With the political turmoil continuing in our country and now the winter apocalypse hitting, I’m beginning to wonder if someone asked for 2020 to give us an encore. After an incredibly difficult year, I was looking forward to meeting my sister and best friend for a weekend away to relax. I was looking forward to three full days without the responsibility of daily life with young children and catching up with my closest confidants. After putting on a brave face through the one year mark of Taylor’s death, I was looking forward to a space safe where I could break down if I needed to, but mostly share laughs and secrets with the women who know me best. The morning we were supposed to leave, I woke up with a horrible stomach bug. The thing about being a mom is, it doesn’t matter if your head is in the toilet, your children are still going to ask you for breakfast. The fortunate thing about getting sick when I was supposed to be enjoying a weekend away is that I had already coordinated my work schedule and arranged child care.
When I face disappointment in life, I always remind myself that God knows better and I just have to trust His plan and timing. Had we been able to go on our trip, we may have been snowed in, separated and disconnected from our children much longer than anticipated or even had an accident on the icy roads. God always knows better, but it doesn’t mean you will happily endure every day He sets before you. What is being called Winter Storm Uri was definitely a rough few days for so many of us. I personally went 24 hours with my hair knotted on top of my head because I did not have a way to wash out the toddler vomit after passing the stomach bug on to my youngest. I don’t know if I have ever been so grateful for a shower once I finally had access to running water and vowed I would never take this first world luxury for granted again as long as I live.
Now that it is beginning to warm up and we are able to enjoy the afternoon sunshine, it is hard to remember we just toughed out a serious winter storm. If we are fortunate, it is easy to forget about going a few nights without electricity and Wi-Fi as soon as it is up and running again. We are so prone to jump right back in to business as usual and conditioned to waste our evenings scrolling away on our smart phones. I think it’s probably safe to assume that after a couple days of “normal,” we have already forgotten to remain grateful for the things we were praying for while we were without. The things we so luckily get to take for granted like heat and clean water. If Taylor were still here, like so many others, he would have been out in the elements continuing to work because the work needed to get done and people were depending on him. One of the greatest lessons he taught me was if you are ever tempted to use the word “bored,” you should replace it with “privileged.”
“If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
We don’t think of it often, but being bored is truly a privilege that so many in this world are not afforded. The Good News Translation reads this verse from 1 Timothy as, “You have been given so many gifts and tools to support your loved ones. So step up and provide, and you will follow God and his son Jesus’ lead. It may be difficult at first, but you’ll bring joy to not only others, but yourself as well.” What an incredible thing to remember! Shortly after losing my husband, I was amazed by all of the support we received but desperately wondered how come I couldn’t be the one making casseroles and sending care packages to someone else. My loved ones did not hesitate to use the gifts and tools God had provided them with to take care of my family and me in our hour of need and we will be forever grateful. These acts of service have led to many conversations with my girls on the importance of friendships and taking care of each other as Christ instructed us to do.
God considers all people his beloved children and all of us who have accepted Jesus Christ as His Son are bound together as brothers and sisters in His kingdom. We have all been blessed with different gifts and tools so that we can take care of our immediate families and our incredibly extended family through Christ. I encourage everyone who is able to help their neighbors and communities that are still facing the devastation of this month’s weather. I encourage all of us to change our mindset when it comes to griping about inconveniences and give thanks for how privileged we are. Boredom means we are not slaving away to put food on the table or provide our families with clean water. Boredom means we are blessed with the gifts, tools and capabilities to serve others.
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