And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.
And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.
And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and have delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them...
Thus shall they know that I the Lord their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord God.
~Ezekiel 34:25-27, 30
The Professor recently had the opportunity to return to Europe for a few days. By the time travel was added on, we missed him for a week. Normally that's no fun, but not too bad. This time the cold we were all sharing transformed into hideous ear infections in the boys. Out of five business days, we were at the doctor for four of them. We also had school meetings and carpool and visiting teaching and children singing in church and the rest of normal life to continue. Everything was in place for a very bad week.
Thankfully, it didn't happen. Instead, I found "showers of blessing" waiting to help me through the hard minutes.
~One night, Young M fell asleep at 5 pm. That night, when I was tempted to stay up a while, I was reminded that he would probably wake up early, and I should head to bed. By listening, I was able to get six hours of sleep before he woke up at 4 am, sick, in pain, and throwing up.
~One day I realized at 3 pm that if I made dinner right then it would be done, and, by the way, I could make pasta salad. So I did. When Young T finally fell asleep on my lap at 4:30, I didn't have to wonder about dinner. It was done. I could let him sleep.
~When I took the kids to church by myself, the baby fell asleep during song practice (before church started), and Young M, who was sick, fell asleep on the bench during the meeting. I could listen, my older kids could sing, and my little ones were OK. A friend was kind enough to help me carry my sick boys out to the car after the first meeting.
~When my parents' car started leaking something that may have been antifreeze, I (with my three tag-a-longs) could drive them and my little brother to the MTC so he could start his mission. It was a tender thing to do. (And, my parents were able to get home safely after refilling their antifreeze.)
~While the first half of the week was busy with things only I could do (doctor appointments, teacher meetings, visiting family), sweet neighbors checked in on me. Somehow, the burden was lighter knowing they were willing to take some of it, even if I didn't need them to right then.
~When things finally calmed down towards the end of the week, the house was a wreck and driving me crazy. Another friend brought dinner and a daughter. Between them, they straightened and cleaned and did dishes and vacuumed and chatted with me. In less than two hours, they did more than I could have done in an entire day. And the load they lifted was huge. That night, instead of staying up to do dishes, I could go to bed.
~The day before the Professor got home, I got an idea to help my kids work. It worked well enough that we got half the house in great order before he got home. We stayed busy, and he didn't have to come home tired to another mess to dig out of.
I am grateful for the help I had that week, both human and divine. I was given what I needed. There were still exhausted nights and lonely tears, but through it all, the Lord my God was with me bringing peace and deliverance and strength.