Today has been a bad day. Not a "we're-in-crisis-*%it-has-hit-the-fan" day but just your average things going wrong that make you want to blow a gasket kind of bad day. I woke up wrong. You know when you just wake up and the feeling of impending doom settles heavy on your chest. Yep, that's how I woke. Grumpy. Irritable. Sore. Frustrated.
I had told the kids we were going to the beach today. We spent over an hour putting on bathing suits, gathering towels, sunblock, water bottles, and packing lunches.
On my way out the door I spotted my husband's phone. It was perched precariously on the pantry shelf near the fridge. I grabbed it for him and thought how wonderful a wife I'm being for bringing it to him later.
We first had to go to one of Libby's medical appointments but it was in Va. Beach and on the way to the oceanfront. Then it started raining on the drive. So I told the kids we probably would NOT be going to the beach. That didn't win any favors. Just whining and crying. It is then that it dawned on me that I left MY cell phone at home. In the excitement of finding my husband's phone I didn't realize that I didn't stop to gather my phone. Bleah.
We get to the office. The boys ended up being so loud in the office that I had to remove them and go sit in the car with them for the remaining 45 minutes. Oh you know, the car with no A.C. So we're sitting in the hot car and the boys are pestering, jumping, kicking, and punching one another. And I'm trying to keep cool.
The minutes dragged by until Libby finally got back in the car. We then drive to the hotel where my husband is repairing furniture today and go to the lobby to explain the situation that my husband had forgotten his phone. A kind concierge directs us where to go.
It's then out the building and into another building and up 3 flights of stairs. At this point Peter and Michael are barely keeping it together. And thankfully we find my husband. I give him his phone. Explain the situation and exchange kisses.
I leave with my fabulous 5 in tow. Buckle them back up in the car with no AC and pass out PB&J's. At this point I'm tired, disgruntled, and discouraged. To make up for the day flopping I decide to splurge on some McD's fries and their 3 for $1 chocolate chip cookies. By the time I get home. Drag all the bags, beach gear, and empty smoothie cups that now desperately need to be washed, and finish all the dishes my fries have gone cold. Really... 15 minutes is all it takes, people.
Not to mention that on arriving home one of my sons decides right then and there to pee in the front yard. Not behind a bush or tree or discreetly but right out in the open. Yep, we're letting it all hang out today. Then another son decides to pee not in the toilet bur right next to the toilet so I'm having him clean up the pee with paper towels and disinfectant which really is more like me doing it with my hand over his showing him how it's done.
So yeah, just one of those days that are crummy. I tripped on a teenage mutant ninja turtle bow staff in the bathroom. I stepped in a puddle of cold, wet oatmeal. I found a carton of yogurt exploded on the floor in the foyer. Yeah, we rock.
And then as I threw myself on my bed and hot tears trickled down my cheeks I remembered, "It's ALWAYS Leah."
There was this fantastic message I heard at church in PA* when Mike was up at seminary. It was based on the story about Leah and Rachel. You know the story. Jacob falls for this girl named Rachel... works 7 years for her dad so he can marry her. Gets tricked. (must have been super drunk) and wakes up the next day laying in bed with Leah, Rachel's older and less beautiful sister. He ends up getting to marry Rachel but had to work another 7 years for the Dad.
It was a great message. He talked a lot of great things about Leah. He said some things I had never heard or thought about...I wish I could remember it. But the point that stuck home with me was the phrase he used, "It's Always Leah...."
We think we're getting this one thing... this one thing we really want... this one thing we've worked really hard for.... and we wake up and find ourselves with something we really didn't want.
It's this idea of disappointment. Disenchantment. Dissatisfaction.
I think I'm going to be having a great day. Or I'm really looking forward to such and such. Or I think that this one thing will fix my issues/problems/circumstances/relationships/etc. and then I discover it's a let-down.
Here's the thing friends... It's always Leah this side of Heaven. Until we get home we will never be satisfied. Never content. Never truly home.
I'm going to have bad days. Bad events. Bad situations. Frustrating circumstances.
And I'm even going to have great days and great things happen. But the truth is I'm not home yet. And this world WILL NEVER satisfy.
So I'm going to brush myself off. Get up off this bed and fix my kids their cookies and whipcream treat they were hoping for. I'm going to cuddle up with them on the couch and watch a Series of Unfortunate Events. I'm going to laugh. I'm going to cry.
My contentment must come from Christ. If it comes from anything else it will fail and disappoint me. It will let me down. It will never live up to what it promises.
So I'm holding onto Him, knowing that He's holding onto me... and He's never going to let me go.
And remember, don't be surprised, when even the good things fall apart and you discover, "It's always Leah..."
* my dear sweet husband reminded me of something important. I'm combining two memories here. "It's always Leah" is actually from Tim Keller... and the message I heard about Rachel and Leah was separate.... It was around the same time I read/listened to both those messages/books? Sorry for any confusion!