I will not fear ANYTHING!
The gloves are back on, Winter.
So let this be an encouragement to all of you as you face your own up-and-coming winter with kids. Rally your troops. Get your friends, neighbors, and parents to start praying for your family now. And then stock up on the chicken broth and saltine crackers.
Because our best weapon really isn’t ourselves and our ability to fight germs. It’s our ability to turn to God first — before, during, and after the strife. That’s our strength. That’s our remedy. And that’s our cure.
“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you.” Psalms 55:22