My husband is a pillow freak. To be fair, I now fall into that category too, but when we were newly married I didn’t get it. I mean, seriously, who needs four pillows to sleep comfortably? He did eventually convert me and, on this particular day, I was grateful for the over abundance of heavenly plushness gracing my bed.
Two days ago, I sank into my lush, soft nest and cried. This wasn’t a hopeless, overwhelmed, or angry crying bout. These were I’m-incredibly-weary-just-want-to-feel-better-not-sure-I-can-stand-it-anymore tears. It’s rare that I get to this point, but after three weeks of what is quite possibly the worst flare up of joint/muscle/nerve pain I’ve ever known, I was done in. I’m so very tired of hurting.
This year could certainly rank at the top of the list of crappy Christmas seasons. About a week after my flare up began, my husband injured his Achilles tendon and has been barely functional himself. I have had to cancel holiday plans and bail on obligations. My normal backup is out of commission, so many things are left undone, in limbo.
Even so, I find myself keenly aware of how insanely fortunate I am. Unexpected blessings flow and strangely, in some ways, this may end up ranking as one of the best Christmas seasons ever.
As I sobbed upon my bed of clouds the other day, I thought of how these past few weeks have unfolded…
My friends have shown grace and care, coming over late at night to rub my weary joints, texting to let me know they are praying, and covering my failed obligations. I am abundantly blessed by a few close friends who extend me patience, forgiveness, and unconditional love. (You know who you are: I love you guys beyond measure!)
My children are proving to be more capable than I give them credit for. In my quest to cement my super-mom status, I forget to allow my kids to help. Now that I am not fully functional, I see what valuable members of Team Jones they really are. Even though their wrapping skills are…interesting, and their cleaning standards not quite the same as mine, the things that need to be done are getting done and I am grateful.
Being forced to slow down has given me more precious time with my family. I have spent hours curled up in my heated blanket, playing cards with my girls. I snuggle on the couch with my man and enjoy movies and shows that I normally don’t make time for during this hectic season.
In having to say ‘no’ to a great many things this month, I am finding a peace that allows me to weather my pain. The world has not fallen apart in my absence. Parties have gone on without me. My kids are still learning, even when the regular schoolwork gets put on hold. The blogosphere is still churning along without my voice in the mix. I am relieved that the spinning of the planet really doesn’t rest on me.
I forget that sometimes.
It’s one week until the big day. Christmas. How are you fairing, my friends? Are you feeling peaceful? Do you feel closer to your family and friends this season? Most importantly, are you feeling closer to Jesus? If not, I encourage you to ask yourself a few questions: If you were physically unable to do it all this week, what would you say ‘no’ to? What absolutely must be done, and what is negotiable? Who can help you carry the load?
I’m not Super Woman. Neither are you. And while I am more than ready to be pain free, I will choose to be grateful for the benefits of this inconvenient down time. I will snuggle down into my warm, fluffy bed and rest. Pain sucks, and I will likely cry again before all is said and done. But then I will get back up and celebrate the only thing that really matters.
The God of the universe willingly donned human skin, with all its aches and pains. He, who did not have to ever experience physical pain, chose to endure it out of love for me. For you. Normally I take that knowledge for granted, but not today. Today, in my own pain, His choice humbles me and leaves me in awe.
“Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has visited and redeemed his people.
He has sent us a mighty Savior
from the royal line of his servant David,
just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago.”
(Luke 1:68-70, NLT)
Grace and peace to you this week, my friends. May you stop and remember His great love for you, and may your heart be filled with wonder.
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net, by koratmember