You may have noticed that I disappeared a few weeks ago. I promise there was a very good reason. I became seriously ill.
The thing is that I don't feel bad. My illness is silently. It sneaks up on you, this silent killer.
I have high blood pressure.
I've mentioned before that I have high blood pressure, but I've always been able to manage it fairly well with diet (low sodium, low saturated fat) and exercise. (This my affiliate link, but I love T-Tapp! It is amazingly effective at lowering blood pressure pretty quickly.)
The last year has been a super hard, super stressful year. Last spring, the church where my husband assistant pastored discontinued the minisrty training program that he had run for many years, which left him with no job. His other part-time job also ended in December. Life with very little income is stressful. (Can I get an amen?)
During this time, I found myself working very hard trying to earn some extra money to help pay bills. The unseen pressure that I put myself under sucked the life out of me. I "didn't have enough time" to exercise. I "didn't have enough time" to knit or crochet- my creative outlets that help me find peace and breathe.
This sounds like a time bomb for someone with high blood pressure, doesn't it?
Somehow, I didn't see it. I was worried and distracted by many things. (Can anyone say "Martha"?)
In February, this fact came crashing into my reality.
My feet and ankles started to swell. That is very abnormal for me. I wondered if my blood pressure – which normally hovers around 140/90 – had gotten higher. Fortunately, I already had a check-up scheduled for early in the following week. Then I set about trying not to worry and freak out during the days leading up to the appointment. (Yeah, right.)
I'm sure you know where this is going. My blood pressure was much higher than normal. The swelling was indeed higher than normal. Even though I have previously tried three different types of blood pressure meds and get all the bad side effects, it was time to try another med- this time with a diuretic. That med only lasted a week until it was time to make a switch. The new one has made it almost two weeks now. But my blood pressure still is not where I would like to see it.
It's been a very scary month. I really do not want to have a heart attack or a stroke. I have a family who needs me, and I am in no way ready to leave them.
I had to come to the realization that I am seriously ill right now. The problem is that high blood pressure is silent, but it's also an illness that you can do something about. So I immediately began to feel pressure to get myself well… to do better with my low sodium diet, to begin exercising again…
The stress and pressure were eating me alive.
But Jesus said that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
This didn't feel easy or light.
So here is the lesson that I began to learn… and am still learning.
When mom gets seriously ill, His burden is still light.
But here's the thing… It's only easy and light when we let Him share the burden. We can't carry the burden all alone. We have to let it go so that Jesus can help us.
So that's what I did. I had to let go of anything that could make me feel stress.
I put aside the To Do List. I put aside writing here. I put aside social media unless it was purely for fun and connecting with friends.
I took up a lighter schedule. We went to our light, essentials only homeschool schedule. I picked up my yarn again. I spent some time knitting and crocheting – without designing. I only worked on projects from other designers' patterns or my patterns that were already completed.
And do you know what I found?
I found that even though a mom's work never ends, the load can be light.
I'm doing better. I'm less stressed. I'm designing new patterns again (both knit and crochet) and loving it! I'm ready to jump back into writing. I'm finally ready to pull out the T-Tapp DVDs and get back into some exercise.
Life is feeling more balanced.
It wouldn't have happened this way if I hadn't let go and let Jesus share the "yoke" with me.
I have learned the lesson, and I'm sure that Jesus will do the same for you.
When mom gets seriously ill… whether it be high blood pressure or depression or …
His yoke is still easy.