The Good in the Bad

So this is how my day started yesterday. Breakfast smoothie all over the floor.
As I stood and stared at the mess my first thoughts went something like “Of course this is how my day is going to start. It’s gonna be another hard, exhausting day and this is just the beginning”.
Shortly after these “oh, poor me” thoughts came, I had another thought, this time a whispering from the Holy Spirit no doubt: “Technically, this is not how your day started. Technically it started a half hour ago with three happy kids waking up and joyfully giggling as they played together while you laid comfortably in your cozy bed.”
So much for self pity.
These last couple weeks have been hard and it’s easy for me to look at my life and name all the things that should make me feel upset and unhappy. But, that wouldn’t be reality. The reality is that all the trials and hardships I, and anyone, experience in this mortal life help us to become better people. They help us to learn patience, deepen our love for others and to understand just how capable we are. In short, they can help us become more like Christ. Of course, we have to choose to allow them to do this.
How easy it would be to become bitter, overwhelmed and hardened if I chose only to focus on the hard things in my life right now.
– kids so frequently yelling and fighting with one another
– dirty diaper after dirty diaper
– legos strewn across the living room floor that I just picked up
– spilled water on the floor for the third time that day
– whining, whining, whining
– not having enough alone time to even shower
– dealing with a two year old that finds nothing funnier than reaching over my hand and closing the iPad app I’m working in
– planning day after day to sit down to finally get some of my to do list done and never getting there
– “I’M NOT EATING THIS!” yelled from the dinning room table yet again, despite innumerable reminders of how to politely decline food you don’t like
– back aches from carrying around a nine month old who insists that when I’m making dinner there is no other place she can be but in my arms
– sleeping in a rocking chair most of the night because that same nine month old is getting in six teeth at once and cannot sleep if she’s not being held
– yet again determining that I will start that exercise routine only to wake up sick
– uncertainty over how to best handle a 5 year old’s roller coaster emotions
– sometimes feeling like I am all alone in a sea of children and their problems with no one to stop and notice all of my problems
– a blender full of smoothie all over the kitchen floor (and oven and cabinets) with two kids wailing over the tragedy of their lost breakfast
These trials are not at all at the level some people in this world face but none the less, they are hard and if I chose to let them they will paint my life in a negative light and I in turn will have a negative outlook and be an unhappy, grumpy mess.
The alternative is not easy but I believe it is of God: choose to see the good, fill my life with things that bring the Spirit, try to help others each day and know that God is taking care of it all.

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
James 1:3-4