I had hoped that we might have made to mid year before the season of sniffles, coughs and colds arrived. But apparently not….there has been someone sick at home every week for the last month or so. I am a little bewildered as to how I should respond. I struggle being the patient, gentle spirited mother mopping the brow. I interrogate each child ten times over if they suddenly take ill in the morning before school, so at times I may not be as sympathetic as I should be. But it is perhaps a reality when you have a large family. There are just more mouths to pick up the odd virus or ingest the latest germs.

We get through each strain of illness using a bit of panadol, a lot of rest, fluids, some favourite books, a movie and more recently the iPad. Sleep is encouraged, but at times that too can be elusive. If I am feeling particularly generous I may make soup, squeeze lemons for a hot honey and lemon drink or make cups of ice to suck on. But honestly I struggle during these times.

And what I struggle with is the opportunity I have been given to serve my family. I am overwhelmed by all the things that I now cannot do because I am confined to home duties. The tape that plays in my head is characterised by self pity, resentment and discouragement. There is no joy, just disappointment. I confess this because I suspect that I am not the only one that has to take three long, deep breaths when the kidlets fall sick. To change plans, adjust the to do list and simply go with the flow can be h.a.r.d.

But if I am honest, I know He is sovereign so this is all as it is meant to be. I am meant to be home. I am here to serve and I should trust that the unexpected blessing of being with my family will bring me joy. Somewhere in this season of illness and weariness there is healing for us all.