A Breath of Fresh Air
A Merry Heart
A Woman's World
A Word in Season
Acting Up
Cyber Walk
Faith Seekers
Golden Apples
Heaven Bound
Just Between Men
Ripe for the Harvest
Take it to Heart
Teen Truth
The Joy of Family
The Parents'
Survival Guide

The Rhythm of Life
The Treehouse
Through Their Eyes
'Tis the Season
We Are the Church
Well Read

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Joy for the Journey
By Kay Brown

Go ahead. Ask me the exact shade of our local emergency roomís floor tiles. Interrogate me about how many children the admitting clerk has, what their names are, and where they all live. Quiz me about coffee shop hours and which of our doctors you never want to have to see. I know all these answers, because I live with six rowdy children. We spend a great deal of our time in the E.R.

Before I had children, I had only been to an emergency room once, for a strange reaction to a vitamin pill. Incredibly boring, the experience did nothing to prepare me for our exciting, midnight ambulance rides and breathtaking air evacuations. I knew nothing of vital sign alarms, oxygen cannulas and nebulizers, but I am familiar with all of these Ė now.

Quite frequently, I hear myself drone, "Knock it off, guys, we donít have time for an E.R. run right now!"

I am a veteran E.R. mom.

Not long after the C-sections ended, I started making hospital runs for things like pneumonia, whooping cough, broken bones and deep, gory gashes. Jaunts for an eye injury, a disgusting abscess and an aneurismic bone cyst round out our medical portfolio. Coincidentally, our pediatrician actually added a new wing onto his building the year after we most used his services. We have made so many E.R. runs, I am thinking of suggesting a "frequent injury programí to our service-minded hospital. We need the discount.

Nurses routinely ask me if I am a registered nurse. I enjoy that. Recently, assuming I was the new staff anesthesiologist, a surgeon enthusiastically shook my hand. I was flattered and desperately wanted to lie. The radiologist ratted on me, though, and deflated my ego by stuttering, "Oh no, Doctor, sheís just a mom."

Easy for him to say!

Making dozens of E.R. runs has monumentally strengthened my character. In the weak, terrified hours of considering the loss of my children, I have graphically recognized my inability to orchestrate events on any level, whatsoever. I am not in charge. Frequently facing critical moments has caused me to trust the Lord intensely, without reservation. I must believe Him. When it is fading, life is very obviously held in our Makerís hands.

And now, as they enter the teen-aged years, I get nervous as my tall sons express fascination with guns, fast cars and young women. I want to move us to a cave somewhere. Then, I remember the emergency room. The Lord has strengthened me thus far and has promised He will continue to provide all that I need. God keeps His promises. I can trust Him.

My husband and I have a feeling we have some pretty wild rides ahead. But, hey, isnít that what E.R. rooms are for?

Kay Brown homeschools her rambunctious brood in the mountains of Northern New Mexico while dreaming of getting her laundry caught up two days in a row. Despite a burning desire to share deep spiritual truths, she finds herself struggling with the same weaknesses as everyone else and clinging to the Lord Jesus.
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