Learning Contentment

Something weird is going on.

It’s not Murphy’s Law…but it’s like that.  Lately, I’ve said several things to the positive and then something negative about that very thing happened..

1. “Caroline is really getting to be such  good dog.”  I said, to a cousin at the Blanton Family reunion.  And she was!  She wasn’t jumping up on people as much, she was able to be loose in the house throughout most of the day instead of sequestered to the laundry room.  I was really feeling good about how well she was doing.

And then yesterday, Julia was putting her out on the yard on the chain (JUST for dinner time, don’t call PETA. She spends maybe an hour a week on that thing, if that, and it’s only for now until we get her electric fence in and it’s only when we have company for dinner.  We just deal with her head at eye level at the dining room table but we don’t expect our guests too.) and she was being hyper and bananas. She ended up somehow getting the chain (it’s a plastic coated tie out) wrapped around Julia’s finger and the metal clip bounced up and knocked the mess out of her. Julia ended up having a broken finger.

2.  I was talking about raising children with some other moms and I said these words, “At least I can usually count on Claire to be good in public.  She saves her worst tantrums for home.”

She literally had the biggest, longest tantrum I’ve ever seen her have the very next night. At home, you ask? Nope. At Food Lion.

This is not a picture of the actual tantrum. It’s a picture of a tantrum from another day.

3.  And THEN!  Monday night, John and I were talking about how glad we were that Lila was adjusting so well to kindergarten.  That she was really doing far better than we’d expected and we’d had almost no behavior issues with her and she ‘d been sweet and loving and just a joy to be around.

Well, do you know the very next morning, she didn’t want to get dressed, she didn’t want to eat breakfast. She had a terrible attitude, she didn’t want to go to school and everything I said to her was the dumbest thing she’d ever heard of.
What in the world?!

5. Final thing…you know I hadn’t been sleeping, right? Well, I’d found a solution. One, the Ambien helped break the not sleeping cycle. Two, the Natural Calm has basically stopped my legs twitching and jumping. It’s been fantastic. I’ve been sleeping really, really well. I only needed the Ambien twice!

So, I was singing the praises of the Natural Calm to my aunts at dinner last night. Guess who didn’t sleep last night? That’s right, me.

It wasn’t as bad as it was before the Natural Calm and the Ambien. I was only up for about an hour and a half in the middle of the night…but it wasn’t the 7-9 hours of sleep I’ve been getting!

So, what’s going on?  Something is going on!  And I started to get irritated about it.  Poor Me peered hopefully through my front window.  But I saw her and I stopped myself.  No.  No Poor Me.

I closed the blinds on her and I said, “What are you trying to show me, Lord?”  And He is faithful to answer the question.

1.  I might think I have something figured out, but life is unpredictable.  What will I choose in those unpredictable times?  Will I choose thankfulness?  Will I choose to laugh and move on?  The Proverbs 31 woman “laughs with no fear of the future”.  Will I do that?  Knowing that tomorrow is another day and tomorrow, things will probably change again?

2.  I’m never going to have it all together.  I can do my best as a mom and as a dog owner and as a steward of my body and as everything else I am…but I’m never going to get it 100% right.  I was trying to encourage another mom not too long ago, when she was feeling guilty and feeling like she’d failed.  I told her there was no perfect mom.  Perfect mom is a myth!  We’re all just doing what we can.  We’re all just figuring it out, day by day, and some days are better than other days.  Some days, we do our very best and the kids go crazy anyway.  What more can we do?  And maybe we have days where we didn’t do our best at all, well…we can start over tomorrow.  His mercies are new EVERY morning…not just some mornings.  Great is His faithfulness.

3.  You have to be content with your life no matter what’s shaking it up.

God is really working on me with this one. Sometimes I get caught up in the “When we get to…” or “When we do this…” Sometimes I mark time, just waiting for some condition to be met for my happiness. I am learning that this is dumb, because there are good gifts and sweet moments every single day. And while Claire might scream her head off in the Food Lion one moment, later that night she wraps her little arms around my neck and says, “Mommy, don’t be scared. It’s just a plane.” (She’s scared of exactly one thing. The sound of planes flying overhead.)
Contentment is a gift that God will help you get. And it’s a good gift, but it’s a discipline and a practice.

So…I guess I’ll keep on saying those positive things about my kids and my family and my dog and my life.  It’s part of being thankful- celebrating the good.  I’ll keep on believing for good things and I’ll stand on those new mercies and ask God to help me to be content.

And I will laugh with no fear of the future.  Because God is for me…so who can be against me?