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When Fear and Heat Pile On

It’s a dry irritated cough, racking his little body until tears drip and stomach inverts. He pulls desperate at the straw, trying to wash the cough away with cold water. I hold him as I page through my mental book of mom-tricks for anything that might soothe. Cold air. Where to find cold air in the humid heat of July? I pause a moment, then carry him to the freezer and stand with him in the doorway telling him to breathe deep if he can.

We get ice cream cones for National Ice Cream Day and he eats less than half before the coughing fit grips him by the chest and shakes the ice cream out of him.

Lying flat in bed triggers another fit. I gather him up again, prop him on the couch with pillows, and hold on ice pack on his chest as he dozes. I decide not to lay him in his bed again. My husband makes us a bed on the couch, while my fear drips hot down my face as I brush my teeth.

In the dark, my mind wanders down familiar paths, imagining all the worst possibilities. It could be allergies, but it sounds like a reactive lung condition. I remember how Elli would cough the same way. I remember the breathing treatments, the nebulizer, the pneumonias.

I don’t want this for my child.

And I think about my upcoming trip to Bolivia and how as soon as I said yes I wondered what forces might try to stop the trip and I pray that God will protect my family… that any spiritual attacks would come just to me.

Then I remember what a friend wrote about gratitude giving strength during times of exhaustion, and I try it.

317. Lazy Saturdays on the front porch

daughter on front porch

318. Little Boy’s words when I got him up out of his coughing fit to sit on the couch, “That’s a great idea, Mom.”

319. Snuggling for an hour with the guy who usually stays in one place for 20 seconds max.

320. A fan to keep us cool

321. Soft new couch cover

322. Seeing old friends

little boy and his birthday cake

323. Birthday parties

324. Family together in one place

325. My husband’s arm around my shoulders in church

326. A grace day in my Bible reading schedule for weekends like this one when sleep is rare and eyes cross within minutes of taking up my Bible

327. Lunch with new friends and lots of laughs

328. The joy of ripping through gifts

329. “This is the best birthday!”

330. Meeting new friends at a local conference

331. Writing work coming in

And then we visit our pediatrician (who had better not retire until  my youngest is 18!) and learn that the little guy has been hiding a stealth sinus infection and all my worst-case-scenarios were, once again, wasted energy worrying.

One day, I will learn to battle my worry and fear right away with gratitude. For now, I will keep practicing.

332. No bad news of chronic lung condition today

333. Medicine that isn’t “frow-up med-cine”

334. No bad coughing fits this morning

335. Fresh-picked peas, perfect in their pods


336. Naps

337. Air-conditioning during a massive heat wave

338. The caterpillar’s chrysalis worked! We found a butterfly in our little habitat this morning and set it free



Will you pray for protection for the Bolivia Bloggers and our families? It’s crunch time (less than 2 weeks till we leave!) and we’re feeling it. Many thanks!

Linked to 1000 Gifts at A Holy Experience

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