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Katy-Grace awaiting the results of the CAT scan. By this time, she had had Mommy's undivided attention for the entire day, so she couldn't have been happier.

We had ALMOST made it. We were within 28 hours of Daddy’s return when the tornado sirens went off, the thunderstorms rolled in, and I huddled all the kids in the bathroom for fear that a tornado was going to hit. After a little bit, my phone rang, I got busy getting ready for the day, all the while eying the clock for how long I had till I had to get all four kids dressed, fed, teethe brushed, and ushered out the door in torrential downpours to get Daniel Josiah to preschool on time. Amidst the rushing about, I yelled to the kids to get off of the bathroom counter. A few minutes later, while changing when I heard a crash and crack! Katy-Grace lay on the tile floor gasping for little breaths in the midst of hard, long cries. I quickly swept her up in my arms, only to have her completely go limp. It was only several seconds before I was able to get her to regain consciousness, but even then her eyes were fluttering, and she seemed so dazed and out of it. A quick call to Sara-Beth down the street (who came down immediately), calls to several different doctors, a rushed feeding of Benjamin, and a collection of items to occupy my two year old in a waiting room…and I was off to Urgent Care…then there was the throwing up, and the attempt, upon arriving, to produce our insurance card only to realize that the other day when I caught the girls playing with my wallet I had failed to make sure that all of my cards had been returned. I sheepishly excused myself and told the attendant that we would be back after I ran home (in the still-torrentially down-pouring rain). A frantic call to Daniel Josiah to ask if he had ANY idea where the girls had put my cards (fortunately he had a very good and accurate guess!) The return to Urgent Care and a very serious talk with the physician who said Katy-Grace really needed a CAT scan to check for internal damage despite his hesitancy about exposing a two year old to that amount of radiation (ironic, I think, that we were so worried about Danny being exposed to radiation in Japan, all the while his two year old daughter was probably exposed to more of it that day than he ever was). More mad dashes to the car and back out again (yes, it was STILL torrentially pouring rain) as we proceeded on to the next phase of our adventure. At the radiologist Katy-Grace was then wrapped like a burrito in sheets, taped to the CAT scan bed (literally taped, including her head) and covered with a lead jacket (except for her head). I’ve never seen the peace of God flood someone like I did right then…During the wrapping and taping process Katy-Grace was screaming bloody-murder, but as I said a quick prayer over her before she started going down the “conveyer belt”, her screams subsided into an occasional whimper while the machine whirled about her head. Katy-Grace’s top hits playlist were sung consistently by Mommy with great enthusiasm (who was very thankful that her daughter had grown to love “Jesus loves me”, “I can’t do anything”, and “Blessed be your Name” so much). The technician was amazed that she had stayed so still, as the initial process hadn’t boded well. After a relatively short wait, the news came back. No severe head trauma. PRAISE THE LORD!

Daddy got home. YAY! Danny, Benjamin and I went on a wonderfully relaxing getaway to the beach….

and then the next wave of aftershocks. Benjamin spiked a fever the last day we were there. Ok, he’s teething I tell myself. The next day we get home and I check it…103.7. thats not good…more tylenol…104 a few hours later..a late night debate as to whether or not ANOTHER run to urgent care was ensuing. Let’s wait it out till the morning. Day three 104.5 and an Dr.’s appointment. He has a urinary tract infection, a skin infection, is prescribed multiple antibiotics and needs to be diligently consuming liquids because dehydration was imminent.

Danny is three weeks behind in schoolwork and is still battling jet lag. He’s “home” but not really.

Mommy’s energies and emotions are consumed with Benjamin.

The situation does not lend itself towards wonderful displays of the fruits of the Spirit, as Daniel Josiah so intuitively pointed out after I returned to the dinner table after tending to Benjamin for about 10 minutes, only to find lima beans and corn thrown all over the kitchen (Daddy had class and wasn’t there). “Mommy” he says, “you’re losing your patience.” “Thanks, honey…I hadn’t quite noticed.”

But as I swept the floor and cleaned the kitchen (by the way, sweeping up wet corn is NOT easy), while the kids unloaded the dishwasher, the Lord just spoke to my heart. “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour…” and I thought of Job who was attacked simply because he was following the Lord. Danny’s trip was wonderfully successful, the Lord displayed His great MIGHT in upholding the team and those left at home, and God has received Glory. The Kingdom has advanced. The Enemy is MAD. These are the aftershocks, and God’s Word is our firm foundation that we stand upon as the enemy tries to rock us from that place of resting.

For devotions (Danny was still at class) I looked up the I Peter 5 passage, to go over with the kids. “Be self-controlled (well, I already blew THAT mandate), and alert (at least the Lord alerted my mind after the fact). Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (I’m sure the kids at times thought it was ME that was looking for someone to devour) Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.(the Japanese, the Libyans, the Pakistani to name a few, are undergoing MUCH worse) And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To HIM BE THE POWER FOR EVER AND EVER. AMEN”

Utter failure on my part…but here is a hope-filled promise, that suffering is part of God’s call to eternal glory, that HE has the power, and that God is the God of all grace.
A little glimpse of that grace was displayed through my son tonight, after we read the passage and I told the kids I was sorry for loosing it. I said “Does Mommy need Jesus?” and he replied “Mommy, EVERYBODY needs Jesus.”

Through the aftershocks, in the midst of sin, for each moment, EVERYBODY NEEDS JESUS.