“I don’t want to be here,” I told my mom earnestly, “I just want to be free.”
“You’re in school now; you’re kind of stuck, “she calmly told me.
I breathed heavily, her understanding feeling non-existent, “I hate it. I struggle every day just to get what should get done finished,,,but even then I never finish what I need to. It’s my fault–I know. But I’m not lazy…I just struggle to focus my mind.”
Emotions swirled as I relayed to my mom what I’ve felt this past year. We were driving back from dropping off a friend at her house and I knew my mom was feeling helpless.
But then again, she does have Mandie Russell for a daughter.
“Surely there is something to be thankful for,” she said. I knew she was drawing from Ann Voskamp, an author and blogger that my mom loves. As we pulled into the driveway, she stopped just in view of the purple flower in front of our mailbox. “What about that flower?” she eagerly asked, “You can be thankful for that flower.”
Inwardly I rolled my eyes, not in the mood to be thankful for a flower. A cruise ship? Sure. But a flower? Uh…nuh.
…all right. I was a grouch. Lack of sleep does that to me.
I woke up Monday morning, grabbing my pride,hurts, and stubbornness in preparation for another day on Planet Earth. That’s exactly how to keep yourself from being stepped all over in this life. One thing we all learn is that people can hurt. A lot.
Some hurts are nonsensical–the friend who thinks your choice of media is dumb, the friend who hurls a sarcastic comment your way, unfulfilled dreams of being Belle at Disney World…
Other hurts make complete sense–the authority who chooses favorites, the person who calls you fat, a death in the family, financial instability.
And so, we pick up our “armor” to get us through the day with a minimal amount of pain.
But I guess that’s not what we’re here to do. Maybe we’re put here to be ourselves, lay down the pride, and set aside the angry feelings so we can be hurt sometimes. Maybe if we shut out hurt, we also shut out love and joy and peace. Through the hurt, we reap blessing.
Maybe we’re here to give glory to God (even in times of pain) by being thankful.
Okay, I admit it: I’ve been reading Voskamp too. Darn my mother.
So, what am I learning right now? Simply this…
While my life is certainly not ideal right now and I have a lot of obstacles to overcome, I can be happy.
Despite working as a laundress.
Despite financial problems.
Despite high Starbucks prices.
And even despite the fact that the Jonas Brothers now have a song entitled “Pom Poms”. Facepom. See what I did there?
But for every unhappy circumstance, there’s at least one thing to be thankful for. Here are some from today:
Dad making my coffee. Hot. With hazelnut creamer. In a thermos. Yes.
Disney songs at work. Hakuna Matata.
Talking with Katelyn over buggies full of mangling. (I’ll explain later?)
My work buddies.
A tall, iced hazelnut macchiato from Starbucks at lunch. Espresso, baby.
A friend who was willing to drive me to Starbucks…*cough* Mooch alert, ya’ll.
Sweet, savory strawberries. (Somebody please start something called “Sweet, Savory Strawberries”. I don’t care if it’s a band!)
Getting off work early.
Simple dinners with Mom and Dad.
Evening walks with my Mama.
More coffee in the evening. My days are really bookmarked by coffee…
Phone calls with my amazing brother.
And there it is. Simple as that–simply seeing the beauty in the simple things and thanking God for them. It’s like a shot of espresso for your joy meter! …if joy meters are equivalent to coffee…
Bear with me here.