Sometimes, you just have to decide to praise. More often than not, God ends up changing my heart so that I'm actually praising. From my heart. So, today was one of those days.
I was frustrated that Aaron was being a pistol. I needed to be praising the Lord that our little pistol is alive and well, and that he brings a wonderful dimension to our family. I needed to be joyful that God has given me the opportunity and privilege to teach Aaron about HIM! (over and over and over - we all need review, right?)
I was discouraged, feeling tied to the couch for most of the day whilst Evan nursed. I needed to be praising the Lord that all is going well in that department. I should have been grateful for the time to sit and rest.
I was disappointed when things did not go my way. Our weekend plans to finally begin siding are thwarted by other things; I wanted a nap, and didn't get one; other little things began to sow large hedges (not seeds) of discontent.
I had a little pep talk with myself.
It started with my knowledge of other people's struggles - real and serious sickness, those with dire financial needs, those who have lost loved ones - and mine are pale.
You've done this, right? Struggled with a bad attitude about your "problems" and then looked at someone else's and felt really guilty? So on top of the actual struggle you now have a boatload of heavy guilt? Well, quit it. (I told myself this, too)
God did not give you their struggles. He gave you yours. And He gives each believer the exact measure of grace to get through it. Whatever "it" may be. Feeling guilty for struggling is just plain silly. Admit that you need help (or HELP! as the case may be), ask God for help, and get on with the struggling, already!
Bottom line? God knows what Jenny Muth can handle. Today, it was two little boys with lots of needs and sinful hearts. Today, He gave me grace to handle it. And I'm still drawing on His grace, His wisdom, to continue on, to trust Him for things like enough sleep and wisdom to know how to handle a difficult toddler at naptime (and bedtime, and playtime). I'm struggling with these things when others have things that seem far more difficult to trust Him for, on the surface.
It's my struggle, and it's real. Just as "big" struggles are real. But it's always His grace. Sufficient to the day. To the person. To you.