The Demonic Salad

by Rhonda, February 17, 2022

I've known for a while that I need to take a break.  But, don't we all?  Aren't we all hurried throughout the workweek only to use our weekends to catch up on everything we didn't get done during the week?  In my case, I've been working weekends lately as well, which is not that terribly unusual.  OK, if I'm honest, I've worked a month of weekends.

"Mom," Leeza said. "You need some days off."

"Mom," Alex said, "I'm gonna pull you away from that computer on the weekends."

I gave them a hefty dose of Mom guilt, reminding them that I have to pay the bills around here.  Sometimes, they just have to understand that I can't have every weekend off.

That night, I started scrolling through my favorite podcasts including Joyce Meyer's Talk It Out before I went to sleep.  The subject matter was around taking care of yourself and the importance of taking breaks.  Joyce told a story about how she worked herself into some severe health issues.

What a coincidence.

The next day, I took a few hours off and attended church on Sunday morning.  The pastor discussed the true meaning of a Sabbath.  He went in depth on the topic, discussing the importance of rest. 

It seemed like God was trying to tell me something but I had no idea what it was!  

Two days later, I awoke at 3 a.m.  I knew something wasn't right.  Let me rephrase that.  I knew something was seriously wrong.  I couldn't figure out why my stomach was hurting, and then I remembered.  Earlier that evening I ate a salad that was possibly (certainly) past its expiration date.  I had full-on, wish-I-was-dead, mama-please-save-me, food poisoning.  

I retched.  I upchucked.  I puked.  I pulled all of my muscles in my back from hurling over and over.  I finally grabbed a pillow and a blanket and decided I would die on the bathroom floor, near the toilet, since this seemed to be my destiny.  They would find my lifeless body, and they would shake their heads and say to themselves, She never really even liked salad.

At one point, I looked up to see four dogs looking down at me.  They didn't make a sound, they just stared at me.  They were clearly concerned, yet perplexed.  I was not supposed to be sleeping on the floor near the toilet and they were unsure how to handle the situation.  (If you want to know why I have four dogs, that's another long story about how I don't have appropriate boundaries in my personal life.)

Lying on the floor, I looked at the ceiling and noticed a cobweb in the corner.  I made a mental note that I needed to clean the cobweb later.  I was looking around the bathroom wondering if there were other cobwebs, when a thought crossed my mind.

God, I can't believe you gave me food poisoning to force me to rest.  

God, in His infinite wisdom, answered me immediately.  I didn't give you food poisoning, but I do work all things for your good, and I will work this for your good.

Touché, Lord.  

Rest was on the agenda.

For the next twenty-four hours, rest wasn't even an option.  It was an absolute requirement.  I couldn't get out of bed for longer than a very short period of time.  Anyone who texted me got a quick response.  I'm sick today.  Can't talk right now.  Taking phone calls was not an option.

I listened to my favorite sermons, podcasts, and got caught up on a few 90's music documentaries between bouts of sleep and sickness.  My kids came in to talk with me about their day periodically.  But mostly, I just quietly rested in the dark, praying for healing of my body and promising God I would take more breaks.

When I recovered, I felt more calm and peaceful.  I realized that my string of busy weeks had caused me to stop taking care of myself, something I need to do in order to stay energized.  I also realized I wasn't leading my family spiritually the way I needed because my priorities were out of alignment.

I wouldn't wish to have food poisoning again, ever, like ever.  However, I am grateful for the reminder I received to slow down and take care of myself.  

But, I have to be honest.  

It will be a while before I have another salad.

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