Christmas in July

There is a tall White Pine outside this hospital room window and I sit on the bed and watch evenly-spaced branches bow low over the parking lot. A soft breeze blows and long needles shimmer—arced branches wave unhurriedly.

My boy is sleeping in the bed next to me—lulled into slumber by the heat of the infection he still fights off in his body. On the last day of July his appendix ruptured and I held him tight behind a curtain in the ER—willing his pain to sleep as we waited out the slow turning of the wheel of modern medicine.

I’m scared, he told me, before they wheeled him off to surgery.

Me too, I wanted to say, but instead I prayed with him and he gave me a butterfly kiss and I had to walk away from him—singing Jesus Loves Me in my mind.


Jeff and I held hands and prayed in the waiting room and I leaned on his shoulder and closed my eyes.

I guess I feel like crying because I’m so tired, I said.

And he just pulled me tighter.

And when the surgeon came out smiling it felt like I’d just come up for air from underneath a heavy ocean. This doctor is our new hero—he only just operated on our oldest the week before. After he gives us the run down and shows us pictures of the rupture, he gives us a crooked grin.

Guys, I don’t know … do you have any more kids?

We laugh, the three of us, and it feels so good I could cry.

Later, Jeffrey would tell me, God was there.

He would look me in the eye and whisper, I felt him.

I sit on this hospital bed and look out that window at that solitary pine swaying and I let the rhythm of its gentle undulation touch the tired parts of my body. I’ve never been so happy to say goodbye to July and I pray for a brighter August—for something, something to ring the bell of joy.

And that White Pine just looks on, speaking Christmas into my tired like a million brightly wrapped presents are tucked under its skirts.

This week’s memory verse:

Check previous Tuesday posts for prior verses.

For memory cards of the whole book of James visit this post.


  1. says

    I’m so sorry for all your mama drama, which rhymes in a way that makes me laugh a little, thinking of one of the girls’ favorite books: Llama Llama Red Pajama. I know you’re tired. I’m so glad that–when we get to that place–we’re cradled. And I’m thankful that Jeffrey felt that, too, and that everyone’s hanging in there.

  2. says

    So sorry that your family has had to go through so much lately. But it sounds like things are getting back in place.

    Dear Lord, please bless this tired family, and send them a beautiful boquet of your perfect peace. And your wonderful love and healing. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, Amen

  3. says

    Oh, dear friend, you do need a little Christmas in July- just a quiet surgery-free-week would be a nice package, wouldn’t it? So sorry for all the trials you and your sweet boys have endured this month. Love how God never left your side. Or theirs. Praying for peace and a little less hospital time in the days to come.

  4. says

    I’m so happy to hear that your son is ok. Boy can I relate. The same thing happened to me when I was a young missionary in the Netherlands. What a frightening experience it was to be so sick and yet so far from my parents. Your family has definitely been in my prayers!

  5. says

    Many years ago I nearly died from a ruptured appendix, but God and the loving care of surgeons, nurses and medication brought me through. You and your family have had enough! I am so happy that things are looking better by now.

  6. says

    oh, how powerful that Jeffrey felt His presence…and the gift of relief and laughter..praying healing for both of your boys, and for God to uphold you and wrap His arms of love around you, and for no more hospital visits…xoxo, Laura

  7. says

    Laura, my heart goes out to you- what a time you are having!
    I also am agreeing with you for a blessed, healthy August!
    May God be your strength, and give you some REST very soon.
    Every time I have seen your dear wee boy in hospital it has been a prompt to pray- wise mama you !
    Yes- Lord, we agree- something to bring JOY would be so very well received, right now. Send the family you love an abundance of blessings to encourage them – more than they could ever dare to ask for or imagine :}

  8. says

    I often wonder why it seems to be one of those rules no one ever asked us about, that troubles come in bunches. I’m so sorry Laura, but so thankful that all is going well.
    I’ll be praying for a quick, complete recovery – and for rest and peace for you and Jeff. Praying for His all-sufficient grace.

  9. says

    Holy crap, sweetheart. NOW I get the whole scary picture. And the whole grace-filled picture, too. Both boys?? Wowza, Laura. I am so sorry – and so grateful that recovery is ongoing for each of them. Hopefully, soon for you as well. Vacation is coming, right? Oh – prayers for rest and beauty and sleep and laughter and misty-eyed memories of God in the room. Love to you, my friend. Lots and lots of it.


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