1:30 AM: Enter sniveling child. "Mommy, my bed is wet."
"Did you pee?"
"No, I'm just hot. And my pj's felt all wet. And I changed them. But I still can't sleep. And I'm hot."
"Lay a towel over your pillow, don't cover up, and go back to bed."
Silence. Sleep begins to descend again…."WAAAAAAA!!!!"
My feet hit the floor. I am scowling as I rush toward the room, hissing for said child to "Hush up!" before she wakes the entire house. I enter the darkened room and the smell hits me like a wall just as my feet slip in the squishy bits of disgustingness on the floor. I fumble for the light. How on earth can a child so small produce so much vomit?
I am frowning. Really? Really?! This week? When Aaron will be gone for days. Can't wait to see who else will get sick. Bet the washing machine will wake the baby tonight…On and on and on. My thoughts are on a runaway train. My mental pity party has officially begun.
As I work to strip the bed, I notice poor Maddie in the corner of my eye, shivering, watching me closely, tearful. I am certain she sees the sneer on my face. The sneer at the foul smell, at the middle of the night waking, at the inconvenience…I stop. Oh, honey.
I am finding that in every situation, there is a turning point. There is a moment when I am allowed a glimpse of my behavior and then a choice. Is this who I want to be? Is this who God is calling me to be? At that moment, I can choose selfishness and ugliness, or I can choose grace and peace.
My heart and expression begin to soften. I speak in a soothing voice and lead her to the bathroom where I clean her hair and face in the tub. She is crying that she is angry with herself for getting sick. My heart aches. "It's okay, sweetie. It happens to all of us. It's not your fault. It's no problem." Her sniffling stops and she begins to relax.
Towels on the stripped bed, hair in a pony tail, fresh pajamas, a bucket on the floor. I pull a warm blanket up to her chin and tiptoe from the room.
I'm so glad I decided to leave the pity party early. It was a dud anyway. Pretty lonely there. You know that saying, "Misery loves company"? Well, I think it's a bit misleading. People don't want to be around misery or miserable people. They may be drawn to them, like onlookers to a train wreck, but no one really wants to be there. I certainly don't.
These days, I find myself drawn more toward peace. Peace, grace, love. That's where I want to be. That's where I choose to be. Thankfully, there's always an open invitation to join that party.
So tonight, at 2:40 AM, as I sit listening to the washing machine running, feeling the wet of my soapy sleeves, and reeking faintly of someone else's, puke, I just want to share a bit of my joy. I pray you have a peaceful night, too.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37
Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10