The Holy Spirit and our trip to the ER


I spent the day at the ER with my out-of-the-box middle kid yesterday.  He's the one with the crazy high pain thresh hold, the one we have to watch closely when he finally says he hurts.  Because a simple mosquito bite can turn into a staff infection but he's just scratching.  This is not me.  My pain tolerance is low, embarrassingly low.  Like my first-born.  But the first-born was home with dad, learning how to play Pretty Woman on the guitar, while I was in the ER with the one who loves scotch tape.  



But it wasn't a mosquito bite this time, it was an ear infection that had gone on too long, but I had a sense that the infection had spread.  The child with the ear ache said his whole head on the left side hurt terribly bad, and his heart was racing.  I placed my hands upon him and felt the strangest rhythms pumping hard behind his rib cage.  So I put him in the car and headed back to the doctor for the third time.  Because of this sense - this sense that something was wrong.


And I prayed.  I prayed hard that the doctor would have a sense that something was wrong too, and not merely say "give him another couple days on this antibiotic" if something really was happening on the inside of my boy's skin.  I asked The Lord for crazy amounts of wisdom for the Doc as we pulled up to the medical clinic. It wasn't long and the doctor was looking at my child with the smiling face, who was coping so well with the pain.  And I continued to pray, because I didn't want my that happy face to mask any problem.


Then the doctor turned to me and said, "I think the infection might be in the bone behind his left ear causing him all that pain, but it's not meningitis, he's just too active and articulate.  But mastoiditis is serious enough that I'd like you to head straight to the ER downtown at the Children's Hospital and get a CAT scan.  And so we did.


It was a long 7 hours that followed, as we waited, waited, waited together.  Then they put in his IV and he got scared, but he did it and I was proud.  And he wanted to know about everything they poked and prodded him with and asked if he could help with every needle, every button, every piece of medical tape.  And I laughed, half-expecting to find a role of medical tape in his pocket on the other side of this.


The CAT scan machine made his body shake slightly.  I imagine it was a strange mixture of fear, pain, and excitement, because he is a creative with a wild imagination and that machine was so Star Trek that he might have been hoping it would teleport him somewhere strange and exciting.  So his body shook.




When the technician went to attach the line to the IV port my wide-eyed, shaking boy asked, "Can I do it?"  And he did.  Then when it was time to flush the line with a syringe, again he asked, "can I do it?"  And she let him.


Turns out the infected ear was in fact dripping liquid down on that mastoid bone, causing problems.  But we're home now with a new regime of antibiotics, and he's watching Saturday morning cartoons with his brothers and I'm about to make a stack of pancakes to ease all that ails.


But I just wanted to shout out another one of My Favorite Things...  A Mother's Sixth Sense, otherwise known as The Holy Spirit.


God's Holy Spirit is nearer than hurried heart rates and deeper than infection, and I walked into the hospital knowing that God's own Spirit was living in the bones and blood and tissue of my boy.  That nothing would escape Him, and that each of my child's days have been ordered and numbered.  His Spirit leads and guides us through the world that is unseen, offering us this peace and perspective.


Such peace is found in faith.


So I worshiped this God we know and trust in the midst of the trembling unknowns... because He knows.  And my peace that passed understanding yesterday was a light to my son.  And so he grabbed hold of peace with me and I prayed, "Thank you, God,  for leading us here to the Hospital today.  We trust you, Lord."   And my child said "Amen."




My Out of the Box Child - part 3 of "knowing our children"


Driving to Grandma's house listening to the classical radio station, with all three boys in the back of the car.  The oldest, with nose in a book.  The youngest, unsnapping his buckle to wiggle out of a sweaty tee-shirt.  And that middle child of mine listening to the throbbing rhythm of something by Vivaldi, Lego mini-figures in his lap.  I watch him in the rearview mirror throughout the first movement; his face scrunched up, intent. "If this song were a story, what would be happening right now?"  I ask.

It's a familiar game and doesn't take him more than a moment to reply.

"There's this old man, all alone, dying in the desert.  He hasn't had water in days and he knows the end is near.  Now, right here, you hear how the music is getting so slow and sad?  Well, right now he's reaching up to heaven, and the sun's beating down.  He takes his last breath, and falls to the ground."

My first-born stops reading, looks up at me and smiles.  He smiles the way I smile at their Dad when I see the youngest hauling branches up the hill; the way I smile when I hear him play his harmonica.  All this smiling because we're knowing one another.  That's what makes our ragamuffin group of individuals a family, like the intricate melodies in Vivaldi's Four Seasons.  Knowing one another so well.

And it's happening in your home too.  With the unique personalities you call children.  Waking up to their individuality; more completely who they are than who they were the day before.  As they grow into their skin.  And you're there watching the magic work its way out.






Of all my children, this one is the most captivating to watch. Because he's working it out in such creative ways, with scotch tape and costumes. Crying over the boxes he stacked together, so sure that when he added paint the cardboard would magically become a living robot.


But boxes are just boxes.


The problem is that this child of mine doesn't know about boxes. The kind of boxes people live inside of.  The sort that confines our thinking. Those we can't step out of because we like things comfortable, predictable.  But this middle-miracle I call my son, doesn't just live outside of the box... he's never known a box!  And the most gorgeous part of all is that he's perfectly happy with who he is!  Out of the box, creative, middle him!

My husband and I are daily growing more comfortable with who he is as well.  Because for a long time we tried to fit him into the boxes our culture values.  Sports.  Cool clothes.  Pushing him to be comfortable within the four walls of a school house, when walls are so like boxes.  But we're learning together.  By God's grace and our child's stubborn commitment to be who he is, we're slowly coming out of our own box to enjoy him there.  The way he is.  Fearfully and wonderfully made.  My out of the box child.  With all his glorious confident uniqueness.


Today I am wrapping up this short series on knowing our children, and hope that you've found yourself inspired to delight in the unique people God has given you, there in your home.  I'm not perfect, I fail miserably as I mother these three.  Often.  But they are the souls I get to wake up to new mercies with each day.


I wish this blog were more than a blog, but a play-date where we could sit poolside as the children play together.

Wouldn't that be something?


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Wouldn't that be something!