October 09, 2015

The Habit of the Recovery Day

If you have been here, as a reader, for any amount of time, you probably know that I have Lupus... if you are new, now you know.  LOL  I was diagnosed with Lupus about four years ago.  I knew something was wrong far earlier than that, though.  I had really been tanking with my health for about 12 years or so but they finally gave it a name.  I learned exactly what I was fighting four years ago.  It is good to know the enemy so you know what weapons to use against him.

I get all manner of responses when I tell people I have Lupus...

"Wow, I have wondered what that is, actually?"


"You don't look sick... I would have never guessed."

"Wow, that sucks!"

People in the know ask, "What meds are you on?"

"How do you feel right now?"

"Is it contagious?"  (yes, that happened... and no it is not)

and so on...

I try to keep a quick "elevator" speech version in my head because if I go longer than 30 seconds trying to explain I have lost them and they are moving on mentally.  You know, sometimes one feels the need to "explain" why one makes certain choices in life.  When you look like a mummy at the football stadium our outdoor scouting events people look at you funny.  LOL  As I age I have cared less and less what people think of my choices, though.  The truth is, I often just don't bother telling people anything.

The Need to Get off the Merry-Go-Round Sometimes

My kids know why there are times I don't venture out to stuff and I have gotten the "judgey" looks from other parents about why I was not there to watch a kid do something or why I don't volunteer to help do everything with the boosters or PTA or scouts anymore.

I had to make a choice.  I reserve my best for those times that are really important to the four children and husband in my life.  I attend graduations, contest days, special occasions, special concerts and performances, trips to San Diego for a young Marine, etc.... I might miss a Friday night football game but I will be in the stands all day the next day when my child is leading the band at a contest competition.  I may be slathered in sunscreen and covered in clothing from head to toe with a giant floppy hat and thin long sleeved shirts and gloves with a big umbrella over me in 90 degree weather but I AM THERE!

My life has changed but in response to the comment above..."Wow, that sucks!"  I don't think that anymore and believe me, I did at first.  This new life has taught me to slow down... to say no.... to find what the most important things in this life truly are.  It is something God has used to teach me.  One of the biggest things I have learned in all of this is that recovery and down time are ESSENTIAL.

I venture to say that they were essential before but I was too busy to notice I needed them.

Jesus even needed to get away... to rest... take take time out from life and crowds and ministry.  We see Him doing it several times throughout the NT.  I know many more were probably not mentioned because He crammed a lifetime into 33 years.  He also crammed a fully complete ministry and mission to save the world into 3 years. He had to step away sometime.  He is God... but He was also human with all the limitations of the physical body we have.

Taking a Look at Jesus Life (in Luke 5...)

Jesus life was one of constant public exposure for three full years.  He was constantly healing and calling people to follow.  He was continually teaching, discipling,  and addressing the Pharisees in very large crowds of people.  People wanted something from Him 24/7 and they crowded Him and touched Him and followed Him constantly.  As an introvert that just makes me ill to my stomach to contemplate living with that much constant contact from the world around me.  Yet, in the midst of that passage was this one little verse... verse 16 that says,

But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.

He slipped away... and He prayed!

He was recharging... resting... recovering... and reconnecting with His Father in Heaven.

If Jesus had to do it then why do we fight doing the same?

We are a stubborn people... that is why!

I Challenge You, Now... 

Find a day... a whole day during your week if you can... when you can be quiet, rest, recharge and recover.  With the Lupus I often take more than one depending on our schedules but you only need one. 

If you just cannot squeeze out a full day then find a small chunk of time each day to sit down and put your feet up, grab your prayer journal and talk to the Father.  Spend time LISTENING to the Father, too.  
Give your body adequate sleep at night but also time during the day to just sit and rest.  Don't turn the television on or veg out in front of your computer or smartphone.  Those things are not restful.  Instead, take a walk, read a good book or THE Good Book.  Sit on your back porch and drink a hot or cold beverage of your choice.  Spend some time as a family just being together with dinner and a game or just sit around reading together or to each other.  Lay down and take a nap.  You have my permission!  It is ok to do that.  Find what feeds your body, mind and spirit and do it!

Maybe you already have a day set aside each week... how do you spend that day?

What is your favorite way to just recover from a hard week?

For Further Reading

Jesus Retreats to Pray - a devotional

More posts on Habits for this month can be found here... (click the graphic)

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  1. Soooo ready to be off next week, though not all of those days will look like "recovery" days. Puttering in the studio - when things are going well - is restful. Having time to read without checking the clock - restful. Coffee with a good friend - restful.

    1. I love puttering, too! Those all sound like great ideas, actually. LOL Enjoy your time off, my friend!

  2. Excellent post, Leann. Love you!!!

    1. Thank you, Pattie! Love you right back!!!

  3. i take down days whenever i can. and when i need to. i have made rules for my boys like "don't get scheduled before 10:30 am or find another ride!" and after waiting for an hour, returning home, then going back in two hours later - i made a new rule: "6-8 pm is dad's time. if you get off at 5, you better get off at 5! i will only wait til 5:30 and i won't return. so text if your schedule changes!"
    i also take days off for perfect weather! lmbo. but really, perfect days are so few and i refuse to spend them doing chores! so i sat on the deck and watched my grandbabies play. now that is a good way to spend a day!
    this was a very uplifting post and i am so glad to see you adjusting so well to limitations. i fought it for awhile. it has been a journey! my mom has been a great role model!
    love you girl!