Taking life moment by moment is not one of the easiest things to do. I feel the “urgency” to keep up with the Joneses. I want to stay ahead of the laundry pile up. It frustrates me when dishes back up, and when my business isn’t going as well as I think it should I get down.
For those of you who are visiting us for the first time I fight depression, so feeling down can take days to pull out of. Normal setbacks for those who fight mental illness take longer to recover from.
That’s why I feel driven to write about individual moments. I cleaned a house this morning, and when I found out my daughter’s soccer game was rescheduled for tomorrow I put my body on pause for a nap. When I woke up I felt guilty, and I had a headache. I made a sandwich, put some pretzels and cheese in a bag, and I filled up my water bottle. I left to pick my daughter up from school, and thankfully there was no drama in traffic on the way home. However, when I got inside my mind began to play tricks on me as I took my Norwex cloths out of the washer and put them in the dryer. I went into the kitchen to get some water to offset my heartburn, and I groaned when I looked at the dishes stacked in and around the sink. I guess it’s frustrating because I enjoy cleaning, but there are times when I don’t want to clean. I realize these are probably existential questions that everyone moves about their minds every week, but it helps to write it out.
I texted Carey earlier that I wanted to take us out to eat at Cracker Barrel, and I got a thumbs up emoji from her. Chloe likely has some homework tonight, so we may not get to watch Gilmore Girls, but I might actually begin work on the the new direction I think I’m taking the memoir Beyond Sad.
The house I cleaned was really nice, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a little bit jealous of the work they have put into it. As a Christian, however, I’ve learned how to be happy for others success, so in the same breath I was inspired to improve our lifestyle by their discipline and hard work. You can see now where I was struggling at the beginning with keeping up with the Jones. No, this families’ name is not Jones. I don’t ever reveal who my customer’s are. It’s unethical and rude.
So when your thoughts betray you how to do you override them to adjust back to enjoying each moment as it comes? I write. I read too. Sometimes I eat, but that never ends well because I eat too much. Sometimes I watch tv, but that doesn’t end well either because I see fictional lifestyles that are better than mine, and I see commercials that tell me I want something I didn’t know I wanted.
I could sit down and read the Bible or Jesus Calling, and that would certainly be seeking first the kingdom, but that sure looks better on a blog then it does between my two ears. Talk is cheap, and I don’t write that with much conviction.
The weather today in Nashville is certainly a factor in this malaise, but I can’t blame this bad attitude on the weather. I could very well have this attitude even if it was sunny and clear skies.
Ultimately though this taking each individual moment works. The house I cleaned today is a huge blessing. I’ve not communicated its significance enough. I cannot go into detail about the significance, but I am so thankful to God for sending that family my way. So many times I fail to see God at work because I don’t meditate on individual moments that are a direct yes to a prayer I’ve offered up. I guess this blog is turning into a prayer journal of sorts. It hasn’t been long since I blogged about the Jesus Calling entry on abundance, so when it happens we must be specific in prayer about the gratitude. We were specific in the request, so when God undoubtedly shows up with a yes I must offer up a thank you. How appropriate we are approaching the Thanksgiving holiday.
I’m much too apt to offer up a Seinfeld smile of gratitude than I am a deep heartfelt expression of gratitude when things like this happen, and it’s no wonder I give into the symptoms of my depression so easily. This is not melodrama. It’s an observation that many Christians fail to respond to because they don’t see the hand of God directly involved in our “mundane” activities.
As adults we invest so much of our jaded personas into every last thing we do. When something good shows up we don’t experience it fully.
I know I harp on The Prayer of Jabez book as being the health and wealth gospel, but perhaps I need to repent from that. Perhaps I need to appreciate that God does in fact broaden our real estate, give us material possessions and give us favor in the eyes of people.
And then when the unrelenting pain of our mental illness just won’t subside He knows about that too. There’s a song I used to sing as a child in church, and the lyrics were, “Oh what peace we often forfeit. Oh what needless pain we bear…” You can probably finish it if you are CoC.
And I think that’s what ultimately happens when I can’t enjoy each individual moment as it comes. I’m not convinced that my Abba Father is indeed in this very place as I seek Him every second of every day.
But He is.