Last night, after dinner, Daniel and I went on a date to Starbucks. Not a big fan of the bucks, but hey, I was getting out of the house and that was something worth celebrating. It was my first time in the car since coming home from the hospital a week ago. Thankfully it only took two minutes to get there.
I was pretty embarrassed to go out in public considering the last time I showered was Thursday, I think. I smelled. Odor wise definitely, but I think my bad attitude stunk worse.
Complaining hit me like a dark cloud last night. All I could see were the negative aspects of my situation, all the things I'm incapable of. Totally not fun to be around.
It just felt good for a moment to have a bad attitude (which I'm ashamed to say), to let the turmoil going on on the inside out in the most unattractive way. In my opinion a complaining person is extremely unattractive. And there I was complaining like a pouty 2 year old, letting my frustration, anger, and annoyance fester, like an open wound.
I didn't have to do that, but being thankful in that moment seemed like climbing Mount Everest with a broken knee, impossible.
When times are hard being thankful really feels like a full time job, at least in the beginning. I think we can train ourselves to be thankful and eventually it becomes second nature, a beautiful habit we don't want to break.
So there we were sitting at Starbucks with the tensions high, me in my wheelchair and Daniel sipping his chai latte. Daniel began to grill me with really hard questions. I really am thankful for a husband who will call out my crap and show me how far I've fallen, kindly remind me of the quality of woman that I am, then grab my hand and bring me back up the mountain of thankfulness, to my lovely perch where I sit as the queen of my household. Wives, moms, we really are the diffusers of our households. We affect more than we know. If there's junk going on in my heart, my family is going to feel that, be affected by that. It's a big job, one that takes loads of courage. I can either diffuse life, positivity, encouragement, and love or death, negativity, hopelessness, and frustration.
Sitting in the drive way after our twenty minute Starbucks date (that's all I could last, pathetic, I know) Daniel said to me something along these lines: "None of us are enjoying this time of recovery from your injury. It sucks, we miss you. BUT you're living in a fantasy right now. You think that life will only get better when you're fully healed, and that's not going to be for a long time. We need to figure out a way to thrive, to make this our new normal and do life even with your injury. I know it's not fun, but you need to find a way to be thankful. Whatever it is you need to find a way to change your mindset."
Ouch. Living in a fantasy? Right when the words came out of his mouth I knew that he was right. Immediately I was confronted, hit in the face, with all my selfishness. It was as if I was looking at myself in a mirror and watching all the moments I've complained since I broke my knee. It was gross, not fun to be with, lifeless, and super discouraging. I saw all the ways I've focussed on the things I can't do, instead of the things I can do. I may not be able to hold my daughters hand while she's learning to walk but she can sit on my lap and read a book with me. I may not be able to sit on the floor with her and play Legos, but we can go for joy rides in my pimped out wheel chair. I can still go to the bathroom by myself (that's new on the list) and lay in bed with my husband talking about life until we both fall asleep. Those are most definitely things to be thankful for.
Help me God to be thankful. I feel stuck in the sin of dissatisfaction and ingratitude. Give me eyes to see what you're doing and the beauty in it all. Help me to work hard at having a good attitude, like a full time job, give me endurance to become excellent. I desire to be joyful during this time and be present for my family in the way that they need me. They need my pursuit and my love, my words of encouragement and appreciation. I need help taking my eyes off myself, always thinking about me, me, me. I want to serve in the ways I can. Help me to be real with my emotions but not take things out on others. Perfect me in your love and thank you for covering my imperfections, for there are many. Thank you for your grace that covers me.