A few days ago wound up being 97 degrees with 87% humidity. I may be exaggerating on the humidity part, but let’s just say it was one of those—don’t stand outside for more than thirty seconds or you’ll need to reapply deodorant…again—kinds of days. These are the kinds of days I like iced coffee and to stay fully submerged in a pool of cool water so-as to avoid the deodorant conundrum. Lord help me.
A few days ago I definitely didn’t realize the temperature was so excruciatingly hot, and thought our family would go to the pool where we could remain cool and *bonus* conveniently smelling of sunscreen and chlorine. When I opened the back door, I was instantly slammed with a wall of heat standing in our way, and our plans went escaping quickly out into the hazy, summer sun. As I closed the door, I turned around, eyes being opened to the unavoidably blank plan that was our day. Panic. These are exactly the kinds of days I work desperately to avoid—ones where the kids and I are all trapped inside with occasional potty accidents on the floor or couch, a baby crying for milk the very moment the toddler is stamping his pee-pee feet around the room, with the cherry on top: no other human contact.
I hate typing this, but in the name of honesty and real life, I totally copped an attitude with my family. I had an especially short fuse because not only did I feel like what was going to be a fun family day with plans to do nothing at the pool, turned into a not-fun family home day with nothing to do at all. The day didn’t get any better, in fact, it got a bit worse when the plans for the evening were spoiled as well.
In the car on the way home from our spoiled plans, Esmae cried like mad, and all I could think to do was sing. So I did. I sang “It is Well with My Soul.” If this song is unfamiliar to you, the lyrics go like this:
“When peace like a river attendeth my way.
When sorrows like sea billows roll.
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say:
It is well, it is well with my soul.”
No, sorrows were not rolling, and I was not suffering, but the Lord nudged my heart as I sang the lyrics to the song, and my eyes welled with tears. Life is a beautiful thing, and in the hard, disappointing moments, pitying myself and being unable to experience thankfulness sucks joy from the very air I breathe, creating a hollow room that hinders my life’s companions from feeling joy either.
Saying you’re sorry is hard. Being refined is hard. Experiencing the conviction of discontentedness and lack of thankfulness is hard. It’s all too easy for me to heap guilt upon myself when I fall into these all-to-familiar patterns of sin, so tonight I decide to turn my eyes to grace—to the face of the One who gave it all that I may know joy in all its fullness.