Slightly Overwhelmed

1 Jun

To put it lightly, it’s been a difficult month.

I think it began when we discovered the flood in the basement. It seems that for some time,  every time we turned on the tap, every dishwashing load, every flush of the toilet caused an overflow in the basement. I’m not sure how long it went on for, but when we went down to the basement, well, you can use your imagination.  We took pictures, but I really don’t think you want to see it.

Then I lost my keys.  Not just any keys, but I lost the chain that had my house keys, the key to my husband’s car, the key to my car, and the mailbox key.  For some reason I thought that it would be a good idea to place my keys on the roof of the car while I watered the grass. Later on, as my husband and I drove away, I heard a scratching sound coming from the roof of the car. “Hmmm, I wonder what that is?” I thought out loud. I didn’t clue in, and I haven’t seen those keys again (Add changing the locks onto the list of things to do).

It really feels like the logical side of my brain has taken an extended vacation this month…perhaps that’s why yesterday I washed our favorite white sheets with my new super black top. (Anyone looking for lavender sheets with spots of grey?) Or why I over watered our plant in the dining room and damaged the floor.

Then there was Amanda. She had her very first real fall, right off of the couch. Then we discovered she had an ear infection.  I’ve often heard mothers complain that their children had an ear infection, and I politely smiled and said “Oh that’s too bad.” If I did that to you, I’m sorry. I didn’t know how difficult it is to treat a child with an ear infection. I should have said “Oh my dear hero friend,  how deeply I feel for the pain and suffering both you and your child are going through.”  That’s what I should have said. Now I know better.

Then there was the roller blading incident that left me flat on the ground in the middle of the park. Did I mention that was only yesterday?

I really could go on….the motor that burned out on my nursing pump (which I happen to rely on daily), the myriad of contractors that have been in and out of our house doing less than what we had hoped for, the $1200 we spent on fixing both our cars,  the driving ticket we have to fight, the bottle full of Amanda’s antibiotics that I spilled all over the floor….and oh yeah, I ran out of deodorant.

Do you ever have times like this? Ever feel like life is becoming a LONG list of things that just keep going wrong? Before you know it, you start to feel like all of life is working against you, and even the normal things that go wrong feel like personal attacks on your happiness.  “THEN there was no parking available, THEN my gas light went on, then I ran out of milk.”

How do you respond when everything appears to be going wrong? What is your attitude when every day circumstances pile up against you? Have you ever found yourself entertaining thoughts that go like this: Why is my life ALWAYS so difficult? NOTHING  is EVER easy for me! No one understands what I am going through. I deserve to be cranky and irritable. I hope people can see how well I am handling this!

If we aren’t careful (which often times I’m not) our times of difficulty leave us vulnerable to entertaining thoughts that are completely contrary to what God has said in His word, and displaying attitudes that are in stark contrast to how God would have us behave.  In believing lies, we dig ourselves further into a pessimistic hole, making it more and more difficult to see how God’s hand is at work in each of these difficulties.

I really wish I spent more time listening to God’s Word, than listening to my own complaining voice.

James 1:2-4  My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into VARIOUS trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

2 Corinthians 4:17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,

I know that nothing I went through this month is of the “tragic” nature.  I know that people go throough so much worse. But I don’t think you have to go through giant struggles for these verses to apply to you. I think they can refer to the build up of the every day struggles that we are more likely, in fact guaranteed, to experience. Our attitudes and our experience of the gospel doesn’t just have to be when we are facing sickness and persecution, it can be when the dishwasher isn’t working, or when we lose something of value to us, or when we feel disappointed with how someone spoke to us.I think it was the Femina blog that reminded me of this important truth. In these times we still need to take captive every thought and make them obedient to Christ. We need to preach the Gospel to ourselves and remind ourselves of the sovereignty of God over our circumstances, and the need to turn to Him, and not ourselves, for strength and endurance.

Philippians 4:11-13  Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ[b] who strengthens me.

I don’t claim to have mastered this attitude. In fact, I’m not even close, and am still sulking over the difficulties of this month. I’m still tempted to think that I have had to endure more than my normal share, and that somehow I should be congratulated for enduring it all. I am tempted to justify my actions when I snap at someone because I’m tired, or when my humour turns into cutting sarcasm because I feel overwhelmed. But with God’s help I can train my mind to focus on truths, rather than lies. With God’s help I can respond with gentleness and patience, rather than with with a short temper. It is with God’s help that these struggles can actually be meaningful and can ultimately bring God glory.  Isn’t that the purpose of my life to begin with…To bring God glory in all things?

 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything,   but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God,   which transcends all understanding,   will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7

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One Response to “Slightly Overwhelmed”

  1. digdeepwithdina June 6, 2012 at 7:10 PM #

    I am really proud of you Dina.

    Ee

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