Last week - after a couple of really eventful months - I decided to take a week of 'vacation.' I wasn't going on vacation. Just staying home, sipping Chai, going for long walks, shopping for fall clothes, reading good books - you get the picture....total bliss. The kids were supposed to be in school Monday - Wednesday and off Thursday and Friday. My husband was also staying home Thursday and Friday, so it was to be the perfect combination of alone time for three days and quality time with my family for four days.
So when my daughter started coughing on Sunday, I gave her an inhaler and cough syrup and told her she would be fine. And when my other daughter woke up in the middle of the night with a fever, I gave her Motrin and told her to go back to sleep. THIS WAS NOT HAPPENING!!!!
By the time Monday morning rolled around, I had one child coughing up a lung and another child throwing up a.....never mind - you don't want to know what she was throwing up. By the end of the week, they had traded illnesses. It was awesome. (that's sarcasm)
It took me a few moments and a few deep breaths to adapt to this new paradigm of 'vacation'. There were some colorful words and some fervent prayers. And by Tuesday, I realized that while having sick kids wasn't in my vision for the week, it was EXACTLY what I needed....a true blessing in disguise.
You see, I know myself. If I would have stayed home alone for three days in a row - I would have been checking emails, making phone calls, planning lunch dates - and by the end of the week I would have been more exhausted by self-inflicted activity than I was when the week started. But having sick kids at home forced me to slow down. Here's what I GOT to do last week:
I got to snuggle all week long. Snuggling is good for the soul. Smelling the sweet scent of my little girl's heads and breathing in the gift that God gave me in each of them was priceless and renewing time that I will treasure forever!
I got to play games. Card games, board games, puzzles, computer games. For no other purpose than entertaining each other and laughing - with no agenda and only friendly competition.
I got to bake. I LOVE baking. I filled the house with smells of pumpkin muffins and chocolate chip cookies, homemade spaghetti sauce and chicken noodle soup for healing.
I got to go for long walks, listen to good music, watch funny television and take long naps.
So while last week was NOT what I planned - I think it might have been just what God planned for me. Rest, renewal, relationships - all part of God's plan.
One of the Ten Commandments is to "Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy." Sabbath, at its root, is about renewal for the body, mind and spirit. Even if you love all of the crazy business of your life like I do; even if you can't get enough of your work because it satisfies a deep place within you and makes a difference in the world; even if you don't feel like you need time away - God gave us this commandment because God knows what we need better than we do. And rest is one of those things.
Thank you, God, for sick kids and long snuggle sessions. Thank you for showing me how to slow down and breathe. And thank you for the renewal I feel in my heart and soul. Thank you for sabbath.