Hitting a wall

I hit a wall this weekend. It’s been years since I’ve experienced the frustration and pessimism that I felt yesterday.

There were lots of reasons for my discontent — water damage to our home has my kitchen and front room torn up, no sink, no floors, holes in the walls; it is disorienting to be sure, but the intensity of my reaction came as a surprise, causing me to cancel an otherwise welcome invitation to join old friends,  meet new ones, have a home-cooked meal, reconnect with them after our travels, which had separated us for more than a month; I got to add the guilt and shame of cancelling to my already difficult sense of disorder.

Even as I was going through it, I knew intellectually that I was over-reacting. I tried to summon my former spirit of joyfulness and gratitude for all my many blessings. I asked forgiveness for awaking that morning and getting up without first saying “hi” to God. I read the Bible. I even remembered to ask for God’s presence with me as I read and to ask Him to help me find the source of my discontent. My reactions all seemed too much, too over-wrought and my poor attempts at redirection were, in the end, to little avail. I couldn’t seem to shake the mood.

My husband finished a project he’d been working on and just the act of his sitting down with me and talking over a glass of wine finally brought me back around…nothing tremendously earth-shaking. But my pleadings (and my grumpy, whiny thoughts and words) were finally heard and healed.

As I was working out at the gym this morning and reading Fr. Martin’s book, Between Heaven and Mirth, I was reminded of how to focus on my joy and, it seemed with each step I took, I was reunited. This prayer was the result:

You have given me this new day, Father,
Today, it is filled with sunshine and promise and potential.
Therefore, I’m joyful.
You paint my world with vibrant colors in every season.
You send me constantly the gifts of Your beauty, Your bounty, and Your love.
Therefore, I’m joyful.
You have given me my loving husband and children and friends.
Therefore, I’m joyful.
You have taken me to be Your child.
Therefore, I’m joyful.
You constantly assure me of Your presence here with me.
Therefore, I’m joyful.
You constantly show me Your love for me.
Therefore, I’m joyful.
You send me Your gifts of heartache and loss,
And with them, You remind me to lean on You,
To be lifted up again and again by Your strength.
Therefore, I’m joyful.
You send me Your gifts of challenge and frustration,
And with Your added grace, You help me to forgive.
Therefore, I’m joyful.
You have allowed me to feel overwhelmed by my love for You,
Therefore, I’m joyful.
You, my heavenly Father, sent me Your Son, my brother, my Lord,
And You infused me with Your Holy Spirit
And blessed me with the “Yes” of my holy mother, Mary.
Therefore, I am filled full to the top and overflowing with the joy of Your creation.

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