Today has been one of those days that got off to a crappy start – literally!
Here is pretty much how my day went…
As I stepped out of our shower in the basement this morning I discovered that one of our beagles had decided it was much too wet to go outside and do her business.
Not long after arriving at work I received a call from my son that this same beagle decided to also have a field day in the kitchen and spent her time dumpster diving in the garbage can!
I had to confront an employee that I supervise about their recent bad attitude. I dislike this part of my job very much!
Halfway through my commute home I ran into intense wind and rain.
Arriving home I got to work and scrubbed the kitchen floor.
(Remember the dumpster diving beagle?)
Next came filling the sink with dish water to wash up the bowls and cups that had gathered through out the day. At this point thoughts of pulling up the recipe for Korean beef with rice and broccoli that was planned for dinner tonight had me completely overwhelmed. I was very quickly becoming the Crabby Mom Extraordinaire.
A quick call to my husband, and we both quickly agreed that frozen fish sticks with mac and cheese would make an ideal supper for tonight. A very wise move on his part!
As I began to put together this quick supper I reflected back over the stresses of my day and began to hear the words of a hymn floating through my head. The hymn is one that is inspired by verses 9-10 of Psalm 57 (NRSV):
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens;
your faithfulness extends to the clouds.
And I realized that maybe, just maybe, for once I should follow the advice from all of those articles that I read on a regular basis and focus on my blessings instead of my troubles.
So, tonight I am extremely grateful for bobby pins. They are currently pinning back my bangs which have grown extremely long. And I am reminded by these bobby pins that later this week I will be going to the salon for a hair cut and relaxation.
I am very grateful to the company that took the time to catch and prepare the frozen fish sticks that helped form a quick meal for my little family. In a burst of charity I threw some canned green beans into the microwave to class up our meal and round us out with a veggie.
I am grateful that today the grey floral yoga pants I ordered over a month ago were waiting for me in the mail box. The cheerful flowers on my comfy pants tonight have been a cheerful spot of color on a grey and rainy night.
I am also very grateful for my husband who came home and made not a single word of complaint about the change in tonight’s menu. He tucked into his fish sticks and mac and cheese like it was a gourmet meal at a fancy seafood restaurant.
As this trend in my mind continued, I began to feel a bit like Pollyanna in the Disney movie from the ’60’s and started to play the Glad Game.
I am glad for a job that allows me the ability to be available when my son is sick or has a sports meet. I am also glad for the opportunities to grow that have come my way in this current job. Even having to correct an employee is a growth opportunity – it pushes me out of my comfort zone and forces me to learn new and better ways of communicating with others.
Wind and rain may have slowed down my progress home, but I am very glad and grateful that the car I drive is safe and dependable.
And yes, the beagle did try my patience greatly with her bad behavior and antics this morning, but I am very glad at the end of every day to see her happily wagging her tail to greet me when I walk through the door at night after work.
By the time the dinner dishes were done, I realized that I was no longer a stressed out crabby mom. Perhaps my day hadn’t been so bad after all. Turning my mind away from troubles and intentionally choosing to focus on gratitude acted as a balm on my weary soul. It is amazing how a little bit of gratitude goes such a long way!
Our Father in Heaven wants us to seek him in everything and he will gladly share whatever burdens we have. In doing so, he will also help us to see the hidden blessings he is constantly showering us with if we but take the time to realize it.
Finding things to praise Him for in the midst of our mundane tasks helps to keep our hearts in perfect harmony with the One who created us. He wants and deserves our praise – not just in the highlights of our lives, but also in the everyday struggles, joys and the trials and tribulations of our daily lives.
Even on the most stressful of days, we can find the hidden blessings of bobby pins, fish sticks, and flowered yoga pants.
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. – Colossians 3:14-16 (NSRV)