Monday, June 22, 2015

We Have Problems

"We have problems..." titles a bulletin board in one of my colleagues room for a math-themed bulletin board. It makes me smile each time I enter her room.

I am not a huge fan of the phrase "How are you?" unless I have time to actually listen or answer. I courteously respond with "well" or "not bad," but prefer to use "good morning" or "nice to see you" as phrases in passing because...we have problems.

A year ago we moved into our country home and it wasn't quite what I remembered when falling in love with the property. I remember the hanging cobwebs, because I joked about them. I didn't remember filth and the smell of wet dog. I refused to take pictures because I did not want to remember the disappointment and struggle to find the love I initially had for the home.

I wish I had taken pictures. I wish I could look at those pictures and see how far we have come. My garden is no longer a jungle of weeds. There are weeds, but there are no longer unidentified creatures living there because the weeds are not big enough to hide one!

I have been challenged of late to allow my joy to come from God and not from my circumstance. When life isn't as I anticipate, I often want to shut my door and not come out until the problem is fixed. I am not talking about praying through my circumstance. I am talking about only wanting show my face when all my ducks-are-in-a-row and this includes showing it to God. It is a challenge to continue with disciplines I know are good for me when I feel like I have lost perspective.

I have asked a few "How are yous?" of late and really listened. We all have problems. We don't need to solve the problems of others, but we can provide love and support. There are people with problems worse than ours and people with problems more benign. Either way, we are in this together. I am learning not to compare as comparing encourages lost perspective.

Today I took some pictures of chaos in my life. I reminded myself that my joy is not found in my circumstance and that these pictures will provide future perspective of how far we have come. We. Lived. Through. This.

Our Father's Day weekend started with Rylyn being taken to urgent care. She was treated for a chest infection that if left would turn to pneumonia. We were then treated to the surprise of a clogged drain. This stubborn clog was a pipe problem that required much hard work by Chris and monetary resources for which we have no budget.

Here are the pictures of our current chaos. Rylyn is on her way to a full recovery and Chris completed the pipework as rain started to fall. We have problems. They can rob me of joy if I permit. If cling to God and His Goodness, I believe, I will be able to say, "look how far we have come," even sooner.

Chris hard at work
Thankful it is summer!
My favourite tool to make salad dressing.
A plastic plate I broke minutes after the salad dressing jar.
Little circumstances can be just as frustrating.
The verse and song below don't really mention joy, but they have helped me move my eyes from the problems to Jesus so that my joy is preserved and my strength to live in imperfection is renewed.

"He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary. And the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." -Isaiah 40:29-31