Saturday, August 6, 2011

What Matters Most

What matters most is that my little family is home with me today. And after the events from this week, that is a miracle in and of itself.

Yes, it has been an eventful week for the Crawford's, to say the least.

For me, this was my first full week back at work. The kids started on Thursday, and I have an adorable little class by the way. :) I love my job, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity I have to invest in these little lives for 180 days.

Back-to-school can be summed up in one word: BUSY. There is really no other way to explain it. This year has been busier than ever because of the number of changes that are taking place at our school and because I can't stay and work until 9:00 like in the past years... I have a sweet little family counting on me to be mama and wife.

On Wednesday of this week, I was really able to evaluate and remember what matters most in my life. I was working at the school - getting ready for the 1st day. My phone rang from an unknown number, so I ignored it. Immediately, it rang it again from a different number, which concerned me a bit. So, I called back the number and my husband answered with heavy breathing.

I received THAT phone call. The one that will send your stomach into your throat.

Through broken sentences and pauses I hear, "Alison, can you come get me... I've been hit by a car... I was on my bike."
I asked Russ if he was okay and he told me that he was hurt pretty bad, and I needed to come and get him.  "Hurry."

I immediately called my dad and asked him to meet me because I didn't want to be by myself when I had no idea what I was about to find.

On the drive there (which thankfully was only 3 minutes) I began to think that it really couldn't be that bad. I mean, Russ called me, not a police officer, or someone from the hospital. And then I turned the corner and I lost it.

I saw a fire-truck, boatload of police cars, an ambulance, the road blocked, and a gazillion people huddled over my poor husband who was laying in the road - I then noticed a young girl standing outside of her car... with a busted windsheild.

My dad arrives at exactly the same time and I can tell that he is upset too by what he saw. He wants to assure me that Russ is okay, but we go to see for ourselves.

The firemen tell me that Russ is refusing the ambulance ride, but desperately needs to go to the hospital E.R. immediately for stitches, x-rays, and serious examination (internal bleeding, fractures, etc...) The firemen follow us there so that we can be immediately seen.

At the hospital, Russ is examined and x-rayed and all comes back clear! We couldn't believe it due to the neck pain, large knots, bruising, gashes, in various places . They were from the impact, but nothing was broken. His hand was cut open in quite a few places, so he gets lots of stitches and some very good pain meds, (which, of course, he stubbornly won't take later ) and we are sent home.

While we are there, my amazing family visits and takes care of my girls. I try to put together first day goodies for my students and my teachers while sitting at the hospital.

The staff at the hospital tell us that, "This is really unbelievable - When a guy on a bike is smashed by car, most are not so lucky, they are normally taken from the scene by helicopter."

We pick up our girls and come home. As we all went to bed that night, I had never been so grateful for the three people that share this home with me. I woke up multiple times throughout the night, each time picturing the scene I saw as I turned the corner, and thanked God that Russ was sleeping soundly in the bed beside me. It could have been a much different ending, but the Lord knew how much I need Russ to make it through this life. And these girls sure do need their daddy.

The most amazing part of all of this was not that Russ survived the accident with so few injuries, it was the evidence of Jesus alive and well within him. His attitude and behavior were nothing more than the power of the Holy Spirit. Our human flesh is so very sinful and would not have responded in the way that Russ did. Yes, I think that Russ is a incredible person, but I think Jesus is incredible in him and that is the reason for his actions.

At the scene of the accident, Russ continued to thank those that were helping him. The girl that hit him was extremely upset and the amount of compassion that Russ demonstrated to her was overwhelming. As he was leaving to go the hospital, we helped him get to her as he told her that it was okay, he was not upset with her, and told the officer interviewing her, "It was an accident. She didn't mean to." At the hospital, he repeatedly said, "I hope that girl is okay. I want her to know I'm not upset with her." He asked how he could get her phone number so he could call her and let her know that he was fine. He continued to speak kindly to the hospital staff, not wanting to cause them any additional trouble. He refused the ambulance ride because he didn't want to cause the young girl unnecessary expenses. When we returned home, he tried to help me with laundry so I could go to bed. When we question if the Holy Spirit is alive and active in our lives, this serves as a reminder that He is! If you know Russ, then you know that what was displayed through him was "Grace for the moment."

The following day was the 1st day of school for me. Russ' dad came to help get the girls ready and take them to the sitter.  I arrive at school and most of the day is just a busy fog. To say that my mind was somewhere else is an understatement. I took my students to two different music classes before realizing they were supposed to be in art (I explained to the students that we were taking a tour!). I forgot to do lunch choices and I sent kids to the wrong pick up line. I felt like a first year teacher all over again.

After school, the girls' sitter calls to tell me that Lily Rain has a fever of 103 and is very lethargic. She, the sitter, is just a angel, and didn't call me until after school because she knew the stress we had all been under already. So, I go to pick her up and when I'm holding Lily Rain the poor baby vomits ALL over me. I mean, ALL over me. I'm soaked all the way through my dress, cami, and bra - Breathe, Alison, breathe - You will survive this. So, my amazing family comes to the rescue again and gets Lyla so I can take LR to the doctor. She has a virus. :(

Friday arrives and results in a MUCH better, less foggy, day at school - but - busted up Russ is at home with Lily Rain, and that doesn't go so well. LR is sick/fussy and won't take a nap. Russ' stitches pop open and his dad has to come and take him back to the hospital, while my dad comes to watch Lily Rain until Russ' mom can come over. Can we say chaos?

We are thankful for the weekend.

We are thankful to me home together. We are thankful that Lily Rain is better and Lyla doesn't have to be an orphan child. :)

Today, I am understanding what matters most. I am often torn between giving 100% at work and 100% at home. One area will suffer. Although I know that my first ministry is to my family, I struggle because I don't have a desk job. I'm not selling products, or entering info on a computer. I am molding, teaching, and loving little humans. They depend on me and I want to be able to give 100%. Hopefully, things will settle down soon and I will find a balance. Until then, I'm reflecting on what matters most...and praying for a less eventful week. :)


  1. So glad I read this today. I struggled with the "go to the school or not" question today, Saturday. I decided not to go, but in the back of my mind thinking maybe I should have. After reading this, you have reminded me that I made the right choice in staying home and enjoying a lazy day with the family. So glad Russ is OK (and LR). Laughed out loud at how your day went Thursday. I *almost* didn;t let my kids eat lunch. I go an hour earlier this year and forgot all about it! Thanks alos for the yummy brownies you made during preplanninga nd the sweet treat you gave the teachers on the first day.

  2. Such a powerful message. I had a similar even happen almost a year ago to this day. My uncle was brutally beaten and left on the side of the rode the 2nd teacher day back, which was meetings. I was just about to walk into the building when I got the phone call. We also had back to school night that evening. For about the first month of school, I chose to walk out that door every day at 4:05 and go straight to the hospital to be with my family. Some days I would do a little work while there. Other days, I did not. I simply decided that school was my "job," even though I truly love it and want to give 100% also. But right then, I just couldn't. I tried, but my family needed my 100% and my body needed to make sure I didn't get sick due to all the nonstop. I hope things start to get a little semi back to normal.

  3. I am so moved by your story. What a perfect day for me to read this. I'm so happy for you that your family is okay. Family should be first but sometimes as teachers we forget which family (home family/school family). God has blessed us with a gift to teach but we must not get too caught up. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your school year.
    Rambling About Reading

  4. Hope you don't mind----I blogged about your post. Such a powerful mssg. :)

  5. I found your blog from Precious Perks. I am sitting here in tears as I read your emotional first week of school. It is so very easy to be consumed with work and neglect family responsibilities. I was actually considering going to school to work a little while tonight, but I think I'll just enjoy my precious babies one more night before my first day tomorrow. Thanks for reminding us all about the importance of family. I'm happy to read that your husband is ok. God has a funny way of teaching us (and others) important lessons through the storms. You might never know the impact your story or your husband's actions will have on others.

  6. I had a similar situation several years ago. My cousin was in her 30s and was suffering with cancer. It was so hard to be there going through all that, but when she died, it made me realize that you just never know.

    I want my kids to remember me being present in their little lives; not resenting the time I focus on my school kids, or even my computer!

    Thanks for the reminder.

  7. I am so glad that everything turned out well. We definitely have an amazing God who although we don't deserve it, is merciful in so many ways. I too struggle with giving my all at home and at work. One thing that really helps is that as the Bible says, the Sabbath is holy and is such a blessing because God set is aside for us not to worry about the stresses of life or work. I NEVER work on Saturdays. It is set aside for worship and family. Totally give it a try if you don't already. Its not easy at times but it is suuuuch a relief and rest from a hectic week.

  8. Sweet sister, so sorry I'm just now responding to this post! I will continue to pray for your strength and for health/wellness to enter your home! Amazing about Russ's response to the situation, you are right indeed, the power from none other than the Holy Spirit. How awesome. God has his hand on you and your sweet family! Love you!