Saturday, January 5, 2008

A Night of Great Interceding

The plan was to travel from Lake Barrington, IL (NW Suburbs) to as far as possible Sunday evening. We got a late start, which is another story entirely, but were headed south on I-57 by mid-afternoon. Memphis was out of the picture. Perhaps Effingham was a possibility? But the kids were stressed and bored and fighting, Marjorie and I were stressed and tired and cranky, and our landing spot ended up being Matoon, IL. It would make for an 11-hour trip the next day, but we could not possibly go further.

I splurged a bit on a two-room suite, thinking the girls would sleep in one bed, Jack in the port-a-crib, and Marjorie and I in the other bed. We would have the extra room for getting Jack to sleep and for us to relax while the kids slept. It was a great idea, God-blessed in its own way...but not in the way we ever expected.

It was late, so all the girls went to bed at the same time, with Eliana coughing (she has terrible asthma). Jack wouldn't go down, however. He heard the coughing and loves his sisters, so he would lay in his bed until we left the room, then stand and call the girls. After countless trips back and forth, he finally gave in and slept. Meanwhile, coughing continued.

Marjorie and I turned on the TV in the outer room, snuggled up and finally relaxed. This lasted all of one commercial break and half a scene of "Raymond." The coughing in the other room was growing worse. Marjorie went in to get her a drink when, from the outer room, I hear Eliana finally gag and choke and puke. In the bed. The same bed where her two other sisters were sleeping. I rushed in, picked her up and she puked on me. When she got in the bathroom, she was still vomiting on the floor towel. She couldn't make it to the toilet. Marjorie worked on getting the sleeping girls out of the one bed into the other (which was supposed to be ours), while I put Eliana in the shower to rinse off and get the steam going on her lungs. By the time Marjorie finished moving the girls and covering the vomit with towels to help stifle the smell and prevent accidental contact I was finished and we gave Ellie another breathing treatment. That did the trick for her, and she went off to sleep for the rest of the night relatively wheeze-free.

We now had to sleep on the pullout bed in the outer room. You know, the one with the bar that cuts in right under the shoulder blades? Those? Yep, those. I start to fall asleep when Marjorie gets up coughing. Oh, did I forgot to mention that she had Strep Throat a few days before? Silly me. She's coughing and ends up gagging, but is able to hold it all together. I sleep for an hour or so while she's standing in the bathroom with the shower running. That and the medicine finally kick in and we both sleep for another hour or so.

Then Olivia shows up on my side of the bed with a bloody nose. Not just any bloody nose but one of her colossal bleed-a-thons. There's blood all over her face, her hand, her arm, the walls where she reached out in the semi-darkness to find her way, the bathroom floor and every towel in the room. She says it was bleeding a while but she finally ran out of tissues and toilet paper and started using towels. She couldn't get it to stop. I stayed up with her for another hour or two, pinching her nose, getting her tp (I found another roll), and waiting. And praying. It begins to slow and finally reduces to spotting and I send her back in bed. I lay in bed, praying like crazy to get through the rest of the night without further incident or worse.

But I'm up again with the nose a few minutes later, and Marjorie after that, and then, mercifully, peace and answered prayers.

The next morning I survey the room, the vomit, the bloodstains, the overflowing trash cans and know I have a bit of explaining to do. I fully expect a visit from DHS once they they track us down.

The moral of the story is:

1. God does indeed answer pray out of His great love for us, and all told, I prayed very hard, but not really for very long before He did answer my prayer.

2. I should have been praying more. It takes nights like these sometimes to remind us that the standard is to "pray without ceasing," and not just at set times and for extraordinary needs, which most of us probably do. Pray more. It's a good policy in general, and an exhortation that applies to us all.

3. "Man proposes, God disposes." (Thomas a Kempis) We bought the extra room for our own purposes: to have some down time before we would go to sleep . God allowed this so we would have a vomit-free bed. That was pretty nice to have, thanks be to God.


  1. Doorman-Priest said...

    Welcome home! Wherever I roam, there's no place like home.
    Happy New Year.

  2. Emily H. said...

    Wow, I hope you and your family have a chance to recover from your vacation! At least you weren't in the car when this all happened, but safely in a hotel room where your harrowing adventure could be dealt with as needed.