Squeaky wheels and birds in bushes

My father-in-law knew all the idioms that have become American Proverbs.

The squeaky wheel gets oil.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Don’t cry over spilt milk.

You have to know when to which.

I didn’t always understand them or how they fit but he seemed to pull one out for every situation. Do you remember the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Remember how he used Windex for everything? Yeah, sort of like that.

Unlike the Windex (I think) some of those idioms fit. Maybe all the door joints need oil to keep them performing at optimum capacity but it’s only when one squeaks that you notice it.

For me, it’s plants. They need water regularly. And, apparently, plant food. I water them when I see them start to droop. When they are starting to literally die from thirst, I realize, oh, guess I should water them.

There are times our soul is dying of thirst but no ones knows until we collapse from depression. Our heart is broken but until the anxiety squeaks loudly we hide it well.

Do we want to get well or do we just want to get better?

I was at urgent care recently. I knew the problem but the over the counter stuff wasn’t the cure. The Dr. asked the usual questions and when I told her what I was taking, she said “that only treats the symptoms, it won’t get rid of the infection.”

Isn’t that what we often do? The drinking is only treating the symptoms of our fear of flying, our lack of self-esteem, our unknowing of who we are.

Over using prescription drugs treat the symptoms of an overcommitted life: too many yeses without room to breathe. Our need to please everyone while ignoring self-care.

It’s just so hard to say ouch. I’ve worn the mask that looks like a permanent smile. You put it on to make others feel good but you’re the one who needs to be healed of the hurts you’ve carried too long.

Getting well means letting people know what’s really wrong.

The doctor at urgent care performed the usual procedures. She looked in my ears, nose and throat. She listened to my lungs and heart. She also needed to know my symptoms.

Since I was sitting in urgent care it was obvious something was wrong. Now wasn’t the time to lie or try to mask the problems.

It’s easy to hide the emotional ills like worry and anxiety. We can explain them away as concern. We strive to get better rather than get well.

We get up and show up. We lead a group or are the hospitality queen of the neighborhood. We’re killing ourselves with our drive for Instagram perfection.

Getting well means going deeper than the surface. It means full honesty with ourselves and those who care for us. It means being brave to let others hear our squeaky hearts.  It means allowing Jesus to break the cycle of fear or striving.

Do you want to get well or just get better?


  1. “Getting well means going deeper than the surface.”
    So good. We can’t wallpaper righteousness. Thanks be to God who works from the inside out!

    March 8, 2017
    • Debby Hudson said:

      Yes, Michele. It’s an inside job and all thanks to God for seeing and loving, and healing.

      March 8, 2017
  2. Lesley said:

    “Do you want to get well or just get better?” is a great question. It’s easy to try to deal with the symptoms without looking at the underlying cause, but to really know healing we have to go deep and be honest about what is really wrong.

    March 8, 2017
    • Debby Hudson said:

      Yes, we do Lesley, and that’s the hard part. That’s the part that keeps us wanting better rather than well.

      March 8, 2017

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