Friday, February 24, 2012

Until I Didn't

As I threw his lunch in the trash and stormed out of the room in anger, my eyes began to well with tears.  I just wanted them both to leave so I could open the gates for the flood that was bursting at my ducts.  In the time span of 24 hours I had been dealt an emotionally crushing blow in my personal life that left me far less together than what I wanted.  This was not the time for wise cracks, jokes, and ungratefulness.  Sam looked at me in surprise and with a confused half grin on his face as if to determine whether or not I was really angry, and, perhaps whether or not I really just threw the lunch I made for him in the trash.  Though I wasn't completely sure why, I really was angry. "Ungrateful, unappreciative family," I thought resentfully to myself as I reflected over the last half hour of our morning together.  I was up at 4:30 to spend time with God and what a glorious feeling I had when I closed my Bible.  "God, no matter what happened to me yesterday, today is going to be a great day!" I affirmed with my Lord and  Savior, but it was less than two hours into the day after that when I exploded in an angry torrent over an unappreciated ham sandwich and baggy of peanuts. What had my day come to now?  It started with loud complaints from my seven year old over the scrambled egg breakfast I began to prepare.  "Mama, I don't want eggs," Ashton declared in an intolerantly whiny voice.  "Well, it's what I'm making, Ashton," I firmly replied, and at that moment Sam walked in with a request for oatmeal rather than eggs.  Simultaneous to this was Ashton asking me to get his school clothes for the day, to which I responded by telling him I was busy with breakfast and "you'll have to get them yourself this morning."  "But, mama..." the whining recommenced.  Meanwhile, Sam stood leaning against the chair talking instead of helping as I grew frustrated over having to prepare two different breakfasts, two packed lunches, and a weather appropriate outfit for my son - all at the same time and against the moving clock. I simply couldn't listen to anymore complaining as my already fragile emotional state threatened to crack.  I just wanted to hear something, anything, from one of them that would ease my building tension, but when it never came I grew angry, resentful, and mean - until I didn't. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Let Your Light Shine

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It seems lately that God is leading me through muddy waters of humility and murky clouds of submission, but while I used to find such stops in life repugnant and frightening, I now feel a calm peace because I see through my lenses of eternity rather than my physical eyes that see only into the world.  Having said that, however, I, like anyone else, still have to wade through the mud and squint through the fog before I can reach my place of inner peace and trust.  This past week, for example, I was near melting down as I surveyed prospective living accommodations in Long Beach.  As soon as I pulled up to my stop and looked around I was ready to back out and head home, but I decided instead to stop a woman walking with her dog and ask for information. After inquiring about the neighborhood's general safety and activity, she let me know that I would need to keep my things locked up, because "we do have some break-ins," and that I didn't have to worry too much about the local drug dealers because "they pretty much keep to themselves."  Though she also reassured me that she had no qualms about taking her pooch out for a 1 a.m. potty, I simply couldn't move my thoughts past the peaceful drug dealers and not so uncommon break-ins - so I began to pray.  I told God I would live wherever He told me to live, but that He would need to give me an extra measure of trust in His protection because in that moment I was questioning His methods.  It was shortly after this and much more prayer when I realized that the light He has called me to be in the world will not shine brightly in an already lit room; it will shine the brightest in the room where the lights are off.