Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. Sometimes you have to make drastic changes in what you get done on a given day. Today was one of those days for me. One thing seemed to go wrong after another. First, I decided not to go to a luncheon (my logic being I couldn’t eat anything there anyways)… then while I was at home trying to tame the clutter, a slide-out drawer in my pantry broke.
So much for cleaning. I emptied out the drawer, as its bottom was giving way — putting containers of flour, sugar, honey, etc on the ground. Immediate problem taken care of. It’s sitting on the floor now, waiting for me to decide where to put it… while I figure out if I can fix the drawer or if we have to order (yet another) new drawer.
Take two — I get it with a oven mitt.
One thing after another. Frustration builds upon frustration. What’s going to go wrong next? Today seems like a chapter out of the book, “Alexander and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” (#afflink).
I need to find peace in the mayhem.
I need to stop and listen, like Elijah did, to hear God. You don’t hear Him in the storm, but in the quiet (I Kings 19:11-13):
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
I need to still my heart, to exhale the frustrations of the morning. Be content in all circumstances. Give thanks regardless.
So, I look at my kitchen, my morning…where I’ve allowed one thing after another to put me in a sour, unbalanced mood. My mind is settling, I know I need to let it go.
Life happens, whether or not we want it to. Our plans are not God’s plan. Life doesn’t play out according to our desires. We have to take what comes, roll with the punches, find the joy in every circumstance.
So, what am I joyful for this morning, in the midst of it all?
I can always turn to God for peace. He is my joy.
I’m grateful that no one got hurt, that my toddler wasn’t the one pulling open the pantry drawer.
I’m thankful my mother was over and able to take my toddler outside to play so I could calm down.
I’m glad I recognized my need to shift my perspective, to stop with the “woe is me” attitude.
I regret snapping at my mother for trying to help, for getting this frustrated in the first place.
But that’s in the past now.
So, I stand here, in my messy kitchen, baking supplies stacked all over the floor, my plan gone terribly wrong — but I stand in peace. I know that life’s little trials can only help me grow, that the only thing in life I can control is my reaction, my response.
And while my initial response was not ideal, I’m grateful for the opportunity to realign my thoughts, my words. A Proverbs 31 woman I may not be — yet.
I’m so grateful that each morning brings a new day. Lamentations 3:22-24 conveys this beautifully:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
Every day is an opportunity for growth, a chance to practice habits and live in grace while I learn to live according to that higher road. It’s hard sometimes to get past feeling overwhelmed, to look ahead. I need reminders like this pantry incident because they reinforce the importance of being grateful and finding contentment in the journey.
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