Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Yeah, But...

Recently I wrote about contentment - about how it is something that can be quite a struggle for me to find in life.  My husband and I began discussing this at length after the post went up.  In a good way though.  Here's what came up:

How much of our discontentment is our own making??

I could sit and think about that for a long while and I could come up with an exhaustive list of "yeah, buts".  You know what I mean?  Yeah, but we have a special needs child.  Yeah, but we have to arrange for a nurse.  Yeah, but there's so much stuff to bring.  Yeah, but we don't have the money.  Yeah, but our family isn't "normal" like everyone else's.  

Do you see what that does??

You can "yeah, but" your way through life and it is not going to add one ounce of happiness to it.  Not one bit.  Not one bit of contentment.

I shared with you yesterday some of the areas of discontent in my life.  Most of which come down to the fact that our family is not "typical".  We're not "normal".  We have a special needs/medically fragile child which adds a whole other dimension to our ability to do things.

Out of the discussion with my husband came these things:

* We need to recognize that we have so much to be grateful for.  I try to do this as well as I can each Thursday here on my blog, but maybe my best effort hasn't happened yet.  Maybe I need to try harder.

* Even though our family isn't typical, we are a family and we are allowed to do things.  Peyton is the one person of the four of us to whom none of this matters.  She lives life pretty happily despite being continuously sick.  She is a happy child.  Yes, she gets fussy, but she doesn't have the deep-rooted concerns that the rest of us have.  It makes me wonder, if she's not stressing out about her situation, should we??

* We are allowed to do things as a threesome while ensuring proper care at home for Peyton.  I need to let go of the guilt and the hurt I feel when I think about how Peyton can't participate or won't ever be able to do the things that Moira can and will.  I need to set that aside and go to the beach or go to the zoo or do things with Moira for her enjoyment without being consumed with the absence of Peyton from those activities.

* While life in our world can be isolating {and it truly can be in and of itself}, we need to stop putting ourselves in situations that intentionally isolate ourselves.  Stop making excuses for the things we think we can't do and do them!

* Turn our "church faces" into our "real faces".  You know what I am talking about?  Your "church face" - that face you put on the second you exit your vehicle to enter into your church so that everyone in the building sees you as this content and joyful person - so that they don't look at you and see the stress, worry, concerns, hurt, anger, misery and other negative emotions you've been wallowing in up to the point you parked your vehicle!  Stop allowing all the negativity to overtake the joy that you are rightfully able to experience!

* Yes, there will be times when things are legitimately difficult - that is a given - and they will happen frequently, because such is the nature of a family like ours.  But don't create difficulties where they shouldn't or don't exist!  Try to do something positive in the family or for yourself that will bring about feelings of happiness and contentment...every day.

For me, I try to say that it's not about keeping up with the Joneses because the Joneses probably don't have a special needs child.  But I need to stop putting myself in this cell of isolation that purposely keeps me from getting out there and being the person that God intended for me to be.  I know He wants me to be happy and He has given me so many blessings in my life that should be making me a lot more content than I generally feel.  I'm not saying that I am discontented with life in general, nor am I saying that it's all the time.  There are just areas of life where things are difficult because of our situation.  I just need to recognize that those areas were not given to me to cause me discouragement.  They were placed in my life for a purpose.  It is up to me to do a better job of reacting to situations in such a way that it doesn't leave me with those feelings of discontent.

Just another part of the journey.
Wish me luck!

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