It all started around 1am on Monday night. Husby and I were laying in bed talking and before I knew it he was snoozing. I gave him a quick kiss and rolled over and whispered a prayer before closing my eyes. I heard Levi through the monitor sighing with each breath.
"Ooooohhhhh". Pause. "Oooooohhhhh". Pause.
At first I thought, "oh how cute, he's sighing with each breath." But then it didn't stop. I jumped out of bed, grabbed my phone for light and went to check on him. I touched his face and he was burning hot, and continued to sigh with each breath. I took his temperature and sat him up to give him some Tylenol. He continued sighing. And then coughing. And then what sounded like a seal barking. With each seal bark, he couldn't catch his breath and would cry harder and cough more ... a vicious cycle. Husby examined him and decided it would be best to take him to the Emergency Room.
Well, that's all I had to hear before throwing on some jeans and a t-shirt and demand we get going that very second. Levi barked all the way to the hospital, but the cool air seemed to soothe him a little. As soon as we got there a very sweet receptionist said to Husby, "you're a resident here, aren't you?" He told her he was a medical student and she said "go on back there....they take care of their own."
So, we went back there, were surrounded by all of Husby's people and in a matter of minutes he was diagnosed and written a prescription. I'm telling you, it was the quickest hospital visit I've ever witnessed! Also, my sister-in-law was working the ER that night so Levi was very happy to see her familiar face. Turns out Levi has croup. (It's a viral infection, so he was given a steroid to clear it up. He coughed, barked and laid around for a few days like a pitiful little angel.) We finally got to sleep that night around 2am and since we were worried about Levi's trouble breathing, we put him in bed with us and slept with the window open so that the cool air would help him out.
The next morning I called Mom and asked if she could watch Levi while I went to Bible Study. She was going to be in town anyway, so I just asked if she could come up a little earlier since I had missed the past few weeks due to traveling with Husby for residency stuff. After four and a half hours of sleep the night before (and restless sleep because of the little boy between us), I was tired. I'm not what you would call "a morning person" by nature. I struggle to be sweet in the early mornings. And if I haven't had much sleep - I struggle even more. I was the little girl who, on Christmas morning, completely bypassed all her gifts and promptly climbed onto my Mom's lap to sleep just a little longer. Every. Single. Year. If someone talked to me or told me to go look at my presents, I started crying. Morning just isn't my best time of day. Never has been, and probably never will be.
So, I was frantically running around trying to get ready for Bible study and straighten up a little before Mom came. And by straighten up, I mean put up the ironing board and iron that Husby set up right in THE MIDDLE OF THE LIVING room. I sat on the couch, threw on some makeup and Levi woke up. I stopped midway with my makeup, got him up, gave him some milk and started his breakfast. As Husby walked through the room I said, "can you please change Levi real quick?"
"I can't. I HAVE to go." he said as he leaned in for a goodbye kiss.
I got mad. I was mad because I was tired and mad that he wouldn't change him. I was mad that the ironing board was in the middle of the living room and mad that there was a pile of unfolded laundry sitting in my hallway.
I stuck my forehead out for him to kiss as I continued slapping on my makeup mumbling, "LIKE I DON'T HAVE SOMEWHERE TO BE, TOO." I have a feeling a forehead kiss wasn't exactly what he had in mind. He gently kissed my head, kissed Levi, told us he loved us and headed out the door.
"Love ya." I replied.
In our house, "love ya" is the generic form of "I love you". If one of us is annoyed or in a bad mood and the other says "I love you" and is answered back with a "love ya", you know it means something is up. I totally "love ya'd" Husby. On purpose.
(Of course I am not implying that saying "love ya" is bad or less sincere. Not at ALL. This is strictly a thing between Husby and me. I "love ya" other family members all the time and it's absolutely genuine. It only applies in relation to Husby and he with me....a personal thing between us.)
Mom arrived a little later and we chatted a bit before I headed out for Bible study. As I sat at in my group of ladies and rehashed what I had studied that week on "gentleness", I was overcome with guilt. I had showed anything but gentleness that morning. I let my physical fatigue and petty annoyances determine my attitude, and it was anything but lovely.
And nothing to be proud of.
As I sat and chatted with the other girls about the challenges of being a stay-at-home mom, the Lord gently whispered to me, "Whitney. This is what you are called to do. This is your dream that I have blessed you with. To have a home, a husband and to raise a baby. And Whitney, that means balancing a lot of things ... even if you are in a hurry. And doing it with a gentle spirit."
The thought of how I acted that morning upset me. If I am a few minutes late for Bible study there are no repercussions. If Husby is late to the hospital - there would be definite repercussions. After stepping away from the situation and looking back on the whole morning, it was a no brainer as to who should have changed Levi - who should put away the ironing board - who should deal with the pile of unfolded laundry.
The Lord has so graciously given me the desires of my heart and there are moments that I simply look past that and let my flesh take over. Of course I can't expect to do it ALL on my own, and I am not saying that I should. Husby is an enormous help when he is home ... but there are times when he simply can't. And since I am the keeper of the home and since I am the one who stays at home, I can.
God has also blessed me with the most gentle, kind, good hearted husband I could ever dream up. To stick my head out like a child for a mere forehead kiss and to purposely "love ya" him when he tells me he loves me is selfish. And if there is anything in this world that I never want to be, it's selfish.
It is easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day tasks and become frustrated when running on little sleep, stress, schedules, obligations and a sick child. But it is in those moments when I know I can't do it on my own and I know my limit is about to be reached, that I need to humble myself before the Lord and ask for help. To give me the strength to start and finish my day with excellence and for a gentle joy to pour forth from me as I do it. To be grateful that I have a precious little boy to change and a faithfully diligent husband who works his hardest to provide for his little family. To let others, even (and especially) those who know me best, to see the Lord alive in me through each circumstance, challenge and busy morning.
Oh, flesh of mine. Silly, silly flesh of mine.