I realized that lately, well, maybe not lately but for a long time, when I send daily e-mails to my friend, I usually end up saying, “…well, that’s what’s going on in my boring life…” And I’ve found myself semi-sorta-apologizing to others about my ‘boring’ life when they ask what I’ve been up to lately: “Hi Joy, how are you? Been doing anything exciting lately?” (Quickly searching my brain now… ‘geeze, what have I been doing? What can I tell her that would top her exciting life or at the least impress her?’) Ultimately, I reveal that no, nothing exciting, just the usual boring things, because, you know, I lead a boring life.
Then it hit me. I thought about all the wars in the world, the disease, the crises, the hurt, the suffering. The people without jobs, without homes, without hope. People who don’t have a car, or a family, or someone who cares. People who can’t scrape up enough money to see the dentist, or people who do scrape up the money, but they spend it on alcohol or cigarettes while their kids’ needs are unmet. I took note of the photos on the Internet of the woman in the Ukraine whose house was burning down, a landslide of mud wiping away a town, the victim of a car accident covered up with a sheet, the child in the hospital bed who won’t beat cancer, or the old woman slumped in a wheelchair in a nursing home–the last home she’ll ever live in.
So I got wild about my boring life. If being healthy and having a house to clean is boring, I say, bring it on. If paying our bills and having a job, going to the dentist, mowing our lawn, doing the laundry, cleaning the bathroom, and shopping Walmart is boring, then a big, fat, huge, in-your-face ‘BRING IT ON’. I don’t need to, or should apologize for my life. I should celebrate it, I should be thankful to God that I don’t have a loved one dying of cancer, I don’t worry if I’m going to have food in my kitchen next week, I don’t have to fear the invasion of my country (at least not yet). I need to celebrate that I have cash on hand, that I have money invested, that I have working eyesight, hands and legs, a functioning mind.
So many of us, with so much, appreciate so little. I recently had the enjoyment of listening to my niece and her husband share about their visit to India on a mission trip. A flushing toilet? Good luck! Safe, drinkable water? You’ll die of thirst waiting on that one. Basic medical care and a visit to a doctor? You’d best not get sick or hurt. Millions-billions around the world would be so fortunate to have my boring life.
No more apologies. No more discontent. No more feeling of jealously when I hear someone is headed to Paris, or Hawaii, or the Bahamas (well, maybe some jealousy) and I have to stick around town. This could be a tall order for me, this no complaining, no discontent, which–I just this moment realized– leads to worry and lack of trust. Praise and thankfulness fosters an accepting peace in our hearts and trust in our very own God who placed us where we are in life– who gave us what we have and what we enjoy.
God gave me the physical and mental ability to complete the tasks I am responsible for and I am grateful for that. Lord, let me be grateful for what You have done for me, let me be satisfied. Help me not to complain about my neighbors–The ‘Dirt People’, ‘Motor-Bike Boy’ or the annoying renter next door (it could be worse).
Yes, I have had a great day today: plopping a cleaning tablet in the dishwasher (I have a dishwasher!), eating a bowl of cereal (I have food!), going through my e-mail (I have a computer!), decluttering unneeded items (I have items I don’t need!), talking to my husband (I have a husband who called me!), joking with my neighbor (I have a good neighbor!), throwing in a load of laundry (I have a washing machine!) getting the mail (no bills today!). Imagine this if you will; perhaps if our country as a whole was more grateful, we as a people would be happier. On the decorating shows, there would be no more turning up noses at popcorn ceilings, small closets, white appliances, or Formica kitchen counter tops. You get the point. Life is good. Just like the shirt says. :)
*Note: remaining chores for the day: making supper with leftovers, going through magazines and donating, and taking extra produce to the food pantry. Tonight: relaxing on the patio, watching mindless TV, and then getting horizontal for our nightly shut-eye.
The above photo: my husband built me a playhouse out of wood pallets.