Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Beauty of Pain

So, I’ve had strep throat. Love that. See, usually when it comes to sickness, denial works for me. I remind myself how healthy I feed my children (minus all the junk…) and how healthy I MEAN to feed myself, and I tell myself I don’t have time to be sick, and besides, lots of people depend on me to be well… and I don’t get sick!
This time, though, when I woke up with razor-blade pain in my throat and saw the telltale white spots, I knew we were in trouble. I couldn’t even swallow spit, much less anything else. And then I remembered THE PRAYER.
A few weeks ago, having HAD IT with my lack of self control in the area of yelling to get the attention of my five little people when they don’t listen, I prayed a prayer God answered. “God, please just cause me physical pain whenever I am tempted to yell. Make it actually hurt when I am raising my voice.” Well, that sure happens when you have strep throat!
In an effort to avoid taking antibiotics while nursing, I decided to try to wait it out a few days (all I read about strep says that it will actually clear up on its own after 5-7 days, if of course, you can survive the pain and avoid infecting anyone else or suffering BAD side effects. ) I holed up in my room for the weekend and came out only to use the restroom and nurse Little. By Monday, though, I decided it was best for all if I just shut up and took the drugs. But having waited so long, I am still in pain today on Wednesday, and do you know what I’ve discovered? When it hurts to yell, you are a lot more patient! And more, when you keep your big mouth shut, (and I’ve told lots of moms this myself) your kids listen a lot better!
So thanks, Lord. I know you don’t cause us to experience bad things – sometimes they happen just because we live in a broken and sinful place. Sometimes they happen because we did something we shouldn’t (ate too much ice cream, perhaps??). But ALWAYS, you use our brokenness to accomplish good. And this time, you used strep throat to make me the gentlest mommy in the world – for a few days- and to give us all a taste of how sweet our home and school can be when Mommy is gentle and quiet! I’m listening – and I’ll take the pain as a reminder.

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