Friday, May 13, 2011

Hot Fudge Sundae and Sprite

The house needed work done, the other children needed my attention, plumbing and plants needed my attention at the aquaponics greenhouse, and I needed some rest.  Sip, lick…2 minutes…sip, lick, sip…3 minutes…sip, lick…2 more minutes.  This went on for quite a long time at McDonalds as Nicole alternated between playing with her Happy Meal Chinese piece of junk toy and sipping on her Sprite and taking her spoon and licking some of her Hot Fudge sundae.  Isn’t it funny how when we are where we should be, doing the things that we should be doing, our minds drift off to the other things that we could be doing at that moment.  Where is the focus?  Priorities!

Nicole’s recovery from her surgery took off at a rapid pace but about Tuesday of this week things hit the skids.  She stopped eating…I mean STOPPED eating!  Titia even stooped to an all-time low.  She called me in disgust at her own purchase.  Corn-dogs.  That’s right.  Corn-dogs.  A pig wrapped in a blanket all geared up to give it’s next victim some strange disease.  That didn’t work.  Soft vienna sausages, bacon, hotdogs, spaghetti, mashed potatoes and gravy.  You name it, we tried it.  She just would not eat.  Drinking.  No problem, thankfully.  Nothing to eat but a bite here and a bite there.  Definitely not nutrition that would restore her strength.  That’s for sure.  Things got even worse yesterday when Titia called me and told me that Nicole had a fever of 102.  Titia called the doctor and he told her that it could be a secondary infection that can hit after the scab falls off on her tonsils.  Oh, I see.  A secondary infection.  Great.

So when I got home from work on Thursday there Nicole was laying on the chair watching VeggieTales Bad Apple for the one-millionth time.  (How many times can you hear the song Temptation without going insane?  That is the real question.)  After wandering around the house aimlessly for awhile I decided to look for Nicole and bribe her with McDonalds.  I found her in her bed laying down for the night.  It was only 6pm.  She is so weak.  She seems so frail at times and I can’t help but wonder if “this” is how she is doing with a smaller surgery, then how will she do with a kidney transplant.  It makes me worry.  Worry, a subject for another blog.  I leaned over her bed and asked her if she wanted to go with Daddy to McDonalds to get a hot fudge sundae.  I knew if the hot fudge sundae would not work then nothing would.  She loves them!  Afterall, what’s not to love.  Heavily processed ice-cream, whip-cream, and hot fudge.  The perfect combination.  She smiled at me, her head still hot with her fever, and climbed out of bed.  It worked!  We made the 10 minute trip to McDonalds, purchased the hot fudge sundae, along with a Sprite and some Non-Chicken McNuggets (we all know why the word non is in there) and proceeded to sit down.  Sip, lick…3 minutes…lick, sip.  She took forever.  I mean, forever.  This was where I needed to be.  Nicole and I at the local grease pit trying anything and everything to get her to eat something.  Anything.  It was taking so long.  I had other things to do.  Other responsibilities.  A wife, other kids, home chores, a greenhouse to attend to.  You name it, I could have been doing it.  Outside the day was warm and the breeze lightly blew.  The breeze reminded me of the Lord.  Why, you might be asking yourself.  Because in scripture the wind is symbolic of the Lord’s Spirit.  His invisible presence and power in our lives.  Something we think about so very little, but without it our lives would be miserable.  The wind.  The Lord.  Peace.  Rest.  Quietness.  As the wind blew I quieted my mind from all of the other distractions, thought of my little girl, and realized I am not omnipresent like the Lord.  I cannot be all places at one time.  I am limited by this flesh that I am trapped inside of.  And because of that choices need to be made.  Where am I going to be now?  What am I going to do and how am I going to spend my time?  The question is not what COULD I be doing.  Instead the question is what SHOULD I be doing.  What is going to have my focus, attention, and energy.  At this moment, as the wind stilled my thoughts, I knew my attention needed to be with Nicole.  One of my 4 children who are all my “heritage from the Lord”.  Nothing else mattered except the little girl with the fever sipping her Sprite and licking the ice cream from her spoon.  (The non-chicken nuggets almost caused her to throw-up…so I ate them J)  After we came home she curled up on my lap, snuggled in nice and close, and said, “Thank you daddy”.  Nothing else needed to be said.  I knew that, at least for last night, the correct decision had been made.  My time was spent wisely.

Take a few minutes to ponder these inspiring words from Psalm 139.  They will quiet your soul, give you rest, and help you to remember that the Lord is always near.  Today, even with all you have to do, you can rest.  So rest.

Psalm 139 (New International Version)
 1 You have searched me, LORD,
   and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
   you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
   you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
   you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
   and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
   too lofty for me to attain.
 7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
   Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
   if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
   if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
   your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
   and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
   the night will shine like the day,
   for darkness is as light to you.
 13 For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
   when I was made in the secret place,
   when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
   all the days ordained for me were written in your book
   before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
   How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
   they would outnumber the grains of sand—
   when I awake, I am still with you.
For His Glory,


  1. This post was perfect, Brian. It made me laugh, because I can just see the mental picture of the trip to McD's and it made me cry....because I'm just sappy like that. Psalm 139 was absolutely perfect for me to read right now; so Thanks!

    This post reminded me about the deep bond between a daughter and a Dad; including mine with our Dad. It's kind of like the Randy Travis song: "Daddy's don't just love their children every now and then, it's a love without end. Amen." Praying for Nicole and the whole family. Terri

  2. I just read a Facebook entry wherein one mother resorted to bribery with skittles and Toy Story to get her youngun to potty train. Desperate times call for desperate measures is all I'm sayin' :) Glad she's now on the upswing!