Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 (NIV)
I have often heard staunch southerners use “The recent unpleasantness” to describe the Civil War. To hear a modern day southerner use the phrase is almost laughable if it weren’t so sad. There was nothing recent about the war and unfortunately, it was more than unpleasant. However, I have started thinking of my illness, as my “recent infirmity.” I have not spoken it aloud for fear I would suffer the same strange looks and head shaking that those who persist in using the phrase, “The Recent Unpleasantness” receive, but I hear it in my mind as though spoken by Scarlett O’Hara. “Lawd, I am just so tired from my recent infirmity.” Say it aloud and see if it doesn’t make things sound a tad bit better than grousing, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired,” which is what I told my neurologist last week. The newest pills I added to my medical regime stopped both the facial pain and the leg cramps and spasticity, but they leave me exhausted and foggy feeling. I manage to make it through an eight hour day at work by setting my phone alarm for a morning and afternoon fifteen minute break where I put my feet on my desk, settle back in my chair with a blanket over me and go to sleep. I warned my staff least they think I was dead or shirking my duties and invited them to check my phone to verify that it is only for the allowed fifteen minutes. Upon going home at the end of the day, I start supper unless another family member has offered to help (which self preservation has propelled them to do more and more) and go back to bed, not to sleep, but to channel surf until I find the least offensive television show I can find. Unfortunately, I have just about seen all twelve seasons of “Say Yes To the Dress.” TLC which once was called “The Learning Channel,” but should now be called “The Sideshow,” as it features little people, fat ladies and tattooed bodies, doesn’t offer much else that interests me. After an evening gorging myself on “Cake Boss,” I feel as though I gained twenty pounds and lost three hours that I will never get back. Fortunately, I recently discovered “Fixer Upper” on HGTV. Not only do Chip and Joanna have a wonderful, funny and quirky relationship, but they have a strong Christian faith and are open about God’s work in their lives. Joanna’s testimony about feeling unworthy and insecure resonates with many women. I am also learning many important things about home repairs and seeing my thirty something year old house with a new light. I am coming to scorn the eighties. But, “Fixer Upper” gives me hope that not only can my home be transformed, but that God can change lives, too. If only I had the money and the energy and it were as easy as pulling down a few rotten wallboards!