Did you know that if you’re a mom who likes to travel and go and do, you find yourself dreaming about travel and adventure more than ever if you can’t do it?
And have you ever noticed you never feel more like being productive than during those times when you’re completely out of commission?
AND, did you know that if you’re a chocoholic, and you can’t get out of the house to get any decent chocolate, you will resort to eating a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chip morsels? Nevermind.
That’s me. Right now, I’m down on my back. Have been for over a week now. Nine days to be exact. And it is KILLING ME because it leaves me all kinds of time to be on my Pinterest boards, which gives me WAY too many ideas, and I can’t do any of them lying on my behind!!!
Not to mention the fact that my boys are right in the throes of summer and up until last week we had been booked solid with activities, vacations, visitors, and chores since way back before school ended. I had grand plans to take them to do some fantastic things last week – just the three of us, mostly. I wanted them to remember that they can still have fun with “just Mom” – that they don’t have to have a friend with them 24/7, nor do their very lives depend upon having their electronic gadgets constantly charged and at the ready! I wanted to remind them that they have a Mommy who is cool and loves to travel and have adventures – with them!
Well, at least I love to travel and have adventures with them.
But, my backside had other plans. In case you want to know what happened, it’s really been a matter of “cumulative trauma,” which is exercise physiologist (yes, that’s my actual college degree, not used in about 15 years) speak for “built up over time due to poor habits, posture, lack of exercise, and refusal to practice what I once preached.” Yes, I used to actually teach back injury prevention classes for a corporate wellness program. And now, at this moment, my back hurts so badly I can only walk, or rather, waddle, using a quad cane. What hypocrisy.
So, my lack of exercise, poor posture, and all that, combined with recent surgeries, and then a week filled with jumping on and flipping from a trampoline in the lake (yeah, I kind of forgot I’m getting ready to turn 45 this month, not 15), cooking on my horrid tile kitchen floors for 3 days in a row, and then sleeping on the couch one night because all my boys fell asleep on my bed watching Transformers, ended with me wrenching my low back out of place in one swift move while standing up after lying down and reading for a much-needed 30 minute stretch. Yeah – totally undeserved, don’t you agree?
And I have to admit I’ve been completely frustrated and even a little depressed. And, okay, if I want to be one hundred percent honest, I’ve been a little p.o.’d about it, too. I’m sorry. And yes, I’ve gone through the whole emotional gamut of “Why me, Lord?” and “Dern you, Devil!” and taking it out on my husband (yes, he’s completely an innocent bystander here, but he’s also a pretty good-sized punching bag), and then finally getting on my knees – well, not literally, because I physically could not – and praying for forgiveness for my sour attitude.
How quickly we forget our intentions to be spiritually whole and godly in all circumstances when things don’t go our way – when the best laid plans of mice and men get a huge ol’ socket wrench thrown into them!
So, the trip to Dollywood, fishing at the lake, biking on the Virginia Creeper Trail, and Kingsport Fun Fest kick-off activities were scrapped. (Check out those links – fun activities in Northeast TN & Southwest VA.) Just like that, dagnabbit (yes, I actually use that word sometimes.).
Instead, I have lived on and through the internet for the past 9 days. It’s given me time to work on my blog, and to finally learn a little bit more about Twitter, and of course to read up on all the fun all of you are having this summer. I’m happy for you all. No, really. So. Happy.
It took me a few days, but after I finally got over myself and my selfish disappointment and was able to actually commune with the Lord, instead of tossing up completely un-heartfelt prayers, I got around to asking Him to use this time as He saw fit. And thankfully, He has.
He’s taken this down and out time of mine, and used it to draw me closer to Him…to make me realize how independent I allow myself to become when I flitter and fly through daily life, juggling activities, rushing to get things done on my own schedule, and in my own power.
And when rush and juggling and good things happen, I start thinking that I am actually responsible for my own success, or even just my ability to get through the daily routine. And that’s wrong – because if I make it through the day, any day, it’s ONLY by His mercy, power, and strength. Period.
That means on the days that are full of activity, full of fun, or full of work – the Lord gets me through it. That also means that on the days that are bleak, when I’m flat on my back, alone and scared, angry and jaded, feeling like nothing is good – the Lord gets me through it.
I realized that it’s actually much harder to stay closer to the Lord when my life is easy, going the way I want it to go.
So, I have yet again arrived at that place where I can GIVE THANKS for this “down and out time” once again – as I’ve done before.
But why do I constantly have to go through things like this to be reminded of my own helplessness, and to remember how much richer, sweeter, and more powerful those times are when I forget my pride and so-called independence/self-sufficiency and call upon the Lord for ALL THINGS?!
It’s human nature. We have a tendency to want to do things in our own strength and power, and to claim victory and glory for ourselves – when our purpose in life is to actually give HIM the victory, to glorify HIS name!
So, though I’ve felt extremely unproductive these past 9 days, I now look back and realize that the Lord was not. He’s used this time to work in me, on me, and maybe even sometimes through me. And though I haven’t been of much use physically, He’s worked on my mind and heart, and he’s blessed me with much creative thought, and time to read, write, and simply be in awe of HIS creativity and plans.
And, He’s reminded me of the people that He’s placed in my life who are such blessings – especially my husband and kids. He’s used them to fill in the gaps, to love on me when I’ve been unlovable, and to remind me of the blessings that I need to enjoy when and while I still have the ability and the time to do so.
And He reminded me that time spent with Him is always productive – no matter if I’m flat on my back in bed, or if I’m traveling to the far corners reaching out to the rest of the world.
I realized that I’d rather have one day flat on my back with the Lord than a thousand elsewhere.
And please, send chocolate.
“Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere!” – Psalm 84:10