For someone who doesn't mind to complain (hey, at least I admit it!), I totally hate to hear someone else get their whine on. I mean, it's ok for me to go off on idiot drivers who obviously aren't aware that I called ahead and ordered the roads cleared for me. And it's completely fine when I gripe endlessly about not having a Target nearby, because I'm convinced it's a travesty of ginormous proportions that I have to drive 40 minutes just to get some bullseye lovin'. It's a hardship. Grieve with me.
I'm certainly not digging the ridiculous gas prices we're being forced to pay now. (And yes, Republicans complain about the price of oil, too--we just don't blame each other because it's not our fault. Get over it, people. Move on.) It's only mid-May and I'm truly sick of the presidential election...Obama, Clinton, McCain...names I would love to go a week or more without hearing. Wars are raging, people are homeless and hungry, cancer is still at the top of my most-hated list, people aren't saying NO to drugs (especially where we live--it's an epidemic, and that's not hyberbole, I promise!), and abortion is denying tens of thousands of children their right to life. Oh, and don't even get me started on human sex trafficking, especially when it's concerning children. I can't go there without falling apart. Thank You, Lord, for my girls and their safety.
Yes, these are difficult times in which we are living. But when it comes to most of the things I've listed above, I remain mostly whine-free. I know...amazing, huh? This is me I'm talking about. I guess it's because my complaints are usually related to the unessential things of life. I don't own a pair of Manolo Blahniks...my thighs are fat...how come we can't go to Hawaii...there's no good place to eat around here...why can't Coke be good for me? You know, important stuff. Riiiiiiight.
Maybe you have an awesome set of rose-colored glasses that help blind you to these issues, or at least make them easier to view. And if they're Gucci or Armani, can I borrow please? Just kidding. Perhaps you're a champion worrier, unable to make it through a single day without certain fear that at any moment an appendage will fall off, a plane will plummet from the sky right into your backyard, or Marilyn Manson will show up asking for a cup of sugar & mesmerize you with his freaky eyes. Ohmyhead. Or do you fall somewhere in between these two extremes?
By nature I am not a worrier. God has just made me this way, so all thanks to Him. But when I sit down & really think about all that's wrong in the world, I feel completely overwhelmed. Who doesn't? Be honest now.
This morning my pastor (whom I love--hey, Rusty--are you even reading this? I'm bragging on you, dude!) spoke about meditating upon God's Word. "...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think on these things."--Philippians 4:8. This is one of those verses I can almost quote verbatim, but have never digested well enough to say I've been fed by it. It was one of those "a-ha" moments for me. After returning home for the day and getting into my regular household chore routine (and, ok, waiting for Heather to post yet another chapter in her compelling "Jason" story), I began telling God, "You know, I really do not do this. This thinking on pure, lovely, noble things. Not that You're surprised, as You know my heart, but I really wanna work on this & can't do it without You. Please. Open the eyes of my heart, Lord..."
Without sounding like Pollyanna (and I do love that movie, by the way--Hayley Mills is huge in this house!) I'm going to make an effort to start thinking about what's right with this world. I'd rather "think on these things," because (a) God told me to, (b) it's just easier than complaining...most of the time and (c) there's a whole lot of really good stuff out there. Such as these few:
*the laughter of a child, particularly my own girls', or my niece or nephew's
*a couple in their golden years, still holding hands like newlyweds
*the families serving the Lord in foreign lands, because they are obedient & want to tell others about Jesus
*Lost (y'all know I had to throw that one in there!), the greatest TV show on the air today
*Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, and Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
*the weeds my children present to me as "beautiful flowers"
*soldiers, military personnel, and veterans
*birth mothers who choose adoption
*Winter weenie roasts
*the sweet facial expressions and noises a newborn makes
*the Georgia Bulldogs (hey, it's my list!)
*and the most important of all, what Paul is really talking about in Phil. 4:8...knowing, serving and loving God. As Scotty's "3rd" grandmother, Esther, would say, "That there's the mainest thing." It surely is.
This week I am making a concerted effort to guard my heart...to allow God to guard my heart. I am going to think on excellent & praiseworthy things, and not bemoan, for the 347th time, the price of gas or groceries. Please hold me accountable, especially when 10 pm rolls around this Thursday and Lost is not airing. But oh, next week's ep is 2 hours long! There now. You see? Already thinking more positively.
Here's your free gift with purchase: Our 19 month old niece, Eliza, with a very excited Poppy and Caroline. (And Vicki--see part of the cornhole game in the background?)