Tuesday, January 29, 2013

That Could Be Us

Recently my family and I were visiting with a friend.  She was telling us of a recent furnace problem.  We were telling her about having to replace 3 things in my husband's truck--3 weeks in a row; having to re-route our laundry room drain that was backing up; having to thaw a frozen pipe in the laundry room; and having to replace a breaker that was bad.  I mean to tell ya, sometimes like the past few weeks, I wonder when we will get a break!  Thankfully my husband is handy!  But, he is also one person with limited time...and we are one family with limited income.  My friend had commented about the several hundred dollars they paid their furnace guy.  No household problems are welcome, are they?  They are always inconvenient.

A day later my husband and I were talking about our busy few weeks of fixing things as well as his busy schedule completing a job outside of his regular schedule.  I brought up the discussion of my friend's furnace and commented that our problem isn't simply the frustration of things breaking down or needing replaced, but also the cost.  For some, it's inconvenient but the cost isn't too big of a factor.  For us, it's inconvenient and the cost can often be another setback.  You know, you save and pay off debt only to have something happen...one step forward, two steps back!  I began the "woe is me" rant.  "All I want is a date!  You know, one where we can go do what we choose?"  "I want to see our savings build, rather than being depleted over and over and over."  "I want to visit my dear friend who lives thousands of miles away."  On and on it went until I sighed and said, "Some people just don't know how blessed they are."  My husband looked at me very seriously and said, "You know?  That could be us...we may not realize how blessed we are."

Ahh...he was certainly right!  Admittedly I wasn't in the mood to hear it or agree at that moment.  I was still playing the pity card.  I was doing a good job at it.  In fact, even after his revealing reflection, I was still immersed in self-pity.  We can stay in that funk just as long as we choose to!  And sometimes others around us will even agree that we are due for a break!  But, I couldn't (and I can't) admit that my husband wasn't right, darn it!  We have a very happy, healthy marriage and we have 4 beautiful, smart, creative, and fun children.  And even if it doesn't look like it just yet, we have our dream home (well, we will after we replace the windows, put doors on all the rooms, finish the drywall upstairs, and a million other things...)!  We have a space in the country that we love.  Our kids are now attending a wonderful school with teachers and administrators we trust.  And, we have found a church home where we are so happy and at peace--a church of integrity with goals and a vision in which we wholeheartedly agree.  Life is good!  We are truly a blessed family.  

Any mom or dad reading this could write his or her own similar story.  It is so tempting--and so easy--to fall into the trap of self-pity.  We all have circumstances that we wish could be different.  We can focus on those all we want.  We can drown ourselves in self-pity if we so choose.  And boy doesn't that feel good?  No, it does not!  Never.  But, if we change our perspective and count our blessings, we see things so clearly.  And honestly, I wouldn't want to be on the other side of our circumstances if it meant that God wasn't in control.  There is a reason for every circumstance in which we find ourselves.  Who can put a price-tag on the love, joy, and peace we feel in our marriage and family?  Sometimes we need someone to look us in the face, in the midst of our personal pity party, and remind us that we may not realize how blessed we truly are.  I suppose I should admit to my husband that he was right...  If I'm not careful--if I don't change my perspective and count my blessings--I may miss it!  I may not realize how blessed we truly are!