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I write novels, eat dark chocolate, raise three children, love my husband, scrub toilets, ignore the laundry, and love a good story, but hardly ever in that order.



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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sick in July, and Other Questions for God

We are recovering from a bit of nasty over here. All three kids came down with some version of, as Thea calls it, "the pukes."

As in (to her terrified VBS volunteer): "I wish I would have been here yesterday when you had popcorn for a snack. But I couldn't because I had THE PUKES."

As in (to the cute check-out girl at Whole Foods who has alarmingly large ear lobes after a piercing experiment): "I helped Mommy pick out that apple you're holding. I can touch all the apples today, but I couldn't yesterday because I was home with THE PUKES. Apples don't taste good when you have THE PUKES."

As in (to our neighbor who was out to walk the dog and got a big hug from Thea en route): "I've missed you! Too bad THE PUKES have kept me inside!"

So we don't have many friends left, and I murmur "Lysol! Purell! Clorox!" upon waking out of deep and interrupted slumber. I also can do laundry like a mad woman and at all hours.

Laundry is a great distraction from theological wrangling.

One of our children, who shall remain nameless because this child prefers to be blogonymous (so catchy, this made-up word! Anonymous + Blogging mom who hasn't learned discretion = blogonymous! I love it!). My blogonymous offspring prefers to talk theology when gripping the toilet bowl at 3 am.

As in: "Mom, whyyyyyyy does God let us get sick?"

And: "If our world is broken, why doesn't He just fix it and not let me throw up?"

And: "Why did Adam and Eve HAVE to disobey God? And give me some examples of how YOU sin."

I'm not joking. And I want to point out that at these moments, I am the only parent in the room. Marc prefers strictly daytime theology talks.

I do my best, people. I am not equipped to solve the world's ills or to tease out The Meaning of Suffering at my best time of the day, much less while the world sleeps and my Crank-o-meter is on a dangerous upward climb.

At around 4 :15, I suggested that God was, in fact, answering this child's prayers and that He was, in fact, healing the wonky belly. "Your body is getting rid of the ick," I said. "It's flushing out the bad gunk and getting your belly back to its healthy self. I mean, what would happen if you weren't able to get rid of the gunk? What if your immune system couldn't attack the gunk and the gunk just stayed in there FOREVER?" 

Silence. Perhaps a wee bit of fear at the size of my bulging, blood-shot eyeballs and the wild mane of lioness hair I was sporting. And my need of a bra while changing the sheets. Again.

Then, "Is not being able to throw up an actual medical problem or are you making it up?"

And so it goes.

I know God is good and that He hears every whiny, pitchy prayer we all utter, even at 3 am. And I know He knows when we have THE PUKES. And while my science may be sketchy, I'm grateful for healing, in whatever form and at whatever time of the night. 

But if you want the details on how it all worked out, find Thea. She'll tell you ALL about it.


  1. I love that I have learned more theology from trying to answer my kids' questions over the dinner table than in my entire Sunday School life! I have found myself asking the same questions as your "blogonymous offspring" (which is a credit to your parenting - asking the same theological questions as a grown 30-year-old woman?!) and finding the beautiful answer, He has fixed it! He is fixing it! and He will fix it! And best of all He's invited us into the fixing process, not because we're so good, but because we're broken vessels ready to be fixed, filled, and poured out for other broken vessels. Thanks for the reminder to stay in the present moment and allow God to ask and answer deep questions over the seemingly inane, insane, and mundane moments of life.

  2. Oh sweet Thea! Does she miss me yet? I sure miss her.