This is what my week has consisted of.

Miserable kids, miserable mom, and a poor husband who I so desperately rely on who has had to be at work from the early morning hours until very late at night.  I have been alone, exhausted, and very sick.  Each day brings new challenges, new moments of cleaning up after several people, including myself.  Spending hours scrubbing floors and shag carpet after another child has thrown up, only to throw up myself.  Hearing the desperate cries of “Help me, momma!” as a young one gets scared and sick again, and my heart breaks.  Trying not to throw up any more myself so that my contractions will stop.  Over-using my blessed, darling, oldest child, who can never begin to imagine what she does for me. 

But even in this bleak week, I have been uplifted.  Astonishingly, even in the mind-numbing madness of seemingly accomplishing nothing other than surviving, I have been so blessed to see my tremendous blessings.

Sometimes, I think it takes a week like this to make me stop and realize just how blessed we are, and just how truly little we suffer.

Oddly, it was a tremendously cold and wholly self-absorbed remark from a bitter person that brightened my week.  This person was so absorbed in herself, not only unaware of the hurting of so many others, but blatantly desirous to remain that way.  She was ridiculously selfish, shockingly unaware, and so tightly wound up in herself that I cannot imagine any light entering her heart.

At first, her remarks hurt me and angered me.  I wondered why, on this of all weeks, I had to encounter such a repulsive person.  But then, last night, in the middle of another string of endless days and nights where I have lied on the floor with my 8-month pregnant body, trying to rub two backs at once and comfort sick children, my own mind began to fill for a moment with selfish thoughts.

But almost instantly, I remembered this other person, so bitter and selfish.  I couldn’t bear the thought of feeling like her.  I prayed for help and instantly joy and peace filled my heart.  I realized that I would ten times rather have this life, complete with this difficult week, than the lives of most other women around the world, women who truly suffer, as I have never had to.  I would rather have a miserable week if it means I am blessed with the husband, the children, and the open heart and mind that I have been given.

I felt such sorrow for the woman whose comments I had encountered.  Can anyone who is selfish like that feel any joy at all?  No.  Safety and security, maybe (albeit false).  But never joy.

Keep your ignorance and your safety, my dear, sad woman.  You have my complete sorrow.  I will take my sick children, my exhausted husband, and my difficult week.  With joy.  Because we are going through it together, and with a realization of our great blessings.  One of which is that I can now stomach a bowl of broth.

PS – Even in this hard week, wonderful things are unfolding.  I can’t wait to tell you about them soon. :)

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