It's safe to say I've had a severe case of the "I Don't Wanna"'s for the past few weeks. My alarm goes off for cross-training. But I don't wanna get up. We finish a meal. But I don't wanna clean up. There's laundry. I don't wanna do it. The van is a mess. I don't wanna clean it.
And so on and so forth.
Exemplary maturity, yes?
You see, my life is a precious balancing act. I have to keep certain plates spinning to keep other plates from falling. I have to keep the dishes running through the dishwasher. If they pile up, then it's a mad rush to empty the dishwasher during the prep for the next meal, with hungry kids at my heels. I have to do a load of laundry a day. Between an adventurous big kid, a messy toddler, and a baby with reflux, they can each go through two outfits a day, easily. If I don't do a load of laundry every day, then our laundry gets behind. And suddenly my husband has no pants and I'm wearing the same shirt I wore yesterday (okay, sometimes that's by choice). Beyond those constant chores, there's the vacuuming, dusting, toy-organizing, mopping, etc. Add in taking care of three kids and it's quite a load! And it's not like these busy days happen every once in a while. Y'all, it's EVERY DAY. Yesterday, I actually threw my hands in the air, plopped on the floor in angry-toddler-like fashion, and declared, "IT'S NOT FAIR!"
Because this is the natural culmination of a whiny bad attitude: A feeling of entitlement. I am so annoyed and overwhelmed and grumpy that it's just not fair ... for me. I, I, I. Me, me, me. What I'm really saying, is, "I am entitled to sit down!" "I am entitled to ignore responsibility!" "I am entitled to make my world all about me!" "I AM ENTITLED TO THROW THIS FIT."
I had a really great talk with my friend, Alyson, during a race last weekend. We talked about where the source of our joy comes from (as I alluded to in my previous post). Every day, I mean, EVERY DAY I fall into the trap of finding joy in external things. Which means, therefore, that I allow external things to steal my joy. Piled laundry, rice leftovers on the floor, a sippy cup with clumpy milk hidden under the couch ... oh, they can make me so ANGRY!
Really? A sippy cup? Makes me angry?
A sippy cup steals my joy?
When I pause and think about it and take the time to look into my circumstance through the big picture, it's silly. I'll just rinse the cup out (or, throw it away ... we've all found THOSE cups before!). No big deal. If I remind myself of the source of my joy--that God has given me these responsibilities as opportunities to serve Him and embrace my family--then the mundane and tedious become wonderful. And despite my yawning, my tired muscles, my overused brain (I can't even make coherent sentences anymore, really) ... I am able to choose joy and find joy. I have to fight against myself; oh man, my "I don't wanna"'s are really awful sometimes. But if I can change my mindset and be thankful, then the selfishness fades.
And oh, faded selfishness is the best. Surrendering the entitlement is wonderfully liberating. Because, once I have stripped away the selfishness, then I am humbled to pray. To seek help. To recognize my need for God's grace and strength. And joy.
And life can proceed as it was intended to.
Goodness knows, we don't need another toddler in this house. ;)
Have a lovely day.