I haven't posted this week because the dreaded December Crud hit our household. On Sunday evening, my adult daughter with special needs got it first. Yesterday she was well enough to handle some of the daily stuff to keep our household going. Good thing because Thursday night at 7:00 PM, it landed on me. Horrible sore throat, stuffy head, general misery.Since I am a prime candidate for pneumonia, all of us feel uneasy. My husband worries and hobbles around with his walker to find me if I disappear too long for a nap. Even in normally healthy households, part of preparing for Christmas includes battling winter viruses, strange bugs, and miscellaneous wretchedness. Today,as my daughter and I compared notes about the state of our misery and I remembered Anne’s story.
If, like me, you are struggling with exhaustion and sickness, perhaps another of my fictional characters will shine a light on our hearts.
Advent Blessings from Liz
When both of the twins finally slept, Anne fell into bed, for the umpteenth time, around midnight. Billy and Beverly had run fever, sneezed, coughed, and spread misery to everyone all weekend. When the baby screamed, Ann threw back the covers, grabbed the baby aspirin, and groped her way down the hall.
Four o’clock in the morning. My head aches. My back hurts.
Danny and his bed were clean but he still whimpered with the fever. She rocked him and whispered his favorite songs. As her youngest quieted, snippets from last Sunday’s sermon floated around her mind. It had to do with something about greeting Christmas with joy.
Yeah, sure! Anne rocked faster; the baby fretted.
“Shhhh. Mommy’s here.”
Anne slowed the rocker but her thoughts swirled and tears streamed down her face. The tree is only half decorated, the kids are sick and Dan will be out of town at his meeting all week. There’s nobody to understand or care!
She pulled Danny closer, smoothing wet ringlets of hair framing his baby face. When the fever finally broke, she settled him in the crib and leaned against the window listening to his breathing before going back to her own bed.
“Oh, look at the lights!” She covered her mouth and smiled for talking out loud. The multi-colored lights on the cedar tree in the yard twinkled at her. Dan must have put the lights up yesterday before his flight when she was too busy with sick kids to notice.
Anne pulled her robe around her shivering body and tiptoed down the hall. It was almost dawn, so instead of going to bed, she made coffee and curled up on the couch with her Bible.
I’m really not alone, am I, Father? This day is going to be long, but I will trust You. I’m so glad You care….
The twins barreled into the room before Anne finished her prayer.
“Mommy! What’s for breakfast? Are there presents yet? When’s Daddy coming home?”
“Morning, guys!” She scooped them up for hugs and even managed a laugh. “Let’s go get Danny and maybe have scrambled eggs!”
He gives strength to the weary and increases
the power of the weak. … but those who hope
in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
From Isaiah 40: 28-31
Tomorrow I’ll share my surprise when the tables were turned on me and I received Christmas blessings.