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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Boutiette

New Year's Blues

"The New Year didn't start off well..."

New Year’s didn’t start off with a bang or the popping and pouring of champagne this year. It started off more like a fizzle with the sound of Alka-Seltzer melting in a glass or the popping of pills to ease the aches and pains.

New Year’s celebration was more like the blues. My whole family, including extended family members, was battling one illness after another. The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) ran rampant like an untamed wildfire through my family with lots of complications. Others battled Covid despite all their vaccinations. I was busy making grocery store and pharmacy runs, making soups and foods, and tending to or helping family members and caring for a grandchild for a week.

I dodged the bullet when those first waves hit those first few weeks. Or so I thought. But then fever set in and I descended into a weeklong abyss with the flu. I’m finally arising like Phoenix from the ashes. I’ve never been so sick with the flu before.

"My whole family was ill, along with so many others..."

2022 is NOT exactly off to a bright start for our family and extended families! And we’re not alone! Things got so bad here in Arkansas that schools had to shut down and students had to return to remote learning. Recently, we couldn’t get supplies at the Walgreen’s: their doors were shuttered due to too many sick employees and lack of workers. My husband sent his employees to work from home when people became sick falling like dominoes as the virus spread rapidly with over 100 employees ill.

I’m calling this the New Year’s Blues. Just when we thought life could return to normal and we could resume gatherings, parties, and celebrations, Covid is still proving to be a sneaky and insidious disease. And clearly the experts really don’t completely understand its nature…and the vaccinations and boosters seem to be offering limited help at best. Too many of my vaccinated friends are ill with Covid right now too: seriously ill.

"I'm singing the New Year's Covid blues..."

They say the pandemic will pass, but what a start to a new year! Too much illness on top of Covid is running rampant right now. We’ve already had it all in my family in just a few short weeks: RSV, Covid, bronchitis, pneumonia, flu, and oh that basic thing called the common cold!

It could always be worse; so, I’m grateful that we all survived these waves of illness. I’m especially grateful that my newborn grandson, Julian, ended up with a milder form of RSV and that my other six-month-old grandson, Marshal, recovered from bronchitis and RSV.

There’s much to be grateful for even in the midst of suffering; and God is always our present help in time of need. And sometimes the sacrifice of praise is the only thing that sees you through the tough times. But the start of 2022 has me singing the blues…


Find your rest and shelter in Me. This storm shall pass, but I am your sure and steadfast shelter no matter the trials of life. Even in the midst of great difficulties can you offer Me a sacrifice of praise? Your praise is a sweet song in My ears. It is made all the sweeter at how costly it is for you to trust and praise Me in the dark. Trust Me. You are My beloved.

“Therefore, by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” (Hebrews 13:15)

"Sometimes a sacrifice of praise is the only thing to see you through..."

1 Comment

Jan 18, 2022

Bless you Melanie, and your family. I pray that things only get brighter from here.

As always, thank you for sharing your heart and the heart of so many of us.

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