Luke 4: 38And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.
I heard that verse in a devotion this morning that I was not ‘supposed’ to hear.
This week and last were all about a few things: getting through 2 business trips for Rod, getting Scoops published on time, and getting to Branson yesterday for our press conference and several concerts, including the first of our Give the Gospel series.
It wasn’t meant to be that way.
Kaity got sick Tuesday. Scary sick. Her breathing was all of a sudden troubled again, and this time, I took her in to the ER right away (where we waited for a long time, and during that wait, she cried so hard she threw up twice..) and we ended up being sent by ambulance to University of Chicago’s Komer’s Children Hospital, at least 25 miles from home. We went around 3am. Rod was on his way back to us from Lousiville. The other kids were at the house with no car (because the family car was at the hospital, and Josh’s Jeep is dead…) My phone battery had died.
I am a warrior. It’s my name. Kelly = ‘warrior maiden, loyal and brave.’
I was not scared.
Here is what scared me. Me. Because up until we got in that ambulance, up until I saw my little tiny 20 month old strapped to a big gurney and lifted into a space where I could not be with her, I was trying to figure out HOW Rod and I could still make it to Branson for the press conference. And the fact that I was thinking that way scared me. How ambitious do I need to be? How much do I need to ‘get done?’ How much sacrifice is too much for our ‘calling?’
Are we not called first by God to serve our family?
Don’t get me wrong. Had we decided to go anyway, Kaity would have been with my parents, whom I absolutely trust with her life. But I know that would not have been fair to anyone. I know we made the right decision in staying.
But oh.. those are the times when the doubts and the anxiety and the insecurities – what we also call a Spiritual Attack – come rushing in.
( I twittered about it).
Anyway, we were rescued over and over again during this ordeal (In fact, the song that goes, “I need You, Jesus, to be my rescue. Where else can I go?’ kept going through my head).
We have some pretty amazing friends who put the finishing touches on the press conference and pulled it off. About 40 members of the local Branson press and business community showed up, as did the Mayor, who spoke about her excitement and support of the convention.
Meanwhile, we had, I believe, hundreds of people praying for our baby daughter and for us. And it worked.
Kaity does not have pneumonia or the flu or bronchitis or even asthma. Right now, her diagnosis is Reactive Airway Disease, which essentially means she experienced wheezing and respiratory distress with an unknown cause. Monday we will see her doctor, whom we know very well and trust, and hopefully we will find out more.
But, one of the many fine doctors we saw at Komer’s said plainly, “It could very well just be bad luck.” I almost laughed when she said it. Because honestly, I started thinking this whole episode was yet another spiritual attack on the convention, but now the only thing I know for sure is that it was a time of testing for Rod and me.
We were supposed to choose to stay here with our kids. We were supposed to loosen the control of the events in Branson today.
The test did not end with that. Rod is sitting across from me dealing with one more right now. (Dear Ikea – Did you sell us a haunted office unit? So many Critical Moments have taken place as we sit here…) He is dealing with it in a way that, frankly, takes some sacrifice and faith on his part. But it’s what we both know is right.
One of the ways I know is because of where I was this morning when the press conference was taking place. I was at Moms and More, the group I’ve belonged to for just over a year that has made such an enormous difference in my life. The women I have befriended in this group do not care which of us is back in her pre-pregnancy jeans, which of us lets our kids watch TV, which of us lives on a bus during the weekends, which of us is Catholic vs. Pentecostal vs. married vs. single. I have never seen such a supportive community of women before. We love each other. We love each other’s kids. We agree in prayer. We laugh and cry and struggle and celebrate together.
This community is my touchstone, and once I knew we and Kaity would be home today, it was automatic that I would be there.
So it was good to see my mommy friends and hear their words of empathy and drink coffee. But I was not expecting what else I got.
It came in the form of today’s speaker, Dorothy Caldwell. There are so many cool things about this, I might have to make a list. Yeah… a list:
1. Dorothy was introduced by my friend Deanna. Deanna has become so important to me because she is also a driven work at home mom.. and we can talk quite plainly about finding the balance between our driven selves and our nurturing selves. Deanna differs from me in that she is not a big sap (she says she is, but she rarely shows it). Today as Deanna introduced Dorothy, she cried. I mean, really cried. Dorothy gave Deanna the advice to ‘Just trust’ when Deanna was struggling with her family’s then-situation. Deanna has recently seen movement and peace in their lives where she needed it. This into.. was awesome.
2. Dorothy began with a typical impressive list of qualifications for a ‘Keynote Mommy Speaker.’ She had 6 kids in a row. She home schooled all of them. She is now helping to raise her baby grandson. She has been married for over 20 years and clearly still adores her husband. She is smart, well read, well spoken, and of strong Christian faith.
3. Dorothy then became very transparent about her struggles as a stay-at-home mom, and some of her wisdom was:
- We do not have to keep trying to do more or to force things to happen.
- God does not let us skip a beat. If we are focused on nurturing our children and our homes, He will still be using that time to pour into and prepare us for ways He will use us in the future.
- We are to be ready for MOMENTS (‘times such as this’) when God will use us.
- God may also prune us – ask us for sacrifices.
- We are to be real.. we don’t have to try to keep up with other women, other moms, and their ideas of what is necessary. We can have peace and comfort with who and where we are.
Do you see where this went for me? I could feel some of my friends looking at me during some of these points. Dorothy was speaking these truths directly to where I was this morning.
4. Toward the end of all this, Dorothy called the leaders of Moms and More to the front. (I became a leader readily when I was asked. I work publicity for the group and am also the unofficial social chairwoman. I really love everything about this community). Dorothy began speaking prophetically over us. She said Moms and More is destined to be an international community, something that will reach women who need this particular kind of ministry. And then she specifically mentioned that God will raise WRITERS from this group to create books and curriculum, that will find favor with publishing houses.
Interestingly enough, earlier this week, the man who has been my writing mentor since I was 14 years old sent me an email out of nowhere. He has been reading my columns and believes the time, the MOMENT, is now for me to put together a book proposal.
Finally. I mean, seriously.. I was *9* years old when I completed my first novel. Do I think maybe God put that calling on my life even before motherhood and gospel events and editing? Hmm?
It’s been an exciting week, to say the least. In the midst of all this, Miranda started dance class, Josh got a job, and Paige carried on as a high school student who can take care of her junk when her parents are occupied in the PICU. God bless those kids.
We rescheduled our Branson trip.. Rod and I will be flying there week after next for 2 1/2 days. There will be no hoopla or concerts or press events, fewer friends around, but plenty of time to meet with people and eat at Dino’s.
Be it unto me.. whatever God has next.. I know He will equip me. And I know if I take care of this family first, He will continue to be faithful in the efforts to which HE called us.