Friday, September 13, 2013

It's the little things

"Why can't anything ever work right?"

Do you ever ask that question?  I do, far more often than I should. 

Broken appliances, colds, allergies, learning disabilities, car troubles... sometimes it seems that nothing, and no one, works right.  

Like most people, I have some difficulties in my life.  I'd say mine are pretty light by first-world standards. (Of course by any other standard, I live the life of a queen.)   I do see people whose lives are (apparently) easy and stress-free:  their kids learn easily and conventionally;  illness rarely strikes; their cars never break down; they don't even ever seem to forget some needed item every time they go to the grocery store (to which they travel once per week, max, of course, not every other day like I do).   

But we don't know what's really going on.  Some people have problems they can't talk about, or prefer not to talk about. The ability to be organized and the blessing of healthy children doesn't mean a person has a perfect life.

But back to my (nonworking) life, as that's the example here.  I've got some things going that are out of my control, and sometimes I feel very alone as I wait for others to resolve them.  People aren't as responsive as they should be.  Documents I'm waiting for don't arrive as expected.

As a Christian who believes in a sovereign God, I should be more relaxed about this stuff.  I should know - indeed I do know, in my head - that God is working and I am not alone.  But it feels that way: that I am alone with no help. 

So today I picked up another small burden.  You might laugh at how small this burden is, but then again you may get it, because it's just one more stupid thing in a long list.  

I discovered that my oldest, who is taking the PSAT next month, hasn't used his calculator in a while (an embarrassingly long while) and probably doesn't know, or has forgotten, all the things he can do with it.  Things that might, you know, be useful to him on that test.  

And I wondered where the manual was.  Because I knew I hadn't seen it in a long, long time. 

A better mom would know where those things are.  Actually, a better mom would have made sure her teenager learned how to use the calculator right off, and would have given him the manual to store with his other school stuff so he could refer to it as needed. 

So this morning I thought about where it could be.  And with a bit of dread I went to one of the three likely places: the pile of appliance manuals that lives, rather haphazardly, in one of the cubbyholes of my IKEA bookcase/cubbyhole thing.  (I don't remember its cute IKEA name.)  I dug through the pile, and as I approached the bottom and was about to start crying, there it was:  the operations manual for the scientific calculator.  

Yes, it was a good place for it.  Yes, I'm the one who put it there.  

But still it lightened my heart a bit this morning, and made me feel just a little bit less alone.  A bit less disorganized and helpless and hopeless.  Some might laugh to read that I said a little prayer of thankfulness.  Because it felt like a little signal from God:  "Yes, I am here, and no, I haven't forgotten you."

It's a little thing.  But it was pretty big for me this morning.  

Nothing else has changed.  Except my attitude.

What is your small thing today? 

1 comment:

Is said...

I think it's awesome that you teach your kids to calculate things without a calculator, and that you actually kept the manual, and that you managed to locate it in the end.