Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Yesterday I started my day by reading a note Jared had left for me near the coffee pot (my first stop every morning).  He pointed out that the date was 11-12-13.  I love when other people enjoy those little details as much as I do.

I thought it was going to be a good day.  And let me say that it was a good day.  My day was full of fabulous moments, like when Nora and I went shopping to fill our box for Operation Christmas Child.

However, my day was also filled with...let's call them "choice points."

1.  Jared was in Chicago all day for work.  That meant that I did not have his help for things like making the kids eat dinner and bathe/shower.  We had to ask his mom to come help with the kids while I attended a meeting at church after dinner.  I also had to ask my brother-in-law to pick up Nolan and take him to his basketball practice (while I was at my meeting and my mother-in-law was watching the other two kids).

I hate when my family is scattered.  I hate not seeing each other, and we had already had a crazy busy weekend followed by Jared being gone Monday night for his own church meeting.  And let's be honest:  I hate when everyone is out of my little radius of comfort where I can keep an eye on everyone (which some might phrase as "I hate not being in control.").

So, I chose to be thankful that we had multiple family members so willing to help us with our crazy evening.  What a blessing to have help when we needed it.  I chose to be thankful that Jared was only gone for one day.  He could have just as easily been sent to Russia or China for two weeks instead of to Chicago for one day.  And I also chose to be thankful that I was not the one who had to wake up at 4:30 am!

2.  I fell down the stairs.  One moment I was just starting to go downstairs to put something away, and then suddenly my feet were not under me.  I flailed, stretched, and grasped, but I couldn't stop the downward motion of my entire body down those stairs.  I twisted my shoulder in an unnatural angle, smashed my elbow on something, hurt both of my hands and one foot, and got rug burns so bad that I broke the skin in several places before I finally came to a hard stop on my hiney. 

I just laid there for several minutes.  The kids never came and Jared wasn't home.  I assessed my body as things started to throb and burn.  Finally, I got up and slowly headed back upstairs to make dinner for the kids.

I chose to be very thankful that I didn't break any bones or sustain any major injuries.  I very easily could have been yelling for the kids to call 9-1-1 while I tried to figure out who could come watch the kids.  Instead, I went about the rest of my business for the evening, and today my body feels like I was in a car accident.  I'll gladly take that over the many worse alternatives.

3.  I was publicly embarrassed at my meeting at church.  It wasn't intentional, and it just sorta happened.  My comment was misconstrued and it was met with unexpected feedback from one person followed by many more people.  I got embarrassed and felt stupid.  I felt myself mentally shut down, and for the remainder of the meeting I focused ALL of my energy on not crying.  I was the first to leave once we adjourned, and I made it to the parking lot before I broke down.

I had a good friend text me after the meeting to help me process what had happened.  After Jared returned home, I told him about the meeting.  He listened, hugged me, and then helped me understand a possible explanation as to why the initial person responded as he did.  I was still mentally replaying the whole mess as I got ready for bed.

I suddenly remembered a recent uncomfortable conversation I overheard during which several women from our church were talking negatively about the very person who had responded poorly to me at the meeting.  I could hear Satan hissing an invitation to me to give in and join them in their negative talk.  I immediately knew my choice.

"In your anger, do not sin:  do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold."  Ephesians 4:26-27

I chose to protect my relationships with other church members (especially the one who had hurt me).  I will not willingly create an opening for Satan to get in.  I will not perpetuate unrest when I can just as easily choose peace.  I openly admit this wasn't my natural first response, but once the choice was clearly there in front of me, I had to make the right one.

{In case you want the rest of the story, that person actually contacted me this morning.  He said during his morning prayer time, God had brought me to his mind.  ("How I love you, Lord!  You are my defender."  Psalm 18:1)  We each got to clear up what we were trying to say last night, and we restored genuine peace in our friendship.  I praise God for working it out!}

I feel like I've been an internal mess lately.  My patience is short, my frustration is high, and my motivation is stretched thin.  My first response to each difficulty has not been pretty.  Yesterday I was able to move past that initial response to get to the right response.

Did you know you don't have to stay in your first response?  This is a recent discovery for me.  I'm hoping with practice I'll train myself to respond correctly the first time. 

Maybe by 12-13-14.


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