One thing he said in Mt 25:34 was to visit the sick or the shut-ins.
I always thought of shut-ins as people in nursing homes or people with limited mobility who could not leave their homes for whatever reason. When I was little my mom regularly took my sisters and I to visit this sweet elderly couple that never left their home. They would give us candy and we'd play lots of mind bending games made out of wood and metal. That has been my definition of a shut-in my whole life. If you don't have candy and mind bending games and are confined to a bed or chair you are not legit. I would have never thought of a healthy 20-40 something year old woman as a shut-in. Enter motherhood.
When I first had my darling Davy, I remember staying inside for days at a time. Even in the heart of San Francisco, where everyday is pretty glorious. I was just doing what I had to do to keep this baby happy and alive. I wanted to go outside, sure, but the reality of it proved to be impossible on some days. Especially when she was a projectile vomiting screaming mess. Thankfully I knew nothing different and only in hindsight realized how crazy it all was.
|the happy side of a shut in|
I've only experienced the shut-in feelings when I've first had a new baby or when my children are tragically ill. And if you're like me, when your kids get sick, you get sick too. I usually forget about their sickness temporarily and end up kissing their snotty cheeks. It's my own fault.
But anyway, when you/kiddos are sick, it. is. the. worst.
You are stuck home. No one can or should visit because your house is an infested germ sanctuary. And you don't want anyone over, because how are you supposed to keep everyone alive, babes and yourself, and do housework? How people? Your house probably will end up looking like an bomb was set off near laundry and or the kitchen. Don't even get me started on if hubby gets sick too. That's a whole new can of horribleness.
When we are all sick over here or when I've had a difficult babe I've felt so lonely and sorry for myself.
Not all moms are created equal though. At one point or another, most moms will feel like a shut-in. I have known so many mothers who have gone through more than sickness and colicky new baby craziness.
Moms who moved to a new city with little kids and don't know anyone.
Moms who live in frigid places and are forced into hibernation in the winter.
Moms who have husband's deployed and hardly or never get a break.
Moms who stay at home with kids and no car.
Moms with crazy children that put themselves and those around them at risk in public.;)
Moms put on bedrest during a pregnancy.
Moms with terminally ill children.
Moms who are terminally ill.
Moms of multiple babies.
Moms who are potty training toddlers.
Moms whose husbands are traveling.
And even though I just relayed that info in the most sad and depressing way possible, it's really all not the biggest deal, when you consider that having children is the most wonderful thing that's ever happened the world and myself.
One second you are stuck in self loathing, the next second you think your heart might explode from too much love after seeing your adorable children sleeping or playing or giving you a hug. And in case you live close to me and/or are related to me and think this is a cry for help. It's not. You guys are all doing a pretty fantabulous job visiting this shut in.
PS. If you know one of these moms stuck inside or someone else who really could use the help, this is an awesome website for organizing it. http://www.lotsahelpinghands.com/
Remember the mamas when you make your list of shut-ins to visit this Lent... :)