Painstiffy

I am not one of those morning people who get up around 6 or 7AM, fully set for the day, and singing jolly tunes (much to anyone else’s delight.) But, I also am not one to habitly sleep in until morning is over either. So I compromise: around 9:30 or so. I have, however, that my sleeping is getting deeper–and longer. And this morning when I woke, I was stiff and getting out of bed was just not something I wanted to do, but since it was almost noon, I was hungry. So I made myself get out of bed.

Dreams are strange, mysterious. Most of the time, I don’t remember them; but lately, I awake with a few memories. This morning as I sleepily made my way to the bathroom to freshen up for the day, I thought of my dream. I don’t remember anything of my dream except that Mom and I were in a discussion about health and the word, “Painsty,” was mentioned a few times in reference to my pain.

As I am brushing my teeth, I decide to change the word just a bit to a better formula that makes sense: Painstiffy. It’s genius. It tells in one word how I feel: pain and stiff…well, the stiffness and numbness and muscle weakness or atrophy, especially in the neck, are the cause of the pain. It’s like a stiff pain…not excruciating pain. It’s hard to explain.

I decided this new form of a word would be how I answer my doctor’s opening question: “How have you been?”

“Well, I have been struggling with painstiffynes.” I assume they would want me to elaborate on the word with examples, so I already know my response: “It makes me grumpy.” Then I would probably laugh. 🙂 But it’s true–this morning I was grumpy and still God found me. Listing everything already going wrong or not working properly…like my hands, this hymn came to mind:

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

“Count Your Blessings.” Words by Johnson Oatman, Jr.

And I found myself literally asking, “How do I count my blessings?” Because I felt overwhelmed, to see past my painstiffyness for a moment and breathe in the reality of blessedness. You see, this past weekend was physically not the greatest, though from the outer sense, a person would never know. However, it was also a very fantastically fun weekend; I think God knew that I needed the balance. Yet as evening approached last night, fatigue and frustration set in my body. I found myself, yet again, using the bathroom and after I washed my hands, I just stood there in front of the mirror. Then started crying.

I’ve been so emotional as of late anyway, but last night, I finally had a chat with God. I said, “I need help.” At least that was my first sentence. It is hard for me to admit that I need help; admitting that to God was a first step in the full dependence and trust He desires me to have, to seek.

It’s a beginning…and I think that is why He wanted me to see past my woes, my paistiffyness and count my blessings. Because it keeps me focused on His Goodness.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Painstiffy

  1. Deborah Gullett

    Sometimes I wake up painstiffy too but I am just old (61) and fat! In some strange way your posts are a blessing to me. I am praying for your physical and spiritual health.

  2. Painstiffy….a great word to describe how I feel sometimes. I remember when I was having bad dreams and hated to go to sleep. I began reading my Bible right before I went to bed and it changed everything. No more bad dreams (just silly ones) and I am sleeping soundly, sometimes until 9:30 as well. I have started to do exercises in bed before I get up and it helps me move better when I get out of bed. We do have a lot to be thankful for even if we are not feeling well or we are just getting old (me.) I always love your blogs and insight. In many ways you help me keep going. You are loved.

  3. Lois

    Great word. Discriptive! I may just have to use it some time, especially now that the cold weather is settling in. (It was 37 in K’ville this morning!)

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