Holiday 2 x 4

I recently had the joy of attending the ladies Christmas tea at church with mom.  Honestly, when she asked, I was thinking “how am I going to make 2 hours in the day to go?  I have too much to do — work, Christmas planning, the floors need to be cleaned, my house is a mess, I need to work out, bath the dog … etc, etc, etc.”

But I forced myself to stop worrying for one morning, went and had the joy to hear several amazing women talk about how divine intervention in their lives changed everything — which came in many shapes and forms from the loosing of the sweater worn by a father long passed, to how faith in a saint brought a child that could not have medically occurred.  One women, the amazing mother of 5 children and wife of one of our assistant priests, used a phrase that I will never forget, talking about how God sometimes hits her in the head with a virtual “2×4” to help her see something that she was blind to just moments before.

Well, my “2×4 to the head” came this past week when, while in the craziness of working, planning Christmas, trying to launch this site and the numerous other things in my life that were exploding at the time, my munchkin began screaming at Midnight on a Sunday.  First, I turned on the monitor and just thought “please not tonight, I have a long day tomorrow” and then she sat up — which is the universal baby/toddler sign that they are really awake, and something is really wrong.

So I went in, picked her up and began to change her diaper, thinking that was the culprit.  Only to find, under her footed pajamas, that she was covered, head-to-toe, with a red bumpy rash and those screams were screams of pain, irritation, itchiness and general misery.  I know I speak for every mom, dad and person who loves a little child when I say — there is no bigger 2×4 to the head than a sick child with a medical problem that you have no idea what it is.  And I was there, holding my screaming child and trying to figure out what I could do to comfort her and where do I go from here?  My only option at Midnight was to give her some infant medicine to help with the pain, put on some lotion to help dull the irritation and rock her back into calmness.  All while freaking out internally because I have no idea what is wrong with her.

Well, after a few hours she finally was able to sleep a bit, as did I.  But that next morning, nothing else mattered to me but making my daughter better.  Not the work e-mails building up in my inbox, not the Christmas presents left un-bought, not the dirty floor and piles of laundry.  Only my daughter mattered.  As it should be.

Turns out that she had the tail-end rash breakout of “Hand, Foot & Mouth” disease, something I had no idea even existed before this past Monday.  And she just had to wait it out for a day or so before the rash went away.

But, I have to tell you, God hit me with a 2×4 that night.  He told me squarely — nothing matters more on this earth than those you love.  Nothing.

NOTE: Photo courtesy of Tiffany Findley.

Julia Montgomery Stewart

Nicknamed “Julia Child” at a young age, our own Julia is most at home in the kitchen. Lately, she has combined her culinary talents with a new hobby—fitness and healthy living. As a result, her recipes reflect an intriguing balance between eating well without sacrificing flavor. Outside the home, Julia is a consummate event planner, and spent the first ten years of her career as a publicist before expanding her portfolio of talents with the launch of Live Pretty in 2010. Balancing the busy demands of career and family, Julia lives with her husband and daughter in Orlando, Florida. In addition to her work in marketing, she serves a number of community organizations and initiatives in Central Florida.

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