How many times have I doubted? How many times have I said it?
"Oh, I'm hangin' in there."
The answer... MANY! Too many.
We had a FABULOUS, blessed vacation, and I will post about that soon with lots of pictures. First I need to jot down the thoughts that are heavy. The thoughts that have been circling around my head since Sunday's message at church.
Every day is a day designed by God. Every moment is known by Him. Sure, I make decisions. I'm not saying that I get up and turn my GodBot button on and he directs my steps and words like some kind of puppeteer. What I AM saying is that my attitude about the everyday happenings determines my very life. Not only that, it determines a lot of the lives around me because it's not hard to see that a lot of times, parents are the temperature gauges of the household. We model for our children. We model good and bad, don't we?
Do I want to spend my life simply "hanging in there"? Do I want my husband or my children to see me model for them in that way? OR... Do I want to spend my days here on this earth learning from my experiences, both good and bad? I want to model joy, in every circumstance. I want those that I love to see me with my eyes and hands lifted up... Even in the storm.
I know it's not very storm-like, but it's what's most recent and relevant. After church on Sunday we came home with a total of NINE boys! Our vehicle just kept filling up until it could be stuffed no more. We brought them home and then the big question was "What do we feed them"? Ummmm... Little Caesar's of course! It's cheap, it goes a long way, and they LOVE IT! I told J that I would go (hey, an opportunity to charge my estrogen a little before coming back to this house full of testosterone). I left the house and turned up K~LOVE. While sitting at a light not far from home, I was suddenly jolted from behind. I had been rear-ended... UGH! I was singing along with the radio, so I bit my tongue on both sides and I immediately experienced the typical effects of whiplash throughout my neck, shoulders and head. I've always thought those people who complain about pain after being rear-ended were just a bit on the wimpy side. I don't think that anymore. Anyhow, as I exited the car to talk to this woman that hit me, I didn't display very much joy at all. As a matter of fact, it was quite the opposite. I was angry. I gathered information from her and called J to come meet me with the officer. After that, I went back to my car, sat down and started to give a good pout. Why did my day have to go in THIS direction? If anyone had asked me in that moment how my day was going, I wouldn't have even said I was "Hanging in there". I would have chosen a few other words.
After I sat there sulking, I was able to come out of the fog a bit. I started to see what I had failed to see before.
It could have been so much worse. It was just a fender bender. My car was still drive-able. My body hurt, but I was able to walk and talk. I was not in need of any immediate medical attention. I would be able to drive home to my family. I had practiced what I've always been taught about space cushion, so nobody in front of me was hit. God was there. If I allowed Him, He would make me "more than a conqueror". I apologized to the woman who was waiting for everyone else to arrive at the scene. I told her I was sorry for losing my cool. Then I went back to my car and simply prayed. My eyes were on Him because I knew that I still needed to go back home to a house full of boys. I would be their temperature gauge.
After all was said and done, I headed back home (J completed the task of getting the pizzas). I walked in the door and I was immediately greeted with concerned boys. They were so sweet. They were angry that it happened too, but I had the opportunity to say this...
"Today is a perfect day to practice being more than a conqueror."
I was able to say it with a smile on my face only because it was put there by God. The army of boys settled and the rest of the day went as planned. Lots of boy fun and pizza to feed the crowd.
I became grateful for the moment.
I have continued to learn about the storms. My prayer now is that I will look like more than a conqueror FIRST when the next one comes... Whatever it may be. I have learned that if the first thing I do is look UP instead of DOWN, then the outcome will be different. The outcome will be what He has planned for me instead of what I have planned for myself.
"For if He is for me, then who can be against me?"