A little after 6:00 yesterday morning, I heard a loud thump coming from Aaron’s room. I opened his door to find him lying on the floor beside his bed. He had obviously fallen out of bed, but why? I didn’t hear a seizure, so I assumed that he had just been too close to the edge of his bed and ended up tumbling out onto the floor. But he wasn’t waking up and I was wondering what had happened. He’s too big for Gary and me to lift, so I had to leave him there after checking him for injuries and hope that he woke up soon.
He did awaken and climb back into bed. Later, when he got out of bed and had taken his shower, he came into my bathroom where I was readying for the day. “Mom,” he said in a low voice. “I don’t feel well. My head hurts.”
I looked at him and saw a red mark on his forehead where he had hit his head on the lower shelf of his nightstand when he fell out of bed. Poor Aaron. Sometimes it seems that if something’s going to happen, it’s going to happen to Aaron.
After talking to him for a few minutes, I decided to let him stay home for the day. I was mentally shifting gears then as I rearranged my schedule somewhat, knowing that Aaron would be home. It’s really not a life changing big deal, usually, to keep Aaron at home on days that I don’t plan on him being home. But I do have to shuffle some things around that are on my list for that day. Like I said, not a big deal on most days……but it can be an inconvenience.
There’s another element, too, in keeping Aaron at home. I’ll be honest…..I enjoy my alone time and am refreshed during my breaks from Aaron. I feel selfish to say that, but all parents understand what I mean. As I make a decision to keep Aaron with me all day, I know that I might end up frustrated as the day progresses. He likes to shadow me all day between his times on his computer, talking constantly about things that either don’t interest me or that I have heard over and over and over.
It’s at those times that I know I have a decision to make…..basically, be content or be miserable. Be understanding or be irritated.
I was thinking about these things this morning as I heard a man on the radio talking about his unplanned health issues that have severely impacted his life. He said that he has learned not to let his joy be dictated by his circumstances.
On a much, much smaller scale, that is the decision I faced yesterday. And it’s the decision that I face on many days, not just concerning Aaron, but concerning every aspect of my life.
Do I allow my circumstances to dictate my joy……or do I let God dictate my joy even IN my less than ideal circumstances?
God tells me to be content in every situation, with thankfulness to boot. I don’t even want to tell you how many times I mess that up!
I thought back on yesterday with Aaron and was struck by what I would have missed had I not kept Aaron at home…….other than tons of talk about the movie Battle Los Angeles; his new delight in playing Battleship on his computer as he expounds on EVERY. SINGLE. WEAPON.; and whether Charlie Daniels is from the north, the south, or the west, and is he a cowboy singer or a country singer; and so much more. Really. Much, much more.
So what would I have missed?
I would have missed his heartfelt hug, so rare on most days from Aaron.
I would have missed him at lunch, saying, “I’ll wait for you to eat with me, Mom, so we can pray.” Then holding his hand and listening to HIM pray his simple, sweet prayer.
I would have missed him asking if he could do the watering of my porch plants. Look at his tongue! 🙂
I would have missed him going with me to Dillon’s, where he asked if he could buy two thank-you cards for Barb and Brandy at Paradigm.
I would have missed watching him prepare those cards, and ask if he could include a Papa Murphy’s coupon in each one.
I would have missed the opportunity for God to once again speak through these simple things to my sometimes stubborn, selfish heart. I am living the life that God planned for me. It’s not a bad life at all, but not necessarily the path of life that I would have chosen if I had been given the option to plan it all myself. I mean, I’m the age where I should be an empty nester and have freedom…..right?
Nope. Not at this point, and maybe never. But there is so much joy, even in the frustrations, because I have learned that God is good and His plan is good. HIS plan……not mine, always.
So yeah, my circumstances should not dictate my joy. My joy is dictated by God IN my circumstances.
Being thankful is a huge part of my joy. It’s really the key that opens the door to joy, but it’s the hardest thing to do sometimes. It’s pretty cool that Aaron wanted to buy those thank-you cards yesterday. I need one to continually hand to God, every day, many times.
I bet Aaron could help me with that.
Oh wait……he already has.