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    Perfect Attendance

    May 7, 2009 by Brandy Vencel

    The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

    James 5:11

    Last night was our Cubbies Award Night. The children participate in Awana. This has been working out nicely for our family {for now}. The two younger children go to their grandparents’ home, we drop off the big kids at the church and then run errands alone together. If we have time in the winter we purchase hot cocoa at Starbucks and chat.

    But back to Cubbies.

    There were five or six children who received a Perfect Attendance Award last night, and our daughter A. was one of them. I felt more grateful than if she’d brought home straight A’s on a report card! Once again, I was reminded of the miraculous gift of health that God has given to our family over the past year.

    In order to appreciate how completely revolutionary this award was, you have to understand what our existence was like before.

    You all know that the children had food allergies, but what you may not know is that allergic children spend a lot of time sick. My two oldest were sick constantly. At the height of their illnesses, when their fevers were burning and their noses were messy, they would inevitably pass whatever they had to Number Three. My first winter with two children was the beginning of a pattern we had for a few years there: I missed church {and life} from October to February every year.

    The third year, we tried experimenting. We kept the children away from other children, cut out Sunday School for the winter months, etcetera, but I still spent the bulk of my time nursing sick children.

    This year, October came and went and I felt really hopeful. Then we raced through November, December, January, February…We missed church once, perhaps. But even the colds they seemed to be getting never materialized. They fought them off within a day or two without many symptoms beyond the sniffles and less of an appetite.

    I am in awe of this. I had really begun to believe that it was completely normal for a family to be sick most of the time. It was normal to me to not see other people because we were afraid our children would infect the small babies in other families. It was normal to be isolated for months on end.

    And now, here we are. I revel in this. I am so happy that I can make plans a week in advance and not say, “As long as my children are healthy.” I am thrilled that another family can bring over a sniffly child and I don’t have to be fearful that this means my children will be sick for the next month from the exposure.

    God has changed our physical lives. I am so grateful for our new found health and strength, while also trying to be a good steward of what he has given us. Our family’s health is not perfect, by any means, but when my daughter stood up there {mortified, by the way, as she hates focused attention like that} getting an attendance award, a friend of mine commented that she never would have thought one of my children would have perfect attendance. How true!

    Surely we have experienced God’s mercy.

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  • Reply Brandy May 11, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Kimbrah, I’ll pray you figure it out. Of course, it doesn’t HAVE to be an allergy. Sometimes those things can be neurological, digestive, or even viral…Hmmm….

    But yes I hope your next winter will be similar. And I hope you are braver than me. I spent the first half “waiting” to get sick. This had never happened before and I wasted some precious time, unfortunately…

  • Reply Kimbrah May 10, 2009 at 5:41 am

    I can so relate to this post. I am hoping that our next winter is like this. So far for now, we are all still trying to get back into health. As soon as I can figure out what is causing Karlos’ afternoon hives breakouts (it’s crazy, I can’t pin it down!) then I think we will be well on our way to more days healthy than ill.

    I just love that doctor! 🙂 And yay God, too! 🙂

  • Reply Jennifer May 8, 2009 at 5:21 am

    To God be the glory! What a blessed family.

  • Reply Ellen May 8, 2009 at 12:20 am

    Thank God for this! What an incredible blessing. I can hardly imagine how hard it must’ve been. I take Seth’s health so much for granted…

  • Reply Mystie May 7, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    Praise God!

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