I have a public service announcement for you, well actually a couple. First, if you are a woman and have felt sluggish, get your dang blood drawn. I am the world’s worst about going to the doctor. I’d rather go to the dentist every day of the year than see a doctor, and I don’t like the dentist either. But a combination of my husband insisting that screening is good, and continued weird stuff with my vision, and feeling awful whenever I work out, I finally had blood drawn. There were three iron levels that were measured, two were slightly low, and the third was very low. Take iron they said. I was filled with dread, sure that it would make me nauseous. So I waited a few days. Stupid girl! Taking the iron has me feeling roughly six million times better. Suddenly I feel like working out isn’t a near death experience. I joined OrangeTheory in January and I’ve literally texted Will upon completion of every class with two words: “I lived.” It truly felt like a necessary, even unlikely declaration. A couple doses of iron and I have felt nothing like that. Good Lord, why did I wait?
My second PSA is once again championing the benefit of the quick trip. I don’t know how many times in my life I’ve had a friend or acquaintance say, “You are going all that way for two days?” Or I’ve shared my intended itinerary and heard in response, “Ugh, that sounds brutal!” So it’s definitely not for everyone. But I traveled like a crazed fiend when I had just Baby Dub. When Dub was nine months old, my brother, Craig, was killed in a plane crash. You can imagine how grateful I was that I’d spent tons of time with Craig in Florida at the expense of a good routine for Dub. When I had two babies I flew to Europe by myself — my husband was there for two months with the Army. With three boys, our adventures have spanned coast to coast, but their new passports arrived yesterday and I love thinking about how we might use them.
Even solo trips can be a huge blessing. This week I had a business reason to be in Florida. The business itself required my physical presence but took almost no time at all. So I parked myself at the beach with a book and soaked up the salty air, contemplating life, praying for friends and realizing that there should be nothing guilty about this pleasure. So don’t underestimate the restoration of even the shortest trip, even a single day on a beautiful beach can work wonders.
A final public service announcement is this: please tease your kids. Yesterday, as I relaxed on the beach, I listened to a podcast on parenting, which was mostly great. But the speaker did caution against teasing in your home. As the youngest of four children I should be awarded an honorary Ph.D. on teasing. I know how it may fail to “invite dialogue and safety” as the podcast cautioned, but I also know that learning to laugh at yourself is a profoundly wonderful thing. My husband and I tease each other a LOT. I wouldn’t have wanted to marry someone who would never make fun of me. And I certainly would never be attracted in the least if he wasn’t willing to laugh at himself. Undeniably humor can be mean and destructive, but besides praying together or learning how a person came to know Jesus, laughing together has to be the stickiest relational glue on the planet. Is it really good advice to say your home should be free of teasing? I think that’s nuts and I will continue to tease away, pal.
So do what you want with these PSAs, but the truth of Scripture is that there’s a time for everything. I don’t think you can argue with the wisdom of Solomon.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, NIV
I’ll add that there’s a time for blood draws, a time for quick trips, and a time for teasing. But, friend, I hope you know that it’s always time to bask in the truth that God loves you no matter what.