On Motherhood and Hydrotherapy
I walked timidly into the chiropractor’s office. I don’t like chiropractors. Allowing someone to grab my head and twist it until my neck pops like a roll of bubble wrap makes my stomach get all twisty. I know these people are trained, and I’ve never actually heard of a chiropractor twisting someone’s head right off their body.
But what if it happened, and I was the one on the table?!
I went yesterday, though, because the day before I threw out my back. Because apparently I am an old lady now, and that’s what happens to old ladies who bend over and try to pick up a heavy baby.
Lift with the legs, not with the back!
So I think it was obvious to the people in the office that I was feeling a little nervous. I’m guessing the tip off came when I told the assistant, “I’m super nervous about this.”
She led me to a nearby room and had me lay on a water bed. But this was no ordinary water bed. It was a hydrotherapy water bed, heated to 100 degrees, then turned on to pulsate every bit of nervousness straight out of my body.
For twenty minutes I laid in the dark room while the water beat my muscles into submission, and I think I met Jesus there. When she walked back in and flipped on the lights, I felt momentarily offended. Why would anyone ever tell you to stop laying on a hydrotherapy bed?!
I’m kind of holding out hope that heaven will be equipped with hydrotherapy beds.
By the time I saw the doctor, I was ready to let him pull and pop and crack and maneuver everything around until I felt the tension lessen on my lower back, and I walked out having experienced both the good and the bad of an adjustment. And together they worked to free me of the pain that had threatened to push me down.
As I drove home, all relaxed and happy, I thought about those twenty minutes on the hydro bed and how utterly at peace I felt. My back didn’t hurt, there were no sounds of children or phone messages begging for my attention. It was quiet, save for the hum of the machine that coaxed out all the knots.
It dawned on me that I haven’t had enough of those moments lately. I haven’t taken enough time to sit still, to close my eyes, to simply relax. Yes, it would help me slip away and recharge if I had my own hydrotherapy bed (and don’t think I haven’t already priced them), but since that’s not an option, I need to come up with another solution.
I’ve felt creatively parched lately. A traveling husband, busy schedules, and little time alone to sit and think left me all knotted up. I sit down to write and the words feel locked, the characters muddled, the stories choppy and incomplete. I try to remember the most basic of tasks, and it’s like someone turns a jack hammer on in my head.
And don’t even get me started on the assignments that teachers are sending home right now. Torture, pure torture. The kids bring home the same predictable homework all year long, and then the last month of school we change it up and play Spelling Bingo, and Living History projects are due?
*bangs head against wall*
But isn’t that the nature of motherhood? It’s like walking into the unknown, your back all tied in knots. And you have to take all the stress and the frustration to the Lord, surrendering control so that He can loosen a few joints.
Sometimes the loosening feels like a hydrotherapy bed with the Lord offering refreshment through a quick nap, an unexpected play date, or a few moments alone to clear your head.
And other days, you’re not afforded the opportunity to slip away, so you surrender your control to Him, and He loosens the joints for you. You trust that He knows what’s best, and you try to resist pushing back against Him as He makes the necessary adjustments in your heart.
It’s a loose metaphor, I know. But it’s working for me today, and maybe it’ll work for you? Maybe you’re tired, weary as the end of the year push threatens to undo you. Maybe you can’t step away, so you simply need to lean into the Lord and let Him adjust the frustration and fatigue out of your spirit.
Or maybe you just need to buy yourself a hydrotherapy bed.
Happy weekend, everyone! I’m praying it’s a relaxing and sweet time for you all!