Tissue, Tea, and Cough Drops

tissues, tea, and cough dropsThis week, my normal frantic mama pace was derailed by a lovely head cold. (Apparently, I missed the day in motherhood training where they taught you how to schedule in a sick day.) It started as a head cold, then moved into a chest cold, and now I’m not really sure what to call it except body-encompassing nastiness.

Have you ever needed one of those lightning and thunderbolt messages from God to slow down as a mom? A little reminder to take better care of yourself and your health? Well this cold has been that for me. Hands down, this cold gets the award of the year for the Most Effective and Debilitating Cold.

And although it is easy to dwell on the negatives of being sick, for some reason, the gifts have been more apparent to me this week helping me to see LOVE through the yuck.


– Small hands that normally wouldn’t be so quick to help me are suddenly there asking if they can bring a blanket and a warm cup of tea. And then being given the gift of slowing down and swallowing the warmth and comfort of that little hand offering. Sheer bliss.

– Enjoying the coziness of fuzzy blankets and the different perspective of watching the goings-on of the house while lying on the sofa. This new angle makes me think all sorts of funny things (or maybe it’s the congestion)… Like, what if there was a house with everything upside down. The lights came up from the floor. The couches and tables would be on the ceiling. And we’d have to step over wooden beams and thresholds to get out the front door. Seems like I read somewhere that someone had built something like that. Huh.

– Rest and sleep; clogged sinuses forcing me to halt for a moment. I’m learning that a nap can be a beautiful thing. Even in the midst of snack-making noise, hushed giggles, and the occasional burp.

– A box of ultra soft tissue. My nose is so thankful.

– Burt’s Bees cough drops. Honey and pomegranate relief in one little package. The best.

– Friends who step up and help with kiddos, and even fill in for my sick piano fingers at choir practice.

– And my wonderful hubby who brings home dinner so I can continue to rest. Gifts. All gifts.

It takes several days for my eyes (though somewhat blurry) to be open to the blessings. The late nights where I am up coughing, stopping and whispering prayers of thanks for the quiet breathing of my children — these amazing children who are now old enough to fry their own eggs and make tea for their mama. The gentle snore of my exhausted perfect-for-me husband. And the clicks and ticks of a cooling house from a busy day. Gifts. All gifts.

Ann Voskamp quoteNow I know some of you have had to deal with long seasons of sickness. Whether that’s your own health or other members of your family, please understand that I’m not trying to minimize the hardships of when that happens. Just sometimes we get stuck in the season and we forget to see the blessing. That we can bless the Lord at ALL times with His praise continually in our mouths (Psalm 34:1). Through the snot, through the coughing, and through the head-pounding throbbing pain.

If He can hold the world in His big capable hands, He can surely carry us through the hard seasons, the good seasons, and the times when mama has a nasty head cold. Because He is a good God. He desires good things for His children. His definition of “good” may just be a little bit different than ours. Sometimes is takes a little sickness to give us a new outlook and fresh perspective. For our limited view doesn’t always allow us to to see the good in what God has planned.

So I lay here and ponder:  What’s the truth to be learned and the grace to be seen?

And then I lean back into the soft warm blankets and gently sip my honey-lemon tea and smile at my lovely new box of Ultra Soft Kleenex, and think: What a gift!


Anne-Renee Gumley

Anne-Renee is a full-time mom who works part-time at her family's party store. She has two children who keep her laughing, a husband who keeps her smiling, and an itch for writing that just won't go away.

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  1. Get better soon, Anne. You will be in my prayers tonight. A few family members along with myself have been dealing with a cough and slight head cold this past week too. My poor Dad sounds terrible. I have been coughing, coughing, coughing. Take advantage of the extra help. Sleep well.
    In Christ,

    • Thank you for your kind words, Bethany! And thank you, thank you for your prayers!!! Still coughing up a lung today, but actually feeling a slight bit of energy about to emerge (which has been totally MIA the last few days). My sweet little family has endured my potent garlic breath and non-stop sniffing and coughing now for a week. I’m sorry to hear that your family is struggling with the same. Yes, rest. Sleep is so important for the body to repair. Just sometimes hard to silence the whispers of mama guilt when we do. But it’s how God has wired our bodies. We are so fearfully and wonderfully made. One more way to trust the Creator. Hope your family is on the mend soon!
      Hugs for your day,

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