Sometimes I need a shift in perspective. When I’m on the verge of falling prey to self-pity, God often gives me in-your-face wakeup calls that say, “Hey, drama queen. Stop the pity party and take a good look at how incredibly lucky you are.”
Like when I complain about only being able to kiss my husband one quick goodbye because his hours are heinous and then I read a moving post about a military wife enjoying one more day with her husband before he is deployed.
Or when I whine about being tired after having another long day and short night in the trenches of motherhood and then discover a friend I love – who should have a baby in her arms – is now trying to make sense of her little one leaving her before she ever had a chance to hold her.
So tonight, as I reflect on my day, I see many blessings that might have gone unnoticed had I not been given a new perspective. To name just a few:
Today my arms and back ached during a nature walk as I carried my baby and then my toddler after she refused to keep her shoes on along a path strewn with thick roots and jutting rocks. I’m so thankful my arms were full and I could feel them ache. I can only imagine how much more my friend’s empty arms are aching right now.
This morning my lap became a battleground as the older girls fought for the spot closest to Mommy while I tried to nurse my baby. Their squabble did not annoy me. It overjoyed me. The more crowded my lap, the better.
Tonight my preschooler wanted one more kiss after I tucked her in for bedtime. I did not see her plea as a stalling tactic but as a moment to do just what she wanted – to plant one more kiss on that sweet face of hers that’s losing every trace of baby by the minute.
When my baby cried at an inopportune time, I was thankful to hear her wailing. Thankful for those strong lungs and for her life, knowing what a miracle and mystery life truly is.
When my toddler begged me to stay longer at nap time, I did. I was glad to stay, to snuggle up close to a child who was safe in my arms.
When I found my husband sleeping after working all night, I was not envious of his peaceful slumbering. Instead, I crawled next to him and draped my arm over his sleeping form and was so thankful I could be that close to him.
When I shared the tragic news of our friends losing their baby over the phone with my husband, he made me feel a little less hollow and I was grateful I’d soon see him again and be able to cry on his shoulder.
Tonight when my husband and I pass like ships in the night and share one quick kiss, I will not regret not having more time with him but instead, I’ll be grateful for that single kiss since it’s more than some couples can share right now.
And tonight when I wake to my baby’s stirrings, I’ll be thankful for my little alarm clock and the chance to feed the blessing beside me.
Perspective. It’s an amazing thing. I have so little control in my life, but this is one area I own completely. I can choose to feel sorry for myself or to gripe or to shed tears over the injustices in life. Or I can choose to embrace joy, to take up my crosses with grace and humility, and to fight for justice.
Today I choose the latter.