Friday, January 22, 2010

Life's Little Irritations

Ever had one of "those days"? Those days where a million (OK, I exaggerate - maybe just 100) little things go wrong? Nothing catastrophic, mind you, just extremely annoying things? On those days, life's little irritations seem to just keep coming and suddenly nothing is going smoothly or as planned.

I had one of those days a couple weeks ago. It was the came on the tail of 3 days of 3 different non-working coffee pots (2 of them brand new from the store). Anyone who knows me even remotely, knows you don't mess with my coffee! The cat doesn't even rub against me in the morning before I've had my coffee. But, I took that all in stride & even viewed it as somewhat comical, making jokes with the customer service person at the store as I was buying my 3rd coffee pot in 3 days. (Which by the way, we love & works just fine. Third time's a charm....)

But the next morning, when I got up to start the coffee in my brand new working coffee pot & the dishes from the night before were still in the sink and on the counter after my teenager told me he would do them before he went to bed, my humor level dropped a little. OK, so I would deal with looking at dirty dishes all day. There would just be more for him to do when he got home from school.

When my laptop wouldn't turn on, even after I plugged the power cord in and fiddled with it, I felt any level of humor I might have had plummet. So, I dragged out the old computer with the key board & bulky monitor & plugged it in and was grateful when it powered up just fine. However, I couldn't get to the internet. Irritation was quickly setting in and rising rapidly. My husband finally solved that problem for me after doing his magic with it. So, out onto the worldwide web I go. Except, none of my settings or passwords are saved on this computer. So, now I have to find the piece of paper I have somewhere with all that information. Mission finally accomplished & I got the all work done that I had wanted to, but the tone for the day had been set. What else would go wrong? Plus, I had spent much more time on this whole process than I had intended. My timing and my plans for my day off had been totally interrupted.

Not sure if that was when the light bulb went off or not - my timing, my plans? Somewhere along the way, interested only in what was inconveniencing me, I had lost sight of the fact that I could go out & buy a new coffee pot if I needed to, that we had electricity to run the coffee pot & coffee to put in the coffee pot. I had lost sight of the fact that we had food to put on dishes. I had lost sight of the fact that we even have a back-up computer. I had lost sight of the fact that I had a day off that I could enjoy. I had lost sight of all the many ways my life is so blessed. I have a roof over my head, running water, electricity, heat, food in the cupboards, a closet full of clothes to choose from, my husband & I both still have jobs (no small feat in Michigan these days), & I know where my children, my healthy children, are. I had completely lost sight of the many, many ways the Lord has blessed me.

I once heard someone say that if you own your own home you are among the richest 3% of the world's population. That blew my mind - I would never have considered us to be materially wealthy! We often have more month left than paycheck, only have one car, and for heaven's sake, don't even have cable TV! And for the most part, I am very content with that, but there are days ......

When did my joy & contentment get tied up with how my day was going & my checkbook balance? When did outside things start to matter more? I don't want to be one of those people that is never satisfied and never happy and always wants more and for the most part I am not. But there are days.....

And on those days, I must just break my Heavenly Father's heart. There is an old song that we don't sing very much at church any more, but it is strongly on my heart today.

"Count your blessings,

count them one by one.

Count your blessings,

see what God has done."

Maybe that's exactly why we have "those days". Maybe it's God's way of gently saying, "That doesn't matter, my darling daughter. All that is just stuff. Look at everything else I have done for you. It is enough."

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