Grateful for the Body of Christ

What a week it has been!

This time last week, we were still in Nashville, and Rusty and I were debating whether to take Elizabeth into a clinic as she seemed to be pretty sick (high fever, congested, having trouble breathing). He eventually left the house with her, the address of a local clinic programmed into his phone. Several hours later, when I saw them again, it was in the emergency room at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. We had been trying to avoid a trip to the E.R. by visiting a local urgent care clinic, but we landed there anyway, and even added a ride in an ambulance to boot as the clinic decided she was doing so poorly that she needed to be on oxygen for the brief trip to the hospital.

Elizabeth was diagnosed with croup and given steroids and a breathing treatment, and after several hours of observation, they sent us home. As has been the case every time our family has faced a crisis over the years, I was humbly amazed and unspeakably grateful at the outpouring of support we received from our church family. Terri gave me a ride from the church to where our car was parked so I could drive it to the hospital. Amy went with me to the hospital, helped me find it and figure out where to park, walked inside with me, waited with us, and went to the cafeteria and bought Rusty something to eat. She and her doctor husband, Nathan, kept Alex and Stephen at their house overnight and most of the next day. Jane stayed with Benjamin at her house and put him to bed. Nathan called us repeatedly to check up on us. Claudia brought dinner one evening. Henry and Jane graciously allowed us to stay a few extra days with them as we attempted to recover (our entire family ended up getting sick at the same time).

I have not even allowed myself to dwell on how much our little trip to the E.R. is going to end up costing, but we have already had several people ask and offer financial assistance if we need it. As we began to consider the possibility that we might need to cancel our remaining speaking appointments for this trip and just head back to Seattle early, we had nothing but support and genuine understanding from all those we were considering backing out on. Many prayed for our family and offered words of encouragement via Facebook.

It’s enough to make you wonder what people who aren’t part of a church community do when things like this happen to them? I have wondered this often over the years. When your house burns to the ground, or there’s a death in the family, or your baby is 2 born two months premature, these are the times when I have witnessed churches pull together, rally the troops, and surround the one-in-need with real, tangible help, not to mention emotional and spiritual support. What happens if you aren’t part of a body like this? I suppose family members can provide this to some extent, but what if you live far from extended family?

At the end of the day, as we all collapsed exhausted into our beds, Elizabeth finally breathing somewhat peacefully, I was overcome by a profound gratitude for all the myriad ways we had been ministered to in our time of need by the body of Christ.

We spent the next several days recovering, decided to cancel most of the rest of our appointments for this home ministry assignment, drove to Memphis on Thursday, Oklahoma City on Friday, and tomorrow, we will begin the push westward to Portland, and finally to Seattle.

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Alert: Whiney Post Ahead

I have been wondering what to write about all day today. Six days into this project and I already have writer’s block! Not a good sign. I have been home with the kids by myself all weekend long, so maybe that accounts for my brain being turned to mush. Maybe?

Rusty left for a trip out to Kumanii last Wednesday and will be home tomorrow. I shouldn’t say I’ve been by myself the entire time he was gone. Julie and her kids came over on Friday and spent the night since Josh was out of town too. We try to do sleepovers every so often when our husbands are away because the kids so enjoy them. This time, however, I was feeling a bit under the weather. Seriously, every time Rusty leaves on one of his trips, at least one of us gets sick. Every. Single. Time. It’s like magic. Or a curse. This time, it was my turn — and Benjamin’s. He threw up several times starting on Tuesday night, and had diarrhea as well. So I was kept busy washing bedding and clothing, cleaning floors, and rinsing out about a million cloth diapers. Good times.

So, you would think I’d be happy knowing my husband will be home tomorrow. And I am. But, we get to enjoy having him around for all of two days, and then he is leaving again. We are entering a very busy season of ministry right now with several different short-term groups on the calendar in the next several weeks. It’s going to mean a lot of traveling and being away from home for him, and a lot of single parenting for me. And, well, right now, it’s just pretty hard to have a good attitude about it all. Sorry. That’s all I got tonight.