Sunday, February 1, 2015

Friends and jealousy

Friends and jealousy. Can you truly be friends with someone when you are jealous of them? At our MOPS group this month, we have been discussing how too often, we compare ourselves to others, especially other moms/parents. It’s so hard to break that habit, to try to measure up to someone or something else. We live in this media-saturated, facebook-filled world where everyone tries to present themselves with their best face, wearing rose-colored glasses. We always think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. We are a culture that is rarely satisfied with what we have, constantly wanting the next best thing.

So… what do you do when someone you care about gets something you don’t have, but would like very much? How do you handle it?

Two verses, recited to me tonight by a kid in my Awana group, helped me gain perspective: (Prov 17:17) “a friend loves at all times” and “abhor what is evil, cling to what is good.”

Selfishness is not a virtue, NOT something we should be striving for or cultivating. 
My own selfish ambition and vain conceit should never be allowed to trump someone else’s happiness, accomplishments, or good news. So tonight I found myself pasting on a happy smile, opening my arms, and saying “Congratulations!” The friend doesn’t need to know that I might not mean it in my heart quite yet. 

But one day soon, hopefully I will. 

Today, I thank God for you

Today is the day that I THANK GOD for my second daughter.
Six years ago, she was a one-month-old baby fighting for her life.
Exactly six years ago at this time, she stopped breathing in her daddy's arms, in the middle of an ER triage room. Six years ago she was hospitalized with a near-fatal case of RSV. For seven days she fought as hard as she could.... ripping out IV lines and monitor leads, crying silent screams through her air vent, sucking up nutrients through a tiny... until the infection cleared up and left her little body. We spent 3 additional days in a step-down care unit, and ten days later, we got to come home. Finally!
They were the ten absolute worst days of my life. I get tears in my eyes just thinking about it, all of the stress and monitors and sleeping in a hospital chair for a week, sitting in the corner, pumping ever 3 hours...  Initially, it took them about 36 hours to get back test results and figure out what exactly was wrong, why she was so sick. So they immediately pumped her full of (completely unnecessary, ineffective) antibiotics. For the first 3 or 4 days, there were a lot of ups and downs, and we simply weren't sure if she would pull through. And I had never been away from Hannah for more than one night, let alone a week and a half. It was torture for all of us.
It could have been fatal. There could have been quite few other ways that the story ended. By the time we left the hospital, I was 6 weeks post-partum, and feeling more emotional than I had been in the first place! I could have focused on the what-ifs, could have second-guessed our decisions with the medical teams, could have wondered and worried about what would have happened if we had driven to the hospital just a few minutes or an hour later. But I had to put the doubts out of my mind, and we chose not to focus on all of those things - because they didn't really happen. She was ok. She survived.

Today she is a lively, silly, stubborn, healthy six year old,
and she has never had any lasting effects from the RSV.

I am so thankful for you today, my daughter.

We thank God for you.

A friend gave this to me while A. was hospitalized.
I came across it a few weeks ago. It still means a lot to me.