Silent Killers

Last night we heard a loud crash and upon investigating, just thought that a rack had fallen from a shelf.  This morning, as I went in to do some laundry, I realized that what had actually happened was quite different.  The vent pipe, that attaches to the ceiling and the hot water heater, had actually come apart and dropped, knocking the rack.  Needless to say, there probably was some carbon monoxide leaking its way out into our existence.  In fact, they’re not coming to fix it until 3pm today, so hopefully, I won’t slump over in my chair in the next 4 hours.

Having had carbon monoxide poisoning 15 years ago, I remember how “not fun” it was, but also remember being baffled by its silence.  It’s not visible.  You can’t smell it.  You just feel its effects. {“Always a 4th grade teacher sidenote”:  I hate “affect” vs. “effect” and how tricky it can be for students….love this little cartoon to help with the explanation!}

Anyhow, back to the silent killer.  I am amazed at how easy it is to be a silent killer emotionally & socially, as of late.  Sometimes it feels like life is just happening AT or TO me.  Like I can’t “catch a break” {or a few hours of uninterrupted sleep!} and I so easily let that outward circumstance or that reality determine my affect.

When my dear friend Jessica was visiting last week, we got to talking about the stage of  life we’re both in.  A stage that can truly lead to two very varied responses.  On one hand, it is easy to go to the negative, the “I’m not able to pursue my {illustrious!!} career!  I’m stuck at home without adult interaction!  I’m going braindead only using my psyche to do laundry, read board books or wash dishes.  My educational viewing and reading only involves topics such sleep habits, getting your toddler to eat healthy foods or Veggie Tales teaching me about Jesus.”
I could go on and on (because that is, SADLY, the way that I typically lean towards reacting).  Me.  Christine.  THE COMPLAINER.
And I’m reminded that this approach is a silent killer.  The kids pick up on it.  My friends pick up on it (and even though it’s sometimes therapeutic to complain and whine together….it still is a silent killer).
Jessica and I talked about the humbling work of acknowledging the gift of the stage we’re in.  That really, in light of the world right now (and trust me, she knows….she had to evacuate from Egypt recently), we have it pretty dang easy.  Even when the kids are hard, we have it easy.  And bigger than that, we have the choice to poison our households, marriages and kids’ lives with our negativity, or to choose–and yes, in my humble opinion, it’s a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute choice–our fragrance.  And by fragrance, I’m not talking Coco Chanel.
Unlike carbon monoxide, we can choose to emit something pleasant or foul.  Before people even see us coming, what do they sense and smell??  Bitterness, hard-heartedness, annoyance?  Or grace, love and pretty flowers and butterflies and rainbows??  Sorry.  Couldn’t resist.  But, you get the picture.  What do they smell?
“For we are the aroma of Christ….”
~2 Corinthians 2:15

I’m off to look for a 9 volt battery to activate our carbon monoxide sensor.  And as this day unfolds, may we all seek to be anything but a silent killer.
p.s.  I am having TROUBLE, as you can tell, with the formatting on this post.  Any clue how to insert spaces between paragraphs and have it “stick” when you save your draft??  Help, techno friends!

3 thoughts on “Silent Killers

  1. Hi there! I hope that carbon monoxide isn’t lurking around the house and that it gets fixed soon. What a way to start the day.

    For your spacing, I think you might need a little html. I know VERY little about it, but if you use at the beginning of a paragraph/sentence and at the end you should get a break between each paragraph and sentence. Let me know if it doesn’t work and we can try some else.

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