I've been ignoring this dumb feeling in me, to write. I'm calling it dumb because I'm not so happy with myself, currently.
Ignoring it because it's already late, and I'd have to find the keyboard and remember how to connect it via Bluetooth to the iPad (which I did manage to do, part way through this sentence.)
Ignoring it because I've already messed up my evening. Shall I elaborate? I shall. First, I got the kids to bed and then fumed at their restless, wall-banging appendages and their giggling and further propensity to be NOT QUIET. Second, almost an hour at the piano, ready to chop off my fingers for their ineptness, choking the music with my impatience and frustration. Third, despairing at the sight of the kitchen and nursing a feeling of entitlement--it's my anniversary! Surely someone ELSE should have to do MY daily responsibilities (entitlement grabs at any excuse, no matter how lame)--I turned around and plopped on the couch with a book. A good one, but reading feels better when I'm not using it as a means to escape reality.
The problem is that the reality I'm trying to escape is IN me. Bother.
Today in the parking lot at Sprouts I hugged a friend before she realized who I was. My hair is red now, and I keep forgetting. She was gracious, even as she was being accosted by an unknown redhead. She's pregnant with her fourth and her oldest is Elaine's age. How different my life could look. I have days when I'm perfectly content with my life and I have days when I'm perfectly not.
Like maybe today. Restless discontentment eats at me.
Yesterday Superman crawled around in the attic, collecting birds' nests. He filled at least two kitchen trash bags full. I think each year they remake a new nest next to the old ones instead of just using the old ones. Maybe the old ones have bird cooties. Today I could hear the birds (they enter through the un-covered vent holes, under the eves) hopping and scratching away up there, tweeting indignantly. Alerting anyone who would listen that their world just changed without their permission and they weren't happy about it. Tesla climbed the ladder we used to access the attic, perched on top, and stared intently at the ceiling, perfectly still, her little cat brain probably full of ideas centering on how to acquire a whole pile of flapping, indignant birds to play with.
I flopped onto my bed and tried to figure out what my deal is. Tomorrow seemed promising and hopful. I can start new tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow I'll be different and better, I'll make sure of it. But then the thought came, why wait? Are God's mercies new only in the mornings? Is it me or God that has the power to change?
Maybe I'd rather stew in my grouchiness until tomorrow. Maybe I'd rather be in control.
Pondering my grouchiness brought another thought: it's God's will for me to be thankful. I laughed right out loud the first time I read, really READ that verse in Thessalonians. Am I willing? I checked. Nope.
Instead I sighed and went looking for the Logitech keyborad. And now here I am.
Things to be thankful for:
1. A Logitech keyboard with fully-charged batteries.
2. Spell check.
3. A soft black and white puppy named Daisy (not mine.)
I once told a whole room full of recovering people how hard it is for me to be truly thankful. I can't escape this feeling that I SHOULD be thankful and so dutifully begin listing the things that I should be thankful for, whether I actually am, or not. That's lying to myself, so I try to stop, but then my mind sits and spins, looking for something I am genuinnely, in that moment, thankful for. I told the room full of recovering people that I've learned that no matter what happens to or around me I can always always ALWAYS be thankful for Jesus.
And I am.
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow (and even the next five minutes.) Beacuse He lives, all fear is (or can be) gone because perfect love casts out fear. Because I know He holds the future, life is worth living just because He lives. I suppose I could live it grouchily if I wanted, but I don't want.
He came that I might have life, and that more abundantly. It is for freedom I have been set free, not so that I can return again to the bondage of slavery. There is no condemnation for those in Christ, so why am I insisting on it?
It's been an off-kilter kind of day and since I'm gradually begining to accept the idea that I'm fully human and not a perfect robot, off-kilter days are okay. I may even be a little bit thankful for them.
Thankful because they alert me to who I am instead of who I'd like to think I am. Thankful because they bring into focus all that is not in my power. Thankful because they sometimes result in my writing until I see a solution that feels much better, much cleaner, than grouchy resentment medicated with a book instead of a Presence.