Tag Archives: gratitude

Not Putting Off the Natural Woman

natural woman pic

I had day surgery recently, and while the procedure itself went well, the post-operative pain medications didn’t work. They didn’t even touch the sides of what I was feeling, except to make everyone sound as if they were talking to me from a sealed spacesuit. It got to the point that I was pacing, panting with the ripping nerves and rolling pain, when the nurse took out my IV line, rang my friend to come collect me, and let me go home “since we can’t do anything else for you here. Make sure they know next time those meds don’t work on you.”

I don’t remember much of the trip home, because the natural woman I share my body with was counting down the minutes until I’d be behind my front door. And I’ll tell you what, that natural woman is LOUD.

But that natural woman also knows what’s she’s on about. For the previous hour she’d been growling “We need to have a shower. A really really HOT shower. We need to go home. To have a shower” constantly. It made no sense to me, but I could feel the gravity of the need crushing my bones, twanging along my gut and legs, her sure confidence soothing my intense, nauseous unhappiness. And as soon as I got in the shower, the mirror already blank, the air fogged, she and I both groaned – deep, guttural and grateful.

This is what I needed. The thought flopped, exhausted, out my ear and floated away down the drain as my eyes closed in weary relief. Sure, the scriptures say to put away the natural woman, but right now I love her beyond words and coherence.

I prayed, curled in on myself, cheek against the shower floor, thankful for my body, albeit rather critical of the particular design flaws involved in my pain, for instant hot water, overwhelmingly and repeatedly muttering thank you for my natural woman.

My natural woman demanded raspberries last week, for self-medication and reward after an emotionally gutting day. She also squealed when I was cleared to start running again, and her eyes roll back in delight when I moisturise. My natural woman tells the holy spirit to stuff it when my answers to prayer are decidedly sideways to what I wanted, screams stress into pillows and sulks before sidling up to God, kicking the ground and muttering “Sorry. I’m sorry. But it still sucks.”

My natural woman loves life, loves me, loves God as a result. She’s like hope – loud, wearing big boots and laughs like a waterfall falling on your head.

Do you listen to your body, to your natural woman? What makes your physical self happy, and does it make YOU happy as a result? Has there been something in your life lately that has made you thankful for having a physical self to wrap your self in?

Thank You, Modern Medicine (and Technology)

“She’s going in now for an emergency caesar [c-section] – his heart rate keeps dropping too much.”

My Mum ended our phone call to chase up the theatre staff, a thousand kilometres away I hurled up some prayers, and less than 10 minutes later I was looking at the first picture of my new baby nephew.

Newborn Joseph

Both my sister and baby J have been given the all-clear, and I have added incentive to finish the baby blanket I’m making for him. In the past twelve hours, I’ve been further amazed and have marvelled at the care and medical techniques available to us today in Western civilisation.

Just think: four thousand years ago women were using hippopotamus dung as a contraceptive, and hysteria was a mental illness believed to be caused by the uterus wandering around inside women creating trouble and weird symptoms. Two hundred years ago leeches and mercury were accepted medical treatments, and hysteria was still a bane to polite society (although a popular “cure” for many was *ahem* literally in the grasp of a small group of investigating doctors). In the early 1900s women were sent to the asylum for conditions such as asthma and unkempt hair. In the 1970s smoking had no known health consequences, and unmarried mothers-to-be weren’t given pain relief during labour. I quite like living in the twenty-first century, thank you very much. Continue reading

“All these things shall give thee experience”

Yesterday, as my dear mother-in-law, Barbara, and I worked in the kitchen while most of the men and the children (yea, even the adult children) caravanned on the traditional drive through the mountains of the Uintah Basin to count deer and elk, I recalled the Thanksgiving before. Some forty of us had gathered last year to break bread and give thanks together in the hogan family room my father-in-law built on to their home long before I joined the family.

I looked at Barbara, who is still dealing with the ill effects of breast cancer treatment from last year (no one tells you of the way lymphedema will affect the rest of your life, because they are just trying to get you to survive the chemo and radiation required to beat back the cancer). I thought, “What were we thinking, descending upon her last year like that while she was still trying to regain her strength and regrow her hair and reclaim her life?” Continue reading

Settled

P&K Edits 9 (1)Kristie is a proud graduate of Utah State University (GO AGGIES!) who also holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Utah. Her passion for finding the perfect recipe for chile verde is matched only by her intense dislike of folding laundry; nevertheless, she remains determined to perfect the art of properly folding a fitted sheet. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart (who, through all of this, cheers for the BYU Cougars) and blogs about the adventures of parenting her spunky three-and-a-half-year-old redheaded daughter and one-year-old son with the most delicious chubby cheeks at www.paddyandkris.blogspot.com.

Unsettled!” I announced, and I felt that sense of relief wash over me that comes when I finally catch that elusive word that has been dancing on the tip of my tongue, just out of reach. “I am feeling unsettled.” My ever patient and long-suffering husband nodded appropriately, good-naturedly enduring yet another soliloquy from me as I struggled to articulate how frustrated and helpless I felt.

He had heard this tearful rant in one form or another countless times in the 5 months since our first baby had reached that inevitable 12-week-old milestone that sent me reluctantly back to working full time. I was sour, irritable, and generally unpleasant about the whole situation; even though I had known throughout my pregnancy that my returning to work was just part of our family’s economic reality, I continued to harbor some sort of vague resentment that the stars of the universe had failed to magically realign themselves in a way that left me, well, independently wealthy, I guess. Continue reading

Noël

They looked upand saw a star!

THEY LOOKED UP
and saw a star!

This Christmas, may we also “look up” and receive the light that ever shines from above, and remember not only that first noël of long ago, but the whole life our Savior lived; his examples of kindness, forgiveness, service, and the myriad gifts he gave to us…especially the gift of everlasting life.

May this day be filled with gratitude for all that God has given you. He knows you, he loves you, and he always remembers you.

We thank you, dear readers, for all you add to this community. Merry Christmas to each of you from all of us here at Segullah!