For eighteen days I have been in my house, fighting off multiple illnesses in my three children. It has been an unprecedented experience, unequaled in all of my years of motherhood, and I’m ready for its end. It’s been a crazy flu year in Texas. Otherwise healthy, strong, young people have died due to complications, and I have spent all of February watching my kids carefully, waking up multiple times a night to check on whichever one I felt was most likely to be dying. It has been exhausting and stressful and has brought me to my knees more than once.
As I write this I still have one here with me, the second one to get the dreaded flu, which was followed by a sinus infection, which was followed by what the doctor believes is another round of a different strain of the flu. It’s been so rampant here that the clinic and hospital are out of flu screens, so we can only guess as to which virus has struck her down again. It all sounds very dramatic, but in truth this entire month has been spent playing a million rounds of Uno, watching a zillion movies that star preteens, and scrounging for food in a nearly bare refrigerator. In short, the month of February has completely passed me by.
The fact is that I had big plans for my month. I was going to get a lot of writing accomplished. I was going to keep regular work hours and really dig into some projects and enter March feeling like I had done some good thinking, some good writing, making good progress on the things I feel like God is calling me to do. I didn’t do any of that.
But it isn’t because I haven’t been fulfilling my calling.
Proverbs 16:9 tell us that in her heart a woman may plan her course, but the Lord determines her steps. I thought my big work for the month of February would be related to my writing, but God reminded me in the past 18 days that I have been blessed with the privilege of being Adelade, Sawyer, and Emerald’s only mother. And, that is the ultimate calling in this phase of my life. It is a job that will chew you up and spit you out, that will leave you weeping from exhaustion, that will cause you to wring your hands when the coughing won’t stop, that will find you sneaking into rooms just to count the number of breaths that a child is taking. February has been long and trying and has caused me to lean heavily on my Savior, has forced me to pray for my children with a passion that I sometimes lack, has helped me to see that sometimes big work is little: drinks of water in a special princess cup, lists of medicine schedules, letting snuggly children cough in your face.
The Lord determines our steps, and this month they went a whole bunch of nowhere. Yet, somehow I found my Jesus there, in the middle of the night, in the middle of the mess, in the middle of the great honor and blessing of motherhood. The hardest days are the ones that drive me straight into His arms. And that is never a bad thing. I’m thankful that’s where He’s led me in the month of February. Maybe in March He’ll let me go to the grocery store.
He is so good to show Himself to me during flu season and during every season. His love never changes, never stops reaching for us, never gives up on us in our busy-ness. I am so grateful for the calling of being a mother, for the calling of being a wife, for the calling of being a writer. I trust His timing and His plan for all the seasons, flu or otherwise. He is good, and I love Him more at February’s end than I did at its beginning. He is love, He is healing, and He is peace.