In the wee hours of a Friday morning, at 3:25AM to be exact, our daughter, Ayanna, walked into our room to inform me that she had vomited. I looked over at my husband. He was snuggled into his blanket and sound asleep. (Yes, I said “his blanket.” I have my own set of blankets and he has his. According to my husband, I’m a blanket hog. Certain things are not worth quarreling over, so I have three blankets and he has one😊)
I got out of my bed, headed into the hallway and then into the bathroom. As I entered the bathroom doorway, I was welcomed by the stench of a sour stomach and an abyss of peach colored vomit. Vomit was just about everywhere. Both sections of the bathroom floor, bathroom door cabinets, tub exterior, the bath toys, toilet bowl exterior baser, walls, decorative hand towels and bathroom rugs were all covered in vomit. Quickly, I left the bathroom and proceeded into the kitchen for the paper towels, trash can, and the line of cleaning supplies that sit in front of my kitchen window.
When I returned to the bathroom, Ayanna had just finished washing her hands and rinsing her mouth with the wash. Ayanna turned off the faucet and dried the excess water from her face with her arm. (Why do kids do that????? There’s paper towels and a wash cloth sitting right there, and you’d rather use your arm?? Bruhhh ?!?! )
With the most pitiful face, she turned to look at me and said, “I’m sorry mommy ! I tried to make it to the toilet, but I just couldn’t. It just started coming out too fast.”
I responded, ” It’s ok, Ayanna! It happens. Does your stomach feel better at least?”
She nodded her head in a “Yes” motion.
I said, “Then, that’s all that matters! Don’t worry about it. I’ll clean it up. Go back to bed.”
I took off my socks. I threw them in the corner entryway that managed to escape vomit and began cleaning up. With paper towels in one hand and Lysol and an additional multi-surface disinfectant spray in the other, I cleaned every inch of the bathroom surface. I washed and disinfected the kids bath toys and threw away the bathroom rugs and towels that were consumed with vomit. I’d now have to find new gray rugs and matching towels for the bathroom. But at 4AM, I could care less. Besides, there was entirely too much vomit to preserve anything. I just wanted to get back in bed.
As I reached onto the bathroom counter for like the 50th sheet of paper towel, I noticed Ayanna still standing at the bathroom entry way. While I was squatted on my knees cleaning the base boards and corner crevices, she spoke once again.
“I’m sorry mommy! I didn’t mean for you to clean up all this mess!”
For a moment, I stopped cleaning and balanced my weight on the bathroom door (cause I’m so out of shape) and I said, “Ayanna, it’s really ok! I’ll take care of it. You can go lay back down.” (Side Note: Don’t worry about my out of shape status either. ‘Cause my husband, THE TRAINER EXTRAORDINAIRE, is about to get this body good and right—starting next week—fingers crossed!! Trust that! And pray my strength in the Lord!)
Ayanna said, “Okay.” But continued to observe the cleanup process.
I continued my final round of cleaning. From every angle, I scouted the bathroom to ensure I had not missed any ounce of vomit. I tied up the garbage bag, removed it from the bathroom and returned the trash can to the kitchen. I sprayed an additional round of Lysol on every door knob, faucet and visible surface.
I washed and dried my hands.
I turned to Ayanna, ” You can go back to bed now. It’s all clean.”
Ayanna headed into Jordan’s room. She does not like to sleep alone and is afraid of the dark. She’d rather share a bed with horrible, sleeping Jordan than enjoy the accommodations of her own room. But, I immediately stopped her and redirected her to her own room.
“Ayanna, sleep in your room. Turn on PBS kids until you fall asleep.”
The thought of a possible stomach bug spreading throughout the house or the idea of having two kids vomiting everywhere was not my vision for my rare, obligation free weekend.
She said, ” Ohhh, because I could be contagious?”
I responded, “Exactly! Oh and take this trash can and put it by your bed in case you need to throw up again.
Ayanna rebutted, ” But I don’t need it. My stomach feels ok now. “
I insisted, “Yes, but just in case, put the trash can by your bed!”
She agreed. Ayanna got into her bed and pulled up the covers. I turned on her TV and placed the volume down to the lowest possible audible setting.
“Mommy, can you get me a bottle of water, please?”
“Ok,” I said
I went into the kitchen, grabbed the bottle of water and gave it to Ayanna.
I could finally go back to bed. I looked at the clock. It was 4:10AM. I nestled into my three blankets and I attempted to fall right back asleep. But, I kept thinking about Ayanna’s statement.
“I’m sorry mommy! I tried to make it to the toilet …”
I’m sorry mommy! I tried to make it to the toilet …”
I began to wonder if that is how we relate to God. We make a mess. Then, we stand back in embarrassment as God cleans up and assures us that He has everything under control.
I began to take inventory of my own life.
What have I knowingly or unknowingly made a mess of within my life? Second chances, relationships, opportunities, commitments, my communion with God? And then stood back, helplessly, apologizing for it as God reached down in the middle of my mess, cleaned up and made all things new.
When have I failed to acknowledge Him or disallowed Him to be the eternal Father who only wants to take care of me and ensure my success in life?
Instantly, my heart became overwhelmed with gratitude for God’s infinite grace, mercy and love.
A portion of the song How He Loves and the lyrics to my mom’s favorite hymn, Love Lifted Me, described my sentiments best.
“If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking…..”
“I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore. Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more. But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry. From the waters lifted me, now safe am I. Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help, Love lifted me!”
My desperation for sleep immediately ceased. My bedside became a silent altar of repentance and worship………
As I sit in the forefront of this new year of 2018, I am reminded that we serve a God who always has our best interest at heart. Whose infinite love for His children is beyond our comprehension. Although undeserved, the King of the Universe, steps down into our lives and drowns us with His affection. He never condemns, but convicts…never destroying us, but rather rebuilding…reaching past our exterior facades into the secret places of our souls. He is never too high or mighty to sit alongside us in high places of success and triumph. Nor He is too great to climb into the ditches of life to rescue us from our lowest pits.
Incomparable, His love cleanses, renews, restores, and saturates our lives. His love never runs dry. There is never a shortage and rain checks are never required. God’s love is never out of our reach.
Through the sacrifice of His son Jesus Christ, God’s love is always present. He is simply awaiting our acknowledgement, acceptance and dispersal of it.
“Into the deep, I will go with You. Submerge my feet to my head in all of You. As your presence falls I am drowned in Your love. Immerse me, immerse me!” – Citipointe
My prayer for 2018 is that we would be immersed in God’s love. That we would acknowledge His love…receive His love….be His love…extend His love.
For without His love, we are nothing……