Friday, October 19, 2007

Doesn't She Look Natural

There is nothing like seeing your child in the hospital to remind you that God is large and in charge. Mia's been fighting a high fever and stomachache all week. On Wednesday, I called the clinic to get her for an appointment on Thursday, but nothing was available. So Jesse and I brought her in to the urgent care center in the Falls. At first the doctor didn't take us seriously, but after a blood test, she suddenly thought Mia had appendicitis and called in the surgeon. We barely had time to panic before the surgeon arrived and said that she needed a CAT scan first. But then there was a rollover on a nearby highway with five football players, so we had to sit and wait for two hours as they were a priority. It was a miserable night, and finally at eleven thirty, they decided to admit her for re-hydration and observation. Jesse and I took turns clinging to her and each other, but there was no time to break down, because for Mia we had to be strong. I spent much of the night praying. Mia had blood drawn, an IV placed, and then an enema for the CAT scan dye. After all of that, during one of the many times of interminable waiting, Jesse told Mia he was so sorry that she had had to go through all of the pain. She broke my heart with her response, "It's ok Daddy. It didn't hurt that bad." In the midst of her suffering, she offered comfort up to us.

We brought her home last night and have to keep administering tylenol and ibuprofen every few hours to keep the fever down. But she's eating and drinking now, and at least she's home. Jesse and I talked about why God allows these types of things to happen, not questioning Him, but knowing that there was a lesson for us in this. It really brought home quickly in a painful way where our priorities need to lie. What's most important aren't all of the peripheral things where we expend our energy, but in our relationships with God, each other, and our children.

I didn't bring a book to the hospital when we brought her in, but at one point, Jesse ran home and brought back books for both of us and some supper. Who did I choose to bring to the hospital with me? My friend, Angela Hunt. I know that her story will never fail to pull me away from reality for awhile and give me a break while also gently teaching my heart.

Doesn't She Look Natural by Angela Hunt is the first book in the Fairlawn series about recent divorcee Jennifer Graham and her two sons: Clay and Bugs. Jennifer's divorce from her husband Thomas has left her jobless, homeless, and rudderless. She's living with her mother (a Red Hatter who's struggling not to resent her daughter's disruption of her empty nest life) when she receives an inheritance from a long lost great-uncle: a Victorian painted lady that just happens to be a funeral home in rural Florida. Jennifer takes her sons and mother down to Mt. Dora, Florida to see her new home, Fairlawn, and decides quickly to sell the monstrosity, but that proves easier said than done. I love this new series by Hunt, who never fails to satisfy. It's not chick lit, but it's not a mystery. It's a tale filled with conflicts: Jen and her mother clash regularly about parenting, Jen and Clay have normal teenage fueled arguments agitated by a neglectful father and the loss of everything familiar. The dialog zings, and it's obvious that Hunt spends time carefully crafting each sentence for maximum punch. Along the way, Jen learns a little more about God and what truly being his servant means. The end packs a serious unexpected punch. Definitely a noteworthy beginning to a series!

Remember that today is your last chance to enter to win Amy Grant's new book, Mosaic! Just post a comment before midnight, and you'll be entered into the drawing.