I woke up at my normal time, 6:02 am, stumbled to the coffee pot, filled up a mug of steaming black goodness and snuggled into my corner of the couch where I usually spend about 30 minutes waking up while reading and such. This day, however, I realized the coffee in my hand (which I usually go to bed at night looking forward to slurping all by myself during those quite minutes before the day starts) disgusted me. This confirmed I was indeed sick (that, and the sore throat, pounding headache and all-over weakness I felt throughout my body).
That was Friday, and I’m sitting here five days later with the remaining sniffles from that horrible virus. I’m frustrated I got sick, though. I’ve been trying so hard to avoid germs and washing my hands and taking my vitamins and saying my prayers! But wait…I haven’t been getting enough sleep, I’m eating whatever I want (which translates to not enough whole foods and way too much sugar) and running on caffeine. When I look at it that way, well, no wonder I had to call in sick!
Health is the one thing I seem to take for granted, until a massive cold hits me square in the face and I have to stay in bed for 24 hours and wonder where it all went wrong! Is it just me, or do we seem to be most susceptible to sickness immediately after a period of busy-ness?! Is the key to prevention to stay home all winter and do nothing? Probably not (even though hibernation does sound like a cozy idea sometimes). It’s that time of year again when I have to preach “healthy lifestyle” to myself and get back on the wagon.
I wish I could name a few fail-proof remedies that have never failed me, but I personally haven’t found anything that magically keeps me healthy. I have to do the hard work of watching what I eat (yikes…so much sugar went down the hatch at Christmas…what was I thinking?) When life gets busy, it’s so easy to switch to auto-pilot, eat whatever is easiest to grab, and drink more coffee. Who has time for vegetables? But, the aftermath of this cold has me getting back to the basics of eating more fresh food (which was easier when I lived overseas, I might add!!!) and hiding the chocolate!
Another thing that slides during holiday seasons for me is sleep. I love being around family and/or friends and staying up late just seems to happen more often in December. Next time I think I’m young enough to get through the day on six hours of sleep, I hope I listen to the voice of reason (aka my husband) when he tells me to go to bed. Seven and a half or eight hours of sleep are not optional for good health. I should write that down somewhere and live by it.
Then, there’s exercise. It gets cold outside, and I decide life is better lived indoors. Since I live in a rural area where a gym membership isn’t really an option, I’m still stumped on this one. Bundle up and get outside for a walk or keep making excuses seem to be my options at this point. When does one exercise when trying to get enough sleep and making sure the family is eating vegetables?!
Take a look at this prayer I’ve been saying out loud every morning because I’m terrified of the flu and I work in a bank where the public brings in cash from the scary, germ-filled outside world:
“My immune system grows stronger day by day. I speak life to my immune system. I forbid confusion in my immune system. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in me and quickens my immune system with the life and wisdom of God, which guards the life and health of my body.” God’s Creative Power by Charles Capps
I don’t know anything about the author of this little prayer book, but it seems like a good thing to speak life and wellness over my body. It had been working until last Friday. What went wrong? Did a few days of forgetting to claim wellness take me down? All this got me pondering: Did Jesus ever call in sick? I dare say he did not, but we really don’t know. If he was fully human, perhaps he did? Or was he so full of the life-giving power of the Holy Sprit that sickness couldn’t even dwell in his body? Is there a human on earth today who has reached that point of fullness as to not get sick?
The more I think about staying healthy, the more I realize there’s only so much I can explain, and the rest is up to the good Lord to take care of. There’s no fail-proof plan to avoid sickness, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Maybe without that prayer, I’d be back where I was ten months ago with seven full days of flu followed by five days of pneumonia. Maybe it worked after all. Either way, I’m not going to quit speaking it over myself, the same as I’m not going to give up the pursuit of a healthier me.
What does this topic of “Healthy” have you pondering these days? In addition to eating right, getting enough sleep and exercising, how to you stay healthy and avoid sickness?
Do share with us, as conference season is coming up and sickness seems to lurk in situations where God’s people gather together (you might pack that prayer in your carry-on luggage, too! There’s another one I can post in the comments if you’re interested.)
We invite you to share in The Grove. You can link up your blog post, or share your practices, ponderings, wisdom, questions, ideas, and creative expressions with us in the comments below.
Share your images on this week’s theme with #VelvetAshesHealthy. You can add yours!