One Less Thing

I realized my self-talk whispers “ok, one more thing” over and over each time a new daily challenge arrives. This came to my attention when suddenly I experienced a fifteen minute window where I soaked in the joy of One-Less-Thing instead.

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My car dashboard mirrors my life with its scattered warnings. The tire maintenance light is forever “on”. I’ve had 5 nail punctured tires over 5 months.

The service engine light greets me each morning. The oil change guy hooked up a gadget reader to tell me the light is nothing to worry about, but I wonder. The brake light won’t go out even when the emergency brake is released. I stopped looking up what the other lights mean in the manual.

The dashboard reminds me of the running narrative in my mind. It goes something like this: I’m still sick. Stress is not helping me get well. Drop the kid off at school. Go to work. Repeat. My voice refuses to come back. The cat puked. -One more thing. I need to make dinner. Sweep the house. Keep trying to sell the house. Clean the bathroom. Move the laundry. I really should write a letter or send a care package to our deployed son. What just fell off the house?! -One more thing. If you sit down, you’ll fall asleep. Get up. Give Hubby the light weight fork because it is easier for him to manage. Position his shoes in a way that will help him be less likely to fall. Move his phone to his next location so he is not thrown off balance by carrying something when he travels inside the house. Help the remaining kid with college applications. I need to go to Lowe’s. Heavy duty caulk. A new vacuum bag. Take out the trash and recycling. Prepare for presentations at work. Who do I need to call back? Have I followed through on all work tasks? Scoop litter box. Check personal email to see if anyone has responded to my manuscript query letters. Send more queries. Do we have gas in both cars? Pay bills in a way that hopefully does not cause an overdraft. It’s going to be close again this month. Is Hubby breathing? Is the cat breathing? I really need to make a vet appointment. -One more thing. There are other people I want to check in with. I text them. There are other people I would like to be there for. My capacity is too narrow. I can’t believe he hasn’t been able to work for a year. We need some mobility equipment. That will have to wait. The kid needs an eye appointment. -One more thing. I can’t make that work financially. How many hours of sleep can I get if I go to sleep right this minute? Why can’t I fall asleep? And so forth.

I try not to complain out loud. “Just keep swimming” as Dory says. But seriously, if there is a Santa out there who wants to buy our house so we can leave and start over, that would be GREAT.

Today I uprooted this tree growing into our fence and felt delighted by the image. Yes, we are ready to be uprooted.

In an attempt to make extra cash, I placed an ad to be a Pet Sitter. I can squeeze in dog walking and more cat litter scooping. I can love on animals and give neighbors peace of mind. The first response? Someone needs help with a cat until they get out of jail in February. So many thoughts. Bless their heart. Sigh….

One day I will not feel so stuck. I visualize selling a manuscript and being in an affordable and accessible home. One day I’ll be in the land of all three. I have learned hard lessons. I can do better.

This week our youngest got a job. Go kid! And he broke my heart by saying, “You won’t have to worry about Christmas, Mom, ’cause I’ll be able to buy my own presents.” The sentiment is good. The reality hurts.

A new job means he needs new pants. We make a plan to go to the store Wednesday. I secretly stress about how to afford the pants, but I think we can make it work. I don’t want him to know how close we are cutting it.

On Tuesday evening I drag my work bag into the house as the guys say, “We have a surprise.”

There on the kitchen table are new pants one day early. Hubby even used a coupon. In my book, that’s hot. Hubby had a decent afternoon and they worked together. I hear that the wheelchair got stuck in the JCPenny door, and they figured that out too.

In the moment, I physically felt something fall off the to-do list. One. Less. Thing. This felt magical. I soaked in the joy for fifteen intentional minutes. I smiled in my own home. This surprise felt so good!

This was a glimpse that things can be better. Will be better. I will trust the process.

To all those who struggle, I send you a giant cyber hug. You can do this. We can do this. Deep, slow breaths.

And now I must go.

The cat puked.

Love,

Glenna

WHAT’S MY MOTIVE?

What’s my motive? is my new favorite question.

We humans do thousands of actions and spew millions of words each day, but how often do we keep in check our reasons why we do or say “stuff”?

Why do we feel the need to share a story or state what we ate for breakfast today? Do we know why we go to a weekly meeting?

Why do we choose to be nice to the boss or kind to a co-worker, but maybe not kind to someone else?

So lately–as often as I can think of it–I’ve begun to ask myself “what is my motive?” before speaking or before taking certain actions. If my motive is selfish or self-serving, then I try to refrain by holding my tongue.

Recently I attended an event with my son. I looked forward to seeing some friends that I hadn’t seen in a while. There was a bunch of things I thought about sharing with them, but when I asked myself what is my motive?, there was no good reason to go into what was on my mind. I chose to chill and listen.

I learned that both of my parenting peers have been going through some tough stuff; a death in the family, an illness with grandparents, etc. They needed to talk and it felt good to relax and simply be there for them.

Sure, there are times to chat it up and there are times to be the listener, but to discern the right timing is key. Start with knowing what your motive is.

I believe that checking your motive takes practice. I’m sure I’ll be practicing for the rest of my life. Here’s a link to verses about holding your tongue. Good stuff! http://www.openbible.info/topics/taming_your_tongue

Glenna

FORGIVENESS – YOU CAN’T EARN IT, BUT YOU CAN GIVE IT

One time a therapist asked me, “So when are you going to forgive them?”

I replied, “I do. Every morning of every day.” I paused. Then said, “And someday I won’t have to think about forgiving them anymore.”

The therapist gave me a look that I interpreted as, Ok then. Carry on.

Seems like an extreme moment in some respects and it was for me. Fortunately I’ve reached a time now when I hardly ever think about the situation which brought me to that moment. I suppose I’ve arrived at the “forget” part of “forgive and forget.” I’ll take it.

Forgive and forget rarely happens at the same time for most people. I see folks deal with hurt and struggles regarding forgiveness over and over each year.

Humans. Seems like we like to carry baggage around sometimes. I am learning to travel lighter and lighter and to forgive quickly–try to!

The song Who You Are by Unspoken is one of my favorite songs about forgiveness.

Have you ever known someone who wants to stay mad, wants to hold onto their hurt, wants to punish someone into apologizing and then still won’t forgive them? That is a sad and difficult place because even if someone did say or wants to say sorry the other person refuses their attempt.

I know sometimes people need time. So give them their time. All you can do is apologize and hope/pray for the best.

Forgive yourself too. Give forgiveness and release yourself from the pain. Forgiveness is a process.

Aren’t we lucky that Jesus doesn’t hold grudges?

Imagine if Jesus said, “What? I die in sacrifice for you and you still mess up? I’m not talking to you. I’m going to bully you, punish you, tell everyone I know about how you wronged me. I’m not even going to look at you.” Imagine.

But that’s not how Jesus is. He forgives 70 x 7 (Matthew 18:21-22). He says love your enemies (Matthew 5:44). He says we are to love one another (John 13:34).

The Bible is filled with good advice about forgiveness…and all that wisdom is easy to forget about when we are mad. Put away the anger. Draw life from His Word.

Here’s a link to: Who You Are. I adore the lyrics.

Enjoy.

Peace,

Glenna