I have discovered that one of the things that determines my attitude or perspective on things is fatigue. It is very easy to lose perspective when you are overwhelmed and sleep deprived.
The last dew days have been incredibly busy with school assignments, Thanksgiving preparations, cleaning, baking, shopping, appointments, social worker visits and paperwork. I found I was crawling into bed at night thinking, “I can’t wait until this week is over.” I hate feeling that way..wishing my days away. I find myself postponing joy..thinking about how I long for a quiet day, a week with no obligations, a month where nothing is asked of me and I can just be still. As I pondered the emotions I was dealing with I realized that although I feel that the answer is quieter days I realize the real answer is a change of perspective. Life is full, life is busy and chances are they will be for many years to come. I don’t want to wish away these days waiting for simpler ones. So what is the answer??
First..prioritize. I have to trim the fat. I have to learn that it is ok to say “No.” So much of my fatigue and stress is self-inflicted. For example I will find myself bemoaning the length of my “to do” list as I wrap crayons in fall paper for the Thanksgiving table..will I never learn?!
Second..turn to the source of all creativity, energy and ability. I find that when life gets busy and I get overwhelmed my quiet time with the Lord is the first thing I drop in my day when in reality it is during these busy seasons of our life when that time with the Lord needs to be a priority. How often do I need to learn this lesson before it sinks in..
Third…choose what you will focus on.
As I was out grocery shopping last night battling the hoards of fellow shoppers who also thought shopping Tuesday night would be a great idea I found myself mentally grumbling about the crowds, the cost, the late hour and long lines and I realized I had a choice. I could choose to see the burdens or the blessings of that moment.
I could complain about the rising costs of groceries or I could give thanks that I live in a land where I can walk into a store and have access to shelves full of food and that we have money in our checking account to purchase food.
I could complain about the crowds I have to battle in the isles or I could give thanks for the fact that I have a husband at home who is willing to watch the kids so I can shop alone.
I could complain about the long lines or I could give thanks that I have legs stong enough to hold me as I stand in line and that I’m not walking with crutches or sitting in a wheelchair.
The list goes on and on..
I can complain about the cost of gas or I can give thanks for the car I have and that I do not have to walk everywhere I go.
I can complain about another dirty shirt being thrown in the laundry basket after I thought I was finally caught up on laundry or I can give thanks for the fact that I have children to dirty clothes and that I have a washing machine to wash them in.
I can complain about a sink full of dirty dishes or I can give thanks for the fact that we have food to get those dishes dirty.
I can complain about Toby’s busy days and late nights or I can give thanks that he indeed has a job.
I can complain about school requirements and assignments or I can give thanks for the opportunity I have to home school and teach my children.
I can complain about the cleaning that needs to be done or I can give thanks that I have a home where we life a full, happy, messy life.
There is joy to be found in all things. Change your mindset to one of gratitude and thanksgiving and you will be amazed at how the burdens will be lifted. As one author penned:
“Thank heavens for dirty dishes. They have a tale to tell.While other folks go hungry we are eating very well. With home and health and happiness we shouldn’t want to fuss..by this stack of evidence God’s very good to us.”