caroline holzberger

Keepin' it real about motherhood, Jesus, life, and everything in between.

I Caught it From…

This time of year is infectious lovely.

As long as you don’t have kids or ever touch anything, anywhere in public – ever.

The flowers are blooming and the viruses are spreading, friend. It is what it is.

Pink eye. Gotta love that gunky one.

Sinus infections. That ‘snot’ fun. 🙂

Upper respiratory infection. Oh great, now the thing has traveled. Awesome.

Stomach virus. Whether it’s throwing up or throwing down, either way, it ain’t fun.

Bronchitis. This one sounds awful all night long. Literally. All. Night. Long.

Pneumonia. It’s like bronchitis’ wicked step-sister. Brutal.

The flu. I ache just thinking about it. And of course now a days it’s not just the flu. There’s all types of weird strains that don’t just knock you out for a week, they knock you out forever. Whoa.

Between the months of November and March, there is nowhere that is safe. Nowhere.

You see a friend post on facebook that all three of their kids got strep throat all in the same week um, that would be me and so you make a mental note to avoid that family for at least two months weeks.

You pick your kids up from the church preschool and immediately rush them to the minivan, which you have turned into a homemade fumigation center. Then, you burn their clothes.

You go to the school party and sit next to “that Mom” who casually mentions that her kiddo was throwing up yesterday, but “sure seems fine now.” Daggars from my eyes.

Aside from hunkering down to do a little homeschooling, and living off your garden for a few months, there’s no way to avoid it. You are bound to catch something from someone.

But, isn’t it funny how none of us want the blame. We hear of a kid with pink eye and immediately say “Oh that’s awful! We have been clear for months, though, he didn’t get it from us!” There’s something about us that doesn’t want to be the one responsible for spreading the junk around.

This was my thought process just yesterday. I received an email informing me that there was yet another case of pink eye at my son’s school. He had pink eye about three weeks ago. I read the email and my very first thought was “They didn’t get it from us! We’ve been clear for weeks!” Of course somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that my kid probably gave it to a kid who gave it to two more kids and then they gave it to this kid. But still, I didn’t want to admit that they caught it from us.

Thud.

That wasn’t the sound of the toilet lid slamming open ready to be ‘filled’. That was the sound of God’s sovereign 2×4 to my head.

As I sat there in my “they didn’t catch it from me” mentality, God basically said – Ok, so what are they catching from you?

Ouch. Sometimes conviction really does sting. As well it should!

Friend, we are all spreading something around. We can say that we aren’t, but we are. Some if it isn’t as pretty as the rest. But, we can’t go one single day without being contagious. So, I guess my question is, what are people catching from you?

Joy.

Bitterness.

Wisdom.

Materialism.

Pessimism.

Optimism.

Peace.

Fear.

You are spreading something to every single person you meet, and I just would like to challenge you, like God challenged me, to figure out what it is.

Maybe you, like me, need a good self-evaluation to lead you toward a more healthy life. If you ask me, there are far too many of us who claim the Name of Jesus who are in desperate need of a big ol’ shot of Him from our great Physician.

Luke 6:43-45 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

Take a minute and read that one again.

No, really. Do it.

What kind of tree are you, friend? You can claim to be an apple tree ‘til you’re red in the face, but if your trunk and roots are surrounded by fallen pears, then I hate to be the one to break it to you no, I don’t, but you-ain’t-an-apple-tree! Also, is your answer consistent with the answer given by your spouse, your kids, your housekeeper, or the single Mom who waits on you at the restaurant that you tip 8% to?

If you have a relationship with Jesus, it is supposed to show. People out there are supposed to be able to look at your life and tell that there is something different about you. Something that just doesn’t fit with this world we live in. And that something, is Jesus.

Do you give freely?

Do you love openly?

Do you care genuinely?

Or are your loyalties based on whether or not someone votes Republican or contributes to social security?

What are you spreading around?

Because, friend, if it isn’t Jesus…it’s worthless.

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

This is what we should be spreading! We are called to take the bad from within and allow the Holy Spirit to replace it with the good from above, so we can share it with the world all around.

But, how, you ask, can I do that? Like this –

John 15:4-5 “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. [5] “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Stick tight with Jesus. I mean, like, right up in His grill, kind of tight. Wash your hands from the filth of this world and share a cup with Him. You will catch what He has – I promise!

1 Thess. 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

Phil. 2:1-2 “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.”

1 Cor. 13:1 “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”

James 1:21 “Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”

Romans 15:13 ” May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

May you start overflowing all over everyone you see! Friend, this time of year, especially, as we approach the celebration of an empty tomb…let the world around you say they ‘caught’ Jesus. And give Him glory when they say they caught it from YOU! Then, you watch how He spreads from them, to their friend, and then their neighbor, their teenager and Mother. You just wait. He will spread!

Ps. I do, however, feel the need at this point to give a few healthy reminders to “that Mom” out there.

  1. If your kid has thrown up, or thrown down, DON’T GO ANYWHERE for at least 24 hours after the last episode. Not the first episode. The last. Wait a FULL day at least!
  2. Pink eye must be symptom free for 24 hours to be ok. Not “His eye was gunky this morning, went to the doc at 8:00am and did drops all day. Nope. Wait another day.
  3. Green snot is not “ok snot”. Please stay home.
  4. Just because your kid doesn’t have a fever and is “acting like himself” while he is on Motrin, doesn’t mean he is ok. That’s just the medicine doing its job. The kid is not well until they need NO meds to feel better. Than wait 24 more hours.
  5. “We can’t miss church” is not a good enough excuse to bring a sick kid there. The temple has been torn down. Jesus is with you at home. Listen to a podcast. Watch a TV church. Play some praise and worship music and study the Bible yourself! Just don’t bring the sick kid to church. Please.

Please follow these ‘sick-kid’ guidelines. Even if they have to miss Western Day or a class party. I am sure that Moms around the world will agree when I say that I will gladly dress my kid up in cowboy boots again and bring the while class party favors if it means your kid doesn’t get my kid sick…again! In Jesus’ Name 🙂

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