I had surgery exactly three weeks ago to correct two different issues on my left arm/wrist. I knew the recovery would be difficult with four children, but I think I had been a bit in denial of how long it would be before I regained decent use of my hand. When they took the initial bandage off, I literally felt my head start to spin, and when I realized that my thumb and wrist wouldn't move at all, I started freaking out. This was all normal of course, but it was just a lot for me to take in at the moment. I actually almost passed out on my way out of the office, but was able to make good friends with the wall next to me as everything went from fuzzy white cotton balls to a black sheet. The splint that I once hated to wear has now become a comforted shield from my kicking baby girl and energetic toddler. Unfortunately, it didn't keep me from lifting myself off of the floor and breaking up a bunch of scar tissues in my wrist last weekend.
Needless to say, my doctor wasn't too happy about that, and my nerve is even less thrilled. So, with this setback in my recovery comes some medicine that makes me feel like life is floating around me in slow motion. I am feeling very much like a burden to my family, rather than the mommy and wife who tries to have it all together for her family.
I SO do not have it all together.
Thee are 4 full baskets of clean laundry piled up in my bedroom.
I can't really fold and put away very easily. DH and my mom have been incredible with keeping everything going, but there's no way everything can be done with all of the other things they have on their plates, so that laundry just feels like it's mocking my inability right now.
Annie keeps asking for mommy to pick her up; I can't do that either. I technically shouldn't even be holding the baby...
The lack of motion in my wrist is frightening to me. How long will it take for me to be able to play again?
And while all of this was going on the other day, where I felt useless and impatient, I heard my daughter, my oldest, in the other room making lunch for herself and her siblings (I can't open jars and such) after she had helped me change Evangeline's diaper and then helped me get situated to feed baby sissy and rock her to sleep. She's doing what I can't, and she's doing it with such joy and pride. And it suddenly struck me why...because in serving her brother and sisters, she's actually serving her momma, and she wants to do that because she loves me.
Then, that evening, I received a call from a friend who wanted to send her teenage daughter over to help our family during this time. I had texted my husband multiple times that day in desperation, unable to keep my eyes open, struggling to change a diaper, basically telling him I didn't know how I was going to make it. But God always provides. Always. And He was using this sweet friend to do...because she loves our family.
In the Bible, we read where Jesus told his disciples, those closest to him, "If you love me, you will keep my commands." (John 14:15) Does my love for Jesus compel me to action? Does it cause me to be a servant to others? Does it convict my heart? Does it factor in to every word I speak? Whether I'm leading worship, teaching piano, or serving my family, is my love for Jesus the root of it all?
I think of all my precious friends who have made us meals these past three weeks and come and sat with me, changed diapers for me, and watched my kids for me. Thank you!
I think of my selfless momma who, in such a busy season, has willingly come back and forth to help us.
I think of my husband who, while working full time, has joyfully picked up the slack at home, too, while comforting me and encouraging me and not once complaining.
And I think of Lucy, so eager to make her siblings a pb&j.
Why? Because they want to express their love for me and our family, and in doing so, they have expressed their love for Jesus.
Never underestimate the power that is within you to show the love of Jesus! It may be something grand in the world's eyes, or it may be something as simple as making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich...