Hard Work. It Isn’t For the Faint of Heart.

I have already confessed, in last night’s blog post, that I woke up yesterday morning feeling a titch grouchy.

And by a titch grouchy, I really mean that I woke up feeling like a bear with her foot caught in a trap, with the pretzel (honey?!) M&Ms just.  Out.  Of reach. I snarled my way through the usual routine of showering and getting the hair done, because SWEET MERCY!  Why do girls have to stand at the sink FOR HOURS every day, using the blow dryer and the curling iron and the costly styling products, while people like Hubs (think, MALE) get to wash-and-go, without a single care in the world if one piece happens to be a bit fluffier than all the other pieces of hair?

And after the time spent at the sink, I ironed a shirt for church, which I didn’t like.  I KNEW that I didn’t like this shirt even before I plugged the iron in, but for some reason, I had decided that my enormous distaste for it had magically been transformed.  So I ironed all the little pleats in the back, because yes!  That’s what I really have time to do in the mornings!  And then I put the shirt on, and I added a necklace, and then it dawned on me that HOLY SNOT, SPIDERMAN!  I still hated that shirt! So I ironed another one, which simply compounded the grouchiness.

Hubs did what he could.  He cracked stupid jokes.  He assured me that the first shirt looked GREAT.  He made the bed.  He was the first one to dive into the oven with the baked-on chocolate birthday cake STUCK EVERYWHERE.  And the kicker is that I KNEW he was trying to transform my mood, and I honestly WANTED to be grouchy.  So I told him so.

“Listen.  I know what you’re doing.  You’re trying to make me HAPPY, but I really just WANT to be grouchy today.”

Exit Hubs, Stage Left. You can’t blame a fellow for trying.

And then at church, my adorable friend Peggy jumped up from her seat as I walked in, and she squeezed me huge and said, “Sister, you are absolutely GLOWING today!  You look radiant and beautiful!”  And where Hubs had failed, Peggy ALMOST transformed my mood, but I held my ground firmly and said, “Peg, I adore you, but I am not glowing today, because I am FLAT-OUT GROUCHY!”  Peggy had the audacity to disagree with me.

A couple of seconds after that, Peggy’s husband, John, caught me by the arm and said, “I need twenty bucks from you!  Either you give me cold, hard cash, or I’m going to give a little catalog that I recently found to that boy of yours, and there’s a remote-controlled Millennium Falcon in it, and he will pester you from now until Christmas, and he’ll beg and beg and make your life miserable, because that spaceship FLIES, and it is WAY COOL!”  I simply looked at John and said, “Extortion and blackmail — IN THE HOUSE OF OUR LORD! — is going to make me even grouchier than I already am!  I’ll get you your $20.”

And then I walked to my seat, and my darling friend Mika jumped out of her seat, threw her arms around me and said, “You look so cute today!  And I want you to know that you were on my heart all night, and I said some very long-winded prayers to Jesus for you.  I just love ya to pieces!”  Where Hubs and Peggy and John had all struck out, Mika ALMOST succeeded in transforming my mood, but I simply hugged her back and said, “Listen.  I’m grouchy today, and the truth is that I WANT to be grouchy today!”  And for some reason THAT made Mika giggle.

And then after church, my parents and Sister all chorused, “Let’s do lunch together!”  And I let THEM know that I was simply too grouchy to have lunch in the midst of polite society, without behaving like a mama grizzly with soap in her eyes.  So I think they all lunched without me, because they’re not the type to let one grouchy girl drag them down.

So we came home.

And THAT is when I ripped into our house and scrubbed windows until my arms ached, and cleaned out kitchen drawers, and mopped floors by hand, and washed a couple of walls even, and TOOK OUR LIGHT FIXTURES DOWN TO WASH.

Because who really does that?

(Except, if it’s a day of confessions, I will say that a few months ago, I sat on one of Sister’s barstools at her kitchen counter and said, “Girl, your light fixtures are coated in grease and dust there above your cooktop.  THAT is disgusting!”  And right there, like Johnny-on-the-Spot, Sister took them down and scrubbed them in her kitchen sink with soap and water.  And then I came home and looked at MY light fixtures, and I had judged Sister with a plank in my own eye.  Since then, every time Sister has waltzed into my house, I’ve done everything possible to draw her attention DOWN and AWAY FROM my greasy-and-caked-with-the-dusty-bunnies lights.)

And now?

SPARKLE!  SPARKLE!  SPARKLE!

My recommendation is to just go ahead and take the plank out of your own eye, before you accuse someone else of having sub par light fixtures.  If you haven’t looked at your own lights in a few Sundays, then don’t be knocking the grease and dust on someone else’s lights above HER cooktop.

I think that’s in Proverbs.

But honestly, with the hard work that I got all involved in yesterday afternoon, while Hubs and the boy worked every bit as hard OUTSIDE, picking up all the leaves from Sherwood Forest, my grouchiness evaporated.  My mom has always held firmly to the opinion that hard work is good for the soul.  Sometimes I tell her that an afternoon spent on the sofa in front of HGTV is better for the soul.

No matter.

By the end of yesterday, a REAL verse from Proverbs popped into my head.

“The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.” And that’s from Proverbs 13:4.  For real.

And where Hubs and Peggy and John and Mika and my parents and Sister had all failed to transform my mood, God succeeded, through the use of my mama’s prescription of throwing yourself into some old-fashioned, hard work.

I guess it’s because His superpowers are a little bit stronger.

Happy Monday night, y’all.  I’m COMPLETELY OVER my grouchiness!

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