“It seems like everything is going wrong,” he said, discouragement evident in his tone and written on his face. Still wearing his office clothes, sweat soaked through my husband’s button-down shirt, and dust and grass covered his black dress shoes from multiple trips between our basement and the air conditioning units outside.
The night before school starts is always crazy. Our children attend and I tutor at a Classical Conversations program once a week; we’ve been there for years. Usually, there’s chaos because we can’t find all the books for the new school year or figure out what to pack for lunch, but this was different: the fan in one of our AC units stopped spinning and the wall in my son’s room felt so hot the outlet cover had begun to discolor. With daytime highs in the 90s, the house was miserably hot. Plus, we were becoming afraid of an electrical fire in our son’s room.
Sometimes it makes my husband crazy that I assume he can fix anything. Usually he proves me right, but I know it’s a lot of pressure. However, an hour after arriving home, he had switched out the outlet box in my son’s room, installed a new capacitor in the AC unit (in honor of our 80s heritage we call it a flux capacitor), and the air coming through our vents was cooler than we’d felt in months. A week earlier, he had fixed the dishwasher when it suddenly quit filling with water. Our leaky washing machine is next on his honey-do list.
A friend once told her husband if he came home and everything looked the same as when he left, she’d done a lot; she’d managed to maintain. We worship a God of logic and order, but for us, entropy — a lack of order or predictability or a gradual decline into disorder — is usually the name of the game.
Things fall apart.
I often look to the future for something I want to happen or hope to achieve. But in weeks like this, I remember the greatest comfort can be found in such simple things: the touch of cool sheets as I crawl into bed, sleeping through the night in safety, a steaming cup of Earl Grey in the morning, ice for my water, curling under a blanket with a bowl of buttered popcorn and a movie on a Friday night, snuggling with a sleeping baby, ice cream for dessert.
These aren’t big things — most are downright mundane — yet they impart structure and meaning to my days.
Perception influences what we make of life: Do I appreciate what’s in front of me every day or only after I lose and regain it, like my air conditioning or my dishwasher?
Sometimes we get caught up in the midst of things and miss the daily graces that surround us. It’s easy to take the everyday for granted and overlook the blessings in it. This week I challenge you — and me — to search for simple, largely unnoticed gifts. Point them out to the people around you, and let’s thank God together for what He’s done.
Praise God when your people make it home safely at the end of the day. Praise God when hot water comes out of your pipes and cold air from your vents. Praise God for the ability to clean your clothes and wash your dishes. And when everything seems to go wrong? Praise God anyway because He is good, all the time, and stands beside you through the good and bad, through it all.
What simple blessing will you stop and be thankful for today?
Perception influences what we make of life — do I appreciate what’s in front of me every day or only after I lose and regain it? -@DawnMHSH: Click To Tweet