1. They don't care about how miserable your life is
2. They can only tolerate a finite number of "my kids are so cute" stories
If you're nodding your head at either of these, feel free to skip today's blog post...
The UlleFam had a bit of a rough week. On Monday, Evan was admitted to the hospital after fighting the flu for 36 hours. He was severely dehydrated and low on electrolytes. Our happy-go-lucky two-year old was lethargic, listless, and couldn't kept any food / fluid in him. He steadily improved and got to go home on Wednesday afternoon. The second half of the week was spent catching up at home and work.
Today, Anna & Isaac had the pleasure of singing at the 8:30 a.m. worship service on Daylight Savings Time Sunday. They did a great job, despite getting up an hour earlier than usual. We came home late-morning (almost unheard of for us!), and I settled in to watch some college basketball - triple header on CBS! - while the kids went downstairs to the playroom. A few minutes later I heard a thud...and crying...then Isaac appearing with blood pouring out of his forehead. He had fallen off the couch and hit the corner of the coffee table in the downstairs family room. Allison and I took him to the ER (our home away from home) where he was taken care of. Five stitches and four hours later, we were headed back home.
Throughout all of the frustrating, disappointing, stressful events of the past week, we have been humbled to experience several unnecessary and unexpected acts of graciousness...reminders that God is present, even in the crappy parts of our life.
- We had two ladies at the church, upon realizing Evan was in the hospital, brought us dinner on Thursday & Friday nights.
- The ER at Methodist Hospital has awesome medical staff. All of them went on and on about how Isaac was the best 4-year old patient they have ever seen. One doctor told me, "You should write a book on how children should behave in the ER." (Perhaps a self-indulgent blog post will suffice.)
- The nurse at the ER bent over backwards to make sure Isaac could watch a movie while he was waiting for them to stitch him up - and the TV was on the ceiling, which Isaac and I thought was awesome!
- The waiting room at the ER was littered with families who got nailed with the flu...most of them with kids younger than Isaac. One nice family, upon our bloody arrival, offered to let us go ahead of them.
- Allison and I were invited to join a group of couples for a night of hockey, food, and drink...and we didn't have to pay for tickets.
A third thing that readers tend to not like is people who are boastful or preachy about how "richly God has blessed them" with material possessions. (It's the Jabezification of modern Christianity, which expresses that if you pray the right prayers and live a holy life, God will lavish you with wealth, success, and happiness. Pretty much the opposite of everything Jesus taught and embodied.)
Bragging and drawing attention to ourselves isn't the point here. In a week where sensing the presence of the Holy Spirit was a challenge, it was surprising to be reminded that God is faithful, kind, and present in all circumstances.
Here's hoping I can continue to bear witness to this redeeming presence in the week ahead -- this time without spending a chunk of time at the hospital.