Everything around me appears broken. I grab for another knob that falls off at the touch. Both sinks are leaking, spilling out, begging for another rag to mop up the mess. The outlets aren’t functioning and I fumble around to find a plug that works. There is dirt on the floor, no matter how many times I have swept and mopped. And I falter. I let those little things get to me. I feel the roots of bitterness, anger, and expectation creep up on me, begging me to pay them mind. And I do. I always do.
This isn’t real tragedy. My sister is in Africa, dealing with, seeing real tragedy. Friends dealing with illness, death, and betrayal: that’s real tragedy. And yet, isn’t it funny how it’s the little things that can strangle? A toilet that doesn’t work. A person that is unkind. An assignment whose deadline feels daunting. Nothing catastrophic. And yet it strangles.
How easy it is to feel overwhelmed in the day to day. It’s like an incessant drip. Did he make it there safely? Drip. Will I be able to finish everything before company comes into town? Drip. Will she take this well or is it going to cause a fight? Drip.
And before I know it, I am in a flood, and I am drowning. And then I look around and realize all I had to do was open the door, let each drop rush out the door, stop holding them all around me. I am not really in control…it’s an illusion I create for myself. Somehow there is comfort in knowing that I am taking care of everything. But really, I’m not.
So yes, everything may be broken. I might be tired and overwhelmed. It’s easy to let life’s little annoyances become big tragedies. But they aren’t.
And if I search for things to be thankful for, I forget to complain.
So, I’m thankful for the ugly, because it makes me better:
outlets that don’t work
And the good:
my husband surprising me by coming home early
a place of my own, a nesting place
the smell of cinnamon candles
And I feel the release. I start to feel the burdens seep out the door. Yes, there is a lot of ugly. There is a lot of bad. But, oh how much good there is too. And by God’s grace I am here, experiencing it every day.
What about you? What are some of life’s little tragedies that cause you to stagger? And what are some of life’s graces that lead to restoration?
By Melissa, Meandering ThoughtsLeave a Comment
Amen! Great post… it’s all about being thankful, having perspective, and trusting the Lord.
Love love love this!! <3 thank you for sharing!!
Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) says
Love this post… awesome words! Little tragedies that cause me to stagger: a messy house, dishes in the sink, paper piles on the counter and car brakes that squeak. Life’s graces: a loving husband, a reliable job and paycheck, a great family that lives close by, an amazing church, our Thursday night dinner club with friends, and many many more. 🙂
This was very timely – thank you! This was good day for this reminder. :0)
Little Tragedies: teenagers that talk back
Really- my ever running toilet
An unkind word
Big grace: waking up to a new day
Trip to Joplin
Lisa Marie says
Melissa, thank you so much for this. It dried my tears!
colleen laquay urbaniuk @ thegiftofmondays.com says
i like the visual of the dripping.
drip. drip. drip.
i think that simple thought is going to change my outlook…thank you!!!
i am a “drip” catcher….constantly looking for the container that will catch them all, keep any from falling to the ground. My buckets aren’t big enough. My efforts aren’t fast enough. Maybe I’m trying to save what needs to be lost.
thank you for the reminder that in reality i hold, i control, i contain NOTHING. But for Christ alone.
Wow! How did you know this is my life? I too am a “drip catcher” but for every one else. God lead me to Proverbs 3 this morning and now I know why.
Stephanie Spencer says
I often find myself more stressed about the little tragedies than the big ones. Even in injuries- I have a harder time dealing with a paper cut or a stubbed toe than a bad fall.
In life, my biggest little tragedies seem to be the recurring ones: tasks not getting crossed of my list, struggling to get out the door on time, grumpy children, and unmet expectations.
If I let them, the tragedies can actually be the source of the grace. The grace to know my value is not based on what I achieve, that I am not in control, that true love is unconditional, and that God’s expectations of me are often very different than my expectations of myself.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Amy McCollister says
Somehow there is comfort in knowing that I am taking care of everything. But really, I’m not. — LOVE LOVE LOVE this. So true for me.
Love this! Personally, this is my theme song and daily mantra – “I am not really in control…it’s an illusion I create for myself. Somehow there is comfort in knowing that I am taking care of everything. But really, I’m not.” I think this goes for a lot of us women and moms out there who juggle, juggle, juggle. And how much more powerful it is to just let go…
Julie Sunne says
Timely! I just faced a strangling “little tragedy” a couple nights ago. The gift of tears was my saving grace! That and my earlier resolution to daily focus on the “little” bits of light God blesses everyone with (whether you can see them or not). Thank you, we can never be reminded of a “grace” focus enough.
Nikole Hahn says
Broken things lead to better, newer things like in life. Broken lives given over to Christ equal new beginnings, brighter beginnings.
Thanks for the reminder to keep everything In perspective. We can be thankful for the struggles.
God bless you for this!
Baby rejecting solid food that I serve him.
Preschooler ignoring my instructions
Leaking ceiling that never gets resolved
Project that is taking me F.O.R.E.V.E.R. to complete
The fact that I have children – I have friends that don’t
Children that smile beautifully at me and love me
God’s unconditional love for me
My husbands unconditional love for me
Kaitlin Evans says
Loved this piece!
I blame horomones for some of the small tragedies taking over my life right now!!!!