I have shared many pieces of my adventure with you all. But today – I want to dig a little deeper. I want to take you my mothering and my living – a space that leans upon something and someone so much bigger than me every single day. A space where love is put into action… most of the time.
Last month, I returned home from a trip that should have filled me to the brim. Instead, I landed in Arizona with unfathomable pain. Every inch of my body ached, from the muscles in my eyes to the very tips of my toes. After an evening hanging out in the ER, my 103 fever began to drop; the painkillers took the edge off. (I never take painkillers. I finally had to wean myself off of them last week!) And my rash began to spread. Within 24 hours, I would be covered from head to toe with both an irritable rash and petechaie (broken blood vessels) across all of my extremities. It wouldn’t be for a week that I could think clearly again.
Insider look: My least favorite moment was also my funniest, as I proceeded to de-pit my dates, and then attempt to eat the pits instead of the fruit. Oy!
So, yes, it happened. While in the Keys, I caught the Chikungunya virus. Of course I did! My immune system attacks itself. Often it doesn’t seem to protect me from usual external offenders. I should expect things like this, but I don’t. This is the good and the bad side of being such a positive person. Pausing here… As I write about this, I immediately think of the story of Job. Again and again, the enemy said to the Lord: let me see how much faith this Job has, and Job experienced unfathomable pain too. Except his was profound loss time and again and again. I return to thanking God often for this pain. This pain, the combined lingering remnants of Chikungunya and the beginning of physical and occupational therapy for my autoimmune disharmonies, is nothing compared to that of loss. Pausing again… Why is it that mothers often compare their experience to that of another and berate themselves for their own, very personal, reactions? What I have never paused to recognize, as I should, is that this too is loss. Not like Job’s, but like Jennifer’s. This is my battle with the loss of being well. This is my adventure in putting love into action while not always being at my best.
Anyhow, I was finally feeling so much better before the virus struck! I had made a huge dietary modification with Autoimmune Paleo (AIP), with great results. My gut was feeling better. My energy was up and my pain was down. So, when the fogginess and humor in the Chikungunya wore off… I found myself really ticked. And I pushed everyone close to me away. Again. A common theme in my life is rough spots followed by a disappearing act. But, strangely, you cannot disappear from two small children who want your love, and a husband who now understands your routine!
I was still feeling angry and tired, full of loss, and in pain just a week ago. But, because my hubby put love into action, I was at least aware of my sourness! Aware enough that it took one simple night with our wild little girl to get me back into serving and celebrating – meeting the needs of my children and myself… My two-year old wild (look up #lifewithbliss) was up late, as she sometimes is. And I was folding and putting away laundry. It is my favorite mindfulness project: I breathe. I reflect. I pray. I organize. I do it all alone. But on this particular evening, I couldn’t be alone. And instead of finding more reasons to disconnect, I checked in. I checked into my life as a mother. Ms. Bliss began “folding” laundry beside me. She roared with a shark washcloth on her hand. She laughed as she noticed that in our pile, Daddy and her brother had the exact same shirt. She covered herself with already folded laundry, and snuggled her stuffies alongside her. She had little conversations with herself.
My heart soars again sharing this with you.
Love in action is I’ll do what’s best for you regardless of what’s best for me – knowing that I don’t yet always know what is best for me… but God always does. When we act, are we asking for His help? This is what I am reflecting on as I make my commitments to myself this September 1st.
We won’t move without you. We won’t move without you. We won’t move without you.
Peace & Love, friends. Put love into action. Ask for His help. And know that you are not alone.