Discouragement knocks and I spend the whole morning deciding if I’ll let her in or not.
She’s persistent, knocks often and sometimes loud, sometimes quiet.
My inner me reminds me that we know Discouragement well and that she is a comfy companion but I don’t know. Circumstances nods in agreement.
I think maybe Circumstances gave her a call and invited Discouragement over when I wasn’t looking and I am not happy with Circumstances right now.
I’m hurting- my back, my knee, my ankles, my shoulders, my neck. All hurting.
The house has been neglected by all and my pain level has prevented me from doing my usual chores. Poor Me pokes her head around the corner and says, “Poor you, your house is a mess because no one is pitching in, even though your poor back, your poor knee, your poor ankles, your poor shoulders, your poor neck are all hurting so much. Even though your medicine makes you extra sleepy and you can’t really take it…no one is pitching in. Poor you.” For a moment I look at her gratefully and then realize that Poor Me is really not a friend to me at all.
I’m busy and the whole week will be busy.
Little girls spent the morning making messes and squabbling. That Littlest Girl can’t stop coloring on her self and on walls and how does she keep getting these markers anyway?
Discouragement knocks louder and my countenance droops lower and Poor Me pulls up a chair next to Circumstances.
I balance the check book and Poor Me sees her opportunity to just let Discouragement in herself. I shake my head no at her…albeit reluctantly.
I go to the kitchen, determined to be productive and begin to tidy up. I see where a toddler girl has dumped out a bag of chocolate chips on the floor and there is the detritus of a full and busy household on every counter top. Poor Me starts towards the door.
And then a five year old girl cries because her two fishes have both died, right here in one day and they were the very bestest fish anyone ever had. And why would I clean the tank and “Kill Someone’s Pet Fish Anyway, Mommy”? Good intentions but not the outcome we were looking for. Poor Me asks me, “Now? Can I open the door, now?”
And I almost let her. Because this day is not going great. Sometimes the day in, day out of the laundry and the dishes and the cooking and cleaning and the squabbling and the destructive nature of my particular children and the long stretch until my Prince rides home on his white horse…sometimes these days all kind of blend together and mush together and the tedium calls long and loud for Poor Me and Discouragement. I wonder if maybe a day with these two old friends (since Circumstances seems to want them here so much anyway) might be in order.
I make a space for Poor Me and Discouragement on the couch and then God gives me a sort of shake.
“This is not who you are.”
And I just roll my eyes at Him and say, “Some days, it is. Some days all these things I say in this blog feel like hypocrisy because some days really suck and some days I don’t have it in me to do my best and to–”
But I stop. I don’t want to say it but He knows me and He says, “You don’t have it in you to be obedient?”
I don’t want to say it. Because being tired, achy, annoyed, busy…these are not excuses that cut it with the One who died for me. For the Maker and Holder of Everything and All. For the One who bears the sorrows of every grief, sin, hardship, travesty, pain, wound, wrong, big and small…they are all on His shoulders.
He holds it all on Himself. My exhaustion, my annoyances, my busyness, my pain…every wrong done to me and every wrong I do. He holds it all. My taking that from Him denies the power of the cross.
I tell Poor Me to slam the door in Discouragement’s face and I choose Obedience.
Obedience quietly ushers Poor Me out the door and waves good bye from the porch to them both. They back away slow, wanting to lurk there on the porch, to wait for me to call them back in. Obedience crosses her arms and steadies herself. “Good bye, now.” she says and she means business.
I open my Bible to Matthew 8, it’s where we’re studying this week. I read about His miracles, how He healed, how He delivered and I realize that my petty Circumstances are nothing. Circumstances backs away and quiets herself.
Circumstances is what she is, and a lot of the things that she is, I can’t change. But I can change my attitude towards her and take away her power. Circumstances has no power really, she can’t change Who He Is and Whose I Am.
Obedience draws near and encourages me to seek Him in the Word that is Life. I read and I am stilled.
And in that stillness, He is there and He reminds me of the dare to be thankful. And so I pull out my list.
339. Lila’s pink sparkly dress
340. Being a stay at home mom which is worth what it costs me
341. Lila’s choice of Megamind over Sponge Bob
342. The sound of David’s giggles
343. Claire’s long morning nap, uninterrupted
344. Peace for a few moments to read the word
345. My camera
Gratitude wins the day. Obedience smiles, pleased and proud of herself. She knew all along that she was what was needed. Obedience and Gratitude are twin helpers to the weary, the heavy laden, to the Ones who really, deep down, want to do better and be better.
I close my eyes and listen to this. Because this song can get you off your feet and dancing around the kitchen.
I put it on repeat and start the dishes.