Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Gift of Hospital Stays

 Joshua 24:15 " for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

At the end of each calendar year, I put all of my blog posts into a book to keep. It's my way of keeping 'baby books' of my kids. I just finished 2015, which means I had to go through all of the blogs again to do spell checks and formatting and whatnot. I noticed a significant increase in my blogs in the fall. And the blogs were more insightful to what I was feeling about the kids (mostly Ruby). I also noticed that the blogs all but stopped when she was home from the hospital.

It doesn't take a genius to make the connection: I obviously took more time to intentionally pray for my kids, love on my kids, be present with my kids, while we were going through the harder times. I took more time to plan small fun things with them. I spent more time in the Word each night. I spent more time reflecting on how great my family is. While Ruby was in the hospital, whether I was home or with her, I prayed constantly for us to be together again. I prayed daily in gratitude for our family. I prayed on verses I'd never read before.
What a gift.

That doesn't mean those times were perfect and the stuff Hallmark cards are made of. The kids still argued, I still lost my temper, moments were still wasted. But most of the time I felt like i was gaining on things. Even when things weren't great with the big kids, we were working through them instead of just moving past them.

It would be easy to say that I had more time to spend in prayer and in thought, but actually I didn't. The only down time I had while in the hospital was after Ruby went to bed at night, and sometimes that was late due to meds or nurse visits. And when I was home on the weekends, the kids and I were running all over the place. I think instead I just made more time. Time that I don't often make in everyday life.

So what does that mean? For me it seems to be the age old story of not appreciating things until they're gone. When my time with the kids was limited, I craved it. When our family time was non-existent, we did more things together when we finally were together again. When Ruby was hooked up to those lines, I capitalized on ever second she was unhooked.

I've decided to try and really learn from this (not just return to 'business as usual'). Here's my goal going forward: to spend each day as if we just left or are about to go into the hospital. My fear is that I'll fall back into the space where days pass by without me being intentional. Without me being grateful. Without me being present. Without me spending time with God.

So while this blog is about the kids, I will definitely continue to use it in a cathartic way to work through what God places before me.

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