Ever have days like that? No matter what you do it feels as if you have two left feet…or perhaps you’re “all thumbs”…or you constantly “put your foot in your mouth.”
Or maybe it’s much bigger than that. Maybe life is just too unbearable and seems meaningless. There are dreams seemingly unreachable, goals unattainable and everything is just.too.hard. Perhaps you face the daily stress of trying to pay bills, the heartache of children leaving home or the struggle of trying to keep a marriage together. Life has become one huge worry.
Maybe for some it’s nothing that extreme. Perhaps you find yourself stumbling through the mundane of mountains of laundry, piles of dishes and crumb covered floors, all the while dreaming of what you’d really love to be doing and wondering if there will ever be anything more.
The thing is, no matter what causes us to stumble and keeps us some days or all of our days from putting one foot in front of the other, we all have it…the messiness that comes with this life. And it’s that messiness, no matter what side of the extreme you fall on, that can slow or stop our forward progression.
Oh, we all technically keep going…we cannot just refuse to move. Life moves on and so do we. But maybe on occasion, maybe too many times, you just want to stand still and not take another step. Wouldn’t that be nice if life would just stop for one day, maybe two or three, just until we can figure it all out. Just until we can see more clearly what the future holds so maybe then we can get a surer foothold and not stumble quite so much, and be able to worry, fret and stress less.
Yet the reality is, as we all know, that life keeps right on moving. And it keeps right on going whether we keep moving with it or not. As John Lennon sang, “life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.”
So, how do we continue to put one foot in front of the other when we just keep seeming to stumble? Perhaps the better question is, how do we find the strength to keep getting up after we stumble? How do we keep moving forward?
I know I’ve said it often, I’ve tried to be consistent with it in my own life, and I’ve been blasted for it too, but honestly, the surest way to keep putting one foot in front of the other, to keep moving forward in an otherwise messy-worrisome-unfilled-ho-hum kind of life…give.thanks. But it doesn’t stop there. We can all give a weak, thank you, God, for what you have given me, but the key is to start living that thanks…to really say it, lean into it and believe it! Put one foot in front of the other and give thanks for that small step…step forward with the other foot and give thanks for the ability to move further forward. And when the bills are overdue, another harsh word is spoken, the washer and dryer never seem to quiet and the sleepless nights blur one into another, give thanks!
Lean into it, breathe it in, let it wash over you…”for God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son.” He chose you. He chose life for you. He loves you, His child, and when we give thanks for it all, through it all…the stumbling, the worry, the hopelessness…we are giving thanks to Him and His love for us.
And even as life continues on, with or without us, every little thank you we whisper, shout or jot down along the way, gives us the ability to get up, step out and move forward with more ease and a surer footing. Because it’s our gratefulness that keeps us looking upward instead of inward, looking forward instead of behind, and looking to all that is around us taking our focus off of what we think is nothingness within our lives.
I believe it is through gratefulness the vision of what we truly have in this life comes into focus more clearly. And when our vision is clearer, we step with more confidence and are less likely to stumble through our days.
Today I continue to be grateful for all that is in my often times messy, yet good, life:
*a sunny afternoon after a foggy morning
*warmth from the woodstove on a chilly day
*fresh laundry to bless my family with
*warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies straight from the oven
*finishing a long-ago-forgotten cross stitch project
*an afternoon call from my hubby to check in and tell me he loves me
*leftovers from Sunday dinner
*staying up late to watch The Big Bang Theory with her son
*a blended family and all the love that comes with it
May you find your footing more easily and clearly today, and every day.