Friday, December 3, 2010

10 things that make me miserable

I wrote this in a black moment a couple of months ago, after my posts about 10 things that make me happy. Things are better now, but we had a bit of a tough start to the term, with a long run of flu and colds, and my head was filled with gloomy thoughts. So for all those frustrated by life's little annoyances, here's some of mine.

1. Yet another car trip with the kids all arguing in the car.
2. Our increasingly worn house, and not being able to fix it.
3. The weeds in the garden, and not having time to pull them out.
4. The way all the washing never seems to get folded and put away at once.
5. When I've just done 3 loads of washing, then I realise someone has wet their bed...again.
6. Insects that want to share our life and won't take "no" for an answer.
7. Children who insist it's not their turn or their fault or their responsibility.
8. Dirt, dust, grime, and the way it builds up when you're not looking - just after you've cleaned.
9. Clutter, and the way it builds up - just after you've tidied.
10. Illness and tiredness (yep, I know that's two).

So why did I post this jolly little list (against my better judgement, I might add, especially since God tells us not to mutter and complain - Phil 2:14-16 - and I know that there are millions of people with real problems)? For a couple of reasons:

  • my single friend reminded me that sometimes it's good to hear life isn't always greener on the other of the fence
  • we all struggle with the dragging, repetitive, annoying problems of life - with drudgery, futility and tiredness - and we need to know how to deal with it.

So how do we deal with it? Badly, if you're me! But it helps me to remember this is just how life is on this side of the Fall: thorny and thistly (Gen 3:18). It helps to realise I'm under attack, to fight the temptation to discontent and despair, and to cast my cares on God (Jam 4:7, 1 Pet 5:7). It helps to talk to friends who know what I'm going through, and to receive comfort and prayer (2 Cor 1:3-4). And in the back of my mind there's a few Bible verses that get me through:

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Gal 6:9)

I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Phil 4:12-13)

...we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Cor :16-18)

Heavenly Father, when I'm facing the small annoyances of life, help me to trust you, to stay thankful and faithful, to endure patiently, and to set my hope on heaven. Amen.

image is by the Italian voice from flickr


Deb L said...

Jean, it really does help the rest of us recovering-perfectionists to know that we are not the only ones who have kids that argue in the car or bits of cleaning that are undone. Because when my kids argue in the car and I think it's ONLY my children that do that, I focus on "fixing them" or getting angry that they are not responding reasonably to my plans for them. When I remember that wonderful people I admire also have cranky kids from time to time, I stop being so angry and accept that this part of life, not some horrible failure on my part or a terribly unfair cross to bear. Then I can focus on responding in a godly manner to an ordinary stress rather than being outrageously cross that this should be happening to me!

So I take your point about not complaining, but I'm glad you mention the gloom as well as the bloom in life from time to time.

Jean said...

There you go, Deb, glad it helped! It was one of those posts you do wonder about... :)

Valori said...

Hey Jean -- It was a reality post, sprinkled with humility and hope in the gospel! And anyone who has to maintain a home and has children can definitely relate. I agree with Deb that it helps us to realize that these things are the ordinary mini-trials of life and all of these temptations are common to (wo)man. I don't know why we women are constantly thinking others always have sparkling homes and perfectly obedient children!

Anonymous said...

Valori - I think the reason is that we only let other women see our homes when they're sparkly clean and (as far as possible) we avoid them seeing our children when they're not being obedient.

So thank you from me too, Jean.


Rachach said...

I agree with everyone. It's good to be honest and to share our struggles. Thanks also Jean for those bible verses, they are a great comfort.