I’m a list person. I love lists. I love to-do lists. I love grocery lists. I love creating lists of things I love about my husband. I love giving my husband to-do lists.
Lists are great!
The thing is, though, that I realized today that I have a bad habit of defining my day/week/mood based on which mental list is longer – the good things that happened list, or the bad things that happened list.
Last week we accidentally cut our main cable line – the one that runs to the road and gives us the magical internet. That same night we evacuated our home at 2 AM to sit in an ambulance parked in our driveway while a team of firemen checked out our home because our carbon monoxide detector went off. A day later I had to call poison control because Beatrice found an ant trap that we had accidentally left out to deal with our MASSIVE ant problem. The boys argued all week. Theo didn’t listen.
All of that adds up to a bad week, right?
Well, in my mind, yes. That would equal a bad week. Because the list of bad things was pretty long and pretty heavy, so I left last week with a frustrated spirit and a defeated attitude.
What’s more, because lists are meant to be added to, I’ve carried over last week’s list of bad things into this week. This week didn’t start fresh. This week started with a list of bad things a mile long. That happened over a week ago.
Not good. Not good at all.
Ultimately, we all have a lot of good things in our life and we all have some bad things, with a few pretty awful things sprinkled in here and there. That, unfortunately, is part of being human. At the end of the day, I would whole heartedly tell you that I have a great life. I love my life. I feel honored to get to live my life.
But far too often, I end my days going through the list of bad things that happened and feeling like it was a bad day.
I think I’m too easily swayed by moments.
I’m not saying we aren’t allowed to have bad days. Bad days exist and I stand in solidarity with you if you are having one now. Hugs to you, my friend. Seriously.
I heard someone once say that she was praying that God would show her how to be unshakable. Basically, she was asking that her day/week/mood not be defined by the good or the bad that it contained, but by a higher, more stable and unshakable principle.
She wanted to believe her day was good, not despite the hard things, but because God is good. She wanted to believe that her week was good not because of a list of good things that happened, but because she knows she is loved by and provided for by an unwavering God. She wanted to know that her life was good not because everything worked out, but because her life was God’s workmanship and he looked at EVERYTHING he created and called it GOOD.
Man. I want to be like that.
I want to be unshakeable. I want my days and weeks and moods to be defined by something so much more stable than which list is longer.
I have a long way to go on this one. But I thought I’d share it with the hopes that it will encourage someone else the way it encouraged me.
My child, the troubles and temptations of your life are beginning, and may be many; but you can overcome and outlive them all if you learn to feel the strength and tenderness of your Heavenly Father as you do that of your earthly one. The more you love and trust him, the nearer you will feel to him, and the less you will depend on human power and wisdom. His love and care never tire or change, can never be taken from you, but may become the source of lifelong peace, happiness, and strength. Marmee to Jo, in Little Women