Waking up in a house full of wadded up kleenex, Nyquil bottles, and the smell of Unker's Salve spells one thing: We is ill at the Hunt household.
You see, Mr. Hunt has his own upper respiratory mysteries going on, with much uncovered sneeezing which is followed by my lamenting about the spreading of viruses. He's making coughing/wheezing/snorting sounds as he goes about the house, speaking only in whispers, because his throat is sore.
I am on the tail end of a migraine. This does not bring out the best in my personality.
All this is said in pretense to the following: "IT'S HARD TO BE NICE WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE POOP!"
Still, it's no excuse to be sharp, short tempered, or snarky, or is it? I admit, I've used my illness, or womens monthly issues, and headaches as a reason to justify my inner lunatic at times. No, I'm not proud of that. But you know, as you get older, you kind of reflect on your character, and on your habits, good and bad. There's some things you settle on, and other things you know must change if your going to continue on for another 40m or 50 years. Aim high I always say.
Here at mid-life, when you have the occasional reflection about your behavior, you want to ask yourself ; "HOWS IT WORKING???" For me, not so good. So I'm rethinking many things I do that usually backfire, and I'm reworking my behavior into an intentionally positive pattern, to make a NEW PATH. This path is called "The High Road". Perhaps you've heard your Mother speak of it? Or at least your shrink? Oh come on! Your guidence counselor for the love of Pete?? Someone along the way surely suggested you take The High Road, I know they did.
Beginning today, I am not going to use my headaches, my body aches, my frustrations, or my unexpected visits from my Aunt Flo, or hot flashes as a springboard to speak my mind. At least as much as I'm able. I will make a conscience effort to find my inner kindness, or as Mr. Hunt says I should do: "Take a kindness pill". (Not to be confused with a chill-pill, that's a whole 'nuther ball of wax)... I will intentionally recognize when I feel under the weather and CHOOSE to rise above it or lay low. I will take The High Road. Why? Because the Bible says to. Proverbs 31: She doeth him good and not evil, All the days of her life. (I see no exception clause, do you?) I want to do right by God and by my husband. That's my priority, even if it doesn't always come naturally to me. That's why we have the Bible... to help steer us on course when we loose direction. Besides, being calm, cool, and collected in the face of adversity is one to the greatest blows to the devils stradegy. Don't you think he wants to see you come completely undone, and go for each others throat?? Of course he does!
I'll use my own character flaw as an example: In the past, I was happy 27 out of 28 days a month. But day 28 kicked my butt. There is no praying my way through it, no making a choice that today is no different than any other day, no way to escape the oppressive, black cloud that hung over my head for a good 24, sometimes 36 hours .hours. But you know what? I can CHOOSE to be quiet...to walk away...to ignore... to wait 10 seconds before I respond and choose the tone in which I speak. I can select my words wisely. I will take practice, but it CAN be done. Truthfully, in my youth I thought it was everyone elses job to *lay low* on this day. I mean surely, they can see a pattern?? If I were in their shoes, I'd be marking my calendar to make sure I knew exactly what day Mom's going to loose her mind, and blow a gasket, or burst into tears over probably not much at all.
Now, I believe Satan knows a womans monthly cycle. I suspect he has a legion of mini-satans who's only job is to follow the lunar cycle of each fertile woman and day 28, (actually it's day 21, but you get the gist), they launch an assault on that woman by prompting every soul around her to test her limits. But you know what? I am a child of The King!!! Even at my weakest, at my most vulnerable, I am forgiven, I am loved, and I have domninion over anything un-Christ-like, including my behavior, my tongue, my tone and my eye-rolls. Even if I am only this way one or two days a month, it's not acceptable to use a headache or tummy cramps as an excuse to be ugly. But that's exactly what my flesh tells me I can! Well, that's just what Old Red Legs wants me to think. Guess what? He's in for a surprise!
Today is the day!! I will, regardless of my migraine, be a kind wifey to Mr. Hunt. I will not yell: "Shut the flippin' door!!" or sarcastically say; "Can you raise the volume so that those mortor shells sound more realistic?"... or better yet, as he lays on the couch, watching the same war movie he's seen so often he can lip-sync the dialogue, I WILL NOT ask: "Have we saved Private Ryan today???"... No, no I won't. I won't give the devil any fodder I tell you!
What I'm going to do is send the Father of Lies, back to the drawing board. I will gently get up and turn the volume down myself, and remind my inner madwoman that Mr. Hunt feels poorly too, and he probably can't hear the mortar shells and gun-fire because his head is stuffed up. I will dim my own lights, and make him hot tea in a dark kitchen, see that he gets his Alka-Seltzer every 6 hours, and do it kindly and pleasantly, regardless of any urge to rant, to eye-roll, to give him the stink-eye, because, gosh-darn I feel like poo too!!!
But truly, the real reason I'm choosing KINDNESS is: I will not give my husband any cause to resent me. Why give the devil a foothold? I will choose the path of meekness and love. The devil won't know what to think? He won't have a leg to stand on, he won't have ammunition to destroy!
Seriously- look at any failed relationship and regardless of the details of the situation- the bottom line is: two people resent each other. The behavior is the cause of course, but the outcome is always the same: Resentment.
Today, I will ask God for the grace that is sufficient to get me through this migraine without damaging my marriage, or the Sheetrock.
As many women have mentored me, I try to mentor other. Wives, we have to be gentle to our husbands even when we are overwhelmed. The silent killer in all relationships, whether it be a marriage, or a friendship, is: RESENTMENT. Let nothing you say bring resentment into the fellowship. It's from the devil, and the wrench that loosens the bolts that keep your relationships hinged tightly. Ask yourself; "Am I snarky, quit tempered and hostile to my mate? How do I justify this? Is this what God wants for us as a couple?"....You probably have your answer by now, but just in case:
A few Proverbs will support this train of thought:
Clamorous, foolish women are empty-headed (Proverbs 9:13).
Gracious women retain their honor (11:16).
Lovely women without discretion are like jewels in a swine’s snout (11:22).
Wise women build substantial homes (14:1).
Foolish women destroy a home (14:1).
Contentious women are like a continual dropping on a rainy day (19:13; 27:15).
Brawling women are not easy to live with (21:9; 25:24).
Angry women are never good company (21:19).
So, if like me, you find yourself not at your best when your overwhelmed by duty, illness, or tension... take joy in knowing you'll send the devil running if you act in Godly Character. It won't happen overnight. Your going to fail many times before you change a pattern, but if you keep working at it, your character will transform itself. But keep one thing in mind- be yourself, just try to be a better version of yourself. Never try to be *Sister _________, who always seems to have her ducks in a row, and looks like the perfect version of the Titus 2/Proverbs 31 Woman. God meets you where you are and made you to be divine and unique.
Remind yourself that IF YOU STAY AWARE of any behavior that causes *RESENTMENT*, it's easier to be conscience going forward, and cut Old Red Legs off at the pass. God will reward you with joy in your marriage as you journey together.
I'll see you on the High Road, won't I?