we arrived with germs.

a couple of weeks ago, i was told by my ob that i needed to get the flu shot. never mind what your personal conviction is about this practice, but i decided to forgo considering it wouldn't even fully take affect before our trip for christmas. and who really wants to take their pregnant selves and their three children to get shots? i opted for the easy route. but, not without some guilt residue: "what if we all got the flu? am i just being stupid about this?" my guilt turned into resolution to simply fight the germs. i told the boys about how germs pass from person to person and what they can do to fight them. i told them that especially when we are in public spaces, especially the airport where who knows what disease is traveling with the general population we need to work hard against germs. i thought, "this is good, now they are scared into washing hands, not putting fingers in mouth, eyes, nose, etc., and using the sanitizer that i would strap to each of their backpacks." i had a plan and it was going to keep us well.
probably a day after this motivational speech, nicholas began showing signs of a cold. i still thought i could fight it by buying antioxidant cereals and other "healthy" things. although shortly after, oliver and abigial followed suit and by friday night, i knew i was affected. (do you ever feel quite powerless over the things you try to control??)

a cold is not a big deal, but today, five minutes before our alarm was set to go off (at 4 am), abigail threw up in our bed. i rushed her to the toilet so that she could finish, pregnancy-charley-horse and all. brian observed that her throwing up was an effective, timely alarm while i had a certain crazed look in my eye. (ironically, the last time we flew with the kids, abigail had a stomach bug so i'm sure you can imagine my excitement over doing it again.)
brian said that God wanted to take us through this today... which sounded good, but i wasn't quite ready to assent to that. then he assured me that he would sit by her, etc. which i knew i could assent to but, i was dreading the flight regardless.
i had plenty of time during the hours of travel today to question why God would want to take us through something like this. during the day, i was struck by the circumstances, strangers and my family and i think i have a clue.
the day was long, and of course traveling with four kids-- one in the belly and one sick in the belly-- isn't easy. but there was peace. abigial was so worn out from the lack of sleep and being sick that she did sleep a good bit on the flights. through this, i was shown how i have low or even negative expectations that limit what God can do, like use a perfect stranger to encourage me. for example, as i was frantically trying to get through the security check point, one man behind me, who i was seriously holding up with our 23 trays, stroller, and car seat, said, "hey the best to you today." and i was immediately struck by his kindness to recognize my moment of stress over his moment of waiting. and later, on our last leg, the woman sitting beside me offered me her neck roll pillow. she said, "you need your rest too." because abigail was asleep. and there were plenty of others, like brian being willing to take on a heavier load because he can tell i'm overwhelmed or tired, or the flight attendants being willing to help lighten our "situation."
all in all, as i sat there in some quiet moments of the day, i just felt such thankfulness that God would take me through this... He showed me how He can comfort in our little daily trials through many different means and as we landed i felt i knew a little more of His love for me.

and now we're here, Mobile, AL with b's sweet parents, the beloved "papa and dado."
abigail still has a little fever, so pray for her recovery and the rest of us to remain "immune" if you think about it...even though we arrived with them, i'd hate to give the gift of germs this holiday!