well – adverb | \ˈwel\

: in a successful way
: in a skillful way
: in a good, proper, or positive way


Over the weekend, we were just beginning our Saturday brunch when I announced to the boys that there would be inspections following this week’s chores.

“What?” one of them said.

“We have more chores?” another asked.

“No, it’s not more chores; you just need to do the chores well. Sweep under the beds and furniture, dust every surface, take out the garbage from the bathrooms,” I explained.

There were groans and complaints, though not too many. They knew it was an allowance day, too.

Then our oldest said, “I think I might rearrange my room.”

“Great idea,” I said. “That will make it easier to clean out from under everything.”

clouds sun my word of the week well

Once we set out to do our deep cleaning, our youngest son asked if he could move his desk over by the window. When simple geometry told me that wasn’t going to work (too much desk, too little space), we set about rearranging all of his furniture, too. At one point, it looked like the whole plan was going to fail. He has a lot of furniture and the smallest bedroom.

“Wait,” I said. “Are you ready to have your mind blown?” He crinkled up his face at me. “Watch this.” And I pulled the dresser behind the door and the desk where the dresser had been, and then we pushed the bed across the room, walah! It worked.

“I love my room,” he sang for the rest of the day.

With all the moving and purging going on, our middle son also joined in, swapping his bed for his desk on opposite walls and rotating the bed while he was at it. And when my husband, Steve, came in from mowing and saw what we were up to, he decided we should rearrange our room, too.

“Let’s do it!” I said.

That evening as I lay in bed on the west wall with the windows behind me instead of the south wall in the darkest part of the room, the room seemed brighter, bigger, better. By the next night, it seemed completely normal, like the room had always been this way. I feel the same way every time I peek into the boys’ rooms, too.

I’ve felt the same way now that I am well again, too. The first day or two that I felt better, I was so surprised, so delighted. “I’m not achy,” I announced one day. “I feel almost better,” I said the next day. Now, I hardly even think about how sick I was the past few weeks unless someone asks.

Sometimes, I think it’s a problem how unaware we are when we are well. We take good times for granted. We begin to feel entitled. We become ungrateful. But here’s another way of thinking about it: when things are going well, when we don’t have conflict, when we aren’t sick, when we don’t have debt or pain or sadness, we are getting a little glimpse of how life was supposed to be, how life will be once again.

It’s not that the hard times are useless, or that those who suffer are receiving less of God’s blessing or favor. It’s just that these hard times, they aren’t going to last. And the seasons of respite and wellness, they give us hope that this is true.

Sabbath Poems 1998 IV”

The woods and pastures are joyous,
in their abundance now
in a season of warmth and much rain.
We walk amid foliage, amid
song. The sheep and cattle graze
like souls in bliss (except for flies)
and lie down satisfied. Who now
can believe in winter? In winter
who could have hoped for this?
–Wendell Berry


What’s YOUR word of the week? Drop it into the comments section, or share it on this week’s Facebook post. If you post about your word on your blog, please slip the link into a comment below so I can stop by and join you.


Photo by Andrew Ruiz via Unsplash. Definitions of my word of the week are from Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online.