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My name is Christina and I have a chronic illness. Well, maybe illness isn’t the right word…condition? Either way, I have been suffering from chronic migraines for more than a decade and it stinks! They have become more intense as I get older, and what used to be a nice excuse to skip school or work is now a very painful ordeal that keeps me in bed for days. I am so thankful that my husband understands what I need during those days, but it has taken some time for us to get into a routine once a migraine hits.
Sometimes I can feel a migraine coming, if it is caused by weather or a strong smell. But other times, I wake up during the night with an excruciating pain that has no determined cause. If you are battling a chronic illness, or even just a run of the mill cold, here are some tips to keep your homemaking in check until you are feeling better.
Last week I explained why I thrive with a routine instead of a schedule, but whatever your preference is, just make sure you have some type of order to your homemaking. This can take some time to get used to, so the sooner you start, the better! Having a homemaking routine or schedule means that you will likely have home in a good state of cleanliness, so it can stand to be neglected for a little bit without becoming filthy. You may find it helpful to print out your daily tasks and stick them somewhere obvious so that when illness strikes, your husband (or whoever is able to help you) knows where to find them. Now, not all husbands are willing to do women’s work around the home, but hopefully, yours is understanding of your illness and is going to try to make it easier on you. Even simple things like tossing in a load of laundry or putting away dishes can be a big help.
2 | Delegate Tasks
If you are fortunate enough to have children of a certain age, they may be able to help with simple chores to keep the household running smoothly. They could help fold and put away clothes, tidy the bathroom, sweep the floors, etc. If you do not already have a homemaking routine or schedule but your husband wants to do the chores while you are unable, have him make simple meals, vacuum the floors, tend to the pets, or whatever else you usually do throughout the day. Keep in mind that there IS a difference between barking orders and delegating in love. I know it is frustrating to be unable to perform your daily duties, but getting upset or angry with your family is NOT going to help anyone.
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…” James 1:19
3 | Be Willing to Ask for Help
Sometimes our husbands may be unable or unwilling to help (if the latter is your situation, pray that God softens his heart towards housework), and it may be necessary to ask for outside help. This is a humbling thing to do, that’s for sure! But if you are ill for a long period of time, it may be what you have to do. If you live near family members, call them up and ask them to come over for an hour or so to help with chores. I know that my family would be willing to help us out, so I pray that yours would be too. If family is unable to help for whatever reason, check with a good friend, or even the wife of your husband’s friend. I know it may seem weird asking friends or acquaintances for help, but it does NOT make you a failure. If you find yourself unable to seek help from friends or family, consider asking at church. Getting help from ladies in your congregation is nothing to be embarrassed about, but if you feel uneasy about it, prayerfully ask God to give you courage and humility.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
4 | Spend Time Reading the Bible and in Prayer:
If you are able to read, take time to go through the Word. There are countless verses for encouragement (which you may find listed in the back of your Bible or you can just do an Internet search), and you may as well be productive while resting. If you can’t handle reading, take time to pray. When I am laid up in bed with migraines, I pray almost the whole time I am awake. I petition God to help me feel better; to protect my husband while he is out on the roads; to keep the students of my youth group safe. I pray that He would use A Pinch of Faith as a ministry; for my friends who have shared personal requests with me; and for anything else I can think of.
“Blessed…(is she) whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night” Psalm 1:1-2
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2
Hopefully these suggestions provide you with comfort and peace, for you now have some tips to keep your homemaking in order even when you are unable to attend to it yourself.