We’ve all got ’em. The irritating, grating right heres, the life challenges, the nits, the pits.
The flat tire, the pile in the place you just cleaned, the missed deadline, the broken vase, the dirty look, the sickness at just the wrong time, the broken dishwasher, the forgotten payment.
We usually don’t consider these real suffering (and rightly so), but there are times when the next challenge feels like the final block on a teetering stack, the last straw for weariness that settles down into bones.
Yesterday, I wrote about a morning of incessant whining, all the ways I wanted to escape it, tried to endure it. Then I prayed a simple help and recognized God’s presence and provision in my favorite fruit — the one that grows in my own yard, the berries I hadn’t noticed still hung from branches in the midst of a fairly cold and rainy October.
You know those lessons you glimpse the first time around, but the second (third, fourth or fifth) time, you sense a theme and the down deep truth for you? Well, this is one of those. Perhaps it might be for you, too.
Believe me, I never thought I would tell a two-part story about whining of all things, but our lives are our story, right? And this is 31 Days of Right Here, so that’s what I write.
Today — Part II, in which sometimes the biggest whiner is the child, and other times, not so much.
I unload Lala at home after dropping off big sister at school. (Biggest sister still camps at Outdoor School.) We get inside, and Lala flops to the floor, moaning. Immediately after we remove wet coats and boots, I realize we have forgotten to make an important deposit at the bank we passed on the way home.
More whining ensues as I put back on our coats and boots.
“I don’t want to go either, but sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do. Get in the car, please,” I say.
We arrive at the bank, and Lala does not want to move from her seat. I take her out, and we approach the glass doors to see the bank is not open for another hour. “What bank doesn’t open until 10 am?” I ask my five-year-old, as if she’ll know.
I remember the last time the bank put a five-day hold on money we deposited in the ATM, so I try to use the bank depository. But the bank where no one works until 10 a.m. on a Tuesday is out of envelopes.
“What? C’mon. If you’re not open until 10 am, you need to have envelopes,” I say to no one in particular.
I huff long and loud, look up and see a mom from school, who raises an eyebrow and smiles. I’m a little embarrassed, but too annoyed to care much.
Lala continues to whine. “I don’t want to go back home.”
“Me neither,” I whine.
We load up again, so we can go home to get an envelope. It feels unnecessary and necessary, I don’t even know. I do know that dropping loose checks into a metal hole in a wall, even one connected to a bank, feels risky.
“Ugh, I’m so frustrated,” I tell her as we drive. “Uggggghhhhh.”
I leave Lala in the car while I grab an envelope and my cell phone from the house. I call Michael to complain about the closed bank and envelope issue.
He tells me that, because of its size, this deposit can be deposited into the ATM without a problem. I huff some more as I drive back to the bank I just left for no reason.
Somewhere along the way, I become aware of the possibility that my attitude might be impacting Lala’s. Perhaps it would be a good idea to say something I’m thankful for, I think.
“I’m grateful we have a car so we don’t have to rely on a bus in the rain to go back and forth,” I say, more for Lala’s sake than mine. I realize it’s true, but my brow is still furrowed, and I can’t seem to get over myself.
After a few more blocks, I ask quietly, “God, would you help me see beauty right here?”
On the way back to the house again, I spy the hydrangeas. They are gorgeous, in all shades of dusty fall pastel, cascading from a yard debris can at the end of the street, overflowing blooms waiting to be picked.
I slow to see them and realize I’ve never noticed something so beautiful sticking out of a waste can.
Lala and I drive past the flowers so we can go home once again to grab the big kitchen scissors. We drive back, get out of the car and approach the rolling green can filled with decomposing things and these treasures.
Smiling, we cut stem by stem, gathering slightly crinkled blooms into a massive bouquet as rain gently falls.
This is Day 10 of Right Here. Throughout October, I’m joining with a community of other bloggers (over 1,500 strong! with The Nester), who are writing for 31 days about the same topic. To find all posts in 31 Days of Right Here, click here, or see the listing below.
To continue receiving these daily words, subscribe to this blog on the sidebar at left, click here to Like Draw Near on Facebook or follow me on Twitter @AshleyMLarkin. I’m immensely grateful to have you on the journey with me.
POSTS IN THE SERIES
An introduction: Welcome to 31 Days of Right Here
Day 1: For You, Too
Day 2: Fear’s Invitation
Day 3: My Portion
Day 4: Five Minute Friday – Write
Day 5: Rise and Shine
Day 6: My Joys Mount As Do the Birds
Day 7: A Mother’s Fierce Love
Day 8: When Life’s A Mad Rush – How To Slow Time
Day 9: The Fight For Right Here Told Through Two Tales of Epic Whining (Part I)
Day 10: The Fight For Right Here Told Through Two Tales of Epic Whining (Part II)