Before I went to sleep last night, and again as I awoke this morning, I tossed ideas to write about around in my mind — deep, profound subjects – or so it seemed.
However, on the way to my desk, I discovered that Lily, our Golden Retriever, had relieved herself some time during the night on our family heirloom, antique Persian carpet. Not just a little piddle, but a huge, soaked-through-the-horsehair padding-in-a-huge-puddle kind of pee.
My husband had already tried blotting with towels and spraying with Odor-Ban, but the smell was deeply embedded in the fibers.
Definitely not the way I wanted to start my day.
Recalling that club soda is the best antidote to urine in a carpet, I blessed my daughter who had given me a soda-making machine, so I could produce as much unflavored soda as I needed.
The minute that grateful thought entered my mind, my spirit lifted. And with that, the lessons I’ve been learning lately rolled through my mind.
I could curse the dog and grumble about the loss of time and my aching hand.
Or, to be really alive, I could choose to be grateful, no matter what. My attitude was up to me, and that, alone, would determine my experience.
I could choose to be in the moment, even one that stinks. Because living isn’t only on mountain tops or seashores or rose gardens.
If we don’t live in the daily or the grungy or the unwelcome times, we pass up most of our lifetime.
I had soda and towels and a body that generally responds to my commands. Smile.
So I poured and blotted, sniffed, made more soda, poured and blotted, and continued, giving thanks it was a rare, dry day in Florida, and a cool one at that, so I could open all the windows. I gave thanks for the large sliding doors out back that provided great ventilation, and for the recently installed screen cage that made it possible to have air without bugs.
I sniffed, made more soda, went for more towels, poured and blotted, and gave thanks for a washer and dryer to deal with the mountain of stinky towels I was creating. I even gave thanks for the ability to smell the faintest of odors, so I would know where and how much to clean.
The morning sped by with the next couple of hours of pouring club soda and blotting and scrubbing – making impossible any opportunity to write before time to provide the music for the Spanish service at church.
Nevertheless, because I had chosen to stay in the moment with a grateful spirit, I enjoyed the beautiful day and noticed the songs of birds recently arrived from up north.
And I arrived at church with much more than my guitar. My spirit was primed for worship because I had spent the morning giving thanks.
In spite of pain from my recent hand surgery, I was able to play the guitar for all sixteen songs. Maybe it was my imagination, but it seemed that my voice was stronger and clearer than usual, and with our music, we were able to invite the congregation into the presence of the Holy One.
More than anything else, I am giving thanks for the work the Healer has been doing inside me, the wholeness I am experiencing and the ability to choose my attitude, to jump into Life with thanksgiving.
I couldn’t create that change all on my own.
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Ephesians 3:20 The Message
Let’s talk about it:
Have you had a challenge to your attitude lately?
Have you handled a hassle recently that felt like progress or growth?