Monday, November 17, 2008
On Those Days...
Sometimes days don't always go as you planned. Today was one of those days. Mike and I had to get up and go back to church to get his car (problem of going to church separately yesterday). He took the older two to a friends home while I took the twins to a two-hour well-check-up appointment. The boys got shots and have been tired and cranky. I felt mentally weary of that am-I-doing-the-right-thing-getting-kids-immunized rigamarole. One of the shots (Synnagis) is a very expensive shot ($1,500 a pop) and must be done every month to protect the boys from RSV. Michael qualified for it, Ian didn't. I'm okay with that.
Mike and I got to have lunch together and it was peaceful and nice to just be together. I love Mexican food and enjoy the Speedy Gonzales (you can't beat $4). That was great and then it was time to go our separate ways.
He went off to work on his paper which is due tomorrow (& 50% of his grade) and I off to the WIC office (Women, Infants & Children)... where I was forced to wait for an hour and be once again humiliated and frustrated.
I went and picked up Michael's medicine and made a return and then went to Harris Teeter. While in line at the self check-out my card kept having errors. I was working on a solution with the person who oversees the self check-out. It was taking over 15 minutes. No one was behind me and I kept patiently trying to work with her. She pulled someone over her to come help me. They tried and it didn't work. So I went to the front where the lady was to punch in my numbers and she walked with me back to my check-out station. Well, a man was there trying to check out (even though my things were in process)... he got angry when I went back to the counter. Again I punched in my pin. He slammed his beer down and proceeded to cuss at me. I think I was too tired and shocked to respond with more than a look of "Are you serious?". I'm waiting with two tired, hurting babies and this man is cussing at me. I told the lady to not worry about helping me but she took me to customer service. She was polite and kind and apologized for all the delay and in one swipe got my card to work just fine. I explained the man behind me and she just shook her head.
I picked up the older two from our friend's home and ALL FOUR children screamed the whole way home and for a half an hour at the house. I just wanted to cry. Nothing like trying to medicate, change diapers, prepare food, and feed people all at the same time as they scream and cry.
I am tired. I'm worn out and cold and tempted to feel over it. I want to just feel sorry for myself and treat myself to something unhealthy... but NO. I'm not doing that.
Instead, I'm going to thank God that he's provided WIC for me (and special formula for Michael that's worth over $200.)
I'm thankful for the kind and patient lady who helped me at Harris Teeter.
I'm thankful for the time I had with Mike today... and for running into my friend and aunt and spending an hour with them.
I'm thankful that Michael has a shot to protect him from getting RSV.
I'm thankful for the gas in my working vehicle and food in my cupboard. For children that are relatively healthy. For clothes and shoes to wear.
I've been thinking lately about what a luxury it is to have the concerns/worries that I have. I can get so worked up about things that the rest of the world doesn't even get to imagine. I get upset about not getting somewhere fast enough or upset about delays when most people don't have any transportation. I get frustrated about medical care or waiting for WIC when most people don't have any care or any support or formula for preemies. I complain about food when there are so many starving. I worry about my appearance and long to be thin when most of the world just wishes their bellies weren't empty. I have time to worry about what other people think of me and end up trying to please others instead of God. I have the luxury of spending time with the Lord and reading my Bible when most people don't have a Bible or have never heard the Gospel. Not to mention all the free time i have for entertainment or pleasure. Books to read. Bookstores. Libraries. Starbucks. Cell phones. Laptops. Clean water. Hot water. Jewelry.
So why the discontentment?
I find when I try to seek satisfaction outside of anything but the Lord then I will be dissatisfied. But when I delight in Him and find my satisfaction in Him then He allows me to find joy in the things around me.
Our electricity got turned off last week. It was one of those oh-so-humbling moments as we had therapists coming over and Michael's nurse and I was embarrassed to explain what was going on. The good thing is we had the money to pay our bill and we had actually sent our check 3 days prior but they hadn't received it. So we did get it turned back on later in the day. It gave me pause to think though. Wow, I really take electricity for granted. I take a lot of things for granted.
I was getting tired of trying to mange all the specialist appointments and therapists (physical therapists, speech and feeding therapists), etc, but realized, oh Wow! God you are so good to provide help for us. I am excited that we have others to help us with the boys. I am blessed to have such care and provision. I am so quick to whine over blessings.
I've spent the last 17 days spending 40 minutes or more with the Lord. I don't know how but it has happened. I'm excited to see the Lord in my life and have felt refreshed particularly by Scripture. I look forward to being able to complete my 40 days. It's been tough trying to commit to this but I am thankful at how God has provided the time. Sometimes it's 10 minutes 4 times throughout a day and other times a whole 40 minute segment and other times 2 twenty minute segments, but I've been able to do it. Not me, God helping me.... let me make that clear!
Almost anything and everything can be at my beck and call. So what am I complaining about? How quickly I lose sight of God and look at myself and my circumstances and wonder why my life has to be so Hard? Hard? Really? I live like a princess. Really. Yeah, I have challenges... I have small children and they have medical needs. We are having struggles financially. Mike hasn't had work for over 3 weeks... but we can still look for a job... and most people are struggling. We haven't lost our home. We have people to live with if we did. We're not starving. We're not suffering really.
I don't know if I'm even making sense. Maybe I'm just too sleep deprived. Maybe I'm rambling. I just hope you can hear my heart in this. It's not that we can't have bad days... because we all do. But we can still be grateful. Grateful for the goodness of the Lord. Enjoying the small things- a friendly person to talk to as you wait, a kind person to assist you with your problem, a means of transportation, a pair of shoes to wear, a warm home to sleep in.
I have felt so desperate for the Lord. Desperate for Him to hear my cries. God has been giving me scripture everyday to mull on and to cling to with hope.
Recently it was Psalm 113:7-8, "He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of His people."
"I lift up my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord,the Maker of heaven and earth." (Psalm 121:1-2)
"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." (romans 12:12)
"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27
At a women's luncheon this week-end we were each given a Scripture and were asked to share something we were thankful for.
My Scripture was Philippians 1:6-"Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
The thing I am thankful for is the lives of my children. God has been so gracious to spare my son's lives (Samuel & Michael) not just once, but on many occasions. I am blessed and fortunate. May I not take God's gifts for granted.
And I am glad to know that God is continuing His work in me. Continuing to refine me and change me into His likeness. Let there be more of Him and less of me. May I always rejoice in His goodness and faithfulness. And maybe this speaks to you in some small way. I hope it resonates with you in some way. May you feel God's nearness in the midst of difficulties, suffering, trials, and the like. Blessings dear friends. May you be comforted with the comfort of Christ. May you know Him deeper and love Him all the more. May you be grateful for the gifts He has given to you. May you know that He will NEVER leave or forsake you... or me.
Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS, and again I say rejoice!