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  • Rules of Civility: A Novel
    Rules of Civility: A Novel
  • Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life
    Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life
  • The Male Brain: A Breakthrough Understanding of How Men and Boys Think
    The Male Brain: A Breakthrough Understanding of How Men and Boys Think
  • Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy
    Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy

Words I Just Finished Reading

The Kitchen House
The Atomic Weight of Love
We're All Damaged
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles
Wishful Drinking
News of the World
The Forgotten Garden
Out of My Mind
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
Delicious!
There Is No Good Card for This: What To Say and Do When Life Is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love
My Not So Perfect Life
Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters
Overseas
Moranifesto
Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency
The Lost Wife
Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
Anna and the French Kiss
Little Bee


Julie's favorite books »

Friday
Feb102012

Mister Rogers is an Excellent Babysitter

Sympathy is not my strong suit.  When my husband gets sick (correction: when he has the AUDACITY to get sick), he might as well roll over and start the timer.  He will receive almost exactly twenty-four hours of tender lovin' care, provided by me, Wife of the Year.  He can lie on the couch and watch endless ESPN (and that irritating show about the people that live off the land in Alaska and only serves to remind me that if I were in that situation I’d probably be dead within a week).  I'll make him food and keep the kids at bay and bring him medicine and tell him that I'm so sorry he's not feeling well.

And then I'm over it.  And I tell him to tough it out and at least ACT like he's not miserable.  Like that?  "I don't care how you feel; at least have the decency to act like you're doing well so that I don't have to be inconvenienced by your pain and suffering.  For Pete's sake." 

See how lovely I am?

But I’ve been sick for a week now.  I have an ear infection (am I going to be sitting up and starting solids anytime soon)?  I have a violent, hacking cough that makes me pee myself.  And I've been caring for my children all week while Mando has been drinking from a fire hose at work to provide and care for us. 

But don't feel sorry for him. 

Back to me.  I would like a medal, please.  Something big and shiny and preferably it will be presented to me at a party at which all my friends will make speeches about how great I am and how I'm the most amazing mother and wife. 

Because the most difficult thing about being sick is staying patient.  I don't only mean not yelling at my kids or husband, though.  I mean waiting to be healed.  Because I can usually keep a lid on my temper.  I can (literally) bite my tongue and close my eyes and wait for the moment to pass.  But I cannot heal myself.  I can go the doctor and take the medicine but no matter what, healing requires TIME.  An indeterminate amount of time. 

And as I wait for physical healing, I'm granted other healings.  I gain more compassion for those who are sick (except for my husband - he's still required to lock it up).  I have moments to think about the swiftness of this life and all the small joys and freedoms that often whisk by unheralded and even unnoticed.  I am reminded to be thankful every day that I don't wake up feeling like I do today.  These are all gifts. 

One of my favorite songs is Eva Cassidy's "Time is a Healer."  My favorite line: love heals the wound it makes.  I can accept all trials (including an ear infection) because I know they were crafted for me by an infinitely loving God who cares for me.  By opening myself up to His provision for me, He can heal the deeper wounds and use even a week of very small-scale misery to burn away some of my selfishness, some of my sin.  He can gift me with more patience. 

And I think, of all people, my husband would most appreciate that.

**Please feel free to submit design ideas for my medal and/or themes for my party.  Or you can read about what my friend Hope has to say about patience this week.  And she wasn't sick, so her post might be a little less narcissistic.