Saturday, December 09, 2006

Flat but grateful!

I woke up this morning and felt absolutely dreadful. I felt flat. Depressed. And I was devastated that I felt that way. We experienced such a miracle yesterday. I lay there and examined my feelings and asked myself questions I knew others would ask or say to me if I shared how I was feeling.

Aren’t you grateful? Do you not feel gratitude for the blessings in your life? How can you feel like this after such a wonderful miracle yesterday?

Yes, I answered myself. I do. I do feel so incredibly grateful for the ability to have paid our utility bill and so have lights and heat. I feel grateful especially to have affordable heat for the first time in about four years. It is so awesome to be able to turn a furnace on and feel the house fill with warmth and not have to count on little heaters placed here and there that constantly blew fuses. Nor do we have to scramble weekly, looking for the cheapest source of wood possible and then deal with the side effects of children struggling with asthma made worse by the dust created by the wood stove. There is nothing more romantic than a cracking fire on a cold evening with a hot cup of cocoa and we have wonderful pictures of children roasting marshmallows in the fireplace, their faces glowing and red cheeked. But all of this is quickly side checked when you end up with children ill because they cannot breath.

I am grateful for all of the wonderful and different personalities that I am surrounded by, that God has blessed my husband and I with. The other night Elsa, 19 months old, leaned across my face as we cuddled on the bed together and she rested for a minute with her tiny heart beating directly into my ear and I felt so in awe of the fragility of life supported by this one continuous drum beat. Thumpity thump, thumpity thump, never missing a beat. I prayed for her safety and for all of my children while I lay there listening to this holy music given and sustained by God.

So why did I feel so flat? Why did I not want to jump out of bed and rush to get dressed and hurry downstairs, ready to start a new day? I thought of my second oldest daughter living in a nearby town and I imagined her stretching in bed and then jumping up, excited to meet friends or maybe her fianc√© for a coffee somewhere in town. I don’t know what are her plans for the day really are - but I could imagine her enthusiasm. Where was mine?

What to do?

I prayed. I prayed for more gratitude and to feel some enthusiasm for life. And it came. And with it… more gratitude. I did not immediately feel a difference but I got up, got dressed. Focused on the children, looked for heaters because the furnace (that I had just been feeling so grateful for) on the coldest day we have had all season, decided NOT to answer its wake up call. While my son and my husband messed around with fuses and wires and pages and pages of instructions, I swept the floor and helped children find socks and slippers and admonished my six year old to change from shorts to his jogging pants.

Now while I am typing in between research for the business, my husband is baking spice cookies, children are munching on sugar cookies that our 13 year old made and I am waiting for a fresh cup of coffee to enjoy more of that delightful banana bread that has just come out of the oven. The furnace, miraculously, is once more warming the air.

Life is good and I am grateful. There are many battles ahead and I am praying now in anticipation of them for the energy, strength and most especially the faith to deal with them. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us. Now I need to sign off, seek that cup of coffee and continue to ignore that mountain of dishes growing in proportion to the goodies that are being consumed almost as fast as we can bake them. Oh and thank you Lord for one more thing - rubber gloves!


Mama Heffalump said...

Sometimes I feel that we are still enthusiastic... Our enthusiasm has just been tempered by time and has become a little more mellow! *Grin*

Lorcan said...

Dear Friend:
Thee is truly right in this post. Joy is a discipline. One day, a just about exactly a year ago, a very strong message came to me in meeting, Discipline thyself to Joy, it makes all things bearable; discipline thyself to love, it makes all things new, discipline thyself to faith, it makes all things possible. I did not know it at the time, but I was on the verge of the most painful year of my life, and though that message sustained me, it did so, not with ease, but with struggle. As this message came to me, I remembered that the latter Gospels were penned and spoken at a time when Romans had committed mass murder in Judea, had humbled the writers of the Gospels in ways we can hardly imagine today, and yet, the message of the later Gospels, like the message of the Hebrew Scriptures, is to live righteously in joy and in love. It struck me that such joy and love, is not because we receive love of others, or reason to rejoice in our condition, but because when we dwell in love and joy, we live the promise of God's love, it is a promise we keep with God and is returned to us, not in situational comfort, but in that inner knowledge that it is God's love that makes all things bearable and leads us to joy in simple gifts like the beating of thy child's heart.

Thine, dearly in the light


Lorcan said...

My goodness, how time flies, I noticed a small error above, that sentence should read, almost two years ago! Where does the time go!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this. I too, struggle at times to remember to be grateful. we have so many gifts!
God bless.