I sprained my ankle this weekend. No idea how. Saturday night all was well. Sunday morning I woke up with a bad ache and by the time I’d made it through two church services (preaching in flats, which I NEVER do because my tall black heels are my power shoes) it was swollen and painful.
I limped out after the benediction and went straight to an urgent care. Diagnosis: sprain. Treatment: ice, brace, rest, Motrin, and crutches when needed.
I’m writing this from our living room couch. The boys are napping, Daryl is out at a meeting, and I have to leave soon for another event. Schedules got pushed around, so we texted a friend to come hang with the boys for a half hour or so until Daryl gets home.
But here’s the thing. Our house is a mess. Like, a BIG mess.
A we-got-ready-for-church-in-a-mad-rush mess. A breakfast-dishes-still-on-the-table-along-with-lunch-dishes mess. A crock-pot-lunch-prep-station-still-full-of-carrot-peelings mess.
[I guess when I really think about it, the kitchen is mostly what’s a mess.]
I have to drive to the next event; so I have to ice and rest now. Which means I am sitting in the living room staring at the messy kitchen, knowing a friend is about to walk in and see it.
Friends, I am dying.
The woman coming over is a decidedly nonjudgmental friend. The type of friend who will probably love us more once she knows we’re not (ha!) perfect. The kind of person who comes over at the last minute to fill in a gap when we’re running crazy on a Sunday because sometimes Sundays get crazy when you’re a pastor (never mind when your marriage has two pastors in it).
So as I’m inwardly cringing at the fact that I can literally see the blueberry juice dripping down the side of the sink from my perch on the couch, I’m looking for the silver lining in all of this iced ankle, messy kitchen, things-to-do-but-cannot-do-them afternoon.
Here’s what I’ve got.
1. If a random volleyball game breaks out, you’re excused
I have a bit of volleyball phobia. It probably comes from my youth group days when all the cool girls played volleyball but I didn’t. I played ice hockey badly and never really developed 3D spatial awareness, so I spent every summer youth group night standing awkwardly on a sand volleyball court trying to look both athletic and far enough away from the action that no one would ask me to do anything.
2. Comfy shoes are expected
I’m literally going to give a keynote dinner speech for a neighboring church tonight in Converse All Stars.
3. Sometimes life on the go is overrated
Feel the breeze. Read some books to the kids. Remember that Netflix has all seven seasons of The Office.
4. You’ll probably eat healthier because obtaining food is a serious commitment
If I have to crutch over there and prepare my lunch while standing on one foot, I’m more likely to eat a decent sandwich and less likely to make six trips back and forth to eat a spoonful of frosting out of the can each time.
(Not that I’d eat that, you understand. I only eat kale and steamed fish because: California.)
5. Crutches are great for the triceps
Pretty sure that’s how Dwayne Wade got his.
6. A small setback can help you appreciate your usual abilities
I don’t think much about my ankles, but now that one of them is hurting so much, I’m thinking about it constantly. Time to appreciate all the things we take for granted so easily – food on the table, bodies that (mostly) do what we ask, shelter, freedom, peace, health, safety.
7. God says be still
Sometimes you gotta take that stuff literally.
8. Limited mobility can help the kids step up their game
“Can you hand me that?” “Would you please clear the table?” “Why don’t you lead the dance party this time!”
9. That thing you’ve been putting off? Now’s your chance to get it done.
Thank you notes and student essays, here I come!
10. Healing teaches patience
I hate this one, but that’s a sign that I’m probably not as patient as I should be. Here’s to finding God in the mist of slow healing, and to being thankful that healing is so often possible in this life.
Have you ever been out of commission for a season? Did you find a silver lining in it?