Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Walking out of stride: Hump Day Hmmmm

Usually, I walk around full of optimism and enthusiasm for life. The glass for me is half full, or even if it's empty, the milk is in the fridge, ready to fill the glass again. Most people who know me feel that I fill the room with energy and excitement. Lately though, it seems like life has tiptoed up from behind me, reached around, and smacked me upside the head.

Mostly, in life, when we have horrible things happen to us, those happenings are of our own making. We make choices, but we don't get to choose our consequences. Or rather, we choose our consequences by making the very first choice. However, other times, bad things just happen, and we have no control over them. These times are our refiners' fire. We only grow through hard times.

I have been teaching an Old Testament class this year, and the story of Joseph comes to mind. Joseph was a good kid. He never made bad choices, and his brothers made all sorts of stupid decisions. His brothers were jealous of him, so they sold him into slavery. Joseph's choices didn't cause it, life slapped him in the face. Joseph's life was one slap after another even though he worked hard to be honest and stay out of trouble. Even though his life was hard, he came through it with flying colors. He was able to save his family even though they had tried to kill him.

Right now, I'm out of stride. My optimism has been slipping, and problems, not of my own making, are happening to me. I can't seem to see the joy in some of the little things. The big problems are staring me in the face and blocking my view, but it's going to become a goal for the next little while for me to walk tall and keep an eye out for the small, happy things. They're there. I just need to find them again.

This post is part of the Hump Day Hmm over at Julie's blog


Anonymous said...

Oh, yes. I know this place. You are very wise to seek the small, good things. Because if we ignore them, they will slip away.

Julie Pippert said...

The thing nobody can possibly tell you about being a mom is how it wears down your tires.

A long time ago I read Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, and a character talked about being able to weather life, and how it was a matter of how inflated your tires were. We all have different amounts of air---and the air comes from different places---but the bottom line it, a worn down, underinflated tire doesn't ride the road well.

As a mom, you have to put so much into your kids that it gets harder to find ways to keep your tires inflated properly, plus you ride them a lot more.

What I hear you wisely saying in the end is that this too shall pass. I'm sorry that you've got these things going on. But I'm glad to know you have the grace and strength to make it through...and get back to enjoying the small, happy things.

I hope that time is soon.

Robert said...

I want to help you regain your optimism, and solving some of my internal conflicts might go a long way to doing just that.

As for examples of resilience and grace through trial, your father has always been a great example to me, ever since I met him. I have the utmost respect and admiration for how amazingly well he proceeds through life, despite physical limitations that would floor many men.

Amber said...

I love you Ellie. You've always helped me when I've been down, and I haven't forgotten that. If you ever need to talk, I'm just a phone call away.

Melissa said...

Hang in there and know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.