As we get very close to Joel's deployment date, I started thinking about the week leading up to Joel's England deployment. It seems with us, that before each deployment, things go wrong at home - either with illness or with our 80+ year old home falling apart. Here's a note I wrote on Facebook right before he left last year. Hope it's encouraging to you. It's helped me keep perspective during these last few, busy days.
"I loved "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" when I was a kid. I remember checking and re-checking it out of our school's library... Never have I related to poor Alexander more than this week. First of all, Grace is doing much better and we are so thankful for that - it's frightening to see how quickly a toddler can decline with the flu!
So, Joel's getting ready to deploy for three months in a few days, so we were anticipating a busy week with last minute to-dos and seeing family and friends. We prayed that God would allow good family time, and I'm kind of wondering what "good family time" means in His eyes!
Grace started throwing up on Tuesday which is a first for her and kind of threw us for a loop. Poor little kids just don't know what's going on and they just want Mom and Dad to make it all better. Joel slept on her floor that night and woke up to her asking him to wash her baby and blanket. She had a nice present waiting for us that morning and nothing matches starting your day like that. She felt better throughout the day - just kinda sleepy and clingy. So we cuddled, read books and just hung out!
That night we all cuddled on the couch and the power went out - one of our tree limbs fell on our line. Joel went out to see what was going on. Another big "boom" and we realized that one of our neighbor's big limbs fell and a piece broke off and fell on Joel's car. Nice. Luckily, Joel's car took it like a man and only had a few dings.
We got ready for bed and realized that our back portion of the fence completely collapsed. So, we went to bed, all bundled up and prayed for a new day.
That morning Grace and I went to the neighbor's until our power was restored. Karen told me that our fence along their property line collapsed on her husband's truck the night before. Ok, so a whole new fence is on the way!
Grace seemed fine that morning - just a little tired. Within a few hours she started throwing up, dry heaving and just acting completely lethargic. I called the doctor and was told by the nurse to just monitor her. Thanks, yes, I'll do that. I'm so glad my friend was so gracious in allowing my sick kid to throw up all over her house and then offer to make me lunch!
Grace continued to vomit and started throwing up blood so I called the doctor back and we got in within an hour. By that point, Grace is barely responding to us and is basically just staring blankly - not her normal bouncy self!
The doctor decided to admit her to the hospital so they could rehydrate her quickly. I know so many parents who have gone through worse with their children, but I think it's frightening for anyone to see their little ones poked and prodded and put in a hospital crib! Grace was a trooper and handled all the poking remarkably well!
After a few hours of IV fluids, she quickly perked up and started resembling the Grace we knew. She loved having a TV right next to her bed and told Joel and I that she wanted to stay there instead of going home.
Thursday night, I went home for a quick shower and on my way back to the hospital, hit my neighbors shiny new pick-up truck. I left a quick note and left for the hospital in tears... another deductible to pay. I came into Grace's room - her and Joel are cuddled together watching TV and Grace greets me with a big "MOMMY!". Wow. In that moment, I realized that nothing else mattered but the fact that my little girl was back to her normal self. The fence, the power, Joel's car, my car, our neighbors truck , Joel's deployment... "Rejoice in the Lord always" came immediately to mind and I knew that all was in God's hands. And I'm thankful for that!
Grace is perky, happy and giving orders. Joel's working on the fence this very minute. I placed a claim with the insurance company and our neighbor is completely understanding about the truck. All is well and we have a few precious days together as a family before Joel leaves on Monday.
Philippians 4 has long been a special passage to me. I cling to it once again and know that I am to be anxious for nothing - for God holds all things in His hands!"