Those of you who’ve followed me for a while may recall how it was a challenge for me to sit for hours at the boys’ soccer, football, and basketball practices. I tried to be content while fighting my grumbling spirit and watching the clock. Some practices, I would sleep in the car hoping the time would fly by. Well, time has flown by and Firstborn is a senior now. It’s funny how time and age change the heart and mind because I no longer have to watch his practices, I want to! Life isn’t short at all; it’s actually quite long, but it goes by so fast.
I’ve had sixteen long, hard, challenging, rewarding, joyful and sometimes painful years with Firstborn and in the blink of an eye, I’ll be in the winter season of my life. I want to look back over my life and have joyful memories. Even the challenging times in my life can be remembered with beneficial life lessons instead of nurturing anger about certain people or circumstances and allowing that anger to give birth to bitterness. I thank God for being a God of another chance! I have a ninth grader that I will be watching practice for the next four years. I can also begin today by being content with my life – even in situations I’d rather not be in. God gave me a joy and peace built to withstand whatever is going on around me – that unspeakable joy and that peace that surpasses human understanding. The trick is to tap into that joy and peace when I’m around those people who are being used to kill, steal, and destroy my joy. It’s not easy and it’s a process, but I’m a witness – it’s possible! Marriage, job, relationships, health, finances, children, and even the battles within our own mind can be conquered. Life goes by fast, so we better learn to enjoy the journey!
On the way to worship service Sunday, I asked the boys if they had any money and they didn’t. Hubby wasn’t with us, so no one had money to give. I didn’t have a penny. I hate it when the offering plate goes around and no one has anything to offer. There is always some change in my purse, so I started digging for coins. I came up with several pennies, a safety pin, a mint, and some lint. I dug a little deeper and came up with a few silver coins and more pennies. I showed Firstborn my handful of coins and he shook his head and smiled. His head shake made me wonder if I should give my pennies or just throw them back in my purse. I could have written a check, but it would have immediately bounced in the usher’s face.
I chuckled at the pressure I was putting on myself to give then recalled the Bible story of the poor widow who gave all she had, two mites. I’m not a widow, nor am I poor, but I sure have more month than money and the change I found was all I had. I whispered to Firstborn, “God doesn’t look at the amount, He looks at the heart.” Although I said that to Firstborn, I was really encouraging myself and making it okay to give my pennies. I may have more month than money, but God has always been my sufficiency – always and in ways I never expect. We have a refrigerator and cabinets full of food, a full gas tank, and money in the boys’ lunch accounts. The only thing I need is trust in God. As long as I keep my eyes on Him, I have everything I need. I may not have any more pennies to count, but when I count my blessings, they are plentiful!
I have a strong ability to read people. This ability, talent, or gift of discernment is sometimes difficult because the older I get, the less tolerant I am of fake folk. Reality television overflows with various shows, but the only reality to truly exist is the one existing behind closed doors – where no one can see. THAT’S reality! There is one particular woman I know who appears to always be happy. She is always put together nicely with hair, make-up, and clothes. Her family appears portrait ready and when she speaks, it’s always a good report. Is this life possible? Not in the real world. I pray for this woman continually because she is always on my mind. This morning, she was extremely heavy on my mind – it must be difficult for her to get out of bed most mornings and put on her mask. I know because I use to wear the same mask and it is extremely heavy – it’s a burden. In my book, We Snap in Silence, I speak of how women wear masks for each other. We share the same challenges of being a woman, wife, and mother, yet we keep our emotions a secret instead of sharing and encouraging one another. Today is another day. Who will you be today? Who Christ created you to be or someone you created? We only have one life to live, so don’t miss yours by trying to be someone else. If you’re unhappy, reach out to someone. If you’re not sure who to reach out to, ask God to place someone in your path and give you peace about sharing. God didn’t promise us an easy life, but He did promise us peace and joy and He loves us just the way we are! If God can love me with all of my mess and failure to balance the many hats I wear (I juggle them), surely He can love you! Have a happy mask-free day!
We purchased new mattresses for the boys over the weekend and arranged for delivery. The store wanted almost a hundred dollars for delivery! They charged extra for a second mattress and box spring, which I thought was outrageous and refused to pay. Hubby said we could try to fit them in our small SUV - I was willing to try anything. Hubby rolled the mattresses out to the parking lot with his “on a mission” face. I watched him work and sweat and within minutes, he had the inside and the top of the car packed and secure with the twin mattresses.
We got in the car to go home and realized there was very little room for our long legs; we were practically kissing the dashboard. I had to sit sideways and if hubby was any bigger, the steering wheel would have left an imprint on his stomach. It was a funny sight, but I knew not to laugh – hubby still had on his work face. I silently snickered and laughed to myself until I couldn’t hold it in any longer. Just looking at hubby stuffed in the car and still trying to be cool was hilarious. I busted out laughing and couldn’t stop. He smiled and said, “You gotta go through some discomfort to get what you want.” As uncomfortable as he was, his reply to my outburst of laughter was profound. Whether it’s our career, ministry, marriage, new endeavor, or even a diet…we have to endure some discomfort to reach our goal. In other words, we want God to bless us, but we’re afraid to come out of our comfort zone. With the money we saved, we purchased new bedding for the boys. Hubby’s hard work and uncomfortable ride home paid off. Life lesson – if we don’t endure a little discomfort on the journey, it may not be worth the trip.