[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] S [/dropcap]eeing how this blog is all about “the Beauty of Progress,” I have to share some honest thoughts as sometimes progress is taking two steps back, regrouping, and then moving forward again.
The past two weeks have been mega-stressful, and I haven’t enjoyed my old friend called stress. I’ve been ratty, cranky, short-tempered, yelling, etc. Not nice. My boys will all attest to that. And I’ve been cranky at myself for being cranky. 🙂
So last night as I sat at the kitchen table in the dark, playing my new stress reliever called W.E.L.D.E.R. on the ipad while all the guys were in bed, I just felt myself oozing with tension, unhappiness, stress, and frustration. And I worked through all the stuff that’s going on right now . . . refinancing, trip planning, zillions of bills coming in, kids needing this and that, laundry machine being broken, the house needing repairs and a giant cleaning, Ezzy having another runny nose and diarrhea AGAIN, and a month of really bad behavior from Ryde. I thought about how I had to be at work by 8am the next morning, how tired I was, and how I’m so sick of all of it. Yes, I was having a grumbling, complaining, I don’t want to do this anymore moment. I’d been with two cranky kids for 36 hours straight and was needing an adult/quiet/sanity moment.
And let me say that I’m not myself after 10pm. I’m a crankster, so I’m not rational. Everything looks better after I get 7 hours of sleep. Everything.
So fast forward to 5:30 this morning as Mark was up and getting ready for work, and I was in bed enjoying a totally quiet house. My best prayer time is early in the morning before getting up as I’m able to get quiet time and think normally. And I worked through my list of what is right in the world, how His joy is my strength, and how I do trust Him. I know He knows we have some urgent needs right now. But that is beside the point. The needs are beside the point. The real issue is will I walk in joy and peace or be overwhelmed and undone??
Truthfully, I stayed overwhelmed and undone throughout the morning. I got the boys their breakfast, got them dressed, got Ezzy (AKA Diarrhea Man) cleaned up and changed, and got “Curious George” on so that I could shower and be out the door in 20 minutes. I stayed cranky through all of that. Embarrassingly enough. And as I was driving to work and praying again, I thought about my life as it is. What if I would have died on the way to work? What if God would have had to have said “Mic, I gifted you with a fabulous husband and amazing boys, and you were just cranky with it all. You didn’t have to be, because I was working on your behalf. You were just too impatient to see it.” How not great would that be to hear? It’s sobering to think about really.
Something I’m really learning right now is that joy is always a choice. It doesn’t matter if life is in the toilet, it’s still a choice to be joyful. We all marvel at people who go through terribly hard things and still manage to keep a right perspective. It is a marvel to do that, and I admire those people. Yet for all the rest of us, those of us who know Jesus and who value what He accomplished for us through His death and ressurrection, if we have nothing else to be joyful about, we always have Him. And He is enough to make us joyful. Even more than that, He accomplished EVERYTHING so that we wouldn’t dwell in lack and defeat, but that we’d have an abundant, victorious life. Yes? Yes.
So wash machine that’s been a big headache, refnancing people that have not been helpful, cranky kids, tantrums, diarrhea, filthy house, and exhaustion are not going to overwhelm me as I choose joy. If the wash machine shakes the house apart, I will still keep my joy. 😉 And if I yell at my kids, I will repent, apologize, love on them, and do better the next time. I’m going to keep making progress even if I trip and fall and make a mess through it. I will get there as He’s given me everything I need to get there.