I was already grouchy when I woke up yesterday, shuffling through my bedroom in the dark to find my robe. Enter kitchen: bright lights, breakfast in full swing and the on-going discussion if we had anything good to pack for school lunches when I noticed a spill on the floor.
(Read this blog post to truly understand the tragedy of this occurrence.)
Like a crime scene, the broken dish sat on the kitchen counter and I pieced together the evidence. It appeared someone had opened the refrigerator and out crashed my bowl of cranberry sauce. To add insult to injury, who ever had spilled it did a mediocre clean-up job.
“What happened to my cranberry sauce!” roared a tired momma bear.
The cranberry culprit was identified, lectured and reprimanded. He apologized and completed a more acceptable clean-up.
The kids left for school, Eden and I cuddled in the rocking chair and I didn’t even know where to start. I could go back to bed, clean my house, go to the gym? Or I could sit and pout! Option #4 was looking best for me.
I’m not proud of it, but I’ve had these thoughts more then once since becoming pregnant.
I can’t do this.
It’s too hard.
Most times I can push such feelings aside, but yesterday, I decided to play with them for a while just to see how they felt rolling around in my mind.
Feel all the aches and pains.
Feel sorry for yourself.
Do not bake pumpkin cookies.
Self absorbed, overwhelmed and tired. It was just enough to keep me in my crabby mood. Oh, did it feel good to have the arms of gloom wrapped around me! It meant I didn’t have to do anything but wallow.
Until 3:00 o’clock, here comes my oldest son
Chandler. He rides his bike home from high school and
enters the back gate; happy, smiling and rushed to greet me with a hug.
When did he get so tall? He’s strong, independent and cheerful. My son puts his arms around me and strength enters my heart.
I let his love gently heal my heart, like the first pump of air in a flat tire when later Mayer showed me his completed homework, Reef overcome with delight when Grandma offered to take him to play with a cousin, Payson making a mature decision about a choice he’d been struggling with and than Eden – who spent an hour on artwork delighted to show me her completed painting of princess Ariel. The counselor calls to check in on me and my mom stops by with the gift of a stretchy skirt (Lord knows I need more of those). Each positive task provided another pulse of much needed encouragement.
Slowly, slowly, my heart began to feel with little breathes of hope, like optimistic CPR feeling my lungs with oxygen. The "pouting me" wanted to fight it off, but the energy of all the good things in my life was too strong.
My children and family provided an actual physical healing to my weary heart. Later that night, we gathered to have family prayer when I had the idea:
Life was hard today because I believed the false premise “life should be easy?”
Certainly there are choices and consequences, hard work and discipline, miracles and fate; but there’s no promise anywhere in the universe that life is going to be easy.
The belief “life should be easy” had left me incredibly discouraged.
Discouragement - opposite of gratitude had got to me again! Now that I know what I was battling, I think it will be easier to combat next time.
“Discouragement is not the absence of adequacy but the absence of courage.”
― Neal A. Maxwell
Courage, faith, hope, love, persistence, determination – these life-changing gifts from God can be found all around us and they are the enemies of discouragement. (Insert imaginary sword fight between discouragement and hope).
What a blessing to find love and encouragement in the hearts of my children; although I still need to get out and buy some more cranberry sauce.