Friday, November 19, 2010

A Gentle Nudge

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.

Me.

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.

46 comments:

  1. I too am not a morning person!

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  2. What a beautiful reflection. This post cerstinly blessed me and its si good to know and see that even though things can get hectic the Lord allows us the opportunity to step back. reflect, recieve his peace and continue on in His blessings! Thankyou for posting!

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  3. You know... reading this made me think the same exact thing in terms of my life.

    I work nights and HATE my schedule... but I have a job.

    I am constantly exhausted from nursing school and all its demands... but I can afford to go to school and was accepted over 150 others who weren't.

    I complain at my husband when he doesn't do something I ask... but I am lucky enough to be married to a wonderful man who'd never do anything wrong by me.

    In the moment its so easy to think negatively and forget how blessed we are. Thank you for this post. I think you inspired a blog post for my own blog :)

    Cabin Fever in Vermont

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  4. I absolutely needed to read this now. Thank you for being such a genuine reflection of a real woman, wife, mother, christian, fill in the blank. This post really touched me. It's just so relatable. Thank you for being real.

    I pray Levi is doing much better!

    Amy
    amyrbrooker@hotmail.com
    www.asouthernlove.blogspot.com
    www.findingjoythroughmyjourney.blogspot.com

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  5. So what I needed to read. Thank you!

    You always seem to post what I need to read. I heart your blog!

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  6. Thank you. This post has been a real encouragement to me and couldn't be better timed. I admire your honesty.

    I'm struggling with lack of sleep at the moment (two out of my three children don't sleep well) and, like you, I'm not a morning person at the best of times. A meek and gentle spirit doesn't come naturally when you are sleep deprived, but it is certainly something for me to work on. I need to lean more heavily on the Lord and not expect my husband to pick up my slack.

    Your blog is such a blessing

    (Hope Levi is feeling better)

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  7. I have read your blog many times, and thoroughly enjoy it. Yours is the first one I pull up when I get time to read down my blog list as I like your perspective. Today, you did not disappoint at all. Sometimes, in the middle of the moment, it is really hard to look around and be thankful to God for your blessings, but you were able to, and that is a huge blessing in itself!

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  8. You are such an inspiration Whitney to everyone that meets you I'm sure. Everyone has their bad days and you are no different. We all do the best we can so keep your chin up and stay true to yourself. You are a doll and I hope that little Levi is feeling much better soon. xoxoxo

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  9. You have one blessed husband. How blessed he is to have a wife that takes the time to listen to the nudges of the Holy Spirit and the humility to admit when she's wrong.

    What an encouraging post. I struggle with this too.

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  10. This is what I struggle with the most (every.single.day)
    It is so hard sometimes to always live in the moment and take control of our actions. So many nights have I laid in bed and looked back on the day with regrets as to how I handled situations and prayed Lord, please help me be better tomorrow!
    I always have to remind myself that every single day IS such a blessing and we have so much to be thankful for.
    Your words are always so uplifting, Whitney. Thank you for sharing!

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  11. OH, how I needed this one this week! My own husband was out of town for two days and I've given him a teensy bit of a hard time about it. And he was out of town for work. (Did I mention I'm a stay-at-home mom, too???) Changing my attitude this morning!

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  12. I was never a morning person in my younger years. Things have changed for me in my fifties though. I love the early morning, especially. Maybe you will embrace it one day :) Thanks for your honest account of God's working in your life.

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  13. Thank you for being so honest and real. This was rally good for me to read :)

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  14. I loved this post--it's refreshing to realize none of us are perfect, and we all struggle with similar issues. Or at least I did yesterday!

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  15. I too am guilty of this. Glad to know I am not alone. I feel so foolish once I have calmed down. Luckily God has blessed us with understanding husbands. Mine after almost 6 years of marriage knows that I am just in a huff and will be fine. He doesn't take it personal. I am so grateful God's loving, reminders of who he calls us to be. :)

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  16. I'm so glad everyone was able to take care of Levi! That's great that they got you all in so fast. Isn't it funny how God has a way of gently reminding us of how we should act? I know I am guilty of the same thing you did the other morning.

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  17. I was going to comment to say thank you so much for being real and to tell you how much I needed to hear this exact story this morning - but it seems like everyone else already has! So thank you for your honesty and for sharing your beautiful heart! I needed that exact reminder... Thank you!

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  18. Yes! What a great post, Whitney.

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  19. I absolutely needed to remember gentleness right now. I have been struggling with such terrible morning sickness that I get really testy with my husband when he asks me to do "one more thing". He has been working so hard to take on what he can, but the strain has certainly been difficult. Thank you for the reminder.

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  20. Amen, Sister! I struggle with these very things, too! Wonderful reflection.

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  21. Aren't marriage and motherhood the most refining things you've ever experienced? I feel like the Lord uses Jonathan and Riggs daily to point out areas where I need to be more like Him. So painful, but so good for us!

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  22. I have experienced these things...and right now i am the provider for the Husband and I...thankfully no child stress. But it's frustrating and stressful and sometimes I take it out on my husband. This post helped me to reflect on my actions towards my husband and understand that he is trying and he will take care of me when things finally turn around for us...in the meantime I need to be gentle.
    Beautiful post!

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  23. Thank you. Thank you for your honest reflection. What an amazing reminder for me! I've only recently joined your group of followers and I can tell you that I have been moved by you two days in a row. Your Thankful Thursday, I know this isn't anything new, but it served as a great reminder for me so I did the same on my blog. Todays... an even bigger blessing. I am frequently rushing around and forgetting how incredibly blessed I am to have an amazing husband that works hard so I can stay home with my little boy, who is healthy and fills my heart with more love than I know how to express. Thank you for reminders!

    I hope Levi is feeling better. I can only imagine how scary that was! Yay for having a husband that's a doctor!!!

    Thank you!
    Bev

    bevandwayne.blogspot.com

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  24. Such an awesome post - thanks for sharing. :) Gentleness is something we can all be reminded of, especially this time of year.

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  25. Whitney, I love your honesty. Thanks for sharing this lesson today. It's something important enough that everyone should learn it.

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  26. Thanks for being so honest! You are blessed to be living your dream. I'm a working wife with no kids and my dream is to be a SAHM. Sometimes it feels like my dream will never come true. But you have reminded me that God expects to be the best at what I'm tasked to do right now. Contentment is the key.

    Oh, and I'm not a morning person either! I was the only one on Christmas morning who didn't want to get up early with everyone else, and some years I was quite grouchy.

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  27. This was a great post. I think we all get caught up and forget we are not alone.

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  28. Great post! Thanks for sharing!

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  29. Great post!
    I also easily lose perspective on things. Getting better though.

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  30. Working wife, stay at home wife, or something in between it seems that we all have these less than gracious (and graceful) moments. I struggle with the exact same thing more often than I would like to admit. Thank you for being honest and sharing. And thank God for forgiving husbands who don't hold that kind of behavior against us :)

    My son had the exact same thing happen last spring. It was, without a doubt, one of the scariest moments of my life. Thankfully, as they get older they are less likely to suffer from croup. I hope I never hear that barking cough again. Praying that Levi is better.

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  31. I understand where you're coming from. Sometimes our frusterations take over and then when you go back and look at the situation you realize how silly it was. That happens to me more than I would like it to. But in the end if you can see what He has given you it has all worked out.

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  32. What a good message! Definitely need to hear that! Oh and my daughter got croup literally the day after her first birthday, it was awful. Poor baby!

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  33. Wow, that spoke volumes to me. The Holy Spirit has dealt with me over similar issues....like when I'm trying to be "holy" and get ready for Bible study and totally passing my husband off. Great lesson to learn here!

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  34. I really enjoyed the depth of your honesty in this post. Thanks for sharing this situation full circle...showing how physical exhaustion can leave us weakened in the face of spiritual battles! Also, here is an extra thanks for showing us how God's grace is not only sufficient, but very abundant. He loves us, and wants us to learn and grow in Him. This post caused me to think deeper about having a gentle spirit...Thanks!

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  35. I am so thankful that you decided to share your hear honestly and openly in this post... Our lives have been so stressful as of late with my husband's MBA program, and sometimes I feel like I'm going to drown in the duties of full-time employee, full-tiume wife, and sole breadwinner for the family. You taking a step back to understand and appreciate why you feel this way is a shining example for me to follow. Thank you for this!

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  36. Sweet honesty. I love it and we all can relate for sure.

    Maybe publishing another chapter of your sweet love story would help to remind you of your more than just a "love ya" love. :)

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  37. I am so glad you shared this!

    My husband and I have been married for five years and I have worked pretty much the whole time. When we had our daughter 4 years ago I became a nanny and I was able to take my daughter with me to work. Then a few years ago I opened an in home day care so I was still able to make money and stay home with my kids (we now have 2 living children).

    As of 4 weeks ago I am now a stay at home Mom and we are living off of my husbands income. I was so excited not to be watching kids anymore not because I didn't love it but because I had 5 kids three and under and I couldn't get anything done around my house.
    Once I stopped watching them I went into crazy cleaning mode. I have been cleaning and organizing for weeks now.

    My daughter is 4 and my son is now 10 months old and is everywhere and into everything. I have been trying to figure out how to take care of my kids and our house but I have been frustrated because I have to stop what I am doing every 5 seconds and keep my son from getting into something he shouldn't. Yesterday I took it out on my husband and told he I couldn't get anything done because Judah was into everything and I kept complaining and complaining. I wanted him to watch the kids so I could clean.

    After I read your post I was so convected. God created me to be my husbands help meet and not the other way around. Not that my husband can't help but I need to be able to take care of my house and children and do it with a joyful heart.

    I don't want my kids to grow up and remember me always cleaning and never spending time with them and I don't want my husband to remember always coming home to hear me complaining about how hard my days was. I am so blessed that after 5 and a half years of marriage and four years after having our first child I am able to not work at all (besides being a wife, mom ect...) I am so thankful that I am able to stay home with my kids and I pray I would work as unto the Lord. Thanks again for sharing your heart the Lord used it to convect me and I am thankful for that!

    Vanessa

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  42. I really appreciate this post because it's so genuine. Not that all of your posts aren't, but you rarely show a glimpse of any disagreement or marital strife, which we all have some days! So it's nice to see it: see how the Lord quickly convicted you, and see how you learned from it. Isn't that we are supposed to do from all little spats? Thanks for sharing, Whitney. And hey, you know we should hang out some time.

    ~Kathryn

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  43. Whitney, this moved me to tears... I've taken on the "housewife" roll now myself, and while I don't even have children yet, I can still be so, SO selfish. I needed to read this. My husband has his responsibilities, and I should be so much more gracious when it comes to fulfilling mine. Thank you so much for sharing this!!

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  44. We say the "love ya' too when one is mad at the other... Great post. It really makes me think. Thank you.

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  45. Great post! I need to remember the same thing. I often take out my frustrations on others when I shouldn't and the guilt sucks.

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May the Lord bless you and keep you safe today! Thanks for the comment, friends! :)

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