On Monday Struggles and Gift-Giving

Struggle is part of the gift I was unprepared for Monday, but you know how it comes anyways.

It comes all flouncy and plops down on your planner and just rolls in all the blank space, rubbing it in and purring like that cat. That annoying cat.

I felt like a type-A mom living in a type-B house and the anxiety was flooding us all, up to our necks. It was drowning out every ounce of kindness. 

And the thing is, I'm not really a type-A person. It's just that Mondays can make me feel that way.

So I struggled to be patient and the kids struggled to be cheerful and we didn't get breakfast until 10:30 for crying out loud. Not until 10:30, because there were so many first-things to be done. 

And the only thing hunger fuels is anger.

One fifth of the people at breakfast weren't grumpy, so that one was elected to pray for the grumpy rest-of-us.

I prayed, too, but it was jumbled up repentance and bewilderment and just mostly whining. I wanted to suddenly be prepared and peaceful, to have all my procrastination covered over, and I was just going to be grumpy until that happened.

(I'm this stellar example to my kids, you see.) 

But prayer is not this magic wand we wave. The day continued to be a Monday and all my unpreparedness bore it's ugly fruit, but God did remind me of something my husband had said over the weekend, in regards to struggle.

Struggle is part of the gift, part of the offering to God.

Struggle can seem like the thing that gets in the way of the offering. It feels like struggle is preliminary and annoying and that once we get through this struggle, then we can offer to God whatever gift we think we bring.

But like David at the threshing floor, I realized for a moment that I don't want to give to God something that cost me nothing.

And looking at it that way changed my attitude a little. Which changes everything a lot.

I looked at the far-end goals out there, the ones we all have for our children and their futures and their relationships, and then I pulled the focus in and looked at right now.

Right now, in the struggle and the kinds of days where you just want to go to bed and start over tomorrow, this is part of the future and part of the offering.

And after David bought the threshing floor and after God had told him that his son would build the temple, not David himself, he spent his time preparing for it. He gathered and planned and instructed for his son's future.

It was a process.

We struggle to get to the "good stuff", but that struggle is part of the process that bears fruit. It's part of the gift of ourselves that we give to the Lord, because in His great Grace He's given us everything already. 

I get bogged down in the daily-ness of the struggle, but looking at the process as part of the offering, and not just an obstacle on the way to an end goal, gives me hope for today. 

And I'm thankful that there is grace for all our Mondays and all our imperfect processes.