Here, in my neck of the woods, beach therapy is always an option. Doesn't matter how cold it is, or how cloudy, you are guaranteed to see people in the water in swimsuits, in flat out denial that summer is over.
And yeah. I will happily partake in the denial when things start to go south on me. Even when it is foggy and grey.
I think the spiral started with my caramel apple crash and burn. Then one of the kids got the stomach flu. My body has been toying with the idea of getting it ever since. Next in line was emotional WWIII with the other one. The order of events was: disobedience, disrespect, yelling (both of us), tears (both again), and calling for the guy who talks everyone down (husband/dad). Bad times. So bad, in fact, that consequences were in order. We had to cancel Saturday's trip to the pumpkin patch, just as much a disappointment for me as for them. Bad got worse when my husband got the flu, which meant cancelling the babysitter and missing a very big, special party for some of our favorite people on this earth. A party we've been planning on for months. Memory making and special outfits and toasts were in order. It's killing us that we missed it.
So do you blame me for choosing to avert my eyes from the frustration heaped on this week, and wanting to just stare off into the horizon? I took a few of my favorite things.
My tea, obviously. A box of Reduced Fat Cheez-Its (far superior to the regular ones, FYI and you're welcome). And my favorite kids.
One thing I'm learning from this book (that is really starting to mess me up) is that I'm meant to laugh. Jesus didn't come to make everyone straighten up and be serious. I mean, did we think that we had more of a sense of humor than He does? Didn't He create laughter in the first place? Why does this come as a bit of a surprise to me? Of course! He intends for me to laugh all the time. Just look at the way he's made animals, and my children, or aligns crazy coincidences, and inspires silliness.
This was one of my views as I sat on the sand. I've seen this "guy" a hundred times, and have never realized that God is trying to get a laugh out of me from it. I think He thinks it's hilarious. And isn't it, really?
At the beach, the kids and I wandered off to explore the tide pools. On the way back, when we rounded the bend and could spy our towel in the distance, we were shocked to find it covered with seagulls pulling the bag of Cheez-Its out of its box and shaking it upside down. I sent the kids shrieking and scrambling in their direction, which flushed the birds up into a beautiful spiral of wings. We laughed. And we were meant to laugh.
"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."
If things go south on you this week, and if you can't make it to the beach, look for laughter. You sorta have to be open to it, don't you? Sometimes, I will let my crushed spirit dry up any chance of laughter in me. I will squash all hints of a cheerful heart, snapping, "It's not funny!" to the world. I think that's called pouting. Yuck!
Tonight, I thought of Heather, and what I believe she intends to inspire with her Monday linky. It's not called "Life is Lovely." Because life is not lovely all the time. Sometimes there are disappointments and hurts beyond measure. Mine weren't too bad this past week. But I still had a challenge before me: Do I feel sorry for myself with my crushed spirit, or do I let Jesus lift my head and lead me back to a cheerful heart?
If I can allow Him to, I'll contribute to a life made lovely. He makes it lovely, because He loves me.