I am ashamed to say that I spent most of yesterday in whine mode. I woke up yesterday with some sinus and nasal trouble, I had a list of things to do, I was a teensy bit stressed about the upcoming show, and I really felt sorry for my poor little self. I mean, what a horrible thing it is to have a head cold! There was also the fact that my older son was out of school and he and his brother had to get in some "torture time."
I went in to town and left the boys with my mom so I could do some shopping. I had five Operation Christmas Child boxes to fill before Sunday, and time was running out. For those of you who don't know what Operation Christmas Child is, I'll explain. Every year in November, churches and organizations all over the country fill up shoe boxes with toys and trinkets for children around the world who wouldn't otherwise receive anything for Christmas. It's become a tradition in my family to take part, and we all really enjoy it. This year, however, I was a little stressed about it. I had been so busy with the show that I had not had the time to spend on the project that I would have liked. The show itself was another source of stress, but I'll get to that in a minute. Anyway, I headed out to find stuff for the shoe boxes, but I wasn't in a very "Christmasy" mood. I felt sick and stressed and really just wanted to sit down and cry.
Something occurred to me though. I really have little to whine about. I have a cold. Boo hoo. I could be so much sicker. My kids could be ill, but they're not. They're healthy enough to run wild and drive me crazy. And they need absolutely nothing. They're some of the fortunate ones who'll (hopefully) never have to make do with a shoe box full of odds and ends. I should be thankful that I'm the one filling the shoe boxes and not the one waiting and praying for a Christmas miracle.
This always seems to happen to me around this time of year. I get to the point where I'm so focused inward that I can't see all the blessings that have been laid at my feet. Sure, there's tons to do, but at least I'm strong and well enough to do it. Things could be so much worse! My schedule is currently jam-packed with holiday activities, and instead of worrying myself into a tizzy over the upcoming Christmas Tea, I should just chill and be glad I'm surrounded by loving friends and family.
As for the show, I'm feeling better about that too. We had a good final rehearsal last night, and I think everything will come together. If not, well... it's been a blast anyway. I should take a cue from the characters in the show. They're all simple folks, but they do extraordinary things when the people and places they love are threatened. Family and community is a huge part of their lives, and they are all willing to fight for them.
I really live a charmed life. I don't have much to legitimately worry about. I'm not rich, but my family never goes without food. My house is warm and peaceful. My country has problems, but it's still the greatest country in the world. My family will all be together for the holidays.
I'll probably end up stressed and whiny a few more times before the New Year, but I'm only human. I hope I'll take another minute to think about how blessed I really am.
***A special note of thanks to some folks who helped me put things back into perspective yesterday:
*The man in the store who stopped me and told me how good God is. Yes sir, He sure is.
*My husband who has taken over as Mom and Dad so I could do the show. You rock, Baby!
*My little Paulie who requested prayer for me at church last night.
*My cast mates who made me laugh even when I didn't feel like it.
*God for reminding me of all the blessings that I don't deserve but He has given me anyway.