We live our lives frustrated much of the time. Have you noticed that? When you think about it, we want everything to go perfectly. To flow smoothly.
Traffic needs to do what we want it to. The people we work with need to do their jobs better so that ours is easier. The customers or clients or patients we converse with need to be nice and patient and, of course, totally understand that we’re busy.
The world revolves around us.
I realize this throughout the day as I notice myself becoming irritated with little things.
They are always little things.
Taking a sip of my freshly-made water bottle. Does it really have to find a way to spray water droplets all over me? Running down my arm and dripping onto the floor??
When I’m making eggs. Does some of the egg white always have to drop on the floor, causing me to get sarcastic and have to bend over (I hate bending over) to clean it up before Olive comes down with salmonella??
When I’m getting dressed. Does Olive really have to run into the closet, open the drawer, and start taking ALL of my underthings out and start throwing them everywhere?!
When I fix Olive something to eat. A meal that I lovingly crafted with all the motherly instincts within me…does she really have to refuse to eat more than two bites and gleefully play with it and get it in the creases of my wooden coffee table…where I can’t get it out?!
When I bring Olive inside after playing outside forever. Does she really have to have a meltdown…every time??
When I’m fixing my hair. Oh man. WHEN I’M FIXING MY HAIR!! Does it really have to be unruly and annoying and make me want to shave my head?!
Life. It is FULL of these things. I could go ON and ON. Because these things are never-ending.
But I’ve known something for a long time.
It’s my response to these things that really needs changing. Because I’m focusing on me, and the fact that I want a perfect day every day, where nothing ever gets on my nerves and life is awesome.
I want to be sweet. I want to be kind. I don’t want to ever be a mean, sarcastic person. It comes out in these moments though. It just comes out. And you know why?
It’s a matter of the heart.
The Bible says somewhere that our hearts are inherently wicked. Well, yes. Mine is. I’m totally selfish. I want my day to be perfect. I don’t want anything to get on my nerves. I don’t want my toddler to yell at the top of her lungs, or throw tantrums over little things.
But isn’t that what I’m doing, in my own way?
I’m throwing an adult tantrum. Except that it’s mostly kept inside, where I’m profoundly irritated, and that irritation doesn’t really calm down until things are going my way again.
Oh, I want to be different!
I want to be able to be calm within, when everything around me seems chaotic and annoying. When I seem to be treading water through my day, never quite digging myself out from under the messy house, the piles of clothes, the toddler messes, the pile of unpaid medical bills. Oh, there are days when I feel like I’m getting the hang of it. But most of the time? I’m hanging on by a thread. I’m barely afloat. I feel like I’m drowning in the midst of all the things I want to get done (that I’m really, truly motivated to get done!) and the reality of the fact that I am simply NOT getting it all done.
Is it just me?
No. I know so many women feel as I do. Like you’re never going to “arrive” because all of these annoying things are in your way. If these speed bumps would just MOVE, you would be home free and almost there!
You can see the finish line, but you can’t…quite…make it…..
What does your finish line look like?
A spotless house? A perfect child? A perfect day? A yummy dessert to drown your sorrows in, at the end of a long, exhausting day that didn’t meet your expectations?
Oh, I am there with you. I get it. This is me.
All I do know is this: I must turn to God. Only He can bring calm and peace to me in the moments I most desperately need it. Those annoying things…they no longer matter when we have a perspective change.
My new perspective: God is in control. It will all get done. I’m going to do what I can, but I’m not going to hurry, because I need to be a patient, kind mama, and I can’t be that mama if I have unrealistic expectations.
Michelle Duggar is one of the most inspirational moms ever. I will never forget hearing her tell the story about how God brought that scripture to her memory: “A soft answer turns away wrath,” and how she had a heart-to-heart with her children about it. She told them to keep her accountable and tap her on the arm and tell her, “Mommy, you’re starting to get angry.” It would remind her of that scripture verse, and she learned to lower her voice, instead of raising it. Her children say that now they can tell she’s really upset with them, when she’s speaking really softly!
I know that my husband deserves a happy, peaceful home. It makes him so happy. I know that Olive deserves a patient and kind mama. I want to keep priorities in their proper place, and never neglect to remember how important these two (seemingly simple) things really are.
I am idealistic, if you can’t tell. I have always been. Life has definitely tried to turn me into a cynic and a pessimist, but I have flatly refused each time. So I persist in my idealism.
If I can rise above that one annoying thing…the water bottle, the egg, the toddler messes…will I find myself surrounded by more laughter and humor? I think so. I dearly love to laugh. It’s one of my favorite things. Why wouldn’t I want to laugh more?!
Here’s to laughing more at all of these annoying things. Let’s do that. It’s better than the other alternative!