I did not want to get out of bed this morning.
Granted, this statement is true almost every morning. I am not a morning person and I truly enjoy sleeping. But this morning it was not the soft, warm pillow or my heavy eyelids that beckoned me to stay between the sheets. It was what awaited me that failed to motivate my swift departure.
My four-year-old had already come into my room wet and whiny telling me she’d accidentally wet the bed. My seven-year-old had also just stood by my bedside reporting that he’d just spilled Cheerios, “all over the kitchen.” And, I could hear my youngest calling from her crib for Mommy to come get her. Just Mommy. No one else would do.
The day continued much in this same manner. I dropped an egg carton, breaking two eggs on my kitchen floor. I shook a bottle of liquid that I thought had a cap on it, but I had already removed the cap, and you can imagine the mess that ensued. I made my family a batch of what were supposed to be “healthy” cookies but they turned out so crumbly and flat that once I chiseled them off of the cookie sheet they were in approximately two billion pieces and no longer recognizable as cookies. We had to eat them as dust particles from the palm of our hands while on the back patio so as to give my kitchen floor some relief.
Yes, we all have days like this. And truly, it didn’t really get me down. I’ve had worse days. Much worse. Days like today are just little blips on the radar of eternity that actually help remind me of the paradise in which I live.
Yes, I said paradise.
There’s a song lyric that I often repeat in my head. It’s in the song “Pure Imagination” from the movie, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The lyric goes, “If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it.” The song itself is referring to the power of one’s imagination to allow you to see anything you desire. But I like to take this lyric at its pure face value.
“If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it.”
I can focus on the frustrations, spills and bummers or I can open my eyes and look at the blessings in the midst of the mess.
On days like today when things are just a bit out of sync and I’m annoyed at closed roads and grumpy toddlers, I can stop. I can take a look around and remember what a gift that grumpy toddler is to me. I can pause in my rush into the store and actually see how precious it is that my two little blonde-headed girls are following me like little ducklings. Sure those ducklings quack and squawk and sometimes ruffle my feathers, but they fill my heart with joy and melt my heart with love. I don’t deserve such gifts. I have the privilege of being a Mom. My husband is the love of my life. I live in extreme comfort. I am not being persecuted or living in danger while defending my country.
I live in paradise.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that every day and every season of life is true paradise. No. I’ve had some hard times in my life during which if someone would have come up to me and suggested I was living in paradise, I may have bought them a one-way ticket to a deserted island. There are seasons of pain and struggle. And there is even good within those difficult times. But that’s another subject.
For now I’m talking about days like today. When things are just “out of sorts.” Laundry piles linger, dinner needs to be made (again!) and cleaned up (again!) and bedtime stories and snacks and errands and homework and needed conversations and… all of the mundane things that wear on me. Those are part of my paradise.
I just need to look around and view it.