Just What the Doctor Ordered
“Modified bed rest.” This was the order I received from my OB on Friday. Umm, this was not in the plan. I still need to pack and teach classes and organize and run errands and the list goes on. I am not due for another two months. Modified bed rest. Do you know how hard this is for someone with my mother’s genes?
Let’s give a little history. Take my grandma, for example. My cousins found her one day cleaning windows, the second story windows, hanging on the outside. One leg was still inside the house while the rest of her body hung in the air. Or another time she fell and had to be hospitalized. Why did she fall, you may ask? Because she was picking up acorns in the street. Of course, why wouldn’t we want to clean the street?
Or take my mom for another example. One night when I was little the electricity in our house went out. I can remember my mom mopping the bathroom by candlelight. Cleaning is not the first thing that comes to mind when I think of fun activities to enjoy when there is no electricity. I come by it honestly and appreciate how they taught me to work hard, efficiently, and to get to the point. But these traits do not bode well for a successful follow through of sitting all day.
As with most unexpected events in life I try to find the ways God may be working through them. I like to make lists because it is easier for me to process. So what have I learned in my whole five days of bed rest?
- Do what you can today. There are a lot of things I have been putting off thinking I had all the time in the world to accomplish them. This goes against a favorite quote of my sister, Kelli: “Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?” Obviously there are some things that have to be put off, but if you can do something today, just do it!
- Slowing down takes a conscious effort. In this fast-paced world, taking time to be still and rest does not happen by accident. I always thought I was good at resting but it turns out I’m not. I can rest in short increments but long term, well, it took a doctor’s order for me to change habits.
- Most things are out of my control. I have shared that I am a control freak by nature. I have done what I can throughout this pregnancy to take care of myself and this baby. And yet, so much is “flat” out of my control (as my dad would say). The doctor said the reason for needing bed rest is not due to anything I’m doing wrong. Even medical professionals are not certain of all the reasons that put a woman at risk for pre-term delivery. It’s another reminder that we have little control over most events in our lives.
- Prayer is powerful. This goes beyond the cliché of “The power of prayer.” Let that truth take root in your heart. Prayer to the one true God is life-changing. I don’t mean a quick two liner before dinner. I mean communion with God. He is my Sustainer, Comforter, the Giver of life, and truly the only One who can influence a situation. I know this does not always mean a yes to a request. But the more we talk with him, the more we know him, the more we experience him, and the more we enjoy a peace that passes understanding, especially in ever changing circumstances.
These are all very important but the biggest lesson is just what the doctor ordered: bed rest.
Rest. I can’t help but take a deep breath and begin to feel myself relax.
Next week I want to share with you two of my favorite stories from the Bible that invite us to rest. For the next few days I challenge you to evaluate the ways God may be calling you to rest. I will do the same.
Let’s talk again next week.