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The Unexpected Joy of a Bad Cold
#11 in Reflections on Life's Unexpected Joys
The Unexpected Joy of a Bad Cold
This seems ridiculous to even write about. How can I possibly be happy about a bad cold? A very bad cold has hit our home and we are all taking a turn with it. It includes a fever, headache, body aches and a great deal of sneezing. It has been in our home for over a week and while I am extremely glad to realize we are on the mend, it wasn't entirely horrible having the children one by one take their turn on the couch. It was sort of nice to be house-bound. We couldn't go anywhere. The children were home from school and way too tame to fight with each other so things were calm, quiet and sleepy. I could hand out cups of juice and popsicles for snacks. Children sat still and attentive for as long as I was willing to sit and read to them.
Seeing them on the couch with all the comforts I could think of, caused me to remember my own childhood and the security I felt on the days I was sick. My mother would make me as comfortable as possible and it was wonderful knowing that I was loved and cared for. This past week I felt glad for my children who are free from the pressure to be anywhere other than on a couch when they are unwell. All they have to do is sleep and rest and be cared for by their parents. They soak up attention like a sponge and it is a pleasure to be able to nurture them, comfort them and help them to feel better.
I love that I am able to provide them with the feeling of security and love, so that someday when they look back on their childhood they will remember feelings of warmth and love and I'm fairly certain that some of those warm memories will include the cozy little nests I make on the couch for them when they aren't feeling good. The cold drinks, the cool washcloths for a flushed face, a soft pillow, a good story, a soft blanket, soft music, good lighting and popsicles.
It is a lovely thing to be cared for and it is a lovely joy to be able to provide care and comfort for others. One of the CDs my children listened to over and over again during this week of rest, was The Music Machine. A CD full of songs about the fruit of the Spirit, and one of my favourites is the song about kindness. The one line that is stuck in my head goes like this, "Isn't God good when He asks just to love like He does? Isn't God good when he asks us just to be so kind?" The whole song is excellent, but this line in particular sticks with me.
To love like God does.
Isn't He good to ask us just to be so kind?
Why is that good?
Well, what would the world be like if I was obedient to these commands?
Ah. Now I see.
Isn't God good when He asks me just to be so kind?
I see the results in the lives of my children. When I am ‘so kind’...what a difference in the atmosphere of our home, in their response to each other, to me, to their father and to others. When I am not ‘so kind’...well, then things are not quite so good. In fact, things are not good at all.
This week was an opportunity to show some kindness, the opportunity to be attentive, caring and "just so kind". It had good results. Can I carry this lesson into the healthy days and weeks ahead? Children thrive on kindness. Neighbours, co-workers, relatives and friends, husbands, everyone thrives on kindness.
It shouldn't be surprising that "being just so kind" should be an unexpected joy. After all, whenever we please God there is so much joy involved. But in the busy days, when we are struggling through a list of chores it is hard to remember the importance of kindness. It is hard to take the time. This week of sick little bodies around my house has impressed upon me again the joy of serving with kindness and compassion. Although this joy shouldn't be unexpected, it does seem to be frequently forgotten and pleasantly rediscovered again and again.