This morning, while reading through morning prayer, I got rather a wake-up call to remember my blessings. Let me give you some background.
When I woke up this morning, it was on the wrong side of bed. I was tired, grumpy, depressed, and prone to tears over everything. The house was (is) a mess, I had (have) too much on my to-do list, taking care of Jonathan is, well, hard sometimes...you get the idea. I sat down and cried and felt very sorry for myself.
Gabe reminded me that I needed to do morning prayer - particularly this morning. (He didn't say it quite like that, but I think he may have been thinking it!) And while I was praying, God brought to mind something that happened yesterday.
Jonathan and I were walking around the Sam's Club shopping area, waiting for our car to have two tires replaced. I was kind of grumpy yesterday, too, having spent far too long on my feet and really wishing that we didn't have to spend $136 on new tires. As we walked by McDonalds, Jonathan saw a little dog and got very excited. Normally, if someone is out walking their dog, we'll go over and say hello so he can see the dog (and pet it, if the owner says ok). But this dog belonged to a homeless man...and usually I sort of avoid them. I'm not quite sure why it is that they make me nervous, but they generally do.
But this man was different. He was really, really, really old. I'd say at least in his seventies. Everything he owned, including his little dog, was held in an old baby stroller. And it wasn't the hodgepodge of junk that you usually see in homeless men's shopping carts - he gave the impression that he was trying to be somewhat orderly with what little he had. It was a cold day and his little dog (also ancient - 17 years old!) was carefully wrapped up in a corner of his sleeping bag. So we walked over and said hello. I didn't catch the man's name - his voice was querelous with age and I didn't like asking him to repeat himself too much. But I did catch that his dog's name is Ruby, and it was very clear that she is pretty much all he's living for right now. All the love that he ought to give and be given by family, friends...has all been lavished on this tiny dog, who loves him right back.
I asked him if I could help him in any way - buy him a meal, whatever - and he said "Thank you, that would be very kind." So Jonathan and I bought him a meal at McDonalds, petted and admired the dog for a few more minutes, said "God bless you", and then walked away. I didn't want to be a nuisance and intrude on his...privacy, space, I don't know...but I felt awful walking away from him. One meal was all I knew to give him, and it is so pathetically little. Where does he sleep at night? What does he do when it is so cold in the mornings that you can see your breath in the air? What wouldn't he give for a home of his own? I wish I could do more for him.
And so this morning, in the midst of my grumpiness, God pointed out that I have more blessings than I know what to do with. And so I will praise him:
For my messy home, because I have a home, and I have things in it to make it messy.
For my husband who is not here with me right now, because he is at work loving us by providing us money to live on.
For my children, who will hopefully be around when I am old to love and care for me, and whom I can love and care for right now.
For warmth and light so that we can be comfortable.
For healthy food.
For the errands I need to do today, because they represent our ability to give gifts at Christmastime, and for the car that will carry me to do those errands.
For the laundry that must be done today, because it means that we have clean and warm clothing.
The house is a mess. I have too many errands to do today. I am pregnant and tired, and it is reasonable to occasionally cry over this fact. But I have also been blessed beyond measure, and it this that I will choose to dwell on while I wash the dishes and do the laundry this morning.