Gratitude Friday: Friday, Y’all, Just Friday…

Goodness, y’all.

If ever there was a week to say, THANK GOODNESS IT’S FRIDAY, this is it.

Chalkboard Friday

Because…this week? Ugh.

My son has had a rough week. Both kids battled a stomach bug last weekend and Skillet seems to have gotten in a bad habit of not eating. And so he has been complaining about a headache and, honestly, I can’t imagine why he would have a headache when he isn’t eating anything (sarcasm font). Yesterday, he ate a bite of yogurt, a few chips, and a solitary chicken nugget. How he was still walking around, I don’t know. I can’t go two hours without a substantial caloric intake.

Also, Skillet seems to be going through an odd case of five-year-old separation anxiety. He lost his ever-lovin’ mind his second day of school following the first day that hadn’t gone all that well to start with. So far, he’s refused to take his first day of school pictures with the chalkboard. Three days this week. He’s clung to me at night as I tuck him in saying, Momma, don’t leave me. And crying. I’d love to say it was a fake cry meant to manipulate but, bless him, he appeared genuinely scared.

Yesterday, he spent most of the day being generally whiny and inconsolable. He wanted to go somewhere but not the places I would agree to take him. Because what he really wants me to do is take him someplace that SELLS TOYS. And there are a lot of things I am going to do but purchase a new toy for my son every Tuesday and Thursday when he’s not in school is NOT ONE OF THEM.

Although, his MOOD proved profitable for Pumpkin. Skillet paid her $.12 to clean his room at the end of the day. I wanted to tell him that he’d made a poor investment choice considering his sister believes gathering every item off the middle of the floor and throwing it haphazardly into the closet counts as cleaning. Pumpkin was super excited (she now owns $.56) and I was too exhausted to care. I closed the closet doors, both of them, and backed out of their rooms quickly.

I’m spent.

And you know what? It’s okay.

This is real life. It’s messy and whiny and sometimes disappointing when you realize Momma ain’t playing about not buying you a new toy every day.

We all have those weeks, right? Weeks that feel almost like months. When nothing we do or say or even pray seems to make things better. Possibly, we feel they are actually making things worse. Every trick we try, every solution we attempt, every piece of proverbial pasta we throw against the wall to see if it sticks, well, it falls completely flat. Our kids are unhappy, our coworkers are restless, our spouses are stressed, our TV’s and phones and iPads and laptops are filled with images that break our hearts.

We are just tired.

What we could do is get stuck in that. Wear guilt or shame or defeat like a hair shirt. Or a really scratchy wool sweater.

But we have another choice.

We can decide to wallow in the Woe is Me or we can choose to say, This is Already His Victory.

We can sit and grumble and complain and vent to anyone who will listen (slowly raising my hand).

OR we can say, Lord, ummmm, I’m tired. This is hard. This is not what I was expecting or planned or prayed for. This is too much.

Then we take a long, deep breath.

And we step towards gratitude.

We say, Father, even in all that, I’m grateful you see me. Grateful you are not surprised. Because, heavens, I am. Thank you for being God. Thank you for being faithful. Thank you for being bigger than any mess I have made out of this situation this week.

That. Being grateful EVEN WHEN we are just slap worn out. That gratitude is our praise and worship to a God who loves, adores, and rejoices over us.

Scripture says God inhabits the praise of His people and, friend, where my Father lives? That is exactly where I need to be. Especially at the end of a week that took more than it gave.

What about you? Where are you this week? Maybe this is the spirit hanging over us all this week after watching the devastation from Harvey. Maybe you have had this same kind of week and maybe our souls feel the disruption and despair of our brothers and sisters in Christ all over the path Harvey continues to plow.

So this week wasn’t great? And some things just aren’t okay. It feels hard and will feel hard for a long time, maybe. For us? For this community here where we are seeking to live grateful lives rooted in Him? We get another chance to offer the sacrificial worship of our gratitude at the feet of our Savior. May our grateful prayers pour out like oil on the feet Your nail scarred feet, Lord.

And also, Lord, could you fix Skillet? Like, just fix him, Lord. Please. Thank you.

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