I normally greet each day with quiet time....two cups of coffee...and my "cereal snack" (which is really just a cup of dry cereal). I wish you all knew how excited I get about this time of day. Some nights, I rush off to bed so that morning will come quicker. I just enjoy getting my perspective right for the day. For me, its like stretching before you exercise. Yesterday morning, I was awoken from my sleep at 5:30 by my sweet little Layla...yelling "hold you mamooooo"--which is Layla speak for "hold me, mommy". When I hear "mamooooo", I know its serious. So I ran upstairs and spent the better part of the 6:30 hour getting her calmed down. She was grumpy, needed rest, but wanted to come downstairs for oatmeal.
OKAY...I just HAD to find time to put this picture in that my dad took the other day...it fits here, right?
Midway through the morning, I was talking to a dear friend and was told about a precious little baby who has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. I cried. I looked at Layla and was embarrassed that I would even think about grumbling when she pulled me out of bed in the morning. I probably wore her little cheeks out from kissing them. That was my first little gut check of the day. I immediately asked for forgiveness and for a change in my perspective. Problem solved..right...um yeah...not so much.
Layla and I both plowed through the morning and were generally happy, despite her early rising. Layla went down giggling for her nap....but my day was about to change. I had to run to WALMART...YIKES! I had last minute stuff to do for Christmas and silly me opted for WalMart instead of going for a run. Looking back, a nice little run to catch my breath and talk to God would have probably been a better choice. After nearly being plowed over by a buggy--driven by a girl who clearly saw me standing there...and doubling back twice to the gift wrapping aisle...I was on my way back home. I tackled some laundry...put together gifts for the neighbors..but all the while knew deep in my heart--I mean, I felt the pull--that I needed to stop and spend a couple of minutes with God. I didn't...and within minutes of getting the first load of laundry put away, Layla was up and ready to play.
She and I had a great afternoon, we went to the park...ran through the grass pretending we were airplanes....sang the "Name Game" song while swinging...AWH, but then I looked at my watch and remembered that Neil and I had plans that night and my mom was coming over to keep Layla at 5pm. It was 4:55....my hair was still damp and I had no makeup on. I rushed back to be greeted by a husband who was pouring over a WAY TOO HIGH power bill. Fist in my stomach. I wanted to puke. My stress level started climbing.
Needless to say, by 5:30 when we were heading out the door...I just wanted to crawl in the bathroom and have a "Lifetime shower"...you know..the one where the chick cries her eyes out in the shower. I am a little dramatic...
I didn't want to go to our friends house. I love them dearly..but I felt wiped out and defeated. I felt that painted smile wanting to creep across my face. Yuck! We arrived....and were greeted with little Christmas gifts from our friends Chris and Lindy. I opened my little bag and found this picture (click on link here).
For the second time that day, my eyes filled with tears. Here was a man who, despite his work schedule, personal demands...and all the "impossibilities" that keep us (OKAY...namely ME) from seeking time with God, climbed up on this mountain, REMOVED HIS SHOES...and worshiped. Second gut check of the day. I sat in my chair quietly embarrassed at how I spent my day.
This is what I learned yesterday....I can ABSOLUTELY not let the "temporary" dictate my day or choose my perspective for me. HA--and God is going to get His point across to me no matter what. I avoided him more than twice yesterday, but He still managed to bring me to my knees.
I also learned that Neil and I have some really amazing people that we call friends. People that we laughed until we cried with last night and people that inspire us...that help change us for the better. Oh and people that buy great sushi :-)
Thank you Beth and Matt for all the laughs--Beth, I really think we rocked that game--in a nerdy cool kind of way...right? I think so...HA! Chris and Lindy--thank you guys for hand delivering God's message to me yesterday. That picture is worth more to me than you'll ever know. I'd like 50 wallets of it to place around my house...in each room where I work...so that when I start to put God off...or when I start to complain...I can glance at that picture and remember that my stress comes from the temporary....and that only the permanent can provide me with comfort and peace.
Can I have permission to reprint :-)