**Warning ~ Don't read if your stomach can't handle it.**
Yesterday we emerged from day nine of the most violent stomach bug I have ever witnessed.
Total, I cleaned up just over 35 vomit episodes in a week. (And that was only two kids.)
That's not counting the "bottom" pit statistics, which were honestly close to being just as bad.
Jamie had an unusually busy week of commitments and things at work. And women, I think many of us can vouch for our men's reactions when things that are suppose to be inside the body, suddenly mix with bodily fluids and spontaneously emerge outside the body. (Though he really did try.)
So there was me to help the Lumpkin bunker persevere in sickness. For nine days.
Folks, I did not leave the house for nine days. And honestly, you wouldn't have wanted me to.
There were moments I imagined myself as Jack Bauer flying upstairs and downstairs to eliminate the terrorism of throw up.
There were moments ~ probably too many ~ that I busted out the Gangnum Style in order to restore some sense of sanity to our home.
I threw some Harlem Shake in there just to spice things up a bit.
You gotta do something.
Last night we celebrated our survival with a pinata, balloons, and surprises for all.
Because hey, nine straight days of anything is worth celebrating.
But, in the midst of the sleepless nights, running upstairs and downstairs, and mounds of laundry, there was a sweet stillness in our home, and the Father took me back to the heart of the Gospel.
Reminding me that...
~ The most beautiful place on earth I can be is at the feet of the One my soul loves most. Because even in rivers of vomit, Splendor and majesty are before Him, and strength and joy are in His dwelling place. ~ I Chronicles 16:27 ~ And there was a precious joy (in a sick way) and a renewal of His strength that met me each morning as I made Him my dwelling place.
~ There is nothing I can do to make the Father love me more. With vomit in my hair and Lysol-layered clothing, He sees me as His son, and one day, I will fully be like Christ. ~ But God, being rich in mercy, because of the GREAT LOVE with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved - and raised us up and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. For by Grace you have been saved through faith and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. ~ Ephesians 2: 4-9 ~ How's that for a promise of His faithfulness as we persevere on this earth...and in vomit.
~ Because I am so GREATLY LOVED, I can LOVE GREATLY, and it's okay to be real when I fail in that. ~ Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. For you are serving the Lord Christ. ~ Colossians 3: 23 and 24 ~ He doesn't need me to love, but He allows me to be part of His love as He draws others to Himself so that HE may bring Himself glory. I have the honor of being part of that crazy adventure. Some days it means being in a courtroom, advocating for a child; some days it means teaching a classroom of students; some days it's praying with a friend or homeschooling my children. And when I have the gift of cleaning up my children's vomit for His glory, I can do it with great love, because I know the place where I am deeply loved. He does not need me for that, but He chose me to be the one with that honor, and it is a beautiful honor. And when I fail in frustration or from leaning on my own strength, the most wonderful love story I can give my children in that moment is my broken repentance in hope before them, reminding them that I do not get it right, but I can lead them to the One who got it right for me.
So as we emerge from this week of hermithood, I am grateful. Grateful for the quiet, the moments, the lessons and reminders that my soul belongs to a great God. A God who sees the vomit of my own life, and cloaks it in the beauty of His greatest love, Jesus Christ. So that when He sees me, He sees His son. And it is not my job to always get rid of the vomit, but to rest in the cloak of righteousness in which He has covered me.
And, I don't blame you if you walk on the other side of the hall when you see us for a few days.
Because of Jesus,