Thursday, June 23, 2011

For Goodness' Sake

     This morning was not my favorite. I was exhausted and struggled to get out of bed when my furry alarm clock began her wake-up whimper. Once I was up, I let the dogs out, stumbled through preparations for our morning walk, and finally gave up and conked out on the couch for a bit. I did eventually gain enough consciousness to leash the dogs and tie my shoes, but rather than shaking me out of my lethargy, walking seemed to make me more tired than ever. It simply was not a good start.

     During my walk, I tried to intercede for others but I just didn't have it in me. Instead, I unloaded some pent-up frustrations on God and then talked to Him about how I knew He was good even though I felt miserable at the moment. I did not feel His goodness a single bit, but I knew it. And I was at least thankful that this was not a school day.

     As the morning passed and kids were fed, coffee consumed, family devotions done, and wandering around the house aimlessly accomplished with splendid precision, I found that I was beginning to feel a little more optimistic. The planned car wash for the day was called off due to a possibility of storms, and I decided to make a treat for the kids and then go do some yard work. However, there were different plans at work: My kids came running back from our neighbors asking to go roller skating with them. Well, thought I, it had been promised to them that we would go sometime, so sure! Why not? We had lunch and went to the skating rink.

     My poor neighbor was having a day of the sort that makes any parent want to consume their offspring on the spot, causing me to realize that despite my lingering sleepiness, I was no longer having a bad day. I felt for her, as I have been in the same predicament many times over, and so was able to sympathize. Her kids eventually cheered up and had fun, which made the next few hours pass more pleasantly for her. All in all, the roller rink was a great success and I got to say "yes" to something spontaneous. Things were looking up.

    When we arrived home, the kids actually asked for an apple to eat. Not a treat, not cheese and crackers, but an apple. That was a pleasant shock! We spent an agreeable hour sitting around the table and rolling onigiri for dinner. My oldest asked if he could prepare the side dish himself because he wanted to add his secret ingredient. So the kitchen was his, and we were all suitably impressed with his seasoning prowess.

      Once the meal was over, we all stepped out to refreshingly cool air and worked at clearing up the yard for mowing. I was walking with my youngest, scooping dog poop of all things, who had just told me how she liked to be with me when I spotted my middle child sitting on the grass and looking out towards where the sun was beginning to set. She looked over her shoulder, beckoned to me,  and patted the grass beside her, and I came and sat. Together, we admired the colors.

     Bedtime was late for the kids, and the littlest just kept her arms around me. Her eyes were tearing and she said, very matter-of-fact, "I don't even know why I'm crying." She made such a tragic and touching figure, handling her little 6-year-old emotions better than I often do. All three are tired by now, and I remain as worn as I felt in the morning. However, I can now say that I feel God's goodness as much as I failed to feel it shortly after dawn. And so, I will end the day the same way I began it by saying, "God, You are good!"

Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!  Psalm 31:19

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.