Our Biggest Sale of the Year is Here!🎄 ➔

I made a mistake. It’s one you’ve probably made as well.  I made plans.  A slew of them, crammed into a week and a half. Let me tell you, they were going to be awesome.

One of the reasons for the awesomeness was simply how much effort I had put into timing everything and preparing for each step of the plan. I’m not a super organized person, but even I had appreciated how much smoother things go when you prepare ahead of time. Another reason for the awesomeness was that tucked away in the middle of these plans was a tiny trip away with my man. When you have five kids, overnights away from kiddos are a rare occurrence. The husband and I were counting the minutes till we could drop the kids off at grandma and grandpa’s for Cousin Camp, and we could flop down on a king size bed and sleep uninterrupted till we awoke on our own. I was giddy at the thought.

Stage One of the Master Plan went off without a hitch. We had guests arrive Friday afternoon to help us celebrate Independence Day weekend. We cooked over the fire, enjoyed a new s’mores recipe, lit a few tame fireworks, tossed the kids in bed, and had cathartic campfire talk till midnight.

We were on track for Stage Two of the Master Plan: get a good night’s rest and be ready for a fun filled Fourth of July Celebration including games, go-karts, prizes, and yummy food. We would end the day of jubilee with a city fireworks display. Yippee!

Except…

At 3:30 the morning of the Fourth, my five year old woke me by coughing in my face. There was crying and wheezing, too. Yep, wheezing. That was strange, but I asked him if he wanted to lay on the couch for a bit. Off he went.

Ten minutes later he was back asking to crawl into bed with me. In he crawled and as I wrapped my arms around him, I could tell his body was working too hard to breathe, and the wheezing was really bad. I laid there listening and feeling for a minute or two more before I nudged my husband awake.

Have you experienced the “middle of the night trip to the ER or not” discussion with your spouse? The kind where you’ve both been jolted out of a deep sleep and must make intelligent decisions about your child’s health and well-being? We spent a few minutes listening to the terrible wheezing together, wondering if it could just be allergies or if it could wait till office hours were open. We decided to consult Dr. Google. Within two seconds of reading the results for our “wheezing cough” search, we made the decision to drive the 25 minutes to the ER.

Good thing, too, because our son was swiftly admitted with pneumonia.

My son making the most of a hospital stay
My son making the most of a hospital stay

When the decision to admit my son was made, I watched all my plans wisp away one by one. No Fourth of July celebration, no Cousin Camp, no much-needed trip with my husband. My son’s health was my number one concern, to be sure. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed about how things were turning out.

However, in place of all the excitement and fun I thought we had needed, God has given us different gifts instead. We have received much support from friends and family. Prayers, meals, offers of childcare. We have been given a chance to grow together as a family in a powerful way. From the twelve year old down to the three year old, my children have been kind and helpful and gracious and patient as we figure out our life every few hours. The most annoying things about my son are the exact things his siblings are missing most right now. My sister was with the kids at home for a chunk of time yesterday and really worked hard to fill the time with fun things. But when I asked my kids what the best part of their day had been, they each said, “Getting to see Isaac.” Talk about melting a mama’s heart.

On my drive up to meet my husband and son in the hospital, I was reminded of a bible verse I had read the week before from the book of James.

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a  town and spend a year there and trade and make profit’ -yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)

Right now I say, “If the Lord wills, my son will get to come home from the hospital today.” That sentence is my prayer and my reminder that my God is in loving control of all of this.

**I’m happy and thankful to add that my son was, indeed, released from the hospital that day and is making a great recovery.**

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Dusty Reed

Dusty is a wife, a mother and a friend. Having grown up in a big city, she is now raising her family of seven on a farmstead in rural Nebraska. During weekdays Dusty can be found teaching her children at the dining room table. Or napping; it can be exhausting raising five kids! Dusty is always on the lookout for ways to avoid housework. Her favorite ways are meeting friends for coffee, preparing meals to take to others, or simply laying in a hammock with a good book. Often feeling like an inadequate mess, Dusty is allowing God to enter into those fragile parts of her heart to heal it. Anything she learns along this tangled path of life, she longs to share with others.

Praying For Your Kids is Holy Work of Motherhood

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mom hugging daughter by bed with open Bible

While excavating Mount Masada in Israel, archeologists discovered something extraordinary . . . a date palm seed. It might not seem like much (especially if you’re like me and totally expected it to be a new dinosaur or something), but this particular seed sat dormant in the dry desert soil for almost 2,000 years. Scientists ended up finding several more seeds like it throughout the Judean desert, and with a little TLC, they were able to sprout not just one but six of them. Six date palm trees, now bearing fruit that hasn’t been seen in two millennia. Incredible, right?...

Keep Reading

Choose to Be a Mother, Not a Martyr

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding baby, black-and-white photo

There is a trend in motherhood right now . . . maybe it’s happened for a long time, but now since I am a mom, I am experiencing it: this idea that everything we do as moms makes us a martyr. And honestly, I am guilty here more times than I’m not. RELATED: You’re a Mother, Not a Martyr We have these inner, silent dialogues between us and our husbands, parents, in-laws, and friends. Things we say and think, but they never hear. They compound on each other in the hallways of our hearts before bitterness creeps in without us...

Keep Reading

Motherhood Reminds Me How Much I Need Jesus

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding baby in nursery, color photo

Parenting is not only about the work it takes to raise up a child, but it’s also about continuing the work of being raised in Christ. Stripping back our innermost layers of selfishness and laying our pride exposed. Seeing ourselves as the center of our own personal schedule is no longer an option. Feeling like we have power over anything quickly vanishes into thin air. Parenthood pushes us to surrender and accept God’s sovereign control. Parenting sanctifies us.  Parenting shows us our sinful attitudes. When plans are ruined, when another blowout spoils the perfect outfit you chose, when your toddler...

Keep Reading

When Did I Become Such an Angry Mom?

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman with head in her hands

My oldest children and I had just navigated a tabletop board game. My son lost. My daughter won. I also lost. She’s four. For the record, I was trying my best. We were all putting the game away together when my son grabbed my daughter by the face and yelled, “IT DOESN’T MATTER ANYWAY BECAUSE YOUR BREATH STINKS!” And then, Mount St. Meredith erupted. I (not so gently) removed him from the situation and (not so calmly) insisted that he . . . brush his own teeth. Yep. For the record, I was trying my best. RELATED: Mom Anger: Taming...

Keep Reading

Angel Babies are Heaven’s Gatekeepers

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Mother and baby silhouette

I never seemed to have the right words. I didn’t have the right words at four years old when my parents lost my 11-month-old brother, and I never seemed to have the right words as I watched family members and close friends lose both the new life growing within their wombs and the beautiful, precious life resting in their weary arms. So, I did what I thought would offer the most comfort. I simply tried to show up and be there the best I could. I shopped for their favorite treats. I dropped meals off on front porches and toys...

Keep Reading

Secondary Infertility Took Me By Surprise

In: Baby, Faith, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother holding toddler by open door

Selfish. Unfair. Guilt stricken. Shameful. Those were just a few of the words that regularly stabbed my lamenting heart as I longed for a second child. Yes, I was grateful for my healthy, beautiful boy who made my dream of motherhood come true, but why did I not feel complete—was he not enough? Was I doing this motherhood thing all wrong and didn’t deserve a second child? Why did I long to give him a sibling so badly knowing millions were aching for their first—how could I be so insensitive? So many questions, so many buts and so many whys....

Keep Reading

So God Made a Farm Mom

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Family walking on farm road at sunset

One day, God looked down at all the fields, barns, pastures, and farmers and knew He needed someone to take care of all the families on the land. He knew it had to be someone confident in herself to see that the farm doesn’t come first, even when it sometimes feels like it does. He knew the farm needed someone who understands her role is important, too—especially during the seasons of motherhood when she’s not out driving a tractor. Someone proud to stand by her farmer’s side.  So God made a farm mom. God knew farm kids would need someone...

Keep Reading

Even If It Doesn’t Feel like It, God Is Holding You

In: Faith
Woman sitting against tree outside

Sweet friend,  When you’re sitting in that doctor’s office, waiting to find out what is wrong, I know you’re scared. I wish I could come and sit down beside you, hold your hand, and reassure you that it’s going to be okay. No matter what news she tells you, it’s going to be okay.  Your world might change in an instant. I know there are so many feelings swirling inside you and that you’re fighting back the tears, but it’s going to be okay.  Even if it doesn’t feel like it, God is holding you. He knows exactly what’s going...

Keep Reading

God Doesn’t Make Mistakes, Even When Motherhood Doesn’t Look Like You Planned

In: Faith, Motherhood
Teen with Down syndrome sits on couch with mother

I see you trying to keep your head above water every day, trying to juggle all of your responsibilities, have time for things you want to do, time for self-care in a world that glamorizes it, to meet the needs of your other kids, your husband, and have a social life on top of therapies, IEP meetings, meltdowns, evaluations, working with your child one-on-one, and just all the additional stresses that come with this life. There are too many to list, but if you know you know.  I see you wondering if you’re doing enough for your child when you...

Keep Reading

Dear Younger Mom Me, Love Them Deeper

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mom kissing little boy cheek

If I could tell that mom, I’d tell her football starts next week, not in nine years. If I could tell that mom, I’d tell her a pitching machine lasts one game, not multiple seasons. If I could tell that mom, I’d tell her the dirty and clean laundry will pile up, and the dishes will too. I’d tell her to not let that affect her so much. If I could tell that mom, I’d tell her life is too short to worry about tomorrow. If I could tell that mom, I’d tell her to capture every moment of time...

Keep Reading