When we moved back from Colorado, something occurred to me. I'd spent the better part of two years being mostly anti-social, and while my love affair with the yoga pants is well documented, I knew that season wasn't meant to continue.
It's almost like God was saying, "I let you hide for awhile, but suck it up. We've got work to do."
During that time, I muddled through my own issues, worked past some bad thinking, wrong teaching, things that had been engrained in me that weren't GOD. I exhausted His patience with my questions and my wanderings and my "what-if's" and "it's not fair..."
God is very sweet to me.
In looking over our Colorado time, I knew things needed to change. When we pulled in to Illinois Adam and I decided the season of anti-socialness was over. Neither of us wanted that anymore. For us or the kids. And in making that decision, something inside me has changed.
Over the past two weekends, I got to go out and do book signings at three different places. I met with friends and strangers.
Did I tell you I have a new book out?
Click HERE to buy one of your very own! (I'm subtle, right?)
I chatted and caught up and looked people in the eye. I tried to make it less about the books and more about them...because I know all about the books...but the people were big mysteries to me.
And in doing this...I discovered something I didn't know before.
I really like people.
I mean, I really love talking to people, hearing their stories, seeing them smile. How had I convinced myself that holing up in my own house was a better way to live?
Since we moved back, I'm not going to lie, everything has gone wrong. It started way back with our closing in Colorado. The last two weeks there were two of the most stressful of my whole life. And I know stress! It was mind boggling how so many things could go wrong.
To make matters worse, I think I forgot to pack up the cupboard with my crock pot, milkshake maker and waffle iron. That means we no longer have any of those things...and we used them regularly. Especially the crock pot.
I'm planning a ceremony of mourning for later this month in case you want to come.
Then, we got to Illinois and everything that could go wrong with our closing here...did. It was another two weeks of pure stress.
Let me just explain a few things... in the last, I'd say, 6 weeks, these are just a few of the things we've been dealing with:
- The carpet in Sophia's bedroom has a HUGE black paint stain on it. It wasn't there when we walked through the house.
- The really expensive speaker Adam needs for his keyboard/recording equipment broke. We have to write a new musical in the next few months so it has to be replaced.
- I lost my crock pot. :(
- Adam's car died.
- My car had a nail and a screw in the tire.
- A water pipe broke in our house and we had to keep the water mostly off for several days. We've been down to one shower for a couple of weeks.
- Our toilet in the other bathroom broke.
- Last night, the neighbor's house guest backed into Adam's car.
- Our online bill pay says they sent our payment to Verizon but Verizon says they didn't get it. It's been cashed...so who has our money?
- Verizon said they wouldn't turn off our phones while we sorted through it.
- Yesterday Verizon turned off our phones. The bank still hadn't called to get it sorted out.
- Our grill stopped working.
- Power outages that lasted days and spoiled everything in the freezer.
- Sophia not only needs braces but a bite plate and head gear. I think the orthondontist we chose is the most expensive one in the world.
It doesn't end there, but I'll spare you the details. You get the point.
But then, I have to admit, there are SO many GOOD things happening right now. One of my biggest dreams came true when A Sweethaven Summer hit the NY Times bestseller list...and yet, when I look back over the past two months, my joy is clouded with little foxes spoiling my vine.
Isn't that always the way?
So, in the midst of this great stuff happening and the launch of my new book and everything that's good...there are all these little nitpicky things, annoyances, like gnats flying around my head. Things that take up my time or pull my attention...things that try keep my focus in the wrong place.
And there's something I've discovered... sometimes our lives are FULL of hard things. Some of us deal with one really big hard thing at a time. Others are given different hard things, little ones that, when added together, steal our joy.
But what I'm trying to focus on, instead of how mad it makes me that I have to spend an hour on the phone with the bank for no good reason other than they messed up...is that my joy can only be stolen if I let it.
My joy isn't left out in the open anymore...and the bottom line is, it's up to me.
Will I focus on the good?
New book, happy, healthy kids, being married to my best friend...
...or will I let the little foxes spoil the vine, the garden and the entire crop?
Today I choose to put my focus on things above.
I'm starting by making a list of good things that have happened...one for every rotten thing that's gone wrong.
Won't you join me?