In the midst of life, in the middle of KNOWING that all things work together for my best...in trusting God...in being thankful...there is a reality. That reality is that there is a suffering involved in order to get from being where I am, to being absolutely thankful, or being content in my circumstances.
I can't just decide to be thankful, then voila, I'm thankful. It takes a suffering, and the sacrifice is usually giving up something I want...maybe it's five minutes of peace and quiet, or maybe it's having the kitchen clean, or maybe it's driving someone somewhere or taking kids someplace I don't feel like going. I can do these things on autopilot, without actually changing over to thankfulness inside, then I get worn out and bitter, and it's like NO FAIR, what about ME!?? Changing the attitude inside is the key. Just being quiet, putting on a smile, and heading out to the van when I would actually like to stay home and finish the dishes or read my book...it's necessary, but there IS the inside to cleanse...it's imperative that I walk in the light, that I work with God in this, that I can be changed, and that I get victory over complaining and being miserable.
No one gets happiness just handed to them in life. Sure, we are all happy and smiles when things go our way, but when you're a mom, heck, when do things actually go how you want them to? I can spend my entire life working and striving to get all my ducks in a row, to get things organized, to create, to explore, to get things fixed up, repaired, ect...I can work so hard to get things how I want them to be. And that in itself is not wrong, it's part of life. But. The thing of REAL value, is to let God do a work in the heart. To be open and flexible and have low thoughts, to be really changed inside. So that when things don't go how I want them to, I don't have to just paste a smile on my face while sulking inside, it gets old. One gets tired, and sick and tired, and longs for things to be different.
Sometimes I feel really really lonely. Paul...he's gone a lot, and when he is here, he's so distracted with stuff. He simply isn't interested in all the details of life, of MY life. We totally love each other, and occasionally we talk about everything...but on a day-to-day basis...not so much. He's a guy. :) I do have my friends, but they are busy too, and can rarely get together. And I have my kids. One cannot dump on one's kids, ha. Oh dear, am I feeling sorry for myself? Not really, just telling it like it is.
For the record, I am really thankful for my friends. (and for Paul...he's coming home from France on Saturday, yay!!)
But here's my point....whether it's feeling lonely, or left out, or sad, or misunderstood, or maybe you feel really used and under- appreciated...there is hope...! Jesus didn't come to heal those who were well.
And, it's important to realize that it's okay to be truthful about how it really is in your life. If I had my druthers, I would have more of a social life, less housework, and oh, everyone would be so thankful for all I do for them, ha. I would have plenty of money to do all the home improvements I want to do, and of course to travel and visit all of my kids. Paul and I would be planning a trip to Jamaica, and since we're dreaming, I would have an indoor pool, or at the very least, my hot tub fixed.
And since we're still dreaming, this last fifty pounds of extra weight would start melting away, and oh, I wouldn't crave chocolate anymore. I heard once that it helps to imagine spiders crawling on brownies, then you wouldn't want to eat them. Duh! You just get the ice cream out!
Speaking of ice cream....last night I dodged the ice cream temptation...I took Evelyn, Suzanne, Charlotte Claire, and Camille out and about...we were going to get ice cream but the lines were long, so we went to the Dunkin Donuts drive through...I got an iced coffee, no sugar, of course...the little girls got cones, and the big girls got yummy drinks. It's so hard not to have ice cream. Then we went to Walmart to get something for Jon's birthday...and cookies and ice cream and hot fudge to make him an ice cream cake for his birthday...wah.
Anyway. Today, we went up to Lake Ontario...we stopped in a little store, and I got a coffee, blueberry flavor with no sugar. It wasn't the half moon cookie the girls had, but it was okay. It's not easy to always say no. It's not easy that when you do say YES, it's mixed with guilt, and the scale jumps up so immediately. Oh, poor me, ha.
It IS a daily battle, it's my lifelong thing. If I don't fight it, the weight WILL come back.
Anyway...after our trip to the lake...the girls wanted to go to the diner, so we stopped at Emily's house...she had the day off, and sure, she would like to go! The little girls are at a friends' house, Jon is at a friends' house, and we have no small children today...so it was only Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja, Em, me, and friend Irene. And, I had a burger on sourdough toast...it was cut in half, so I gave half to Ev, who only had a small meal. I also ordered raisin toast to share with everyone because this diner gets their cinnamon raisin bread fresh daily from a local baker, and it's heavenly good. I am not supposed to eat those carbs, and oh, did I mention the burger came with fries? I did give some to the girls, but yeah, I ate some too.
Anyway...there may be some people in this world who are automatically happy and all sunshiny all the time, but I am not one of them. Yet I am bound and determined not to live as a grump. I don't want to be bitter and miserable and miserly and judgemental and harsh and impatient and selfish. So, in the same way I have to work at what I eat, I will work on saying NO to sin.