The Wisdom of Perspective

This afternoon I went to the grocery store with Ava and a very long list.

I pushed my way through the store, kept her from a meltdown and one by one, crossed my items off my list.

We were there an hour.  She was good, but squirmy.

I endured a new checker, who to the best of his ability, was SLOW.  Painfully slow.  And unorganized, therefore SLOWER.  He loaded all of my things (from a very long list) into about 4 paper bags, each weighing about 10 lbs.  I HATE that, but I didn't have the energy to protest by the time I caught on to what he was doing.  Whatever.

By the time he was done, I was holding an extremely wiggly Ava, who was reaching as far as she could to touch whatever she could.  Without doing a backbend, I managed to pay for the groceries and push my extremely heavy cart, one-handed, in a very un-straight line to the car.  Once we got there, I realized that I had about 3 minutes until one of us (or maybe both of us) reached major-meltdown status.  As quickly as I could, I loaded the car up and got out of dodge.

As I was turning onto our street, I realized that the garage door opener was in Travis' car and not mine.  Major meltdown status now reached.  In an instant, I realized I was going to have to park, unload Ava, head inside our building, take the elevator to the garage, pick up a spare cart, go back outside, unload the car, push the cart back in the building, take the elevator up to the 2nd floor, and unload everything inside our kitchen.  Major bummer on a million levels.

As soon as we got inside, Ava made it clear that she was not going to wait any longer to eat.  So I fed her, groceries waiting on the counter, and to my delight, she fell asleep.  I gingerly tip-toed into her room, laid her in her crib and watched in horror as she woke right up and began to cry.

For 3 days running now, Ava has thrown huge fits at each of her naps.  She's refused to nap or just taken tiny little cat naps.  AND. I'M. ABOUT. TO. LOSE. MY. MIND.  We've never had a napping issue, ever, ever, ever.  She's a great napper!  2 hours in the morning, 2-3 in the afternoon.  It's been perfect.  However, from day one, she's been napping in her swing and I recently decided that it was time to transition her to her crib.  She's simply getting too big for her swing.  Well, apparently I should have consulted her first, because she is NOT happy about it.  I've done it in slow, gradual steps and I've made it about as inviting as possible.  It's not that she won't sleep in her crib, she sleeps like a champ in there every night.  But for some reason, she is not cooperating AT ALL during the day and I'm doing my very best to stand my ground and weather the storm.  I know she'll cave, eventually.  I just have to be patient and consistent until she does.  But in the meantime, I think I might eat my weight in girl scout cookies while I listen to her scream and wail.

Fun times over here.

As I sat and contemplated my irritation with this whole thing, feeling very sorry for myself all the while, I got online and got a very healthy and needed dose of perspective.  Suddenly my grocery saga, my no-nap baby, and my cookie stuffing felt very, very small and insignificant in light of some much harder circumstances.

I pulled up my twitter and saw that little Stellan is once again in a fight for his life.  He's gravely ill, although doing better at the moment, but back in the hospital facing all kinds of unknowns and more tests.  His parents are hoping and praying, waiting and watching,  and trying to make the best decisions for him, in order to save his life.  I'm just hoping Ava will sleep for a little bit so I can get a break.

I also read an update about sweet little Kate and pictured her newly shaven head, the latest reminder of what this horrible cancer has done to her precious little body.  I read Holly's struggles about juggling her time and attention between her three kids, each who need her in a different way.  I thought of my friend Steph, Holly's sister, who packed up her life, moved in to help and is now in the midst of an intense crisis in her family, every single day.  And all I want is to go to the grocery store alone.

Sometimes a little perspective is all you need to shake you up and out of a bad mood.  Or help you realize all the blessings you take for granted.  Or inspire to be a little more thankful and a lot more grateful.  Yep, a little perspective does even the grumpiest of us a whole lot of good.

Suddenly I'm not so irritated by the ordeal of buying food.  I'm thankful for a healthy, squirmy girl, who has lungs that are clear and working and a body that isn't in a fight for survival.  I appreciate her feisty, independent spirit that won't quit, even when she should be exhausted.  And although I hope and pray we're never in that position, I realize that feisty personality could be exactly what she needs, should she ever be in her own fight for her life.  Perspective.  It doesn't always solve your problems or make them disappear.  But it does size them up and help you see them a little clearer.  I still wish she'd go to sleep and stop crying.  I still long for the day when the grocery store isn't as daunting and I really hope I can get back in shape soon.  But until then, I'm grateful for today.  I'm thankful for a healthy daughter.  And I'm at peace with a God who is Sovereign.  Perspective....Do you need a little too??

Philippians 4:8
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things."


petrii said...

What a wonderful post. Perspective is needed by us all at times. I've been praying for Stellan and Kate and their families as well.

Thank you for this perspective!!

Love you sweet one,

Miz Jean said...

Yes yes yes. This happens to me frequently, too. Perspective is painful, but necessary.

Also, you would not believe this, but I have that scripture passed on my refrigerator for the last two weeks.

Hang in there friend. The waters will calm down soon.

Peggy & Ron said...

SO true! Thank you for reminding me how wonderful healthy children and grandchildren are.

Anonymous said...

Well said!

Kim said...

Your blog was an amazing (and needed) reminder today for me about perspective! Thank you for your honesty, and the nap thing... and the grocery store thing get better!!!! :)

The Dorns said...

Wow I mean this in the nicest way, I am so glad to hear of another 6mo old going through the same thing.

Landon same age as Ava and has only slept daytime in a car, swing or being nursed to sleep. Nightime is perfect in the crib. We have recently taken the swing away and I am in tears at his panic in the crib. I tried the Feber way but he is so strong willed he cried for 2 hrs I finally decided to pick him up. Its so hard I sure hope they both decide daytime naps in the crib are OK. I just need Landon to learn how to put himself to sleep on his own.

Lindsay said...

It always seems that as soon as I start complaining about my fussy baby, my sassy 18 month old or my "terrible day" that I get a little reminder how much I have to be thankful for. I can't imagine the pain of losing one of my children...thanks for the reminder :-)

Heather said...

Good words, friend. I sooo relate. There is nothing more frustrating than laying that baby girl down and having her start screaming the second she hits the mattress!!! I have been there!!! (I totally eat handfuls of cookies, too! Promise!) But you are totally right about the perspective. Love ya!

Nick, Lindsey, and Anniston Kennedy said...

That happens to me too. When I get down or upset about something, I am usually reminded (very quickly too) just how blessed I am. God works in amazing ways, giving us just what we need. Even on my worst day as a mommy, I can always find a million reasons why I am blessed! I love your blog and can relate to you in so many ways!