Sunday, August 30, 2009

When God Hands You Lemons, Smile

I had plans today. Plans to get out and do something fun. Just the kids and I. Toby had another engagement he was committed to and I thought to myself, "It's rare on a weekend when it's just the kids and I." So I thought something fun and out-of-the-ordinary was in order.

But, then my plans changed. I was left with no vehicle. "Hmmmm," I wondered. "Now what?"

I was tempted to be a tad miffed and even grumble. The temptation came to fruition and I did express my irritation ever so slightly. It seems to be the trend of my life lately... get plans, crash plans, no plans.

Inwardly, I made desperate exasperations like, "Why can't I just have a normal life? Why can't things just be predictable?? Why can't we just have a fun day?" And as I selfishly mused and grumbled in my heart on these depressing thoughts, I was convicted to think in a more logical sense.

And I came to a million-dollar answer to that age old question: What is normal life??

Normal life, as I have come to realize for myself, is when no loved one close to me is dying or has recently died. All the other little hiccups and bumps and bruises in life are really pale in comparison to what the death of a loved one can do to you.

The heart ache. The pain. The constant reality of death. The uncertainty of life. The dooming despair of another sad funeral. The quickly-emptying Kleenex boxes. The "I-don't-want-to-go-through-another-day" feeling. The despair. Death of a loved one really is one of THE worst things a person can go through. Even if the departed one is in Heaven. Goodbyes are just cruel.

As I observed my little disappointment today and the trite way I felt slighted because I had plans change once again, I thought, "Really Court, no one died; quit acting like they did."

And so the kids and I did things like sweep the porch. (Toddlers are easily entertained.) And in the process of sweeping the floor, the littlest one found a spider in the milk can. He stayed happily occupied with that for quite some time. He went on to do things like look for other bugs. Next thing I knew, he had a leash fastened to a log and he was dragging the whole contraption down the side walk. The older two played "marching band." And happily played and helped me tidy the porch.

I was pleased to find that it doesn't take a "day away from home" to make life more fun. That you don't need a vehicle to get to a fun place. That kids don't need a trip into town to feel like the day was fun. I knew all this stuff before but never really agreed with it. My bad.

It's funny how easy it is to 'make lemonade' when you right your attitude after life God hands you lemons. It gives life a normalcy feeling that is otherwise lost in the fray of change and despair. And it makes you realize that life really isn't as bad as you'd like to think it is.

Life IS uncertain. But, a smile doesn't have to be.

1 comment:

pat ve said...

I would call that "experiencing discovery". Kids need far less than we think they do. In fact, most of the best memories are made of very common things or happenings around the home or neighborhood.
I hear you when you speak on death of a loved one. It puts life's inconveniences into perspective.