You may know the feeling. No matter what I do, it’s not enough. If I’m working in my office, I’m picturing the mountain (I’m being literal here) of laundry piled by the washing machine. When I’m doing the laundry, I am thinking about the housework that needs to be done (why does the dog still have hair on her body when there’s soooo much everywhere else?). When I’m doing housework, I’m thinking, I need to spend more time with the kid’s this summer. When I’m out with the kids, I am trying to focus, but keep being drawn back to all the other things I should be doing. It is a vicious cycle.
There never seems to be enough time, money or energy for what I need to accomplish. This is hard for me to admit. I hemmed and hawed about whether or not I should write this. I hate whiners and don’t want to sound like one, but I have a feeling there are others of you out there who may relate to my predicament.
Yesterday, it all just became too much. I was being pulled in so many directions that I just gave up, sat in my chair and cried. I had myself a first-class pity party! Now a pity party is not festive, and nobody wants to join you, so I had it all by myself, no cake no banners, no gifts, just a box of tissue. After I was done (and my eyes were red and blotchy), I walked away from the computer, ignored the housework, the laundry and yes, even my kids and went to my room.
I sat on my bed and had a looong talk with the Lord. I told him about my fears and my frustrations. He is the one friend that I know for sure will listen. Slowly, I felt a peace begin to settle over my spirit. I recalled the words that Jesus spoke, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27. Slowly and sweetly I let those words calm my spirit and my mind.
Not wanting to leave my room, I picked up a box filled with unsorted, disorganized pictures and started going through them. My first thought was to try and get them in order (must be doing!) but before long I got lost in the pictures and the memories and started focusing on how good life has been.
One thing about photographs, they capture a moment in time, but we tend to be selective, taking pictures of the good times and ignoring the bad. I have never (and won’t do it even for this blog) taken a picture of my mountain of dirty laundry. I don’t snap pictures of the bills piled on the desk and I don’t have a single photograph of the dog poop in the backyard waiting to be picked up.
I do, however, have pictures of my wedding day. I have shot pictures madly of my children, from the day they were born, through their first steps, vacations, athletic events, academic awards, and the fun of watching them grow every day. Their sweet faces fill my photo boxes.
I also have pictures of my own childhood, my beautiful parents and in-laws, my husband and me, young and in love and old(er) and still in love. There are pictures of family – nieces and nephews, cousins and siblings, friends present and past and loved ones that are no longer with us.
After some time, poring over pictures, laughing at hairstyles and chubby cheeks, sharing memories with my husband, my daughter and her fiance, I felt my burden easing a bit more. Nothing had actually changed since my pity party. A magical fairy didn’t fly in the window and do my laundry. I didn’t get a visit from Publisher’s Clearing House with a check for $10,000,000 (or even $10!), but I did allow myself a fresh perspective.
It is true that my troubles cannot and should not be ignored, but I can change my primary focus. I can choose which mental snapshot to keep and which ones to throw away. With God’s help, I am
committing to dwelling on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy”
I’ll check back in and let you know how this new perspective works!