OK, tell the truth…
It's the title that made you curious, right??
Well, first of all, let me tell you that it's not a new strain of flu. It is not a rodent version of the recent Avian Flu bug. It does have a scientific name, though…
However, I also looked it up in Sharon's Acrostic Dictionary, and this is what I found:
Yup, it is true, I am just now beginning to recover from a nasty case of flu. It flattened me, literally, for days on end. And, because misery loves company, I've decided to regale you with a listing and descriptions of my fun symptoms:
1) Fever and Chills: It's a whole lot of fun to be feverish AND chilly. Especially when it's like 40 degrees and rainy outside, and you're under 20 blankets. Only to throw them off a few minutes later when you start roasting. Tell you what – it almost made me miss the good ol' days of hot flashes…almost.
2) Aches and Pains: Ah, who knew that hair follicles or cheekbones or toes could hurt so much. Every joint, every muscle, every bone, every single inch of skin hurt. Not to mention how much it hurt to look at my face in the mirror.
3) Headache: A cleaver right in the middle of the top of my head. Stabbing knives behind my eyes. An arrow piercing through my temples. A hammer pounding on my forehead. A vise gripping the back of my neck. Yeah, the flu brings out the *tools and weapons* imagery.
4) Bags Under the Eyes: Who needs luggage? I toted around a pair of Samsonite for days.
5) Congestion: I have used umpteen boxes of Kleenex. "The Hub" thoughtfully placed a brown paper bag next to the bed for "discards." That poor man was emptying it on the hour.
6) Sore Throat: Swallowing glass, using an emery board on my tonsils, abrasions on my voicebox, forks jabbing at the roof of my mouth – these are all accurate descriptions of the pain. I hate sore throats. Until that blessed day when you wake up and there seems to be a "coating" that makes it not-quite-so-excruciating to swallow.
7) Earaches: Gave me a whole new sympathy for the earaches that plagued my sons when they were little. Also, since our noses seem to be connected to our throats and our throats are connected to our ears, the pain seems to be an equal-opportunity giver. I'm sure this connection has a good purpose when we're well. When you're sick? A highway of discomfort.
8) Nausea: Maybe from the fever, maybe from the virus – nonetheless, a fun accompaniment. Echoes of morning sickness. Crackers and plain English muffins were my friends. Oh, and pretzel sticks.
9) Wonderful "I'm Sick" Attitude: Yup, I am a terrible sick person. In the beginning, I get all small and needy. I want constant attention and company. I feel sorry for myself, and I'd like the feeling to be reciprocated. Then, when I get really sick, I become comatose. Yes, it's a respite from the whining, indeed, but mumbling moaning isn't pretty either. Finally, as I begin to get better, I become oh-so-cranky. Impatient with being a patient. Grumpy.
Are we having fun yet??
But, the last symptom that I want to mention is the worst – and it is the source of the title of this post.
THE. RAT'S. NEST.
What is the rat's nest, you ask?
It is what I call the thing that used to be my hair.
I have quite long hair.
I have long hair for three reasons.
One, my husband really likes my long hair. Two, I really like my long hair. And reason #2 probably has a lot to do with reason #3 – rebellion. Most of my life I had very short hair because that's the way my dad wanted it. He thought it looked "sporty." I thought it made me look like a young boy, who then got metal braces, and was gangly and quiet. (I still can't figure out why I didn't date in high school…HA!)
So, when you have long hair, and you're sick with the flu, and you spend inordinate amounts of time in bed…you end up with a rat's nest.
A tangled and mangy and dirty mass of something – more accurately, some THING – on the top of your head.
Sure, I tried to manage it.
I tied it up in a topknot with a scrunchie. "The Hub" said it just made me look like a Who from that famous Dr. Seuss book. (Where was Horton when I needed him??)
I tried braiding it. Then I just ended up with a semi-decorative rat's nest. And, in the end, this was much harder to unravel.
I tried letting it run free. That was the biggest error. Those of you who remember your Greek mythology – (and don't we all, because we loved it so) – might remember a certain woman named Medusa. Well, free-range flu follicles can often resemble a broody nest of reptilian rascals. Just sayin'...
So, Rat's Nest Flu.
Get the picture?!
A matted, messy, unmanageable clump.
(Looked up clump in the Thesaurus – enjoyed these alternative words: cluster, tuft, thicket, clod, lump, wad, glob. All accurate.)
So, today was the day that I decided something had to be done.
It was time to untangle and clean up the mess.
This began with a wrestling match between my hair and my brush. Getting through "the nest" is NOT easy. Especially when you're really trying hard not to pull all of your hair out. It's a tango dance of holding the hair at the scalp, gingerly combing out the ends first, and sometimes it involves separating individual hairs. (Oh sure, every now and then, a tiny battle is lost, and scissors have to come out. Just for ONE particularly tiny knot, mind you. Short hair is a thing of the past…)
Ouch is involved.
But, once untangled, it's time for shampoo and conditioner. And boy oh boy, does that part make it all worth it!
I can't leave you today without a spiritual thought.
And this one's a stretch in some ways. But hang in there, I did think about this as I was standing in the shower.
How often do I try to "fix" the little (or big) glitches in my spiritual character by dressing them up?
That little tendency to gossip maybe? Let's put a colorful *scrunchie* on it and call it "just a prayer request for someone because did you know that they…"
Or how about that propensity to be distracted? I can *braid* my life up in lots of busyness – especially when I want to avoid something that would require obedience to God.
Might I just mention how I complain? Or criticize? Yup, sometimes I just let that tongue of mine *run free* – say whatever I want. I don't even try to tame it. I just let it go.
But in the end, all I have is a rat's nest of tangled sins and messy mistakes – a matted clump that stifles the Holy Spirit.
And there comes a time when there is nothing left to do but clean it up.
Letting Him untangle it all is hard sometimes. Though He's infinitely caring in the way He treats me, sometimes the work He does hurts. Pulling out stuff is painful. Sometimes it's a long process, and sometimes it involves painstakingly precise pruning.
But in the end, I can jump into the shower of His blessings – clean and warm and shining again. Drenched in Living Water. Beautiful once more – because of His tango dance of transformation.
Trust me, it's worth it!!
X-Ray of Seriously Sick Sharon
"...Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." (Mark 2:17, NIV)
"Wash yourselves and be clean!...Give up your evil ways." (Isaiah 1:16, NLT)
"Soak me…and I’ll come out clean, scrub me and I'll have a snow-white life." (Psalm 51:7, The Message)
"Jesus said, 'If I don't wash you, you can't be part of what I'm doing.' 'Master!' said Peter. 'Not only my feet, then. Wash my hands! Wash my head!'"
(John 13:8-9, The Message)
What *untangling* does the Holy Spirit need to do in your life?
A great quote: "That's why sometimes it's best if we just sit quietly and wait. And let God do some work and untangling on our behalf." – Lysa TerKeurst, Proverbs 31 Ministries
(SIDENOTE: Let me tell you, "The Hub" is a sainted man. He played doctor/nurse throughout the whole ordeal. He was attentive, patient, kind, and tenderhearted. He made food, made beds, piled on blankets, took them off, helped me take a shower, checked on me constantly, held my hand, held his tongue – in general, he took CARE of me. I am so grateful for him.)
Linked today with:
Joan at SHARING HIS BEAUTY
Michelle at HEAR IT ON SUNDAY, USE IT ON MONDAY
Hazel at TELL ME A TRUE STORY
Jen at UNITE
Darlene at TITUS 2SDAY
Laura at PLAYDATES WITH GOD
Rachel at WHIMSICAL WEDNESDAYS
Tracy at WINSOME WEDNESDAY
Rosilind at LITTLE R & R WEDNESDAYS
Judith at WHOLEHEARTED WEDNESDAYS
Jacqueline at ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER
Jenifer at WORD FILLED WEDNESDAY
Bonnie at FAITH BARISTA JAM
Michelle at THOUGHT-PROVOKING THURSDAY
Mel at ESSENTIAL FRIDAYS
Wanda at THE FRIDAY FIVE
Charlotte at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS
Laura at FAITH FILLED FRIDAY
Leslie at FAITHFUL FRIDAY
Sandy at STILL SATURDAY
Janis at SUNDAY STILLNESS
Barbie at WEEKEND BREW
Salina at HEART REFLECTED
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"