February 24, 2011

Taking off my cranky pants

I'm headed to a $2000 dentist appointment in a little bit. At my check up last month, there was nothing wrong. Today? "SURPRISE! We need you to pay us $2000."

Our grand total of unexpected expenses for 2011 is at almost half of my annual salary. By the way, it's only February. Also, we're still down one car.

I want to complain. I so badly want to whine about how awful this is, but as much as I try not to, my mind keeps taking me back to how fortunate I am. Well, fortunate and in debt. But fortunate, nonetheless.

I don't want to feel that way. I want to stomp and throw a tantrum, much like Jack does when things don't go his way. I don't want to count my blessings . . . I want to stress out. And in all honesty, I've done a little bit of that today. But there's something that keeps cutting into my self-pity and stressing.

I've been more intentional about reading my Bible this month (I'm trying to do the New thru 30 reading plan . . . though it'll likely end up being New thru 90 at the rate I'm going).
In Hebrews, the author says, "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."

That's not just good writing. It's truth and I've seen the evidence over the last few weeks. When I'm reading the Bible regularly, it sticks with me. The words are life giving and bring perspective. I absorb them and they become a part of who I am. Whether I obey them or not . . . well, that's still my decision . . . but their transforming work begins even without my permission.

I just keep remembering that I'm a part of something way larger than myself. My mind goes back to the fact that there's a bigger story at play, and while I need to be responsible with my finances, how much money I have is ultimately not the point. Comfort is not the point. Retiring to someplace warm some day would be nice . . . but it's also not the point.

Let's face it . . . in the grand scheme of things, we're already pretty darn comfortable. We have a home that we love. A car that is way more than enough to get us where we need to go. We have access to medical and dental care. This massive infection in my mouth? It'll be gone in a few hours. Kyle's kidney stones? Almost gone, with both kidneys still functioning. Both of my boys are healthy and breathing clearly. Our refrigerator is full and our heat is on. We have so much more than we need. Even if none of the above were true, I could still tell of abundant blessings.

I kind feel like laying in bed crying and feeling sorry for myself, but my mind and my heart won't let me do it . . . because I can't even remember why I was complaining in the first place.


Melanie Eccles said...

wow. so good.

Smith Family Blog said...

Good words!