Tuesday, February 2, 2010

No Florence Nightingale

Eight eyes bloodshot and swollen with pink eye. Five ear infections (and two more ears with fluid on them). One run-of-the-mill digestive system virus with some tongue-twister of a name I can neither pronounce nor spell. And a bad cold that the doctor thinks could be a mild case of the flu.

No, none of the above describes my body. And no, I'm not living near a nuclear power plant, although I'm beginning to wonder considering how infrequently we've been out in public lately.

I feel like the soldier who was knocked out cold early in the battle only to awaken and find herself the last woman standing. And we all know what that means. Whoever isn't sick is relegated to nursing duty.

But there's one itsy bitsy problem.

I am no Florence Nightingale.

Nursing school never made a blip on my career radar.

Sure, I am more than happy to be the mommy/wife nurse who provides a lap and loving arms to wrap around feverish little bodies. But other than that, I just don't have the always-cheery-under-pressure temperament to provide care for people who are irritable, intentionally grumpy, incessant crybabies, and completely non-appreciative.

In a funny/not-so-funny moment yesterday, Wyatt's usual complaints about the food I serve escalated to include the water I offer at mealtimes. He wanted "hot" water instead. Like the mean nurse I am, I refused and had a good laugh out of earshot.

At yesterday's trip to the doctor, though, I did learn that Wyatt thought the doctor (not mommy) was the miracle worker.

After the examination, we went to leave and Wyatt wouldn't move. He then said ever so seriously, "But mommy, I not feelin' better yet!."

It seems he honestly believed that's what going to the doctor was all about--an immediate cure.

After a week and a half, everybody seems to be slowly on the mend. But for now, I'm still getting a good dose of what it is like to be a servant....and it's not an easy role, putting others' needs completely above my own.

I am reminded that to be a true disciple of Christ, I must be willing to be a servant of all...and yet I'm struggling to be a servant to just four people I love.

Then again, if I think about it, I find it much easier to serve those I don't know than my own family.

Somehow, I think being a servant to those closest to us, those whom we see every day--that might be the most difficult test of servanthood there is.

Photo: One sick baby girl with pink eye and two infected ears.


  1. Oh dear Jennifer, I find that there's already a pattern to your life these past months. It seems that you are always the one left standing, when everyone else is down with something.

    How wise God is to let it be you who is not easily infected...

    I can't help it but I'm really smiling as I write this comment for you.

    We have one wise God up there don't we?

    Love you...

  2. I am right there with you - I am much more compassionate on everyone else than I am at home. My kids the best of my care, but my poor husband gets almost NO sympathy from me when he's sick. I pray God will give you strength and grace to serve your family and a very strong immune system!!!