As I stood at the stove, stirring yet another bowl of chicken noodle soup for our second round of stomach aches, I couldn’t help but be a little irritated. Audrey began with the first episode of vomitting last week, and here she was again, throwing up. Was the stomach virus going to make a second appearance?
I was adding a few saltines to her bowl of soup, when I paused and had a few thoughts.
What if I viewed my role as a mother differently? What if I embraced the opportunity to serve my children the same way I embraced the opportunities to serve others? What if I really started believing that my children were my mission field and every chance to serve them gave me the opportunity to be Jesus with skin on? Would I view this second round of the stomach bug differently?
As Audrey picked herslf up from the couch, I tried to look at her as Christ would see her. He would see her as precious and full of mercy. He would smile at her willingness to serve her mama each time the groceries needed to be unloaded from the car. He would see the beautiful heart that beats with an abundance of love for her sisters and brothers. He would help her to the table and check her fever and pour more ginger ale. He would seek to ease her discomfort and love her through her illness.
I watched Audrey as she tried to swallow a few bites of soup. She ate a few crackers and looked up at me. She is intuitive and she knows that this vomitting is getting to me. I smile and say, “It’s OK.”. Audrey gives me a small smile and eats another cracker. I sit with her instead of retreating to the laundry room to fold more clothes. I know my presence is making her uneasy and I know why.
I put tasks ahead of people and she is expecting me to put something ahead of her eating soup. She is anticipating my departure from her presence-she knows it will come. Chores are always waiting and I give in to the call of laundry-but not today.
Today, I wait until my second born is finished and I smile as she tries to please me with a few more bites of soup. I feel her head and offer more ginger ale. “Do you feel like you could eat a cookie?”, I ask. I know my Audrey and she loves a good sugar cookie. “No, thank you.”, she replies with a small grin.
I send her back to her pillow on the couch and take her dishes to the sink.
I can do this better. I can embrace all the moments of motherhood and love better. I can work to see my children as Christ sees them and count it joy to get to do this…