Lord, this week, may the good things, even though they may be less in number, shine brighter in our lives than the frustrations and struggles that we find ourselves facing.
This was my prayer on Tuesday morning as I drove home after dropping the kids at school. My heart was heavy for my husband and kids, each with their plate full and feeling the burden of frustration as we launched headlong into another week. I didn’t think it was an outstanding prayer at the time, just an honest plea on their behalf. I didn’t realize how God would turn it into a lesson later in the week.
This morning the alarm greeted me and our puppy’s shrill barks beckoned me to rise and shine. Another day was waiting. Maybe you can relate to the way this morning wound itself out…
All I wanted to get my morning started was a cup of coffee but first I had to take care of The Puppy. Our Old English Sheepdog, Beezus, is just 10 weeks old and we are still adjusting to life with a puppy. (In hindsight we should have named her Sham-Wow, for we are finding out that with all of her “fluff” she soaks up the accidents she has in her crate overnight, looks awful and smells even worse. Needless to say, we found out over the weekend that she has a bladder infection so she can’t help it, and although she is getting better, this morning she was definitely in need of a bath before anything else got done. She’s lucky she’s so cute!)
Through teamwork, my husband and I got the bath and the coffee started. He finished puppy bathtime and I moved onto making breakfast and lunch and waking two sleepy teenagers. I could hear and smell the coffee brewing (we have a coffee station in the utility room) from the kitchen as I went about the morning routine. When I went to grab the pot and fill our two waiting cups I realized that coffee and grounds had found their way all over the utility room counter, floor, and everything that had been moved away from the utiltiy-sink-bathzone to the other side of the room into the unfortunate-coffee-overflow-zone. In my haste I hadn’t gotten the pot all the way under the basket and so we had a mess. I did triage and had about 3/4 of it cleaned up, rescuing the things that needed saved from the staining, soaking coffee before needing to move onto the next morning task.
Coffee Plan B. We would just use the Keurig to make our morning brew, one cup at a time. My husband took this task over while we two-stepped around the kitchen, each trying to stay out of the other’s way. He brewed the first cup, added the cream, and the coffee curdled. Apparently, the vinegar that I had used to flush the Keurig yesterday hadn’t gotten rinsed thoroughly out. (I thought I was being on top of things…clean the Keurig – check. Ruin the next cup of coffee – check.) I was past wanting coffee at this point to needing coffee.
Coffee Plan C. As I moved to the gathering of the sports items part of the morning (game uniforms, football apparel, and pre-game snacks) my husband moved back to the coffee pot, cleaned the rest of the mess up and made a new fresh pot, ensuring it would drain properly this time. God love that man!
As my family headed out the door, I sat down with my much delayed first cup of coffee (ahhhh…) and I remembered my prayer from Tuesday morning and thought, yep there’s the frustration I was praying about. Then God prodded my memory to each of my family members and the little shiny pieces of good that each of them had shared with me already this week. Each courtesy of God moving in their lives.
Phil – coming back from his second trip to the West Coast in 10 days. (He has spent more time there than at home lately and was coming off of his worst trip ever.) This was the text I got as he boarded his plane to come home. “One empty seat on this flight, and it’s next to me in the exit row. Sometimes Lady Luck smiles on me.”
Ty – Tuesday’s forecast was 90 with bright sun and plenty of humidity. This means football practice is especially awful and Ty was dreading it. When I picked him up afterwards this is what he had to say. “It wasn’t that bad. It was an answer to prayer actually. Literally, an answer to prayer. I prayed that we would be able to practice in shorts instead of our pants and we did. I prayed that we would get a pass on Lombardi’s (these are just strait torture) and we did. I even got some breaks on scout team.”
Mae – my steady as she goes trooper. There isn’t much that throws her. She is my still waters run deep kid and every now and then I get a peek into what is going on in her brilliant, creative mind. On Tuesday night she had to write a magazine article on prayer that she had me proofread. These are her words. “Why should you pray? You should pray because you grow in knowing God. You shouldn’t pray just because you need something, you should pray to thank God and praise him for being awesome.”
Shiny pieces of good, outshining the struggle, even if they are tiny and in the minority.
Answered prayer, mine and theirs.
And I read these words from Isaiah…
“I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them.” (Isaiah 42:16)
God’s promise for my family and for me. As I sat with my coffee I was reminded of all of these things and couldn’t help praising God for being awesome.
What’s your shiny good this week?