One of the initial reasons for starting this here blog was to be a beacon of reasonable transparency in a largely fallacious and “put on a happy face on Sunday morning” Christianity in which I was immersed. (I’m being dramatic here, but you get my point). Another was to explore questions of Scripture and my faith in a public setting so as to engage other folks (mostly my friends). I have done neither well as of late. This post is a “using the steps at the shallow end of the pool” attempt to get back into the swing of things.
This summer has not turned out at all like the plan we had drawn up a few months ago. The idea was to be in the library at 8 each morning, eat lunch with the fam (possible most days), work in the afternoon, have the night free to hang out with the chillun’s and the Mrs. Then weekends free to do whatever. This was essentially the plan for most of May, June and July. It was a good plan.
Only, it hasn’t happened. Both Steph and I have felt as though there has been no visible break from the semester. While I have progressed in the independent course, all indications now point to it not being done before Tuesday (when a new class begins). This whole back-flare-up-again deal. Dr appointments for that. A whole slew of Dr. appointments for the kiddos. Old car ‘dying’, researching, getting the new van. That and I stink at getting out of the house on time. The best scenario is when I can get out of the house before anybody else wakes up. Otherwise, I can’t bring myself to leave unless the girls are situated for the morning. And then it’s 8:30 or 9 before I get out the door.
I guess I’m saying all of this to express the frustration that is there. To admit it, figure out what went so awry from our grand plan and maybe sort out a way to correct it. Or maybe I just feel like complaining. I’m not sure at this point. And quite frankly, I’m tired of second guessing my emotions and thoughts to the point of being frozen. So there you go.
All of this leads up to today. Today was supposed to be a study and work day. I was supposed to work yesterday, but timing didn’t quite work out and it just wasn’t going to happen. So study and work. Only, I couldn’t go up the hill because they were repaving the roads on campus. So I tried working/studying from home. Could have worked if I had had the right attitude. But I didn’t. So it was hard and is hard to see the day as a success. The attitude problem? Ungratefulness.
You see, for a number of years now, I have had a few verses that stick out to me above all the rest. 1 Thess 5:16-18 – Rejoice always, pray unceasingly and in everything give thanks for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I try to live a grateful life. I am trying to instill that same idea into my children. So when I get off track and focus on the things I don’t have or things that are quite up to par or people who don’t act quite like I would like them to, commands 1 and 3 there go by the wayside. Which eventually leads to the disappearance of command #2. Such was today.
So, in a feeble attempt to redeem this post and quite possibly this day by the Lord’s grace, here’s an improv list of things I’m grateful for:
- That I’m typing this on our laptop because a buddy gave me his spare power adapter after ours busted a couple days ago.
- A wife who cares about our physical surroundings and physical well-being so she works her tail off to keep the house clean and us well-fed despite the lack of rest she gets from 8:00am to 10:00pm.
- Air conditioning. Tis a bit warm out these past few days.
- The fact that I get to live on the East Coast for three years to study God’s word in depth, learning from folks who really, really care about this stuff.
- Insurance to pay for all of this back stuff I’ve got going on.
- Parents who are sending us their old laptop (but newer than ours) for me to tinker with and see if I can get it working again.
- Parents who pay for kiddo #3’s diapers.
- My two eldest girls who love giving their daddy hugs.
- My wife who still tries to encourage me even if I’ve been grumpy all day.
- Friends who babysit our kids when we need to get out. Like next Tuesday.
I don’t have it so bad after all. Father, I’m sorry for my lack of appreciation for your care and provision. For my ingratitude and worry. Please forgive me and thank you for the security of your forgiveness. Show me in this next week how to be grateful according to your will. Amen.