I had awoken with the feeling that there was a balloon inflating inside of my head. The pressure on my ears and sinuses was awful. No amount of blowing my nose helped, and I felt miserable. I shuffled my way out of bed and encountered two sickly kiddos. Naomi had a runny nose and a bit of a fever, and Cub was congested. While still wearing my awesomely oversized and unattractive sweatpants (a la husband) and a dirty grey (maternity!) v-neck shirt, I moved slowly throughout the house, doing my usual morning duties (diaper changes, breakfast, coffee), quite lethargically, occasionally brushing a strand of (dirty) hair away from my eyes with my hand.
I wiped snotty noses and changed horrendous diapers, coughing all the while. I noticed my husband was running low on work clothes, so I did two loads of laundry in the midst of all of this, and then somehow found energy to make a big crockpot of chicken for him to use as lunches throughout the week.
Sneezing all the while.
The nap I had hoped for never came, since the kids were off and didn't feel well. My eyes were heavy and red with the cold and I found myself, in the midst of this, feeling quite sorry for myself. I sat on my bed and shook my head at the unfairness of it all. I was sick and wanted to sleep. But the only person I didn't have time to take care of was myself. My children needed my constant attention and so did my husband, and he wasn't even there! And then I remembered 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
I've claimed these verses for a while now. And I knew that, in that moment, I was not praying without ceasing, and I definitely was not rejoicing. And because I was failing to uphold the first charge of rejoicing and praying, then I was failing miserably at upholding the second part: Giving thanks. I took a deep breath and tried to, in that moment, find something to be thankful for.
Y'all, it really wasn't that hard.
I looked up at the roof over my head, looked down at the two beautiful kids at my feet, and felt the softness of my bed. I am enormously blessed.
A few days ago I had another weak moment and vented a bit on Facebook and then immediately underneath my frustrated post I commented my apologies and made myself find something I was thankful for. A concerned good friend of mine wrote that it was okay for me to be frustrated--good even.
And I totally agree with her. I think maybe she was afraid that I didn't feel like it was okay to be upset about things. I think God gave us emotions for a reason and that it's perfectly fine and healthy to be angry, upset, frustrated, etc. I just think it's what we do with those emotions that matters. Everything starts in the heart and we have to decide how it's going to come out. How it's going to manifest itself. And, rather than spread my frustration to everyone else with a crappy attitude, I'd rather catch it while it's still inside and turn it into something more lovely. Like thankfulness. It's hard to be grumbly when you realize how blessed you are.
So! I felt my attitude change and for the rest of the day there was an added bounce to my lethargic shuffle.
As I re-read this post, I can't help but laugh because it sounds like so many posts I've written before. Obviously, having a good attitude is something I strive for and fail at sometimes! But, looky there, I just documented my life efficiently, which was one of my resolutions. Now you know that Katie was looking all kinds of ugly on Monday, on the outside and the inside, and that a little change in perspective made everything a bit more beautiful.
Um, on the inside. I didn't get a shower until the next day. :)
Have a lovely day, friends.