I knew this would happen.
As soon as I felt led to begin a blog about all the lovely things in a day, I knew would have a day that didn’t look or feel very lovely. Enter Saturday.
I woke up late. And it was work day. And I had a bazillion and one big things to accomplish. But instead of tackling all those things, I started cleaning out the pantry. I am blessed with a big pantry so it took a while. When I finished, I moved to the closet in the laundry room. 3 trash bags full of medicine and vitamins were chunked in the trash. I had stuff from 13 years ago sitting in that closet! That wouldn’t still be good, would it? I hate throwing things away. But I digress.
So, I began doing helpful, organizing things, but they weren’t on THE LIST. I was masterfully avoiding that list! As in a couple of hours have passed and I’ve managed to do nothing on it. By now I’ve realized I really hate THE LIST and am doing everything I can to avoid it, but I’m not sure why. But I press on doing laundry, cooking for our delightful fellowship meal at church tomorrow and going outside on occasion to pull a few weeds out of the garden. That’s always on THE LIST, but I like that one. None of that other stuff was though. Anyway, my side starts hurting. Like constantly. Not enough to make me call 911 but enough that I am uncomfortable – all day. After standing on my concrete kitchen floor cooking this Mexican chicken thing I just made up with the ingredients I had on hand and deciding to bake some triple chocolate cookies for church, I realized I was on my feet for a couple of hours doing that, not to mention all that time cleaning out the closets. Didn’t help the pain! Then I was bending over pulling weeds. Then I was hauling laundry outside to hang it on the line. That involved standing and reaching up over my head repeatedly. None of which helped my pain.
After doing all that, I then modified a shirt so it is modest so I have something to wear tomorrow. Then I’m sure I did other stuff that I’ve forgotten by now, but my side was really hurting at this point. I took some Tylenol. It kept hurting. And I was tired. Really tired. Then I realized I hadn’t made anything for supper and there just isn’t anything in our freezer that doesn’t require preparation. Tons of frozen chickens, but nothing to just pop in the microwave. So I cooked supper. Tamale Pie. I don’t know why. I just had those ingredients in the pantry and refrigerator and that’s how they all fell together. (I’m starting to see a pattern in my cooking.)
I realize I’m tired, I hurt and I didn’t get one single thing done on the list today. (But whose fault is that last one?? Hmm?)Bummed! And I forgot to mention a really big thing that happened this morning. It is so stupid and clued me in to the fact that maybe I live by my feelings rather than by reason or the Word of God!!, but it happened and had an impact on me, so here it is: I had the most awesome dream the night before. Almost everything I LOVE was in the dream – a beautiful country house, leisure time outdoors near a lovely river, cool weather, a blonde baby boy on my hip, extreme happiness, a screened in porch, my husband, good friends, laughter and more. Life was so beautiful and lovely and of course, impossible, but it was near perfection. And then, horror of horrors, I woke up to Saturday morning. Where that awful LIST was waiting with work to do. There wasn’t a list in my dream and there wasn’t any laundry to do or closets to clean out. The dream was just peace and love and joy and did I say peace already? Nothing to do but enjoy and relax and relish the day. I desperately LOVED this dream — too much apparently. It was one of those highly emotional, poignant ones that you never forget. And the feelings that came with it were so strong. Like I felt like I was there. And wanted to stay there! So, my Saturday started with a lovely dream, but soon reality crashed my party and, confession time, I didn’t like it. In fact, I was perturbed. I wanted my dream back. Like really badly! So badly that I was pouty and grumpy because I couldn’t have it. All I thought I could have was THE LIST. And that didn’t make me feel all warm and happy inside. I rebelled against THE LIST because I wanted my dream to be real and it wasn’t, but rebel that I am, I wasn’t doing that stupid LIST because it would just remind me that life isn’t perfect and stuff has to be cleaned and mowed and I just wanted to do what I wanted to do. So there. I showed that LIST. Hmph.
Then I remembered I was trying to see all the lovely in each day. Well, I wasn’t trying very hard that day, but I knew I should be because a good God made that day. He loved me that day even though I was not a very lovable person. He forgave me that day even though I didn’t really feel like asking for forgiveness. He ordered my day to get some things done that needed doing even though THE LIST is still sitting right here on my desk staring at me. He was gracious and kind to me. He didn’t forsake our relationship because I, in my spoiled little mind, wanted another life instead of the one He gave me. He didn’t get mad and punish me for my temper tantrum day. My pain wasn’t punishment. It was just pain for some good reason, even though I don’t know what.
I focused all day on my selfish desires and what I didn’t want to be doing. I wanted to make my dream come true. Even just a little part of it. But it wasn’t to be. Ever do that? Even on something as trivial as I focused on? Please tell me I’m not alone in being stupid and spoiled and selfish. I focused on me, myself and I and pretty much had a miserable day for it. I know that happens, but in the middle of it, I feel sort of powerless to stop being so involved with myself. Plus I felt miserable with pain and let that issue lead me to think wrongly about “poor me” – in pain and in real life with real work to do instead of living a sweet little dream where I have no responsibility except to enjoy stuff. I’m sorry to spring my self-centeredness on you so soon on the blog, but it might be something you should be aware of, unfortunately. 😦
Now, what to do? I didn’t think I had a lovely day at all. So how could I write about a lovely day if mine was foul?
I had to remember.
Not my dream, but a more real, real life. Something better than the dream. My life with Christ Jesus. My life where everything, yes, EVERYTHING, works out for my good. I have God’s promise on that in Romans 8:28-29. So, I can remember that my life right now is exactly how it should be for my good. Even my Saturday. That is a lovely thing, friends. Better than a dream.
I can remember that God loves me. I’m not talking about a meaningless platitude where we say it, as if just saying it will solve anything and everything, but the one where the real God says He loved the real me before I loved Him. 1 John 4:10 When I was His enemy. Romans 5:10 When nothing good was in me. Romans 7:18 When I was unrighteous, worthless, deceitful, unfearing of God. Romans 3:10-18. That’s when God loved me. There wasn’t anything worth loving in me and He chose to do so anyway. Just because that’s how He is. And He chose to love me on Saturday when I was soaking in self-pity and just wanted to go live an impossible life that no one lives. Live a life that wasn’t best for me. Because if my dream world was the absolute best thing for me, I would have it! God would see to it!! because He only does and gives His children what is best for them. So, I should have been thinking about that on my hideous day.
But my unlovely Saturday was really anything but unlovely. It was truly a day designed with love just for me. Why? Probably so I could be miserable with my self-love and turn to Christ to receive His forgiveness, love and be happy in that. Which I really can do. In Christ.
So, here I sit musing over my ridiculous weekend day where I let a lovely day pass without really seeing it. Instead all I saw was what I wanted, didn’t have or needed to do. I let the real Beauty pass by. Sad to realize. But. There’s hope for me yet! I repent of my self-focus, my longing for what wasn’t best for me, my dissatisfaction with God’s plan and I ask for help never to do that again. To be filled with His Spirit to lead and to guide me in my lovely days and I move on – loved by God. To a lovely day.