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Babies, Snowstorms, and More

By June 25, 2021No Comments

Feb 15, 2021, my wife adventurously delivered our latest addition to the Israel family: Trinity Grace Israel, weighing in at 8 lbs 8 oz. Why adventurously, you say? Well…

The baby’s due date was Feb 3, so we were darn near two weeks after the due date. Hoping for a “Valentine’s day baby,” instead, we were met with the intense winter storm that devastated much of TX, freezing pipes and shutting off people’s electricity. Did I mention that we were having a homebirth?

Our midwife eased our concerns as the bad-ass she was with 4-wheel drive and wasn’t going to let anything get in the way of delivering this baby. Our water and electricity held up through the storm, and around lunchtime, Monday, Feb 15, with 2 inches of snow on the ground and 3 degrees Fahrenheit outside, we sent the kids to our neighbors to play and began the process. Around 9:55 pm, Trinity Grace was born.

After a few hours of post-natal care, mom and baby went to sleep (mostly the baby slept).

The following days I was in charge of everything in the house, washing, feeding, playing, and bathing the three other kiddos (6, 4, 1.5 yr old).

I felt run down…understandably. But then it got worse. Finally, after three days, the day my mom was flying in from San Diego, I decided to take a COVID test…which came back positive. Yay!

I called my mother immediately and told her to cancel her flight. Thus began the 2-week stay-at-home orders for the entire family. We think Monica picked it up first, then the kids, then me last, based on varying symptoms across the board. The worst part, not letting the kids leave the house to see or play with friends (especially in the snow). Best part…I couldn’t smell a single diaper (true story).

Life has somewhat normalized since. Mom came to visit. Monica and the kids have been discovering their new routines. I have been back in my office delivering Virtual keynotes and working with my coaching clients. Smell and taste have come back.

What’s the takeaway here? First, my wife taught me that the word, “patience” translates from Latin into “slow-intentional-suffering.”

Slow-intentional-suffering ! And when you think about it, how true is that.

Contracting COVID wasn’t the hard part. Having the baby in a snowstorm wasn’t the hard part. Handling all of it at the same time WAS the hard part.

But, we couldn’t change it. You can’t rush a baby to come. You can’t force a city to thaw out. You can’t expedite COVID quarantine. All of those things were out of our control. And the only way through it…slow-intentional-suffering.

Being willing to be with the complex parts of life, not wishing they were any different (because they aren’t), and welcoming the learning.

When we resist life, we don’t receive the lessons.

When we say, “this shouldn’t be,” we cut off the awareness that can find the lesson and gift in an experience.

While those two weeks were tough for our family, #1) We spent some much-valued time together welcoming this new life into the world. #2) We were blessed with the community dropping off food at our front doorstep. #3) They created one heck of a story I got to share with you today.

Thanks to all for listening.

How have you experienced “patience” -or- slow-intentional-suffering in a meaningful/powerful way?

Your friend,

John Israel

AKA Mr. Thank You

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