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I Can Be So Crabby

I know – this is hard to believe, right? Let me tell you, my temper and crabbiness are legendary. I am not proud of it. Nothing is worse than being completely consumed with irrational anger and being totally aware of it at the same time.

Last night I set out to mow the lawn – a task I generally loath. However, we finally purchased a new mower and last night was to be its maiden voyage. I was almost…ALMOST eager to try it out. My friends have been telling me that a self propelled mower would be life changing for me – so I assured myself that I would LOVE to mow with the new mower. I was optimistic that gone were the days of lunging forward with all the strength in my lower extremities to get myself up the hill in the front yard. After a brief tutorial with Matt, I set out to frolic in the yard with the new mower. I’d made a few passes and was just getting the hang of sort of being drug behind the mower when suddenly – it stopped self-propelling. It felt as though the mower was digging a tunnel, rather than swiftly cutting the grass, like moments before. I took it back to the garage and Matt and I exchanged looks of frustration and confusion. How could this brand spanking new machine NOT work!?!? It was unimaginable, unacceptable, and my blood was boiling. We had happily rid ourselves of our old mower last weekend and now at 7:30 at night – the front sat, with a wide reverse Mohawk down the center of the big hill and I proceeded to pitch a huge ‘ol fit.

I attempted to compose myself and accept the fact that I would have to dig out the sockets and try to disassemble the mower. But the fury I felt pierced my rational mind. I all but refused to accept the fact that I would have to take apart a brand new machine. I saw red. I kicked things. I threw things. I clenched my jaw in an effort not to spew forth all the profanity that was rising in my throat. Exasperated with the situation, and myself, I finally began to pull it apart. We spent the next hour or so staring at the inner workings of the mower, not seeing anything that looked out of place, broken, or obviously wrong. (As if we would know what to look for.) I called my parents, crying, in the hopes that my Dad would have some sort of miracle solution for my problem…but even my super handy Dad couldn’t help. Finally we gave up, gave in to the defeat and retreated inside…leaving the unfinished lawn. My blood had cooled, but my attitude was ugly. Whenever faced with a mechanical failure like this – it’s like all the good that Matt and I have built for ourselves the past few years is knocked away in one fell swoop. The pride I felt at him for assembling the mower and taking it out of the box on his own – gone. The wonderful way we work as a team to accomplish so many things – forgotten. Suddenly, all I see is everything he can’t do…and how pathetic I am at being the ‘man of the house’. I resent his stroke. I fume at his disabilities. All I can think of is 5 years ago I would be inside sipping on a fruity drink, or playing happily with my flowers while he alone messed with the broken machine. Eventually he would emerge victorious or at least would have a solution in play. I wouldn’t be inconvenienced – he would take care of it all. Those thoughts burn…they sting. And that’s just how I feel…I can’t even articulate how frustrated Matt must be. I know it pains him to see me so inconsolable. And we both struggle not to lose it completely…though he is 100 times better at it than me.

I’m ashamed to say these things. I’m horrified at the thoughts and anger that pass through me at moments like this. I hate that something so insignificant in the grand scheme of life can undermine all that is good and right in my life.

But today is a new day. We are getting the mower fixed – and Menards will make it right, thankfully. The lawn sits partially mowed – but who really cares!? The sun is shining.

Sunday Pastor started a sermon series on Psalm 23. This first message was focused solely on the first verse – ‘The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want.’ He talked a lot about what a shepherd does…and how lost and helpless sheep are without a shepherd. A pretty profound analogy when you really break it down. He spoke of counting your blessings; trusting God to take care of you, no matter what; and that you will have what you need when you really need it. All so true – I’ve experienced first hand time and time again the amazing provisions of my Jesus. As I reflect on my irrational anger over a stupid lawn mower, I am embarrassed…ashamed. I surely don’t deserve all the blessings I have in my life. I am unworthy of all that I’ve been given.

Pastor challenged us this week to really spend some time focusing on our blessings; one way was to write down three intangible things we are thankful for.

Today – after a good night’s rest, several hugs of forgiveness and understanding from Matt, and some reflection on what is really important in life I can report that my attitude has successfully been adjusted. Today, the list of intangible things I’m thankful for is long…but I’ll share just a few that have lifted my spirits this afternoon – all centered on the amazing senses that God gave me:

The sweet sound of a little Van Morrison enveloping the room – Music touches my soul.
The smell of the clean, fresh breeze floating in the open window – I’m blessed to live here.
The sight of the vibrant, beautiful yellow irises perched in a vase on the table – I was meant to tend a garden of flowers.


Emily said…
It's part of being human, I guess, that now & again we give malfunctioning lawn mowers (evil bosses, bad drivers, small, sharp Barbie accessories, etc) incredible power over us and our emotions. Glad to know I'm not the only one who occasionally stifles profanity. I hope you get to enjoy the beauty of self-propelled mowing very soon.

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