A few days ago we went to the park and took some family pictures. We had a really good time, but towards the end of our little photo shoot I stood up from a sitting position too fast and aggravated an already strained lower back. I've been dealing with a lower back issue for about four months and decided that ignoring the problem might fix it. Wrong! The next few days were a combination of pain and self pity. I'm no good at taking help from others, its something I've struggled with my whole life. I've struggled with attitude of: if I want something done right then I have to do it myself. Wrong again! I know this attitude is like 100% contrary to Jesus, but I guess this is another reason why I need more of Him.
So I found myself laying on the couch trying to rest, but instead I began wallowing in pity. I started thinking that this back issue is just one of the many issues that have been making our lives so difficult. Four months ago my MIL suffered a ruptured aneurysm, and we almost lost her. You'd think that her miraculous and rather quick recovery would have helped me to be thankful, but instead I chose to focus on the negative side of things. I've chosen to focus on the negative circumstances surrounding us, and have failed to understand two things.
I was reading a blog just yesterday and it hit me, I've been focusing on the circumstances in our lives that I either can't change or that I think are unfair. There is nothing I can do about most of these circumstance, but there is something I can do about the attitude with which I face them. I think the quote from Martha Washington says it best:
I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.
As much as I want to be in control and to do things myself so they get done "right" this only leads me to the couch to lay for a while feeling sorry for myself. I wish I could just turn on the switch of happy and cheerful but I know this is a process. A journey if you will. I don't think that what Martha meant when she said happy and cheerful was that you ignore the circumstance and act happy, but rather you accept the situation, see how you can persevere, and not let despair take over. You face those circumsance with full awareness of the joy that life is and how no situation is ever permanent. A journey that for me has Jesus in the center. I think that Jesus gives us the strength to get through the difficult times and even when things are really, really bad there is always a bit of joy if only our attitude doesn't blind us.
So today I choose to face life with happiness and a cheery disposition even if things seem hard and unfair. Because I don't have to do things myself for them to turn out right.
Let's embrace the joy and happyness around us, and also the camera!