The Ministry of Lisa Copen

Lisa Copen, Founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill, shares about mothering, illness, ministry and more.

Feeling Grinchy? A good laugh!

I post this every year and it still makes me smile. Feel free to reprint it anywhere you want to give people with chronic illness a few giggles.

Lisa Copen



"When Your Heart Says Merry Christmas. . .
But Your Body Feels Like the Grinch!"

"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God," (Psalm 43:5)

06_feelinggrinchy Every person around
The country it seemed
Liked Christmas a lot…
All was joy, red and green.
But the Grinch,
Who lived with illness,
And had a heart of the blues,
Did not like Christmas!
The Grinch dreaded Christmas!
The whole Christmas season!
So much to do, so little energy,
there were all kinds of reasons.

It could be said that the medicines
were making her mind feel like putty,
She went shopping at last,
and forgot why she had gone—how nutty.
But we think that the most likely reason of all,
May have been that her heart was hurting,
trying to find her place in it all.

But, whatever the reason,
Her heart or her head,
She laid there on Christmas morning,
with a feeling of dread.
Staring up at the ceiling from the bed, feeling very down,
She wondered how to make it through this day,
without even the hint of a frown.
For she knew every friend and family member around,
Would be arriving soon,
ready to open the gifts and paint the town.
"I just want to feel decent!" she snarled with a sneer.
"Today is Christmas! It’s actually here!"
Then she growled, with her grinch fingers nervously drumming,
"I must find a way to keep the pain from coming!"

For, later she knew…
…All the relatives would arrive
They would bring with them her nieces and nephews who would make a
and tons of noise.
They’d rush for their toys!
And then! Oh, the noise! Oh, the noise!
Noise! Noise! Noise!
That’s one thing she hated!
Then the family, young and old,
would sit down to a feast.
And they’d feast! And they’d feast!
They would start on pudding, and rare roast beef,
With her irritable bowel,
the Grinch couldn’t eat these in the least!

And then they’d do something she liked least of all!
Every family member, the tall and the small,
Would stand close together, and say, "You look so great!"
They’d all tell her she needed to get back to work,
Stop lazing around in her pajamas so late!
They’d talk! And they’d advise.
And they’d think
they were so wise.
And the more the Grinch thought of the Christmas-Nice
The more the Grinch thought,
"I must stop this whole thing!
"Why for over five years I’ve put up with it now!
I must either deal with it or convince them somehow!"
…But HOW?"
Then she got an idea!
An awful idea!
The Grinch got a wonderful awful idea!

"I know just what to do!"
The Grinch laughed in her throat.
And she made a quick run to the closet
for her lounging coat.
And she chuckled, and clucked,
"What a great Grinchy trick!
"With this robe and my slippers,
I’ll look just like I’m sick!"
"All I need is a sniffle, a cough, maybe a cane…"
The Grinch looked around.
But since canes are scarce, there was none to be found.
Did that stop the old Grinch…?
No! The Grinch simply said,
"If I can’t find a cane, I’ll just look sick instead!"
So she got out her pale makeup
and tried not to use anything pink,
She made sure the circles under her eyes,
were not covered up, but seen.

Then she threw on some sweats
And put her hair up in a twist
It didn’t look fancy,
It looked like you do when you’re sick.
Then the Grinch said, "I’m ready"
They can start to arrive,
I’ll be nice to everyone,
But I’m not going to lie."
The family members arrived
and saw the Grinch arrive at the door.
"What’s happened to her?" They whispered and more.
The Grinch said, "Hello, come in, how are you?"
And when they asked her she just said, "Today’s not a good day.
It may be Christmas but I still feel a droop."

Then little Cindy-Lou arrived
dragging her noisy toy behind her.
This was more than the Grinch could take!
She couldn’t allow that noise to batter.
The Grinch reached out and took the toy,
"let me have that, hon.."
She stared up at the Grinch as asked,
"Auntie, why are you taking away my toy? Why?"

But, you know, that old Grinch was so smart and so slick
She thought up a lie, and she thought it up quick!
"Why, my sweet little tot," the Grinch lied,
"There’s a better one under the tree,
we have even more to surprise!
"So I’m taking this one away for now, my dear.
"I’ll put it away for now, and later, bring it back here."
And her fib fooled the child. Then she patted her head
And sent her to the tree to open up a quiet puzzle instead.

The Grinch thought she had it all figured out,
At least people understood. There was no more doubt.
She expected to hear people talking about her,
In the kitchen they surely must all be worrying about.
"That’s a noise," grinned the Grinch,
"That I simply must hear!"
So she paused. And the Grinch put a hand to her ear.
And she did hear a sound rising through the wall,
It was joy and fun, at first it wasn’t concern at all!
The sound wasn’t sad!
Why, this sound sounded merry!
It couldn’t be so!
But it WAS merry! VERY!

She stared into the kitchen,
The Grinch popped her eyes!
Then she shook!
What she saw was a shocking surprise!
Cindy Lou sat in her mom’s lap and said,
"What’s wrong with Auntie?"
Her mom told her quietly, "She’s a very special lady.
When we visit her, she often tries to look nice,
But she still hurts inside,
She just acts like she’s fine."
"I love Auntie, I don’t want her to hurt," said Cindy Lou.
"I know," said her mom, "We love her too."

Family members were still having a great time,
They weren’t worried about her,
or even of her appearance surprised.
She hadn’t made them concerned,
because they already were,
She just didn’t know
that they didn’t know what to say to her.
And the Grinch, with her grinch-feet ice-cold on the floor,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could I be adored?
I look so awful, I’m in such a bad mood.
I’ve been such a fake hostess, I even took away a gift from sweet
Cindy Lou!"

"I thought no one understood,
but I never thought to ask.
I listened to what they said,
and didn’t try to explain.
I assumed they should just know how I felt
I let them pull my chain."
And she puzzled three hours,
`till her puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something
she hadn’t before!
"Maybe Christmas," she thought,
"doesn’t come from feeling great.
Maybe Christmas…perhaps….
"comes from communicating straight!
Maybe Christmas comes from accepting the love
Of those all around us, friends, and God from above."

And what happened then…?
Well…in some parts they say
That the Grinch’s small heart
Grew three sizes that day!
And the minute her heart didn’t feel quite so slow,
She whizzed through the house, with a spirit that was no longer low.
The body still had aches, the pain didn’t go away.
But the rest of the afternoon, her spirit felt at play.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa Copen lives with rheumatoid
arthritis is the founder of Rest Ministries, a Christian organization
that serves the chronically ill. She had a little help from Dr. Seuss on
this! Visit her web site at and sign up for
the free ezine PLUS get the next issue of HopeKeepers Magazine


  Lorie wrote @

LOL..Thanks for the laughs I’m gonna share this with friends, and family.. Hugz Joyful

  Jenni Saake wrote @

Just home from Thanksgiving, I don’t know if I should laugh or cry reading this. {{{hugs}}}

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