Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Heartwarming Tale of Bedwetting...

One of our children wets the bed, not every night, but often enough that it sometimes feels pointless to even bother with sheets. Which is why we haven't been lately... except for that nice, big, waterproof plastic sheet. (Yes, this is a very humbling confession). It's so much easier to deal with in the middle of the night. You see, when 3 children sleep in the same bed, if just one of them wets the bed in the night, all three of the children must be moved, in the middle of the night, in order to change the sheets. Unless there are no sheets, in which case the little wetter can simply be rinsed and re-dressed, her spot washed, and she can then be replaced and snuggled back under dry, cozy blankets while the others sleep on undisturbed. Unless she managed to soak her sister in the process, which is a whole different story. Can you imagine how horrible it would be to be woken out of a deep, peaceful sleep to discover that you had been the victim of someone else's bed-wetting? Definitely not warm and cozy. Warm, maybe.... but not cozy.
     A few nights ago, I had gone to bed miserable with the flu. Sometime shortly after 1:30 in the morning, I woke up to find Philip checking on the girls, and discovering that our one particular daughter had wet the bed. "Already??" I exclaimed. I lay there listening as Philip gently woke the wet child and  broke the news to her: "You're soaked." He got her up, gave her a bath, scrubbed and dried her place in bed, then tucked her back in with a snuggle and a kiss and a warm, dry blanket. We all drifted off to sleep and all was dry and happy.
     Until about 5 hours later. Philip had gotten up to go to work, but had just gotten the call that due to the rain, start time was delayed. Yes! He could come back to bed for an hour! One cozy,  rainy morning hour of extra sleep. Before he came back to bed he checked on the girls...and found that our child had once again soaked herself. "She wet the bed again!" I heard him whisper in astonishment. So once again, he gently woke up the poor, wet child and broke the news. "You wet the bed". Any irritation or frustration I had felt toward the child melted away the moment I heard her surprised and very disappointed-in-herself response: "I did?! Again?!" She seemed so frustrated with herself as she stumbled towards the bathroom, the only thing I could feel towards her was pity. I was impressed by Philip's kind attitude as he went through the routine all over again... warm bath, clean clothes, scrub bed, snuggle, kiss, "goodnight"... all the while his precious extra time to sleep was quickly slipping away.
     I hadn't thought much more about it throughout the day, until the child-who-shall-remain-nameless brought it up. "Mama" she said. "Papa was SO sweet to me when I wet the bed in the night. Even though I did it two times, he was just so sweet and he didn't even act like he minded." Wow. Moment of enlightenment. It would have been SO easy in a situation like Philip faced, to NOT be "so sweet", to give in to the feeling of frustration. To let your child know that you are just a little irritated to be having to deal with this, especially twice in one night. It would even seem justifiable. I mean, she is really too old to be wetting the bed, and this is just a little ridiculous... I know I probably would have been guilty of it! I might have even said some little comment like, "this is crazy... you're going to have to stop drinking so much water at night" just to make sure that she realized that I wasn't thrilled to be doing this. When I saw, though, how much it meant to her that her Papa had handled it so sweetly, and that he "didn't even act like he minded", I was struck by the blessings that would have been missed had Philip acted impatiently. Our daughter was blessed by her Papa's kindness, I was blessed by witnessing her Papa's kindness, I was blessed by her appreciation of her Papa's kindness, and then he was blessed when I relayed to him how much his kindness had meant to her. It made me wonder, how many blessings do we miss out on because we give vent to our feelings, because we go ahead and make that one little cutting comment, or allow that one little huff of a bad attitude to make sure that someone is aware of the bother that we're going to for them... You know, when God says "do ALL things without murmurings and disputings" (Philippians 2:14) he's not just talking to kids to tell them to eat their veggies and do their chores without complaining. He's talking to US, and He means, do ALL things without murmurings and disputings. Even dealing with a child soaking the bed twice in one night. When   I saw how much Philip's sweetness had meant to her, it also made me realize how much a less-kind reaction would have affected her. She probably wouldn't have thought to put it into words, or maybe she wouldn't have even given it a second thought at all, but at that moment in the middle of the night, waking up wet and disappointed in herself, it would have just been one more negative element added  to an already uncomfortable interruption in her night's rest. Instead, because her Papa chose to obey and honor God with his attitude, a warm and cozy memory was made, and heart strings were tied. And my heart swells with gratitude and love and joy every time I think about it. :)
Cute, but... don't even THINK about drinking all that water before bed.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." -Philippians 4:11. When I was about 17, I sort of took this verse as one of my life goals. I had become chronically ill with nobody-knew-what, but whatever it was, I was in total-body pain and physical misery day and night. It lasted about 3 years before the Lord healed me. During that time, some Biblical concepts that I had always heard but never really practiced became very real to me. Things like, "In EVERYthing give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ concerning you". (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and "the joy of the Lord is your strength" and the one I mentioned above. After years of testing, I thought I pretty much had it down....


every few weeks, I am tested again. It happens in that moment when I realize that there is still no new little Litteral on the way. All these emotions erupt inside of me, and I have a split second of feeling my heart crying out, in a whiney, immature way: "Whyyyyyy, God??" Sometimes it lasts more than a split second, and I have to give myself a good, hard verbal spanking. "Clara, is God Sovereign?? Do you ACTUALLY believe that He is Sovereign? Do you believe that He knows what is best? Do you REALLY believe it?? Then why are you whining??!" Then I have to answer: "YES, YES!! He is completely Sovereign! And yes, He knows what is best!! I know, I know... I have no reason to whine..."

Then I feel ashamed and horribly ungrateful... I have 3 BEAUTIFUL, precious children, who delight us and bless us constantly; wonderful gifts from God!! How dare I complain because He hasn't given me even MORE, at the time when I think He should?

Then a few weeks later.... *bam* the eruption of emotions, "WHYYYYY, God???", the tears and then... the verbal spanking, and the surrender. Again.

A few weeks ago, we were at a get-together with a bunch of the family, and I was talking with Grandpa E., doing the usual catching up. He asked if we were enjoying our 3 girls, and I was telling him that we definitely were. Someone asked: "Where are the boys??" and I had laughed and replied: "Hopefully they're still-to-come!" Then Grandpa smiled, in his wise, kind Grandpa way, and he said: "You know, we would have enjoyed having a boy, but we were sure content with our 5 girls." When he said that, I was struck with conviction. I had never thought about this matter in that light. I thought about it more and more.... God says that children are a blessing, a reward. I just ache to have a whole houseful of them, a whole army to raise for the Lord, a whole quiver full of Godly arrows prepared to do serious damage to the enemy's plans. What I want is a good thing. And I'm not going to stop wanting it. Longing for it. Praying for it. But, in the meantime, I have to find the balance, and still be content with where God has me right now. Still trust that He DOES know what is best! And He knows every desire of my heart, as well as every bit of disappointment and sadness. He also has plans that we know nothing about. Plans that are always for our best, and for His glory. Even at 5, 4 and going-on-3, our girls are learning this lesson. They ask me why God doesn't give us a new baby, they pray and ask Him to please give us one. (actually, they specifically ask Him for 14 children.) They ask me why other families, who have a whole bunch of children, are "more blessed" than us. Anja told me with tears in her eyes, that she loves playing with her baby cousins and friends, but "it's sad because all the babies get to go home with other families and we don't have one". I see how much these 3 girls love babies SO much, and to me it makes perfect sense that God would give us one. But I explain to them that we ARE blessed, in SO many ways!! Then we talk about all the ways that God has blessed us. Then we talk about how God knows best, and we have to trust Him even when it doesn't make sense to us. God is glorified in these conversations, and so even right there, I can see a little bit of how He is working. These are precious and eternally valuable lessons for the girls to be learning so young, and we can't see yet how God is going to use these things in their lives. God's ways are NOT our ways, but God's ways ARE BEST.

One blessed Mama!
I just saw this quote on Facebook, posted by my dear Auntie Kara: "I cried because I had no shoes; then I saw a man who had no feet". How timely. I look at my 3 little girls, and I am overwhelmed by how much God has blessed me. It probably seems completely ridiculous to a lot of people that I would even be struggling with all these things when my youngest child isn't even 3 yet. But by the time my oldest was this age, she had 2 younger siblings already. I LOVE being pregnant, and I've always envisioned myself being Mama to a huge bunch of children... and my time is ticking. If you don't understand my heart on that, then it will just seem silly to you. That's ok, just take away the lessons I've learned about trusting God and His Sovereignty and apply them in your life to whatever your area of struggle is.

When I say "lessons I've learned", don't think that that means I will never have to learn them again. Life goes on, and there will always be those things we don't understand, those things we don't like, and those times when we're tempted to ask God, "why???" But in those times, we have to remember....
One blessed Papa!

Rom 11:33O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable [are] his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Rom 11:34For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
Rom 11:36
For of him, and through him, and to him, [are] all things: to whom [be] glory for ever. Amen.