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Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Touch of the Flu?

We are thrilled to welcome Guest Barista Kristy Stachmus to the Cafe today!

Can you have just ‘a touch’ of the Flu?

I don’t know how it is where you live, but flu season is certainly upon us here in Texas. Schools are being closed and doctor’s offices are full. Our household was a most recent victim, when I was called to collect my eldest child from school. I called her doctor’s office straight away. She has gone there since she was three and they were kind enough to work us in for an afternoon appointment.

We arrive to be welcomed by a sign on the door stating, “If your child has any of these symptoms, please advise the office staff so we can provide them with a mask (followed by a list of flu symptoms).” I signed us in, collected a mask, and tried to convince my 11 year old, who is more concerned with fashion than with health, to cover her face by strapping on the mask around each ear. As I sit and wait I listen to all of the children as they sneeze, cough, and snort, all the while my instincts telling me that each and every one has some sort of the flu. I pull out a bottle of hand sanitizer and rub on a few squirts.

After a quick glance from the doctor and a very uncomfortable brain (well, at least really far into the nasal cavity) swab, my GG’s case of the flu is confirmed. A fact I could have diagnosed at home (without a hefty doctor’s bill), since she has each and every symptom presenting. The doctor explains that my child tested positive for type A influenza, which is seasonal flu or the H1N1 virus, and most likely, she has the later since seasonal flu usually shows up later in the winter. Poor baby, her skin is pale, eyes hollow, coughing, aching, stuffy head, vomiting, and fever, fever, fever! She can’t hide it – GG feels terrible and will for several more days.

Then, there’s my youngest child, Joy. She is diagnosed about 24 hours later in the after hours clinic. Yes, she also has the flu, but her lively little personality just shines thru anyway. When you meet her, you quickly learn that she operates on the extremes, even under normal circumstance. So, like her normal “Joy-ful” self she’s running around the house at full speed during her ‘feel good’ hours, then she just sleeps off the fever when it spikes by crashing wherever she lands. Like I said, she’s extreme.

And today, there’s me - maybe I have the flu? I don’t feel good that’s for sure. But, I don’t feel rotten either; Maybe, I just have ‘a touch’ of the flu? Can you have just a touch of the flu? I mean you either have it or you don't, right? And since the possibility of having it, and taking care of the two who definitely do have it, kept me home from church today, I use the time (when the girls are sleeping) to read what I know our bible study group will be reading today: 2 Timothy 4:7 (NKJV).

This passage was written by a man named Paul. He wrote many of the stories we find in the New Testament and here he writes, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). Like my eldest child (with the full blown flu), Paul has a ‘full blown’ case of Christianity. Paul never had “just a touch” of Jesus. He was confidently filled with The Spirit of Jesus, prominently exhibiting every symptom of a changed life.

Though Paul was once a persecutor of Christians, when he allowed Christ to work in his life, he would never again show varying extremes. He was never one moment a believer in Christ, and the next moment in denial. No, this passage reminds us that Paul strived through out his life to keep his faith ever present and steady.

So I wonder, as I read this, which am I most like in my walk with God. Like my “touch” of the flu, do I have just a touch of faith in my life? Maybe I am more like Joy, exhibiting extremes (running around in full surrender one moment then falling away the next). I pray that my ‘case of faith’ presents more like GG’s case of the flu – that I present every symptom of a life changed by Christ. Like Paul, I want to finish the race strong, always keeping the faith.

Prayer: Oh God, please help me to confidently show every symptom of a life changed by knowing you. I want all of You – not just a touch of You– to show through my life. Please help my girls heal from the flu and keep the rest of our family well and strong so that we may be about Your business. In the name of Jesus I pray – Amen.

Kristy has been married to her sweetheart, Jeff, since 1993. She is mother to Gillian and Joy, and a caregiver to her mother who is disabled. Since 2001, Kristy has served in her local church as a teacher, stewardship coach, prayer leader, and worship director.

Once a journalism major, Kristy laid down her writing pen in 1989 to pursue other interest. In 2008, prompted by the Holy Spirit, Kristy began writing again and has recently started publishing some of her work on her blog, Taste the Smell which you can find at

Kristy obtained her Bachelors degree from the Department of Communication & Theatre at East Texas State University and a Masters degree from Lamar University. Her blog is available 24/7 as a primary outreach tool for her ministry, however she is also available for teaching and speaking engagements, as well as vocal and theatrical performances.

"Now that I am a (late) 30 something, it seems like I might finally have something to say about life that others might find useful. I am a native Texan (but did spend several years living/working in other parts of the country), a wife, a mother of two, a caregiver to a disabled mom, and an owner of "man's best friend" (or at least mine), Sunny. I am a servant of God and hope I can inspire the same in others."

Visit Kristy at her personal site,

Author own and retains the rights to the submitted works and intellectual material herein.

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Blogger Denise said...

Praying for your family.

January 14, 2010 at 8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This morning I called out from work because I have three children home sick with a stomach virus. I was feeling discouraged and a bit queasy myself. How appropriate that Kristy could challenge and encourage me to fight the good fight even if that means cleaning up unmentionables and showing grace to my children and husband at the same time. Thanks Kristy!

January 14, 2010 at 8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, seems like its going around..(the flu that is) :) I hope I we don't get it! LOL. Christianity is contagious too. I pray for those who have the flu to get well soon, but I pray that those who havn't gotten a dose of Christianity to be fully exposed and catch a "full blown case of it!" :) -J.

January 14, 2010 at 9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the encouraging article. I pray that I will be full-blown symptomatic with the love of Christ in my daily walk.

January 14, 2010 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger Cherie Hill said...

Praying for all of you! Thank you for taking the time to encourage others!
In Him,

January 14, 2010 at 11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I absolutely love this is my favorite. May we all "get it bad!!!"

January 14, 2010 at 1:17 PM  

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