Thursday, February 19, 2009

When illness arrives...keeping both physically and spiritually healthy

The stomach bug has arrived in our home - taking us out slowly, one at a time.  This stealthy approach is probably better than everyone at the same time but I'm not sure.  While the illness is of the 48 hr. nature - 48 x 10 people - is a lot of time.

We have reached the full week mark today with my last child down and out - he is nicknamed "Iron Man" for his ability to resist most of the colds, etc. that everyone else gets but this bug got to him as well.  So, with Iron Man down, everyone has gotten it - for the first time.  

With large families it is always a challenge to see if the illness will come around a 2nd (or 3rd) time to revisit.  I pray not.

But we persevere with illness don't we?  What we endure as parents always amazes me.  I am not talking about the emotional stuff so much as the truly gross physical stuff - vomit, loose teeth, awful road rash from a bad fall from a bike.  The stuff that would truly make me feel physically ill before I had kids, now is part and parcel of what I have to do.  I have to do it.

How I wish I was as accepting of what is necessary for my holiness.  While I wouldn't hesitate to do all that is necessary to help myself and my children be physically healthy, I balk at what will help me (and them) be spiritually healthy.  

And honestly, it is more me than them.  I have no problem encouraging, supporting, and enhancing their spiritual lives providing time and good books but don't always take the same care for myself.  

This Lent I am praying about taking better care of me - not to the neglect of them - but realizing that while I certainly gain much from going the Stations of the Cross with them (at their level), I need to make sure I am challenging myself at an adult level in regard to spiritual growth.  Making sure I'm not keeping my faith at the St. Joseph Catechism level but moving on into the adult one.  



Anonymous said...

Great post! Hope the family is finally over the flu bug. Hopefully "iron man" is the last one. I totally agree with your observations about the gross stuff we endure as parents.
About our own spiritual growth, I couldn't agree with you more. I think it is so crucial for our kids to see us stretch ourselves spiritually. I think you must have been doing that over the years for your kids to have turned out so well. Keep up the good work. You are a role model to so many women. God bless.

EcceHomoPress said...

Thanks so much for the kinds words but Rachel wrote the beautiful post about keeping spiritually healthy. Fortunately, I don't have anyone with the stomach flu, although I did clean up some ugly messes from the dog yesterday. Unfortunately, I wasn't thinking of my spiritual health while I did it!! Sigh...another wasted moment.

Like Rachel, when these things go through the house, I have an "iron man" too. We always thought John was immune to these bugs, now we are at the doctor with him every week with his brain tumor. God is full of surprises. He keeps me hopping from practicing one virtue to opportunities to practice another. And it is always the one I need the most practice and the one I would least likely choose for myself!

God bless all you moms who serve your children in sickness and health. May God bless you all!