08 October 2011

Choosing Joy

I don't even know what to say about this week. It was...not my best. By "not my best" I actually mean that I wasn't really up to the task of managing this week. When mama isn't at her best, it seems like everything else crumbles a little. I found myself needing extra time with my Father and extra snuggles from my husband. We started school two days in a row around noon because I spent so much of the morning reading, praying and writing in my journal. I guess this can't be a bad thing in the big scheme of things. I just share it with you so that you can see that I was slightly emotionally drained this week. The effects of this on our school week were, um, exactly what you can imagine. When mama is not feeling like herself, nothing seems to go so well.

I think there is a lot to be said about our attitudes as wives and mothers within our home. My husband comes home from work, and he doesn't want to see that I am frazzled, frustrated or at the end of my rope. My children don't want to hear me snapping at them for little infractions. Part of my job is to set the mood in my home, and I would have to say that I wasn't on top of my game this week.

There were two out-of-the-ordinary issues going on in my life this week. The first was a friendship issue with three of my dearest friends. They mean the world to me, but, this week, things have been strained. This is mostly because of me inappropriately addressing an issue that needed to be addressed better. Yeah. It stinks when things are your own fault, doesn't it? I think that is why it was weighing on me so heavily and why it still is weighing on me. Until everything is worked out completely, I will have to repeatedly remind myself to turn it over to the Lord. 

On top of this, my dad had a heart catheterization yesterday, and this is obviously a bigger deal than relationship issues. My brain kept trying to tell my heart that it was mostly a routine procedure these days, but my heart wasn't listening very well. On our way to leave our kids with friends for the day so that I could be at the hospital, we saw a bald eagle take flight from its perch on a branch in the river. I'm not big on looking for signs from God, and I am not someone who asks the Lord for signs as a habit, but I believe this was a sign from the Lord that I could trust Him with Dad on that day. He was going to be fine. The bald eagle is Dad's favorite bird. He has collected them for years. The bald eagle isn't a frequent sighting in this area  either. This was my gift from Jesus yesterday morning. My bigger gift? Dad was fine. The procedure went well. The results weren't perfect, but we got great news about his arteries and valves. He will need to do therapy to strengthen the actual heart muscle, but that sounds a lot better to me than open heart surgery, right? Hearing the doctor say, "He has the arteries of a 14 year old boy. You could drive a truck through them," was amazing (and sort of humorous, don't you think?). God is good, isn't He?

After spending the day at the hospital with Mom and Dad, we headed home around 6:00 and almost immediately came across an accident. We turned onto Maple Avenue in Zanesville, carefully drove around the accident and headed down the road toward home. As we came to a stoplight, I could hear the sirens of a fire truck coming toward us. I was stuck and not able to move the vehicle with cars in the right lane and the truck coming directly at me in my lane, and I was panicking a little. Or  a lot. I think both my parents knew this even though I was saying nothing because Dad told me from the back seat not to move while Mom was saying something about how many years it took her to stop panick in that situation. 

When I was 16, my grandmother and aunt were hit by a truck just like that one that was coming straight toward me yesterday. My college roommate was in an accident with a fire truck not long after we graduated. I don't recall ever having faced a firetruck head-on before yesterday, but it freaked me out more than I care to admit. I knew that they weren't going to hit me. I mean, I am a rational person. But I may not have been completely rational in that moment...all kinds of images flashed through my mind in those moments, and, once the truck was behind us, I was surprised to find a few tears sliding down my cheeks as my shoulders lowered from their tense location next to my ears and as I thought about my grandmother almost dying on that hospital bed. It's crazy how incidences like this one cause you to re-live moments like that with such powerful, overwhelming emotions.

We made it home. There were no more fire trucks. Mom and Dad got settled at their house. Eric and the kids picked me up and headed for home. We went to bed earlier on Friday night than we had any other night this past week. I slept late this morning, and I awoke feeling refreshed. Still, I'm struggling with this melancholy feeling that I can't shake today. I think that life just took it's toll on me this week, and I need a little extra refreshment which can only come from Jesus.

The thing about this overwhelming feeling that is bugging me a little is that so many good things happened this week. I think this goes to show that relationships are high on my priority list, and, when relationships are stressed by our human shortcomings or sickness or medical procedures, I need to try harder to keep my focus on the Lord. We can miss our blessings if we aren't looking for them. Even in the midst of blessings, we have to choose our focus. Sometimes, we have to work harder to choose that focus because Satan doesn't want us to choose joy. Sometimes, the melancholy tries to take over, and we have to be even more purposeful about choosing joy. Tonight, I am in that place, and I am seeking the Lord and choosing to walk in joy. There is so much to be glad about, isn't there? Have you seen Pollyanna? I love that movie. Like Pollyanna, choose to be glad about something tonight no matter how hard the world wants to crush your spirit. You can choose joy. I can choose joy. Join me? Let's choose joy together.

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate this blog entry.

    1. Praising God that your Dad is okay. :)

    2. I tense up when I hear a siren and I fear getting hit by a truck. I always turn down music and open windows (even in Winter) when approaching an intersection.

    3. Sorry about your relationship thingy. I know God will work it out. Still it's hard not to beat yourself up when you didn't handle something exactly how you should have. I get mad at myself a lot. I'll be praying for you.

    4. I have found myself choosing joy a lot these last few years. Sometimes I forget that it's a choice and I just give in to my feelings. Thanks for the reminder as I'm struggling with something right now that could rob me of my joy.