Brandon and I pride ourselves on being pretty healthy. We rarely get sick, so when we do, we are all about the home remedies. One thing we always do is when one of us gets sick, the other of us will make fresh squeezed orange juice. This dates back to my late mother who, upon hearing a sniffle, would quickly run over a jar of this liquid gold. There’s just something about that tangy, pulpy sweetness that makes you feel like you can kick a cold straight in the nasty green face. We can just imagine that vitamin C pulsing through our veins ready to heal all of our afflictions.
Recently after travelling, Brandon and I both had bouts of sickness, worse than either of us had seen in years! For an entire week after a waterfall adventure in the Dominican Republic, Brandon had a sinus infection so severe he was down for the count for a week! While he recuperated in bed, humidifier on and essential oils diffusing, I was determined to do anything I could do lessen his misery. My first thought, of course, was orange juice. I pressed oranges ALL week long, and even made dinner most of the week (which, you guys know from my previous post You Cook I’ll Clean I am not very good at doing!), and he finally bounced back to health…just in time for me to get the flu. You guessed it – more oranges. He brought me all sorts of orange juice, soup, tea, and even homemade elderberry syrup. Luckily my illness didn’t last long and I was back to normal within a couple of days. Plot twist:the next day, the flu found him. As his fever spiked I was back to slicing and squeezing, straining and pouring. Y’all, we went through SO MANY ORANGES in that two week period!!!
And funny as it may sound, this blog post isn’t about the magic powers of oranges. We know they aren’t actually magical and they don’t cause immediate healing. The point, though, is this:
In marriage and in life, we aren’t always going to be able to operate at 100%. And when we are struggling, we need other people.
It’s not a show of weakness to have help from someone when you are in need. It’s just life. You may have health issues, job struggles, or family problems such that you can’t give your normal effort to your marriage. This is usually short-term, and it’s absolutely normal. It’s a season in which your partner can give a little more effort to meet the needs you can’t meet for that time. It’s an act of love: when your spouse can’t lift the heavy burden, your load will become heavier.
But you do it out of love knowing that you CAN, and because you love him, you WILL. And, maybe, just maybe, this is part of what you vowed to do when you stood in front of family and friends to confess your love and commitment to your spouse. Like a see-saw, sometimes when you’re down, he’s up, and when he’s down, you’re up. It still takes effort to keep the rhythm going, and if one person gets off the see-saw, the other person is never going to go back up to the top without them.
Love is a choice, not a feeling. Love isn’t always pretty: but maybe, just maybe it’s actually the most beautiful when it’s the most messy. When we use our marriage as an avenue to love and serve our spouse in the toughest of times, we strengthen our marriage and we are always the better for it. How can you lift your spouse up today?