Monday, July 6, 2015

For the Days When the Winds of Trouble Won't Stop Blowing....

The days begin slow, sluggish.
A nasty bug picked up who knows where has flattened 5 of the 6 people who live in our house.
Stuffy head, nose like tap left wide open, stabbing ear pain, raw throat, deep wet cough, more mucus than I care to ever see again, and nagging low-grade fever have been constant companions for most of us for well over a week.
My nerves are not wearing thin, they are worn.
House is a jumble of half-washed laundry, sheets needing to be changed again, baskets of clothes piled here and there, no one sure if they are heading out to the lines or coming in from the lines, heaps of dirty tissues that have missed the overflowing trash bins, and piles of books and blankets and half-full water cups.

The last three nights have been spent in baby's bed, begging her to just sleep.
No matter how many times she is turned on her belly or propped up on the pillows, she scoots back down to her comfy spot where she will inevitably start to suffocate.
She can't manage to suck her thumb, so I hold her in my arms and rock her back to sleep over and over again.
I eventually find a way to lean against the wall so she doesn't wake, but my rest is spotty at best.

I desperately need to do our monthly shopping trip, but it is never going to happen with this bunch of sick kiddos.
I scrounge for something semi-healthy to cook, while a hot baby clings to my back and my 3 year old clings to my leg.
People are fussing and yelling ~ one shouts for toilet paper, but we have none.
I hunt for the paper 4th of July napkins Granny sent; they'll have to do.
Someone is going to die without a drink of water.
The one on my leg is begging for more homemade cough syrup.
I shout for patience.
My voice bangs off the concrete walls of our house.

I want desperately to be the good mama, the mama who deals with her ill children with a gentle hand to brush their fevered brows and a sweet word of comfort on her lips.
Instead, they get the exhausted mama who hasn't slept for three whole nights, and knows she's coming down with the same thing everybody else has.
Oh, I want to do these hard days right, but.......they are hard.

I've yelled at my girlies to have patience, because how in the world are we going to get through this mess without it?
But as fast as the word flies from my lips, the truth pierces my heart.
What about you, mama?
Where's your patience?

If I'm learning one thing about this thing called life as a mama {and a missionary and a mentor}, it's that the things I want others to learn have to be both taught AND caught.
I've got to speak it and live it.
I am the model, the example, the one they're supposed to be learning these hard things from.

The internal argument begins:
it wouldn't be so difficult to have patience if everybody wasn't sick at the same time;
if the baby would just sleep through one night, I'd be able to handle this the right way;
my kids know better than to act this way;
they are making me lose my patience.
I want to soar above this trial, but I'm groveling in the muddy lies of denial.

The Holy Spirit grabs my attention with another pointed question...
How can I learn patience without anything to try mine?

Any number of things can fit this little life equation ~
How can I learn faith without anything to try mine?
How can I learn love without anything to try mine?
How can I learn hope without anything to try mine?
How can I learn peace, or gentleness, or goodness, or meekness, or temperance without anything to try mine?

Does anything worthwhile come without practice?
The Holy Spirit uses repetition above all else to give me the opportunity to learn to do it right.
The fruits of the Spirit are only seen in me as I yield to Him in the the test.

An old kite find its way out of the closet for a breath of fresh air.
The wind is not blowing much, but the girls are determined to get it flying.
One unwinds a good bit of string and holds tightly while another holds the eagle high.
Nothing much happens.

It doesn't take long to figure out that they are going to have to "make" the necessary wind if this bird is going to fly anywhere.
They begin to run, and soon the kite is soaring over the compound, bodies breathless and panting and glowing with the exhilaration.

Some days it feels like the tests never end, like the winds of difficulty never stop blowing.
Maybe that's because I've not yet learned to lean into the wind instead of running the other away.

I want my life to be like that kite, rising above the hard things instead of getting bogged down in them, and of soaring over the difficult places instead of stumbling through them.
I better get some more practice embracing the wind.


  1. Patty, this one is one of your best--and they're all terrific! Yes! Yes! Yes! The lessons of life are all about yielding to the Lord. Not a one is easy. Sometimes I wonder why we have to be PEOPLE! We're so human, so weak. Thankfully God is so strong. Thank you, Patty, for some great reminders--and more awesome photos.

  2. We love a gentle breeze, but boy how we hate the strong winds of the storm! What we fail to realize is that those storms bring the prettiest flowers and the greenest grass. There is beauty in the lightning and chaos...If we care to look. We must strive to search for the calm in the eye of the storm - our Lord and Savior. He is always there. May you find your wings to fly high in the stormy winds, and may I find mine! Love you all and miss you much!