This post is not about a lesson I’ve learned but about one I believe God is trying to teach me. Unfortunately, I’m taking a long time to learn it.
When all was going smoothly for our move out of Knoxville–our house selling quickly, wonderful people coming to help us, etc., it was easy to thank God and trust Him to take care of us. Honestly, this might sound crazy, but when my life is filled with deep pain–the kind that stops the normal flow, changes everything, and incapacitates me–it is somehow usually easy for me to thank God and trust Him, too. My family has dealt with its share of death and cancer. Maybe it’s easier during that time because so many people pray for others going through hard circumstances. Maybe it’s because I know I can’t do anything about it; I can’t control it, so why even try? I have to trust God in those times, so I do. Maybe it’s then that I put my shield up quickly against spiritual attacks.
However, the petty, tiny annoyances completely derail me. When a few of my little plans have to be changed or when I can’t obtain my desired outcome (read: I don’t get my way), that’s when I am far from trust or thankfulness. That’s when I throw a “grown-up” temper tantrum, which are much like the child temper tantrums of my six year old daughter. Just to be clear, grown-up tantrums are minus the actual screaming and continuous wailing, but they still might involve tears and whining and an effort to find someone to blame besides myself.
Greg and I have come up against many snags in the process of buying a house in Texas. The closing date keeps moving back and making me cancel or postpone my many plans: Greg and Mr. C going on an awesome two night camping trip, my mom being able to miss the major work of moving during her visit, my mom having a free place to stay while she visits, the whole family attending our town’s parade, and me throwing a birthday party for Little E in our new house (ok, I’m still holding on to this one, even though at the moment the plan is for us to move all our major things in on Saturday ((if our sellers sign their documents)), and Little E’s party is on Sunday). Two of my friends have been texting me photos of pages from curriculum that I have packed away somewhere in the mountain of barely organized chaos in my in-law’s garage. I tell them every week–this will be the last week you’ll have to send this to me; I’ll be in my house by the end of this week. This past Monday, I stopped asking–I couldn’t bear to say the same line again.
If I stop to think about it, however, it’s only been two months since we moved here. Two months is not a long time to find a good house and close on it. In fact, it’s a fairly short time. But I complain in my heart and vent to Greg (which doesn’t exactly make him feel any better about the stress of it). I grumble instead of praise. Today, I got to bring the first boxes into the house that will soon be ours, and instead of praising God for this progress, I fuss about the fact that I might not be able to go into it tomorrow because certain papers haven’t been signed.
All I can say is that I’m sorry to God for my bad attitude and the way it affects those around me. He wants me to choose thankfulness, so no matter what my heart has been doing the past couple of days, right now I choose to thank Him in the wait.
What about you? Do you find yourself doing the same–complaining in your heart or out loud about small problems? I hope you do better than I and choose to say no to that attitude and yes to a thankful one, for God truly is good and His love for us never ends!