Joy said, “Mom, show me a stress face.”
A few years ago, we fell into bed as we returned home from 4 national conferences. Suitcases full of dirty clothes, mail piled high, a general disarray in our home. I, with tear filled eyes, simpered into the den where my children were lounging on couches and said, “We have to get this house cleaned up. I know it will take a lot of work and none of us feel like it, but it’s got to be done.”
6′-5″, gentle Joel, put his arm around my shoulders gently and said, “Mom, we know the routine. We can get it cleaned up and then it will just get messy again and then we will clean it up again. But when you are sad, we feel guilty. So lighten up, Mom, and we can all be happy, cause when you are happy we feel good, and we will still get it all done.”
How true. Lighten up. It isn’t that big of a deal. Practicing celebrating life, putting on loud music while cleaning, choosing to smile and laugh and be gentle and asking forgiveness if it was blown–all in the life of a house full of sweet sinful, flawed, but darling people. As Joel says, it is all just going to happen again.
And so, these many years later, I still need to remember his admonition, even though he isn’t here.
Today I have, done a whole year of business expenses to turn in for reimbursement; arranged for 3 medical tests to be ordered; selected graduation invitations for Joel and Joy, both graduating; helped Sarah arrange a trip coming up and figure out the places and how to pay for it; taken Joy to the Community College to take an accuplacer test–(Please Lord, help her at this moment to get all the answers right!), stopped for a mug of coffee at my local favorite place, (Wesley Owens), put together a packing list for Saturday when we leave for a trip early in the morning; and still have lots I have not gotten to………..
Tomorrow is Joy’s graduation banquet for her and all of her friends where I will work and then we will go together on a plane the next day, so I can have my own graduation weekend just with her.
But God prompted me to stop and look at what is obvious–4 children who love us and love the Lord, a long-suffering husband, plenty to eat, a warm bed (I love my bed), His presence and knowledge of HIs love and Fatherhood and desire to take care of me; a beautiful spring day and ability to see the snow-covered mountains as I take my daily 2 mile walk.
When I stand back to make a list of all the ways I am blessed, my heart eases and my spirit fills with gratefulness–but I needed that moment to consider, to count my blessings over my cup of coffee–it was essential.
And so, the rest of the day, I will “lighten up” in order to make it through it all with grace. Hope you are all faring well and enjoying this spring day.
Thanks for your patience with me and all of you who are praying. I so appreciate you and love you with all of my heart!