I really liked this post of Cindy’s. I’ve been rather reflective the last week, after first reading, and subsequently stalking, Mindy’s blog. And when I read Cindy’s post this morning and Mindy’s latest post, it really summed up everything I’ve been feeling.
It is well with my soul.
This has nothing to do with the great news we received yesterday, that hubby would be back home at the end of June. Yay! BUT I will say that this news has cemented what I’ve been feeling the last week, and subsequently, my belief that God is in control, and ultimately His will WILL be done, whether you believe that or not.
I’ve been feeling REALLY tender after reading Ben’s story. Again, I’ve read about and mourned with many families who have lost young children, colleagues who have lost children in the most horrific ways, friends of friends who have lost children.. it’s not new. But Ben’s story has stayed with me for reasons I am not sure about. It has made me take stock of a lot things. How I parent, what kind of wife I am, what kind of daughter I am, sister, friend? It has made me rethink my values and my goals. It is changed the order of things on my to-do list. I’ve always said I don’t have any regrets, my attitude has always been that there really is no use in crying over spilled milk, so get on with it. But I’ve had this nagging thought lately… why allow the milk to spill in the first place? I’m not talking about things you have no control over. I’m talking about living consciously. I’m talking about actively avoiding the pot holes wherever you can. I’m talking about finding your purpose and living purposefully. I’ve just realised that I live a very “c’est la vie” life. And unapologetically, I have to say that that’s a load of rubbish. Sorry if that’s your stance on life. Taking things as they come, accepting that “oh that’s life” – NO I do not want to live there anymore. I feel like I am wasting SOOO much time on things that actually don’t matter. I spend too much time being down in the dumps over stuff that I make up, all on my own, in my head, accepting woefully that I have no control over the things happening in my life. No, I can’t do that anymore.
I waste so much time trying to fix my kids and keep them toeing the line, when truthfully, IT DOESN’T MATTER. Having polite, well mannered poster children who clean up after themselves and do all the right things is wonderful, it’s great I’m sure! But for goodness sake, let them be 4 and 5. Let them make a mess, without going on and on about how they better tidy that mess. Let them be noisy, without yelling at them to use their inside voices. Let them jump in puddles without complaining about the trail of mud through your house. I want to stop my fire-and-brimstone parenting. “If you do x,y,z.. then THIS is going to happen to you” … I’ve just realised that I sap ALL the joy out of anything they want to do because I’m always harping on about the negative consequences they will face! What a killjoy. I want to parent purposefully, I want my kids to enjoy being little and doing stuff that little children do. Full stop. I don’t want them to be obedient because they are afraid of consequences, I want them to be obedient because they know it’s the right thing to do. And even if they are NOT obedient, cut them some slack!!! They can barely tie their shoelaces, let alone absorb and grasp 155 orders from their parents and teachers all day long. I need to change the way I do a lot of things.
I waste so much time being nasty to my husband, whether to his face or behind his back. The number of times I complain about stuff that REALLY DOESN’T MATTER. Guys, randomly without even thinking about, let me jot down a few things that drive me up the wall about my husband: you pack the dishwasher wrong, you have no sense of urgency about ANYTHING, you are too hard on the kids, you leave crumbs on the counter and you put the butter knife in the jam and it drives me bonkers, you watch too much TV. Whine, whine, whine, whine, WHINE. And the things I say to my girlfriends about my husband… SHAME on me. SHAME!!!! So WHAT if he is and does all these things. So bloody what? I’ve come around to thinking that if you want to see a change, you need to be the change, instead of whining about what’s not changing. At least he is there, at least he packs the dishwasher, at least he makes his kids jam sandwiches, at least he is loyal and loving and helpful and kind and understanding and all the other wonderful things I never tell my girlfriends. I need to adjust my attitude. I don’t want to be that person anymore. I want to purposefully build my marriage in small ways. Overlook butter splotches in the jam tin, or clean them out myself – two seconds, that’s all it would take me. Do I want a WHOLE day ruined by an argument over butter splotches, or do I take two seconds to fix the problem? Sure, I can tell him about it nicely and suggest he uses a clean knife, but if he doesn’t, I don’t want to burst a blood vessel over it anymore. I just don’t. I want to be a nice person to be around, someone he can’t wait to get home to, not the Whiney McWhiner, who just complains 24/7. I wonder what impact that would have on my marriage?
Which takes me back to Cindy’s post… with everything I have, with everything I have been blessed with, with the outright evidence of God’s hand upon my life, how can I be anything but grateful? How can I be anything but satisfied. How can I not live in constant hope, living each day to the full, doing the best I can with what I have in my hand. HOW CAN IT NOT BE WELL WITH MY SOUL??? You know how I feel right now? I feel like it’s just dawned on me. I feel like my eyes have just been opened. And it’s nothing new, its stuff we ALL know all too well, it’s not rocket science, I just want to live purposefully. God has all this figured out already. He is not surprised by what happens in our lives, NO. He is all knowing. Omniscient. He knew your life’s path before you were even born. So even when you’re going through bad times, God is still in control, he has the ultimate say-so over a situation, all you have to do is believe, and trust in Him. So with this trump card in my pocket, why wouldn’t I plan to live my best life, have the most FUN ever, be joyful even in the storm, parent like a friggen rockstar, be the best wife I can be, show c’est la vie the middle finger and truly plan to kick butt every single day of my life, in every situation? I’m not saying you need to be an ever-ready-bunny who is always pumping positivity – let’s be honest, people like this are TIRING to be around. TIRING. But for goodness sake, I cannot, will not, walk around like my life is so bloody awful. I cannot talk to people about how BAD my life is, that’s a LIE. I cannot let my trials get me down if I believe God has the final say, I cannot continue to bash on my husband and on my kids and be a hater about every little thing that goes on around me. I just can’t.
Because truthfully, it is well with my soul. Contrary to the children who often behave like zoo animals, the bills that sometime remain unpaid because there’s more month than money, the house that constantly needs fixing up, the husband that works away (not for long), the aches and pains in my body that I always complain about… it is well with my soul.
It is well with my soul.