This week my doctor told me she wanted to me to rest. Seems simple enough… so why do I struggle to do that?
Maybe if my room looked like this I would actually rest in it:
Yes, I totally pulled that off the web — and the website knows it’s a great looking room so much that I had the pleasure of embedding their advertisement as well as their photo — that’s fair I suppose.
Why do we struggle to rest? I know I’m not the only one. Maybe you work. Maybe you’re a stay at home parent (which is also work, by the way), maybe you volunteer in multiple areas and your phone never stops ringing, maybe you teach and people are counting on you to show up, maybe you don’t have any sick time left, maybe you struggle with depression and when you rest it makes your depression worse, maybe your sheets are dirty (just keeping it real)…. there are so many maybes.
So what’s MY problem? I have a feeling my chronic illness buddies can relate.
I feel robbed.
There. I said it.
Already I have changed so much of my lifestyle and I have set really healthy boundaries for myself. I limit my activity level so that I don’t run my body down — and when I say activity level this is what used to consume my life:
- volunteering at my son’s school
- volunteering and working for our church
- running errands for my family
- doing the laundry / sheets / towels
- making sure dinner was prepared each night so we weren’t eating out often
- having lunch with friends / hanging out with friends / running errands with friends / having coffee with friends
- crafting / scrapbooking
- bike riding and going for 4 mile walks
- working in our yard and tending to the beautiful flowers and plants my mother-in-law helped me plant
- going to and leading a bible study group
- going to potlucks and cookouts with neighbors and friends
- setting up Care Calendars for families who were going through rough times
- attending all the fun things up at our son’s school / and our church
These are not BAD things, right? So when I had to become incredibly strategic in knowing how many spoons I realistically had available each day, it was clear I didn’t have enough spoons for all of these things anymore. I like to describe it as my life pie. I pretty much cut that sucker down the middle and had to “get rid of” half of my life pie.
So here I am with my remaining half. And I feel pretty good about this remaining half most of the time, because I know it’s healthy for me and I don’t feel nearly as run down and ill as I used to. Until I got this crazy virus last week.
… because all I do is cough, and blow my nose, and cough, and take medications, and drink water, and go to the bathroom, and cough.
But my doctor wants me to rest. And all I can think about is that half-pie life of mine that’s just sitting there. I’m not sewing and making any money to help with the things that are falling apart in our house. I’m not figuring out dinners. I’m not able to go to the grocery store. I barely make it through the carpool line each day. I’m not raking the leaves in the yard. I’m not doing the laundry. I had to bail out of a theology class that I REALLY wanted to take. I’ve missed three weeks of church and serving at church.
I want it all.
But if I can’t have it all, GIVE ME BACK MY HALF!
God sprinkled my bitterness with some of His sweet sugar this morning when in the midst of my bitter-party I opened my bible app to find this verse of the day:
And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17 NLT
Dude. I was NOT representin’ today. And I certainly wasn’t giving thanks today either.
Here’s my prayer for me — and for you — on the days that I have to shelve my half-pie life because it’s important in the moment:
God, thank you for knowing in advance that giving me everything I want just isn’t good for me. Just like I don’t give my child everything he wants, you protect me in the same way. I am so sorry that I haven’t been thankful for the generous serving of life that you have given me. Please forgive my selfish behavior. I don’t like feeling bitter, Lord. Thank you for showing me the verse from Colossians this morning, it reminded me that peace really can be found in your Word. Please help me turn off the scrolling to-do list in my head and appreciate the opportunity to be still and rest, even if my sheets are dirty. I want to be your representative here on earth, and I can’t do that when I am spewing bitterness left and right. Doing your will doesn’t require a cup of bitter along with a pound of love. Thank you for loving me and for helping me set my mind and heart back on You.