There are two teams of players in the game of life…the “glass half fulls” and the “glass half empties”. Some people fall naturally and easily into one position or the other. Many however find that their place on the sidelines depends on more factors than simply what fate has dished out. While I would consider myself a glass half full person by nature there are certain trends I have noticed in my day that quickly change my outlook from positive to negative. Things like fatigue, stress, worry and fear are all triggers that can alter my glass half full outlook to viewing my glass as practically empty. It is during those emotionally vulnerable moments that I forget the truth, that I lose sight of each blessing and only see the struggle of that moment. I focus on the hardship instead of all the goodness. I hear only the thunder and lose sight of each blessed drop of life-sustaining rain. It is easy to get in habit of resenting the very gifts that God has blessed us with. This week I have found myself struggling with seeing life through half empty glasses. I have struggled with frustration, fatigue, self-doubt and dread. I know how easy it is to quickly spiral out of control once I start down that road so I have made a valiant effort to refocus on the blessings. This isn’t always easy in the midst of the storm. When lighting is flashing and thunder is crashing it can be hard to count the raindrops… but we must count them, one by one, because that is how we see them.
When I’m focused on the task of washing a mound of dirty dishes when all I want to do is go to bed…I count the blessing of having the food to eat that dirtied those dishes.
When I am focused on the frustration of having to deal with yet another temper tantrum…I count the blessing of being able to adopt these two precious souls into our forever family.
When I am focused on the bills that need paid…I count the blessings of having reliable electricity and a working phone to keep in touch with those I love.
When I am focused on the bowl of cereal that was spilled on the rug…I count the blessing of a working washer and dryer in my own home.
When I’m focused on the frustration of teaching phonics to a seven-year-old who would rather be anywhere else doing anything else I count the blessing of being able to home school my children and spend my days with the people I love most.
When I am focused on the fullness of my calendar, all that is looming, all that needs done…I count the blessing of a full life because although my days are busy they are busy with wonderful things. Each appointment is the manifestation of the very blessings we enjoy.
One author expressed it eloquently when they said:
“Most of our problems are simply aggravations that come with managing so many blessings.”
There are so many blessings.
Wednesday was my Dad’s surgery. I drove out to Ohio to be with my parents. He checked in at 6:00 am. The surgery began at 8:00 am. For four hours we waited in the waiting room praying for a good report from the doctor. At noon we were called back to meet with the doctor while my Dad was taken to recovery to wake up from the anesthesia. The doctor was pleased with how it went. The cancerous mass was larger than expected and as a result the doctor took his time to slowly scrape and remove all the cancerous cells that he could. He is cautiously optimistic that he got them all. Tissue samples were removed during surgery and were sent to pathology. We will receive news from pathology next week. Finally around 3:00pm we were able to see my Dad. It was difficult seeing my strong, healthy father looking weak and in pain. As the anesthesia wore off he became more alert and had better color but we could tell that he just wanted to go to sleep. My mom and I left him to rest while we went home to take care of the barn chores. We returned in the evening to visit for a bit before we said our good-nights. He has a long road ahead of him as he heals but the surgery itself could not have gone any better. This was one of those glass half full or glass half empty days. We could focus on the fear, the unjustness of a 58-year-old man battling a very aggressive form of prostate cancer, the frustrations and fatigue OR we could count the blessings as they dropped from Heaven..
The blessings of:
A day of uninterrupted Mommy/daughter visiting in the waiting room,
The affordability and deliciousness of hospital food 🙂
The diligence of a doctor that was determined to do it right the first time,
The blessing of Wooster Community Hospital having the technology of robots to do the precision work needed,
The gift of a husband who would take off work and be Mr. Mom so that I could be with my parents,
The many prayers being said on our behalf,
The wonderful staff…desk clerks, anesthesiologists, lab technicians, cafeteria workers, gift shop volunteers and nurses who all blessed us with smiles, laughter and peace of mind as we waited for news.
It was a long day, a hard day, an emotional day, but also a blessed day.
While I was with my parents Toby stayed home with the kids and took on the daunting list of errands, appointments and school work that were scheduled for that day. The big appointment of the day was Rusty’s appointment to get braces on. I felt bad that I couldn’t be with Russ for his big day but Toby shined as “Father of the Year.” He even thought to bring Gracie’s camera so that he could share the day with me. Isn’t he wonderful?!
When life gets hard or busy or overwhelming we just need to remember that we are… managing blessings.
Don’t believe me?
Just start counting!
“The rhythm of motherhood will always be set to a slightly chaotic beat. I can be rattled to the core by the unpredictability of it all. Or I can choose to laugh, dance, and remember that I am managing blessings.” – Lysa Terkeurst