Friday, September 24, 2010


Middle of the night, the house moans from the blowing wind. The dog is settled on our oldest boys bed. No television buzzing. No music. No running and racing of three boys. Just quiet. My husband and I lay sleeping at the opposite end of the house ... but, I hear him. I always hear him when he calls my name.

"Mama! Come here!"

Somewhere in the 3:13 a.m. shadows, there's a monster. One brought to life by the imagination of a six year old boy.

"I'm here." I pull the sheets away from his head and find his round eyes, thick with dark lashes and tears.

I kiss him, reassure him. There are no monsters here. I tuck him in and leave the hallway light on for extra comfort.

4:00 a.m.

"Mama! Please!"

Again, I trip over school bags and toys ... find my way to his bed and ... again ... "It's ok, I'm here."

"Mama, stay for a while. The monsters don't come when you're here." He turns on his side and peeks at me from under the sheets.

"Why is that?" I whisper and pat his warm back.

"I think they're scared of you." He closes big brown eyes and hugs the sheet tighter around his shoulders.

I stay. Longer. I rub his back and whisper soothing words. His breathing is slow, steady. I tip toe out. Soon, it will be time for the alarm to ring ... time for work and school and ... I'm tired. Worn thin. I'll be tired at work. The dark circles under my eyes will give away my restless night.
But, I would do it again. To let him know he is loved. To make sure he feels safe.

And, I think.

Jesus comes when I call. No matter the day or time. He comes and chases away the monsters. All my worries, fears. They're afraid of Him. And, I ask Him to stay. Stay longer. He does. I know I must exhaust Him with my cries. But, He never tires of giving me peace, safety.

Ephesians 6:10-13 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

If I Could ...

If I could, I would ... I would trade places with him ... take this from him.

Being the mom of three boys means ...

Knowing a lumpy pocket on the way out the door for school means our 8 year old is packing something ... something he's not supposed to take. Usually an army guy or legos. He doesn't put it in his back pack because ... he knows I'll check there ... so, in the pocket it goes.

It means knowing my 16 year old will forget to take his dog out EVERY morning. I'll remind him and he'll say ... "wow, sorry ... guess I forgot" ... for the hundredth time.

It means knowing our third boy will have growing pains just like his older brothers. Warm showers. Hot rice packs. Motrin. He'll be fine.

But ... last week ... he wasn't fine.

Monday after school, there were odd looking red dots all over his tiny legs. He's little for his age ... the dots looked like a classmate used a red marker to create polka dots. My husband and I agreed ... most likely chiggers. He had played outside in the wet grass on Saturday morning. Just chiggers. By Tuesday night, the dots were near blisters in appearance and he was having pains in his joints. Growing pains, just growing pains. Then, there was his tummy ... sick all the time. Just a sick tummy from drainage ... he'd had a cold the week before and was still a little stuffy. Wednesday night came, that's when I started to worry ... worry that all my "mommy experience" wasn't quite good enough. We'd been out playing in the yard, a fun afternoon and evening ... then showers for the little boys. That's when I noticed it ... his left wrist was swelling and his right ankle ... swelling. The dots were now bruises and he complained of his tummy hurting. Tears. Lots of tears. After 16 years of "diagnosing" little boy fevers, aches, pains and the occasional "I'm not feelin' good enough to go to school" sickies ... I was lost. I had NO idea.

We called the ER to talk with our pediatrician. The "on call" wasn't too worried, even though I was about to fall apart. My 6 year old wouldn't walk and the pediatrician was content to have our son take Motrin and Benadryl. We did what the doctor suggested ... I trusted he knew what he was doing. We made an appointment to see him the next morning. I went to work and my husband took our son to the doctor. Two hours later ...

HSP (Henoch-Schonlein Purpura). My husband told me the doctor knew what the symptoms meant ... immediately. Inflammation of the blood vessels. This causes a rash looking appearance under the skin. The rash becomes worse ... larger rash ... sometimes breaking open. The swelling joints ... severe pain and bruising. This part is painful. The pediatrician told my husband ... our son's complaints of pain and a sick tummy were very real and the pain was VERY real. The only thing we could do was give him Motrin. The condition could last up to 6 weeks. They ran tests on his urine and blood ... precaution. To be sure his kidneys were "safe" and other concerns ... nothing. Only the rash, swelling and sick tummy.

SIX WEEKS ... six weeks ... I would have to watch our boy go through these stages (symptoms) again and again ... over and over again, for 6 weeks.

A week later, the rash is beginning to heal. His body is going through the stages. His joints aren't as swollen ... they're healing. Bruises have formed all over his joints ... large nasty, painful looking ... but, that means there is healing. The worst right now ... his tummy is very sick. He's fine during the day. But, at night ... at night he cries and curls up in my bed ... my husband and I talk him through it. We let him stay with us ... normally ... no staying in "mommy and daddy's bed". But, now ... we let him stay.

And, we would both take it from him if we could.

Last night as I tried to find a comfortable spot in my bed ... a spot at the very edge while my 6 year old tossed and turned in the middle ... I thought ... God feels that way about me.

God would take my hurt and pain ... and ... He did. He sent His Son ... to take away the ultimate pain of sin. And, somehow ... I can't explain it ... this feeling of absolute love and gratitude came over me. To know that God feels that much love for me ... to know that the love I have for my boys is huge but God's love for me ... for all of us ... it's bigger. I can't begin to imagine that kind of love because well ... I can't believe there is a love greater, deeper ... bigger than the love I have for my children. But, there is ... there is a love beyond measure.

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."