i don’t have much to say today.
there’s a bit on my mind, some heavy things on my heart, and a general wish to shake my etch-a-sketch upside around and erase erase erase.
but, the phrase that keeps running through my head is
“count your blessings; name them one by one.”
so that’s the theme of today.
it’s not a fraudulent attempt to overpower my ghastly tendencies by the power of positive thinking.
no, that will never work.
it’s not an attempt to pretend that nothing challenging and hard is happening, that i am not being stretched like a human gumby until i think my arms are going to detach.
i was never really good at pretend.
i think, what it is, is the idea to look at the realities of god’s world, and not my own. it’s all inclusive. it’s the blessings and joys, and the justice and conviction that forces change; it’s the mercy and forgiveness and the impetus to change and be changed.
i am no stranger to looking at the challenging things in life.
it’s partly my melancholic temperament, and partly my desire to have a really really good life.
i am also no stranger to looking at the small delights and beautiful things in the world.
that’s the joy in me and my optimistic hope.
just usually not at the same time.
a monday after a week off that felt like one minute in time is a good time as ever to start, so here’s the update:
1. today i got up, slightly discouraged and wishing i didn’t have to go anywhere. but upstairs i went, greeted by my mother who announced that she had made me oatmeal and prepared a healthy salad for my lunch ready to go. i am so fortunate to have someone who looks after me and does things to help me live my life despite my many failings. thank you, mom.
2. it was hail, HAIL PEOPLE, and snow on the way to school. it was cold, and it was going to make me late. i trudged up the hill to school since i couldn’t find a closer parking spot. because of my glorious scarf/hat the boy gave me for christmas and my mittens, i was very warm. i got into class 15 minutes late, to find that because of the storm our professor had postponed the quiz he was giving (that i was prepared for) to allow people to get in from the storm. because of the thoughtful present, i was warm. because of the thoughtful professor, i got to take a quiz instead of a zero. thankfulness.
3. my pens had been running out, and i went to the bookstore where they had just stocked up on my favorite pen (sharpie no-bleed thin points) that they were previously out of, and i have enough money to buy them. thankful.
4. i live in the same town as my family. blessings galore. it means i got to see addie turn 2, and have a great time at a backyard barbecue. it means i got to see my sister for lunch and talk to her on the phone. it means i got to hug my dad and mom this week. it means i got to hang out with my cool older teenage nieces, and hear all about hayley’s first kiss in person. i got to spend a fun evening with the whole family celebrating our birthdays and having fondue to eat amidst peals of laughter. i got to spend some time watching addie and taking walks and playing in the snow. thinking back on living alone in seattle and making the decision to move back to be close to my family, this is what i had in mind.
the road to get to these times is sometimes bumpy – misunderstandings, miscommunication, hurt feelings – but my family always seems to triumph and grow closer, and i am so thankful for that.
5. they had the kind of iced tea that i like in the school cafeteria. (unsweetened black decaf).
6. i’m seeing my nutrionist/naturopath today to start to sort out my mood issues (understatement) and lack of energy. to have someone who has an idea on how to help you, and a friend/mom who is tireless to find solutions – these are hopefilled blessings. this means that people are behind you and that there is a way out.
7. the boy has been meeting people at church, and we are slowly but surely getting connected and finding people we like and ministry that suits us. a joy to have him be my partner in this. he’s also incredibly patient. did i mention he’s really gracious, and patient? he is. patient.
8. i have really comfortable and cute shoes on. they are brown and blue and don’t make my feet hurt.
9. i get to see my sisterinlaw/friend (i need a new word!) julie tonight while we ride bikes. good for my mind, good for my body, good all the way around. i am able to afford a membership to the gym that allows me to take classes and do these kinds of things instead of having to run around outside in the cold and wet by myself.
10. i get the chance to not have to work and go to school full time. school is very very overwhelming to me right now. the next three weeks are gearing up for my senior comp exam, which allows me to graduate. however, so do all the assignments for my classes. so i can’t really forgo either one. i worry about it. i live with some decent anxiety that does not prevent me from getting these things done, but it makes it feel as thought i have elephants sitting on me while doing these things. fortunately, i have a god who cares. he says:
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”
or, this version of it, which i rather like as well:
” Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”
don’t think for a second that i don’t have that written out and pasted everywhere my little eyes can see it right now.
11. i have a busy schedule today. glad to have a life where i am not idle or bored.
choose to praise, praise, praise, praise, praise, friends. have a happy monday. like things today. i give you permission.