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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Safely Through Another Year

So today was a quiet, low-lying celebration of the completion of my 36th year of God-given life.  I was sure by the many incidents of severe disrespect of my parents that I would barely make it this far, if at all.  Perhaps as a child with my literal rendering of the verse: "Children obey your parents...that you may live long in the land..." I somehow started docking years off my life every time I acted, spoke or thought of my parents in a dishonouring way.  And I usually quit counting once I got down into my 30's because by then I'd fallen asleep.  Way more effective than counting sheep if you ask me.

Why was it quiet, and low-lying?  Well, because we are a houseful of ailing Logans.  All five kids.  All two parents.  And one very healthy, robust and capable Mother-in-law who graciously puts up with us all and aids us in our distress.  We postponed my birthday until January 4th.  Just in case you were wondering.  That gives you all time to get your well-wishes in the mail!  (Just kidding!)

And since everyone is now in a drug-induced stupor and it is quiet and the coughing has ceased for a glorious few minutes, I have a chance to ruminate about my life over the past year and to consider what the year might bring.  I don't do the introspection much these days (can you guess why not!?)  Other than my crazy fly-by-the-seat-of-the-minivan lifestyle, I also find belly-button gazing to be a sadly self-absorbing ritual that can tie one up into a psychological pretzel before long and, well, it just can get to be a bit much at times.  I'd rather cozy up on the couch with a good Paddington bear story or something.

But there is a time for reflection.  And I suppose now is a good a time as any.

I'd say the last month has had more than its fair share of challenges for me.  It seems something difficult always comes my way around November.  Perhaps I should take a cue and go off on my own for a personal retreat or something in the future.  Because really, this past November decided not to disappoint me.  I almost made it through.  But then I hit a pedestrian and we were back to the 'this is why I should go somewhere else for November' thought-pattern.

Yes, you read that right.  And if you're in my family and I didn't tell you and you're reading this in shock and annoyed with me for not telling you, don't hop on the phone to discuss the matter.  I will discuss it here in broad view of the public thank you, and no, I don't want to discuss it on the phone.  It was all rather overwhelming at the time and I kept it to myself and a few trusted friends as I wallowed in guilt and shame, and the thought of going to traffic court.  It didn't help when Priscilla piped up, "I still love you Mommy, even if you're a criminal," complete with a tender hug.

But, if you are going to hit a pedestrian, you need to make sure she is the sweetest, most tolerant, kindest, neighbourliest, nice lady possible, and that you are going a mere 5 miles an hour so that she comes out of it uninjured, except for the indignity of being shoved aside and rolling onto the ground and lying there face up waiting for the paramedics to arrive to make sure she's okay - all the while carrying on a lovely conversation with a former student who showed up to help and dial the police for us (afterall I had no cell phone - which is a great asset to be sure I was not texting and driving - I was, instead lecturing a particular six-year-old on the dangers of lying to me and impressing upon him the importance of truth-telling - which I now understand was a poor use of my energies at that moment).

After hitting said pedestrian, and standing on the street waiting out the police-report stuff and sobbing quietly in the van while the police try to gently help me cope with the reality of what I'd done, and after that long day of telling it to Sam and crying off and on, and worrying for the lady, and thinking of myself as a criminal, and of feeling terribly irresponsible and the worst person ever...after that bad day or two I heard from a friend of mine who is around my age with young children that she has a major health concern that she is facing over the coming months.  I was very sad about that and continue to pray for her and her family.

The day after that I woke up to go to Church and was looking forward to worship, focus on God, reflecting on Him, feeding on His Word, and seeing friends at Church.  I began to brush Priscilla's hair.  I saw something move.  And Church was no longer on the agenda for the day.  Instead it was Lice.

All day: laundry, lice shampoo, comb, comb, comb, strip bedding, trips to laundrymat (not me - Sam did all that!).

I had to laugh.  I think God allowed us to have lice if only to give us another battle to wage and to focus on something other than guilt, accidents and the like.  Lice are an absolute nuisance.  And 9 people in a household make it very difficult to treat.  But we are vigilant.  And yes, I'm announcing this to everyone out there, because you know what?  Lice love clean hair!  Really, they do!  So all the myths you believe about lice?  That's what they are: myths.  Even so, lice are stigmatized and there is a social leprosy surrounding them.  I'm glad I can revel in my acceptance in Christ to such a degree that I can admit we've had lice.  If you don't want to see us or be around us after reading this, don't worry, I won't hold it against you! :)

But lice wasn't the end of the story.  Then we had failed potty-training attempt no. 3.  We've tried with 3 year old Andrew so many times.  This time, we were determined to be victorious.  We got everything set up.  We were going to sequester him to a section of the kitchen.  He would potty in the little potty there and be free to go for a half hour.  Then back to the Potty Nook.  I would not give in to whining to get out.  His ticket out was a deposit in the potty.  No way around it.  So, when he went to school and was sniffly and bleary-eyed, I just assumed it was because of my refusal to let him whine his way out of the potty nook.  Bad assumption.

Half an hour after he leaves on the bus I get a phone call: "This is Andrew's school.  He is at the nurse's office lying down.  He has a temperature.  You need to come get him."  I hang up.  What an awful Mom I am!  I go get him and he is half-asleep.  I carry him out to the car and he says, "They have a special little bed in there.  I was sleeping on it."  We get home and I call off potty training, accepting defeat in this third attempt.  His sickness turns into fever, cough, congestion, lethargy, sleeping a lot, no appetite and the like.  Slowly, one by one, like dominoes, we all take the hit and go down with the same thing.  First just Andrew.  Then Hannah.  Then me, Sam, Priscilla, Timo, and finally Caleb.

So, we are trying to get through these tiresome days and prepare for a family gathering in the Eastern States next week.

On the house front, our house did sell.  And we looked and found a house we liked.  We were pretty set on buying it until some glitches came up with the city as to our plans to convert a garage into in-law space.  After those roadblocks, we determined we should just keep looking.  So we are back to the drawing board and growing in leaps and bounds in patience.  Contrary to what I would put on my personal curriculum for my life at this point.  But in all these things I am learning again and again to trust and wait for God's best and to be thankful for the wonderful blessings He showers on me daily.

Because really, what are a few momentary trials compared to the riches of knowing Him?  He walks with me through the guilt of the outcomes of my negligence.  He walks with me through the fear and worry of everyone being sick and hoping we'll all be okay in the end.  He walks with me and strengthens me when the 3 year old begs to be carried up or down stairs when he is so tired and feverish - even though I'm tired and feverish too!

I can only wonder what exciting adventures await me in the coming months... did you catch that word, 'ADVENTure'?  Life is such, and this season is about that anticipation and excitement of the journey of what will be - the ADVENT, dawning, awaiting, arrival, surprise, joy and desire of nations COME.

So Merry Christmas - safely through another year.


6 comments:

  1. My goodness, Sarah. My mom and I have been praying for you and your family just because we knew of your family's illness -- not being able to imagine how you would cope with the care of 5 ill children when both you and Sam were ill yourselves -- not knowing of the misadventures that accompanied this. Thanks for sharing so vulnerably. We will continue to pray for you. And thank God for your mother-in-law.
    Why do older moms and moms-in-law manage to stay well? I am home sick for the second time this school year. My mom's immune system is amazing. She never seems to catch what I have. It's always been that way. Maybe she was more obedient and respectful than I was : ) Even now I become impatient and less than tender when caring for her needs sometimes. She is never anything but gracious and sweet in response. God has a way of continuing to put growth opportunities in my path, especially when I have continually failed to meet the grade. He's doing the same thing at school. I'm in an intense spiritual training course there too -- where I'm learning not to consider my sins less important than the sins I scorn in those around me.
    In training for spiritual health, with you,
    Suzanne Evans

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    1. Thanks Suzanne - and thank your Mom for me too - I am so humbled to know you and she have upheld us in prayer. Where would we be without divine aid? Hmmm...in trouble! I love that 'in training for spiritual health...' I need to remember that. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  2. Hi Sara-
    I haven't had the opportunity of meeting you yet at Water's Edge (although maybe that's a good thing considering the whole lice, sick thing). Lisa Marie Vogt recommended your blog... I too blog and can appreciate sooooo much what you've been going through. I truly enjoyed this entry and want you to know I'm DEFINITELY subscribing. It sounds like your mishaps go hand in hand with our families...take comfort in numbers! About your running over sweet little ladies, at least you didn't run into a store leaving the kids in the car, (my parent's did that all the time and didn't realize the BIG mistake) visually keeping eyes on the car the whole time, when my beautiful, wonderful, sweet children started arguing about which Veggie Tales song should be on, drawing attention to people walking by. Let's just say the pain and guilt of that time in my life nearly crushed me. God's grace is sufficient and in the midst of unbearable turmoil, I humbled myself and clung to His promises. I look forward to reading more and more so, meeting you in person. Merry Christmas and I hope your family recovers in time... sometime I'll share the great food poisoning of Christmas 1999. It took me 5 years to eat ham again! :)
    Cheri Clark (fittin'in the nest)

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Cheri! I look forward to meeting you soon too! I checked out your blog too - so candidly written - thanks for sharing your life! Talk to you soon.

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  3. Sarah -
    I love you so and hope that your time with family over Christmas will renew and refresh you all! I'll keep this short but know that I am proud to have a sister like you! You are a wonderful mommy, wife, friend, and sister. Your honesty, humility and love for God are an example all those around you.
    Love you!
    Cathy

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    1. Thanks Cathy! I love you too! Thanks for reading my blog! That whole honesty, humility thing is just pretend because really in my heart of hearts I tend towards pride like the best/worst of them. I suppose admitting it makes me humble. But then realizing I'm admitting it makes me proud again. So we do the whole pride/humility/pride cycle. And I just have to lay it to rest and quit and not focus on it because to be really humble means to forget onesself and if I'm thinking of myself I'm not forgetting myself and being humble. But I suppose these are all thoughts for another post... hmmm. You inspire me!

      love you!
      -sarah

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