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Monday, July 9, 2012

Encouragement for the down trodden

Some days are harder than others. Today is turning out to be one of those days. My youngest son refuses to sleep on his own so after he falls asleep, I typically go lay down and a few hours later he comes to find me and lies down next to me. Depending on how tired I am I may not even notice until I roll over and there he is. This morning (much like most mornings) he wakes me up at 6:30 AM asking for his cup.  I told him to go back to sleep and tried to roll over but he answers no. Its time for mommy to get up and get to work. I struggle to roll out of bed and feel around the dresser for my glasses. I’m blind as a bat and feeling big as a cow since I’ve just passed the 32 week point in this pregnancy. I grab a diaper and we head to the kitchen to get his cup. He now wants me to turn on the TV but I’m trying to cut back on how much they watch. Even the educational shows these have questionable content and have my kids saying or doing things that makes me wonder, “Where in the world did you learn that?!” By now my oldest son has stumbled in and wants his drink too. They sit down on the couch with their cups and want the TV on. So I turn on Chuggington and begin contemplating what to make for breakfast. Here’s the deal – my husband works overnight. And he doesn’t drive. So at night I take him to work and in the morning I have to go pick him up. It can be quite a pain at times. I never know when he will get off work. More than once I’ve started cooking a big breakfast (eggs, sausage, toast, etc.) only to have him tell me he’s ready for me to come pick him up. Very annoying for someone who is OCD about completing tasks.
This morning I opted for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Not the healthiest, I know, but quick and easy. They finished eating and I began my cleaning. Vacuuming the whole apartment, finding a hole in my sons windowsill, washing the dishes, starting the dryer again since it didn’t dry the clothes completely (AGAIN), and going about getting the boys dressed and ready for when daddy finishes work. 7:30 rolls around, I’m out of breath and getting packages ready to be mailed (my husband has an online business selling Lego’s). I get a text, time to leave and pick him up! We get buckled in and head out. Wouldn’t you know it? Traffic as far as I can see down 1604. What normally takes me about 10 minutes now takes about 40. During our car ride, the boys are in the back seat getting restless. “Mom, go faster!” “Mom, he take his shoes off.” “Mom, we go to daddy HEB?” Now I’m wishing my car could fly….

Finally get to my husband’s job, pick him up and its smooth riding back home. From the corner of my eye I can see my husband signing. Once again its complaints about how tired he is, his aisle was a mess and he needs to get home and get to sleep since he has to work early tonight because of inventory. I tune him out and just nod occasionally. I’m feeling exhausted already and yet my day hasn’t really begun.

Once home I get the packages ready for the mail, have my husband start copying some paperwork I need mailed out today, get the boys ready for their bath, and try to prepare myself for a long day. My husband is frustrated that I need this paperwork ready this morning (I’ve told him I’d need it for the past 2 days already). He doesn’t like having to rush unless it’s something he really wants.

Finally everything is done that really needed to get done. He gets in the shower, the kids go play, and I take a moment to catch my breath and read. My mom had given me some pamphlets on marriage and living better. The first one I pick up is by Dr. James Dobson. I’ve heard him before. When I was still living with my parents we listened to a Christian radio station that often played Dr. Dobson clips. This one is titled Values in the Home, and is supposed to offer 38 principles that Dr. Dobson “has drawn from a lifetime of experience in Christian living and in human experience”. The one that seemed to shout to me right away was #7: Human worth does not depend on beauty or intelligence or accomplishments. We are all more valuable than the possessions of the entire world, simply because God gave us that value. This fact remains true, even if every other person on earth treats us like losers.

I really needed to hear that. Some days, like today, I get to feeling like I took the wrong path in life. That everything is headed downhill permanently. I want to throw in the towel and say, “I’m done!” Nothing more, I’m done. Statements like the one above, however, remind me that it’s just one of those days. As quick as it came and as bad as it may have been, it will be gone. Tomorrow will be a new day with new challenges and possibilities.

Further down at #8: Strong desire is like a river. When you have a strong desire for something the outcome can go 1 of 2 ways. If it’s the right kind of desire – things can go well. If you desire something that shouldn’t or isn’t meant to be – you will be very unhappy when things don’t go well.

#10: Comparison is the root of all feelings of inferiority. The moment you begin examining other people’s strengths against your most obvious weaknesses, your self-esteem starts to crumble! Everyone is strong and weak in various abilities. Comparing yourself or your life with someone else’s (probably because they seem to be doing so much better than you), leads to unhappiness and resentment towards them. It’s also a waste of energy. Some people may seem to have the perfect life, but underneath they are struggling just as hard if not harder. They put on a mask to make others think all is well and hide the reality.

#13: If you’re going through difficult times today, hold steady: It will change soon. If you are experiencing smooth sailing and easy times now, brace yourself: It will change soon. The only thing you can be certain of is change.

#17: One of the secrets of successful living is found in the word balance, referring to the avoidance of harmful extremes. We need food, but we should not overeat. We should work, but not make work our only activity. We should play, but not let play rule us. Throughout life, it will be important to find the safety of the middle ground, rather than the imbalance of the extremes.

I could go on with other encouraging words from this pamphlet but I have 2 little boys who need a nap and laundry that needs to get done…. So I’ll end for now and maybe write more later. I hope someone out there reads this and has a brighter day. You are worth more than all the world and its riches, so don’t let anyone or anything get you down for too long.

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