Days Like These


Today was one of those double-whammy, two-fisted, double-doctor appointment days. The kind that sucks all the life out of you, leaving a mama spent and wondering what happened to her plans for the day.


Still, I guess it’s better than last week’s triple play, three-doctor appointment day.


Five medical appointments and two small surgical procedures for two of my kids within two weeks left me with enough medicines and potions to take over an entire section of my kitchen and enough post-visit printed summaries to paper a small bathroom.


Some of the appointments were expected and had been scheduled far in advance; others were surprises, interruptions in a carefully scheduled life.


This morning’s visit with my son to see his endocrinologist was one of the expected visits. But the crashing low blood sugar just as we arrived at the physician’s office wasn’t expected.


Nor were we prepared for it.


You do have glucose tablets, right? Because you know I no longer carry them with me since you went away to college…


Unlike most days, today, my usually prepared son forgot to stuff his bag of tabs in his pocket. He quickly ate the snack he had brought with him but it was ineffective at elevating his rapidly falling blood sugar. Twenty minutes before, his blood sugar had been super high, too high to eat that snack. It makes no sense that his blood sugar could swing so wildly in twenty short minutes.


Unless you have type 1 diabetes. Then all bets are off.


This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.


I remind myself of King David’s words from Psalm 118:24 and know that God has made this day for me. Including all the curve balls, the mini crises, and the unexpected events that come with this day. Will I rejoice in it or give into anxiety because the day is not going as I had envisioned it would?


Rejoice, oh my soul, rejoice. Trust and rejoice.


I reach into my bag and hand my son the partially eaten sandwich that I had started eating during our car ride. I quickly stopped eating it when he discovered that his blood sugar was too high to eat his own snack, so I quietly tucked it in my bag for later.


When it would be safe for him to eat. When it wouldn’t be rude to eat in front of him.


But now, he is in trouble, and I don’t care that my tummy is rumbling and that it will be hours before I can stop again to find food.


That’s what mamas do. We gladly hand over our partially eaten sandwiches to our children in need. Because crazy, unpredictable days aren’t always kind to those who have little control over how their bodies respond to the unpredictable.


We live in the tension between wanting to control all of life’s circumstances and knowing that we simply cannot control everything. And right there in that tension we discover the source of much of our discontent and grumbling. Many days there is simply far more that we cannot control than we can control.


But we can decide how we will respond to the unforeseen circumstances of life. Will we let go of what is beyond our control and choose to trust in the One who gives us and those we love our very breath? Will we trust Him enough to rejoice even amidst the dark, uncontrollable moments of life?


And I smile just a little bit, realizing that while I had thought myself so clever to think ahead and make myself a sandwich, I was not actually making it for me, but for my son.


This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.



Today’s other appointment was not expected and I certainly had not planned for it to consume the bulk of my day. It began early in the morning, involved two hours of phone calls with nursing and scheduling staff at two different offices, the pleading voice of a mother saying, isn’t there just a small window of time in the schedule with one of your doctors, and the surprising kindness of the one who ultimately arranged for one of those squeeze-her-in-where-there’s-not-really-any-room appointments.


The knot in my stomach builds as my mind races to sort out what must be done.


Do not fear, for I am with you.


These words of the prophet Isaiah remind me to invite God’s presence right here in the midst of the storm. Deep breath in. Savor the opportunity for silent prayer during the long waits on hold with the medical staff. Deep breath out.


Two hours have passed since I began trying to schedule this appointment. Finally I hear her voice again on the other end of the phone. We have the appointment. Arrive 15 minutes early. Yes, I know the drill.


This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.


The knot in my stomach loosens. I mentally review the schedule for the rest of my day, half-listening as the woman reviews with me more details about the appointment. I must leave home in 10 minutes to take my son to his appointment. I will have just enough time between the two appointments to take him home and pick up my daughter at school. Better pack a sandwich; it will be a busy day.


The conversation draws to a close, and yet I can’t hang up the phone without telling her how much she has blessed me today by her efforts to help me. She looked for the needle-in-a-haystack appointment when it would have been so much easier to say, I’m sorry lady, but there just isn’t anything available.


Comfort others with the comfort with which you have been comforted.


I speak my words of thanks and blessing. There is a pause. Then I hear her voice. It is changed. Lighter somehow. I think I hear the smile on her face, knowing she made a difference in the life of a stressed-out mama today.


Days like these are, unfortunately, not too unusual for me.


But they’re never expected.


And I rarely welcome them into my tightly designed vision of how my day should unfold.


I remember that these days never catch God by surprise. And I am comforted by the knowledge that He is right with me in the midst of the firestorm. These are days to practice letting go of control and of my need to have things go my way and to choose instead to look for the blessings that are all around me.


This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.




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