spending so much time in what is basically church with a little reading, writing and arithmetic gave me a great deal of time with the big book of God. and being a Catholic sanctuary of learning meant that a great deal of focus was placed on "offering pain up to God." now i haven't studied all kinds of Catholics, but that is a strong message passed on to me. instead of the secular message of "suck it up" i had it turned into a path towards martyrdom.
the great, high holy saint (sarcastic font used here) of martyrs is by far Job. (pronounced Jobe for anyone unfamiliar with my spiritual patron saint) the book of Job is really a good read if you'd like to try it out, but to sum up Job's life: he had it all. a great family, wealth, power, a strong faith, did all he could to honor God and all that. bad stuff happened to him. his family members died. his wealth disappeared. he was covered in sores. people turned away from him. he still praised God.
now i've had a few trying times in my life, but never in any great magnitude. mostly just times i've had a bad case of "feeling bad for myself-itis". health problems that require moderate treatments. irritating but not evil family issues. loss of people i've loved, but had a lifetime of loving memories to carry me along after their passing.
this past month or so feels like a long laundry list of Job-ness.
the winter here in Minnesota has dragged on so long, i sometimes wonder if i'm not actually trapped in the movie "Groundhog Day" and instead of reliving one day over and over, maybe i'm just reliving a month or two - again and again.
we've saved up/ paid off bills just in time to realize we need to spend a good chunk on a newly discovered repair on our minivan (if i haven't described my love/hate relationship with this vehicle, i should say i love to drive it fast and hate when it blends into the 10 other gold minivans in a parking lot).
i've had a minor health issue, that doesn't require surgery but has dragged on since the fall. it's not something i talk about because it is "indelicate" and is slowly driving me insane. quite literally.
and little things that i've planned out have inconveniently been cancelled or rescheduled because of colds, coughs, and all around not funness. (again and again and again...)
now i've gotta point out that none of the above listed events or issues has caused me to be shunned from society (though rescheduling the daughter's birthday party for illness put a serious damper on the chaos we had anticipated) or otherwise caused me to re-evaluate my life goals.
i try my best to be patient. outwardly, i think i do a decent job not showing it too blatantly that i want things to go faster or more my way. as an adult (in most ways), i understand that life is filled with moments when deep breathing and supreme self-control are required. but this last week is surely a test to my spirit.
my darling daughter is 3 years old. she has always been, in utero and hence forth, a firecracker. she acts shy when it garners her added attention, and talks ears off to keep a good situation going - especially with grandparents. she is very much NOT like me, which causes me some concern as to how i should parent her since i really have little to no idea what the poo is going on in her little, curly head. but in ONE way, she is very much like me. she doesn't sleep well. or i should say, very long.
to those who are parents of children who fall asleep at 7pm and remain in that state until 8am, go screw yourselves. you have hit the genetic jackpot and i don't want to hear anything about how it was all found in a parenting book requiring hours of infant-crying-to-sleep nights. no amount of training will cause a child to sleep that long if it wasn't in their makeup. my kids and i, and in some ways my husband, have a different sleep style. right now, my daughter falls asleep pretty well, and only on occasion, wakes during the night for a good cry and then goes back to sleep. she does wake up right about the same time my husband's alarm clock goes off (her room is a slight bit down the hall from our's, with both doors closed and her fan running). this usually means she's up by 5:45ish.
i have been staying up late, as of late. ha ha. truly. it's not too strange to see my bedside lamp still on and me still reading at 12:30 or so. so i didn't stress out monday night when i sat in the little lady's room as she was falling asleep, and knew i'd fall asleep for a bit too. i woke up about 45 minutes later, to the sound of sweet husband walking in the door after a music rehearsal. i was excited to talk to an actual grown up, so i started to get myself up off the floor. my left leg was TOTALLY asleep. leg, foot, the whole shabang. there was a 2second pause when i thought, i should let it "wake up" a bit. naw. i wanna get out of here!
i stood up, heard a gross Pop!/Snap! sound from my numb foot and then fell straight back on the floor. i took out daughter's dolly umbrella stroller (i guess i weigh a bit more than a plastic doll) and then tried to crawl out of her room. as soon as i made it to her doorway, the pain arrived. i thought for sure i must have a bone sticking out of my skin because it felt like i had a burning hot dagger jabbing into my foot. i made it to the couch somehow, and totally freaked out my husband by sobbing uncontrollably. (thanks, sweetie, for trying to calmly assess my condition :) )
after a wait for my sister to arrive to guard the solidly sleeping kiddos, we trecked to the E.R. and had that date night we've been shooting for. free child care, cable comedy shows, an attentive staff, and strong pain killers.
the Job part of this complaint-fest is that i am now, because of my impatience, bound to using crutches and hobbling around with a now disgustingly bruised and swollen foot. if they had given me a crash helmet and pads, i would've felt better about using the crutches (i'm pretty graceless). i am missing out on some beautiful walking - hiking weather that has FINALLY graced our landscape. i am trapped in a land of inconvenience and irritation. nothing deadly (thankfully).
and i have to say, that i am, for the most part, thankful (even while irritated) that i have this happening right now. my kids are pretty self-sufficient, i can order groceries (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Cobornsdelivers.com), i can still drive (what freedom!), and i have a new appreciation for how difficult getting around must be for those who are resigned to this situation for longer than the 2 weeks or a bit more that i have stuck myself in. and i know that it is completely MY FAULT. humbling. shameful. irritating. and thankful that i have the luxury to stay home and recover. my life isn't dependent on me making it somehow to a job. my home is safe for me to hang out in. i can sit on the front step and keep an eye on my kids so they can still drink in the spring air, soaking in some good, cold puddle water along the way. my land won't rumble, my air is safe to breathe, no bullets will fly, all i know are safe and are healthy - and if not healthy, under the care of good doctors with great integrity.
so today and every day, i offer my irritations/pain/annoyances up to God as a gift of thankfulness for being present here in this life. there needs to be some repayment for all these blessings i enjoy. and if this is it for now, i have received the best deal in the world.
thankful for today!