What this affliction has taught me.

I actually feel like a cheeseball using the word affliction for my broken ankle. It feels over dramatic. But to me, it has been one of the tougher things I have had happen to me recently,  in this life of mine.

I think of it a lot, that my Annoyance has an end to it. A time when I can go back to normal. Really I guess, in some minds, I am blessed.

Back in those first few days after I broke it, when I was trying to get to the bathroom and care for my children, I really pictured myself as Joni Tada. What was her life like in the beginning? What did she feel like? How would I be handling it, if I was in her shoes?

From the very beginning, when I wanted to scream and cry and pity myself: “NO. Just no, God. I DO NOT have time for a broken limb!” My husband has been very firm with me that I:

A) Do as much for myself as I can. B) Do not pity myself. C) Remain grateful.  I will admit there were days that I did not enjoy hearing his words of advice. Sometimes “advice” is so annoying. But, I know it (and now I feel overly dramatic again– but it is real to me) was his wise words (my husband is so wise) that kept me sane.

I have been thinking on this this morning and felt compelled to share and remember (for myself) some of the hard things I KNOW God is teaching me in these grindingly annoying 4 weeks. (My cast comes off in 2 weeks– I am halfway!)

Here is what comes to mind…

~ I had control issues that were getting out of hand. I liked my agenda! I liked my house clean! I liked to have things I deemed important, done! I liked my children to act the way I wanted them to act!  It wasn’t until I was laid-up and Galen was there sweeping, by my chair, that we both realized that I was wound a little tight, and not fun to work for, at all. Yup, we bickered a fair amount those 1st couple days. I saw what I thought needed a kick in the rear: baths, lunches packed, homework done, dishwasher loaded, floor wiped up, table wiped up… and I was sure hoping he would decide to do those things, when and HOW, I liked them done. Sheesh, lady!

~When you let people  help you, that release of PRIDE and the embracing of humility, can really be a conduit for a deeper friendship. I have not had one day so far without visitors, and I have made a lot of “new” friends through all this. It’s crazy really. I had someone say, “It’s so nice to know I can sit here with you and we can talk and I know you aren’t thinking ‘I need to go’, because I know you can’t.”

~ I had shut down my home.  I wasn’t letting people in. It wasn’t that I didn’t like people, it was just that my house was not “ready” yet. I have had so many people in the last 2 weeks– see me unshowered, and walk out the door with crusties on their feet. Then, I realized, no. one. really. cares. No one does.  It was only me that hated to hang out in a dirty, messy place. People only see a chance to connect! And connecting, meets a soul-need like little else.

~ It’s funny how much less money I spend when I can’t get out to spend it. Aside from a few birthdays that came up, I really didn’t need a whole lot either. We lived with SO much less.  Ok, I did buy shoes for the girls and I online this morning– but for the most part, we had enough. (This is not counting groceries, obviously.)

~ I am happier when I live minimalistically. That is a long word, for something that means “simple”. Really, if a word wants to be a true minimalistic, it should spell itself with 2 letters MAX. I have shipped more stuff out the door and into the trash, since I have been way less able to control it all. It made me see SO clearly, how all I choose to own, is really controlling me. “The more you have, the more you have to have, to take care of the things you have.” – Jungle Jam quote

~ Hard times, are always great for someone. The person that benefitted in my situation, was Sterling. He has loved having hours and hours on end, of mommy time. I think back to right before I broke my foot, how much he would sit on the floor, and cry for me. While I was mopping and making supper and stuff. I loved him and yes, I held him, what I thought was a lot. But now I see, I should have played with and  held him MORE. He was asking me too. “Spend half as much money on your child, and spend twice as much time with them.” – Loosely quoted from Pinterest.

~ Oh, how I wish I would have chucked the chores more, led a looser agenda, and been outside more. We live close to a bike trail, the library, a park, a pretty town. Yet, somehow I never had a lot of time to take my children there. After my  cast is off, I want to leave the house for more last minute plans. I want to watch them, look into their faces, smile at them.

~ God longs for more time and a deeper relationship with us. He can be really creative with how He orchestrates this. I have felt Him calling me and speaking to me so much more, I think.

~ I wish I had been more thoughtful. I cannot tell you how even the smallest things done or given to me, with a loving heart, spoke so many volumes. These things really DO bring comfort. They really DO make my day. I feel sadness for the times when I knew of someone that was hurting, and I just thought, “Someone else will minister to them” or “I’m too busy” or “I don’t know what I would have to offer.” People have went SO far above and beyond for me… really humbling is the only word I can use. I hate that feeling when you can’t pay someone back, and I have had to be ok with the fact that right now, I can’t. Well, that is me right now.

~ Family will always be there for you. I have always loved both my and Galen’s family, respectively. But I feel like I have just had a lot of special times with family because of me needing them more. Things like: My mother-in-law paying a huge chunker postage bill, to send us the heavy granola we crave, and treats for the children. Sweet notes from my sister in laws. My mom and Jacinta, who checked in with me every single day, to see what I needed. My sister Jacinta, was born when I was 22, so I didn’t live with her like I did my other sisters. I have gotten to know her as a young lady, instead of the baby. We both like to clean, be creative, and pin stuff from eachother’s Pinterest boards.  My new sister in law (Kendra), and 2 sisters, Joy and Julana, who have made Tuesdays a day to get together and eat and do stuff for me this month. We have made sweet memories that I will cherish forever. And gasp! We made them, while I (the host) sat on my tush, and they managed my dust bunnies. May I pay it forward.

~ Lastly, I learned, life goes on. We may have corners in our house that have been gross for awhile, but no one cares. Galen and I have sat with our children in the living room and laughed, barked at our occasionally messy kids, and all kissed each other.  (Other stuff happened too, but those are the high points.) When I get ahold of the beauty of life, and what really matters, I feel a release from striving, and a call to not take myself so seriously. SERIOUSLY.

~ I want to read more! When I was 12, I was the biggest bookworm there was. For some reason, once I hit the cool teen years and after that, the married years, and after that, the raising children years– I stopped reading. What a tragedy. Sitting a lot has gotten me back to reading. I used to think I did not have time. Now I realize, there is no greater soothing… than to sit with a good book, a cup of something hot, and a lap blanket. Actually, throw a fall candle, a clean house, and kids who are drawing happily in there– and you may have perfection. Stay at home moms need brain stimulation besides the normal social medias. I don’t want to sound rude. I am just saying what I learned for myself. One of my favorite things this month, was someone who sent me a book in the mail. It was such a good book too.

Okay, well, enough talking from me. I feel like I set the bar pretty high for my future endeavors. We will see how much of these aspirations I still have in a year. But oh well– you can’t kick a girl down for aspiring to grow as a human being.

If I ever stop being willing to grow– please shoot me. Or, it might be less messy to just tell me. And kick me now, for my blind spot areas of non-growth!

An adult with no ability to be a life-learner, is one of the most pitiful things on earth. But that is a rant for another day.

jenny

A few pictures of life lately from my junky, non-smart phone.

On my mom’s porch.

Lunch break with Jordan, my brother. 

Girls loving the leaves.

Fancy “night in” made my my friend, Shelly.

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16 Comments

  1. Shannon says:

    I saw this post on my feedly the other day and then it wasn’t on your site to comment on. Glad it’s back. SO many things you wrote hit me. I’m a control freak and so many more. Hopefully I’ll learn something from your affliction. 🙂

  2. Amy says:

    I have a cold sore right now and it feels like an affliction. Physical comfort is the end of all we endeavor to do if you really think about it. A life-long-learner is what I want to be as well and you can really see things a lot more clearly when it’s written down. Those control issues and clutter can really sneak up on me.. I’m becoming more grateful for circumstances that reveal when things start getting out of hand (and good husbands that don’t let you wallow, maybe i should thank mine for that too!)

  3. jennie z says:

    this made me cry. I need to learn some of these wise things that you were forced to learn. like taking time for my kids and letting people into my home even if it’s not perfect.

    family IS such a helpful blessing, for me too…sisters and mom and MIL.

    thanks for writing. I honestly have thought of you SO much. and prayed for you.

  4. Luci says:

    I just love you. This is a beautiful post.

  5. Beth says:

    Boy do I feel you here! I’ve never broken a limb, but I’ve been laid up at home post c-section, 5 times, with stuff I’m used to just getting done myself and have to sit there and SEE the mess I can see that no one else can see and wish that someone, ahem, steven, would just do it my way and now please! Ha. But yeah, you do come around to the fact that everyone’s alive and maybe, just maybe I have to have too many things my way.

    The countdown is on now, you’re over the halfway point. May your newfound perspective last long after the cast is gone!

  6. amber. says:

    i want to come back when i can pour over this one more… headed out to get ben at football. then dinner. then dance. :))

    i’ll be back…

  7. amber. says:

    and just so it’s clear.. i’m NOT the one doing the dancing! ; )

  8. Christy says:

    Beautiful words from a teachable heart~ This brought back so many memories from my last pregnancy when I was laid up so much of the time. So many of these lessons were things I learned during that time, too. It’s just really hard not being able to function when you’re a mom of little ones, but the things God teaches us during those times are precious enough to make up for it in the end. How much longer will you be in a cast? And I never did find the story. Did you post it somewhere? I’m too curious and just want to know what happened. 🙂

  9. Jolynn says:

    Refreshing reminders to not take our lives for granted.
    You always sound like such a fun friend to have whenever I read your blog! Totally teachable and open. Love these stirrings of your heart 🙂

  10. Clarita says:

    This is one of my favorite things you’ve ever written. I love your humility and desire to be a life-long learner. Both of those are so what I desire to be, and sometimes it takes the hard things to get me to really look at myself and see the ugly that is there, and change. We never WANT them, but looking back, I think I’ve always been grateful. God is so good to give us things that make us better people, that press us to Him, even if we SO do not want it. Thanks so much for writing this. ♥

  11. Anonymous says:

    man! i really liked reading through your list of lessons and thought, “if only i could have that perspective WITHOUT having to have a broke ankle!” 😉 but it usually takes something like that to really open our eyes to what’s important. i loved this part you wrote, “When I get ahold of the beauty of life, and what really matters, I feel a release from striving, and a call to not take myself so seriously. SERIOUSLY.”

    i’ve thought of you so often throughout this ordeal – because i just think having a broke anything would be bad in and of itself, let alone w/ three littles to chase after!! i’m glad you’re mostly to the other side now, but still praying for total healing and the normality of life to be back soon… it will be! and those gross corners will be cleaned {the way you like them} 😉 once more.

    you’re so right. we need to always be open to change, to learning and growing. i’d like to hear your rant on that someday. i’ve a feeling i’d be yelling a very loud, “preach it, sister!” ;))

    happy wednesday dear. xo

  12. amber. says:

    ^^^ that was me! 😉

  13. Kathy Maldaner says:

    I came here looking for some inspiration in a late night read while I wait for my man to get home from playing hockey… And I was SO inspired by all the little things that you pointed out that are really the important things. I am always so busy… Not with things that are the most important. Thank you for sharing. A blog that is inspiring keeps me coming back. (All of your posts are a pleasure.)

  14. Jolene says:

    I love this post! I am definitely one that thinks in order for someone to come over, my house needs to be clean, etc. Thanks for the encouragement!

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