Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Just look up

A dear friend of mine and a wonderful counselor, Dr. G., once told me that when things get unbearable, when your circumstances are just more than you can handle at the moment, or when you just can't make sense of things and are feeling completely lost, look up. I questioned him as to why such a simple act could ease my heart and calm my mind. His answer makes perfect sense. If you continue to look at your surroundings, you can become overwhelmed and even more distracted by what you see. If instead you choose to look up, you are looking beyond the trouble and the distractions, and you are looking toward God and putting your focus on Him, while handing Him those problems. It works beautifully.

I know how much that simple act has helped me over the years with whatever was bothering me and calmed many a storm brewing within. What I didn't expect was that the same advice would have such a practical use once I had sons.

Our girls were relatively easy to be around and, for the most part, still are. Boys, on the other hand, take a level of patience I'm still not sure God provided me. They burp, toot, wrestle, fight and tinkle on most anything. I can handle those things; I had a brother and a dad. What I have a hard time with is them taking MY things.

I have "lost" hairbrushes, combs, toothbrushes, socks, jewelry, Tupperware lids, cups, forks, spoons, my WALLET (!). All of those things were searched for and eventually found. I was okay with that...really.

The last straw came when my favorite black flip flops went missing. I searched, had the girls search, had the boys search, nothing. I had to change some outfits I packed when my mom and I went to Atlanta because I didn't have the black flip flops to match. A very "girly" problem but irritating just the same.

A week after my trip and after several more search parties came up empty, I found my beloved flipflops. They had been tossed one by one to the top of my closet, on top of my shampoo/conditioner stash. I found a chair to stand on and as I retrieved my special shoes I noticed other items our family had been missing. There were long lost socks, a sandal, a dirty pair of Spiderman underwear. What had those boys been doing?

I decided to check other areas of higher elevation in our home and was quite pleased with my discoveries. There was an errant toy on top of the buffet, a sister's earring above the medicine cabinet, the entertainment center housed a ball and a slightly used Tupperware dish while poor missing Woody-the-cowboy was perched, quite uncomfortably it seemed, atop the toilet bowl cleaner in the laundry room.

More missing items were found as I (and my step stool) made our way through the house. I thought I had rescued all unaccounted for objects and was feeling quite glib until several days later I noticed a putrid odor oozing from my closet. Evidently during my previous investigation I failed to notice the hidden sippy cup on the top shelf thrown behind the deodorant. It was full of a little boy's milk from many days before.

Dr. G was right. I will continue to look up when faced with difficulties in my life. However, now it's so nice to know that in the process of handing those problems over to God, I might just luck out while peering up and find that tube of under eye cream I KNOW Landon had last week.

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