So this past weekend I spent laying in bed, laying on the couch, and moving between the two. I was wiped out with a bad cold. I have not slept so much on a weekend since... well, I can't remember when I last slept so much!
Anyways, I got this idea at one point: I think it was the middle of the night, and I could not fall asleep. So I decided to count. No, not sheep. No, not the cliche "blessings" -- although what I counted was indeed a blessing, and I would never discourage anyone from counting their blessings.
But I decided to count (and pray for) my cousins. For some of you out there, one hand suffices and you've got everyone accounted for. Not me! As you may know, my dad has 4 siblings, and my mom has 8... which means the number of cousins (and now spouses and children) is almost uncountable!
And in fact, it took me 3-4 sleeps to get everyone counted and prayed for. I started with my mom's eldest brother's eldest son, and ended with my dad's younger brother's two sons. And in between I was able to think deeply about each cousin (30, if I'm not mistaken, not counting spouses and kids), what memories I have with them, what some have been going through lately (marriage, pregnancy, loss of father, move, among other joys and trials), and really pray for them like I haven't done in years.
I even counted and prayed for the uncles and aunts, brothers and nephews, and parents, of course.
I did not have a particularly great weekend. No one really enjoys being sick, having a stuffed up head, feeling helpless and being waited on by a caring wife (well, that part isn't so bad, but only in a selfish, tongue-in-cheek way). But being able to lay there and think about family, about the people who have shaped who I am, about how nice it is to have a large extended family... that part of my weekend was truly blessed. Not to mention more quiet time with the Father.
And so I count my weekend of sickness a blessing. Thank You, God, for making me slow down.