Today was Audrey's first "official" day of gymnastics at her regular time. She was so excited. I left with plenty of time to even stop by Starbucks for a little breakfast treat for us to share. Going my usual way to Starbucks, I encountered the first roadblock. Road closed. And the line of cars down the detour route was so very long. I turned around to take a different route, made it to Starbucks, and treats in hand, we turned out of the parking lot to head to the gym. That's when I noticed the long line of cars. And another road closed. I sat in the long line of cars for awhile then turned off on to a side street only to get tangled up in the traffic of an elementary school just beginning its day. I was going nowhere, so I returned to the long line of cars I had already been in. From there, I decided to try another side street off the opposite side. Just when I thought I was going to break free of the traffic, there it was again: another Road Closed sign. This time I was able to see beyond the sign to discover the hold-up: massive flooding.
By this time, we were already 10 minutes late for class. I circled all the way back almost back to home and attempted it from a different direction down a back road. Road Closed. So back we went to the original detour and to the long line of cars I had turned away from to begin with.
Through all of my driving and turning around, I noticed some homes that were almost completely surrounded by water, and the thought brushed my mind: Oh, those poor people. What a mess they have to contend with. Quickly, though, my selfishness and frustration would push those thoughts aside and replace them with irritated thoughts about having to sit in traffic for an hour, angry about not making it on time to my baby's class.
On top of all of this, I was almost out of gas and later as I stood outside pumping gas, I complained again. You see, up here in our new home, few of the gas pumps have the auto-fill clamps on them so I have to stand outside and hold the pump. This seems so trivial, yet it grates on my nerves to no end.
As I drove away from the gas station, I began to think about my attitude and about this new Life of Gratitude I have supposedly begun to live, though you sure wouldn't know it. Isn't the whole point of counting our blessings so we can see the amazing things God has done for us, the incredible gifts He gives us? Aren't we to count the blessings especially in the midst of the ugly? Doesn't doing so allow us to see the beautiful in the ugly? Why, then, am I so consumed with myself and the inconveniences of life that I can't stop my grumbling and replace it with gratitude?
If I had done so, I could easily have listed these blessings:
39. Living at the top of a hill, thus escaping the flooding rains that poured on us last night.
40. Only having to pay for gas in one car.
41. A little girl's arms clutched around my neck and a sweet kiss she plants on my cheeks each time I buckle her in her seat.
42. An adorable, mini notebook to tuck in my purse so I don't miss noting the blessings.
Wouldn't my drive this morning, long as it was, have been a lot more pleasant if I had been counting gifts rather than rattling off complaints?