Well, what a day we had yesterday with this little guy.
Not even 3 minutes after I sent a tweet about what a productive and great Monday we were having, I heard a crash from the kids' room and heard a scream. I knew immediately it wasn't good and I ran to their room to discover Carter in tears and Ava with her hands over her ears :) After checking his face, assuming he would have hurt his mouth or the front of his head, I didn't see anything so I just held him. As I walked out of the room with him, I noticed some blood on my arm and had no idea where that came from. I didn't even suspect Carter because he looked fine, but it was bright red, so I knew it just happened. Then I noticed some on my shirt and then finally saw the pool on his head that was now dripping down his face. It was one of those surreal moments when you realize you're alone and the adult, therefore you've got to pull yourself together and handle it. I was simultaneously trying to hold Carter, keep his arms down, try not to drip blood on the carpet and get to the source of the blood. It's amazing what you can do when you need to, even when you wonder what you're going to find and what you're supposed to do about it!
After I saw the cut, I pieced together the story from Ava that he fell off a chair in her room (which is an overstuffed chair that's about a foot off the ground) and hit his head. I don't know if he hit it on the bottom corner of a bookshelf or on the corner of the windowsill, but either way whatever it was took a chunk out of his scalp and caused the blood to flow...and flow...and flow. Wow the head bleeds a lot! I called the pediatrician and she said if it was under an inch, they could take care of it in the office and we had an 8 hour window to decide if it needed a staple. So after getting him to sleep and waiting for Trav to look at it when he got home, we decided to take him in and just get their opinion. I honestly thought we were probably over-reacting, but better for them to tell me that than to just assume.
So for the second time in 5 days, we brought the kids to their pediatrician's office and after she saw it, she told us we did the right thing to bring him in. The decided to put 2 staples in his head, poor baby.
Of course we are thankful that it wasn't worse, it could have definitely been. And to have it be on the top of his head, instead of his face, is a blessing. But it was not a lot of fun to have to hold him, face down, on the table so they could clean it, prep it and then put two staples in. He was mad as a hornet and went from crying, to screaming, to some kind of instinctual noise that probably has to do with that "fight or flight" response. It was awful. Ava was watching the whole thing, but we weren't paying a bit of attention to her so I have no idea what she thought :) I do remember telling her to be quiet at one point because she was singing in the background rather loudly, ha ha! Trav and I were both choking back some tears and trying to hold it together, but after it was all over and I finally got him calmed down, we put the kids in the car and then took a deep breath. I told him I felt like I had been hit by a truck! You just don't realize all the emotion and stress you hold back when your child is in pain and you can't stop them from hurting.
I'm sure it was just the first of many injuries to come :) I decided yesterday that one big difference I'm seeing between Ava and Carter, and possibly girls and boys, is that Carter is reckless. I would describe both of them as daredevils, but I'm realizing that Ava does have some degree of caution. She does pause to think through something, even if just for a second, but Carter does not. He sees a toy and just dives head first for it. This has been a good lesson in learning to just trust the Lord with my kids. I can't keep them protected all of the time or be with them every time they make a decision. I'm glad I was at home to be the one who came to his rescue, but beyond that, I'm grateful that the Lord is always with them!
Yesterday was a long day and not just because of the stapes incident. It was sort of the straw that broke the camel's back, actually. Last week was a tough week. Between the ear infections and teething, my kids were out of sorts and so was I. The days were so long and my patience was so short. Honestly, it was one of the hardest weeks we've had in a while. My house was a HUGE struggle for me, it was a disaster that I couldn't get on top of and the walls felt like they were closing in. In the middle of the week my washing machine started smoking and set the smoke alarms off, which led me to a search for a repair man and the realization that 4 out of 5 places I called WOULD NOT work on a stackable unit. Which is always helpful when you are totally dependant on someone to fix something you know nothing about. There were several other things that happened, but I know I'm not the only who had a tough week.
The point is, after yesterday I really thought, "what else Lord??" The enemy loves to find us in those moments and pepper our minds with lies. It was tempting for me to feel like the Lord didn't care and that in the face of some real needs, He wasn't stepping in to save me. That's how I felt, but by now I've learned not to trust my feelings because often they aren't based on truth and they have a tendency to lead me down a path I don't need to go. The truth is, sometimes life is hard and overwhelming. Sometimes you reach your breaking point and sometimes you feel frustrated. But that doesn't mean the Lord has forgotten you or doesn't understand exactly how you are feeling. It also doesn't mean that He isn't working on your behalf, even if you can't see it. Because often He is. He's doing things for you and showering you with his Love and often, we miss it because we're so caught up in the ONE thing that we think He's not doing.
On my way to Bible study this morning, I caught a little bit of teaching from Chip Ingram on the radio that spoke directly to my heart. He was teaching from Romans 5:5, about the love of Christ and the nature of God's love being a proactive pursuit of us. That verse tell us:
"...and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
Because He is love and He wants us to experience His love, one of the ways He shows us is by literally pouring out HIS love IN US by the Holy Spirit. He works in our hearts by an agreement between the Holy Spirit and our spirit that makes us say, "Abba Father." Because it's an intimate love, we are able to recognize that it's from Him, for us. Our spirit recognizes His and agrees with it, just so that we can know what it's like to KNOW the Father's love FOR us. Sometimes He does it through His Word. He takes us to a scripture or has a re-read something and we realize it's exactly what we needed to hear at that very moment, and that's because it is! It was given to us by Him, to show us His love for us in every detail of our life. Sometimes it's in prayer, when we are in relationship with Him, talking and listening just like we would with a friend, and we get a Word from Him. He impresses a thought or a command on our hearts and we know He gave us that because He loves us. He spoke to us because He out of His great love for us, He knew we needed to hear it.
As I was listening to this Chip Ingram teaching (which was WONDERFUL and worth the listen- click the link above if you want to hear it) I began to realize in the midst of this hard week, the Lord has really shown up and lavished His love on me and I almost missed it. The phrase from Romans 5:5 "poured out" means to literally be full and overflowing. After we got home from the doctor yesterday, Travis tells me that he got a letter yesterday, sent to his office, for me. That doesn't happen a lot, but sometimes someone just doesn't know our address. As I read it, I honestly felt like the Lord just gave me a hug from one of you. It was an anonymous sister in Christ who wrote me a sweet note about this blog and gave me a very generous and helpful gift. Thinking about it again makes me cry. Whoever you are, please know that God used that in a very timely way, on a day when I was feeling overwhelmed and forgotten. Thank you. You were a demonstration of His love to me...
As I updated facebook/twitter with Carter's staples saga yesterday, I can tell you how precious it was to hear from so many people who loved us and told me they were praying for Carter or for Travis and I. I know people have opinions about facebook/twitter and it's not a face to face thing, but I can tell you how often the Lord has used it to bless me or encourage me through a friend or family member. I believe people when they say they care and between that and some sweet sisters on twitter, I knew that was God loving me through them. This morning I woke up to several text messages from dear friends and family, asking how I was and how Carter slept. They didn't have to ask, but they did. I heard that teaching from Chip and then got to Bible study, got a hug from a dear friend and sat through worship fighting back tears because EVERY song was about how God loves us. And then in our discussion about the lesson we did this past week on Abraham and Sarah and the covenant God made with us (Gen. 12-17) we talked at length about the ways that He loves us and pursues us. As we talked about the mess between Sarah and Abraham and Hagar, we see the Lord pursing Hagar who was mistreated and forgotten and in sin, only to love her, to care for her and to provide for her. And in response she called Him the "One who sees me." I can identify with that today.
I drove home this morning but stopped by a friend's house first, who had a load of my laundry done for me. In the last few days, she has come to my rescue and done like 5 loads of our laundry...Insisted on it actually. Called me, texted me and asked me repeatedly when I was bringing another load over...
Do you think He's trying to get my attention??
Do you think He wants me to know and be reminded again that He loves me?
If I wouldn't have been still for a few minutes this morning, to listen in the car, I might have missed the countless ways the Lord has poured out His love for me, even in a week that felt hopeless and lonely. It took staples in my little boy's head for me to see the Love of Jesus, all over my life today. I share this because I'm sure I'm not the only one who has doubted the Lord's love today. I know I'm not the only Mom dealing with sick kids or feeling overwhelmed. I know I'm not the only one who is sure they can't handle one more disappointment. It could be that the Lord is also pouring out His love for you, but like me, you haven't stopped to notice or called it what it really is. If that's you, I hope this blesses you and I hope the Lord opens your eyes to see or reminds you that He is" the One Who Sees." And if none of this makes sense to you or you are sure that He couldn't possibly love you, I'm here to tell you that He does. He loved you all the way to the cross and back and nothing can seperate you from His love when you put your trust in Him and believe that He came to save YOU.
It's a common theme for me these days, but never a message that I want to get over.
"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him."
1 John 3:1
Carter is doing well. He's napping this afternoon and is back to his happy self. Someday I'll tell him about this story and I'll remind him about the countless ways God loves him too...