I’m Thankful I Got the Stomach Flu and the Lessons I Learned

I'm Thankful I Got the Stomach Flu and the Lessons I Learned

“I’m thankful I got the stomach flu”, seven words I can add to my list of things I thought I would never hear myself say. I haven’t had the stomach flu since I was about 16 years old and I haven’t missed it since. Perhaps I’m in a better place, more life experience, not so caught up in myself and my problems~ I don’t know. But it was a totally different experience for me, even from the usual cold that I get once or twice a year. Here are some of the lessons that I learned that have helped me to be a better wife and mother.

Weakness

Our bodies are weak and flawed. There is no getting around it. We buy all kinds of creams and pills and lotions to mask it. As we age it only becomes more apparent. We are not immune to illness and disease. I am not the SuperMom I envision myself to be, but rather an imperfect and fallible human. I tend to push myself to the very limit that I can physically endure and then I am forced to stop and rest. Sometimes that is not always the best policy. I have to actually plan breaks into my schedule, otherwise I wouldn’t take any. Is anyone else guilty of this or is it just me? So anyway, this was a forced, involuntary break.

Dependency

For those that don’t know me, let me insert here that I am a very independent person. I have been for a long time. Case in point: most third graders I knew were still getting help with their homework from Mom or Dad, but not me. I clearly remember telling my mom that I would do it myself and didn’t look back.

During this time, I learned to depend on my husband. I was not able to care for myself. I could not and should not have prepared dinner for our family. He dutifully went and picked up a pizza for us. This might not seem like a big thing to some. But take-out is a rare thing for our family. I couldn’t blame him either. It turned out he was starting to come down with the same thing I had. Low energy + lack of culinary skills = take home pizza.

I learned to depend on my kids. This was a new experience. I now know my kids are fully capable of making toast and in general taking care of themselves and providing me with the basics: water, tissues, company and even a laugh or two.

Compassion

I'm Thankful I Got the Stomach Flu and the Lessons I Learned

Granted I was compassionate toward my family before this experience but it’s I’m different now. My youngest daughter was the first to come down with it. I was in the kitchen washing dishes or preparing lunch and I remember hearing her in the living room moaning. And I actually asked her to keep it down. This happened on Thursday afternoon. By Friday night I knew I would be next. Saturday, I was a mess. I found myself laying on the couch, groaning of all things. I didn’t even realize I was doing it. But boy, I sure felt bad about my previous insensitive comment to my daughter. Now as I type this, my husband is laid up on the couch with the first signs of this flu. Here is my first opportunity to put into practice what I have learned and experienced.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Fater of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. @ Cor. 1:3-4

Thankfulness

I cannot tell you how thankful I am that this is over. Do you ever realize how grateful you are when something is restored to you that you previously hadn’t thought much about? I have been praising God that I no longer feel every muscle in my body. I am not housebound because I have to be near the facilities. Don’t worry, I will spare you the details.

Let’s not wait till something falls apart or comes at us from left field to realize our dependence and fagilility. Instead, let’s aim to take stock of the good things in our life and praise Him for that. I don’t know about you, but I needed that lesson. Make it a point to find SOMETHING in your life to be thankful for on a DAILY basis and you will find that your days will start to look a little brighter.

What about you: what are you thankful for today?

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