Sometimes I look around and become, well, unhappy. Dissatisfied. Discontented. Ungrateful.
Do you ever do this?
I see the laundry still hanging out long after its dry. I see the messy rooms just begging for me to put some order back to them. I look at my vehicle. It’s not the newest or shiniest—it has driven my family a lot of miles. It has some scuffs and little scratches and even a dent someone put in it and didn’t bother to leave a note. I have some drawers that are sticking and not closing right. And, gosh, the to do list. It could use some whittling down. Due to all of those many miles I taxi, and my own responsibilities, I can’t seem to figure out how to cook healthful meals as much as I want. And let’s not mention, a few pounds may have been added. I have a pile, or maybe a couple, that house several “to handle later” items. I hate those.
You get the picture. Life. It is going mighty fast. Some days stuff just falls through the cracks. Maybe it’s just us. But, I’m not thinking so. My husband has a favorite saying. I have to admit, it can drive me crazy. God love the man. He’s right. We don’t always want to hear it. But, he’s right.
Here it is. “You are going to have to reframe.”
God bless this man of mine. Yes, sometimes, I think if I have to hear that again, I may fall over dead. Right there, right then. One time I told him I already knew that. I knew all of his tips and tricks, but I just needed a good cry. Dr. Husband let me have that good cry. All of that minutia and wounded-ness from self-criticism had taken its toll. I had hit the tipping point and had NO interest in reframing ANYTHING!! (It may not have been said in an inside voice.)
Well, he’s right. In life, we are faced with stuff. The detritus of this crazy life. In the natural life, too much stuff, too many cracks for things to fall through, it all piles up. In the emotional life, we are faced with the constant refrain of “not good enough.” And it all seems to add up to “NEVER good enough.”
I have a passage of Scripture that I love. I think you will, too. Habakkuk 3:17-19:
Though the cherry trees don’t blossom and the strawberries don’t ripen, Though the apples are worm-eaten and the wheat fields stunted. Though the sheep pens are sheepless and the cattle barns empty. I’m singing joyful praise to God. I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God. Counting on God’s Rule to prevail, I take heart and gain strength. I run like a deer. I feel like I’m king of the mountain!
I know this passage is talking about seasons of life when provision is low and they are depending on God to save the day. But, it sure seems to fit life when things are not as we would like them and we just desperately need His help to reframe.
So, look at the line where the focus changes.
It says, “I’m singing joyful praise to God. I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God.“ And from there to the end of the passage, the writer has done some major reframing. Dr. Husband is right. Imagine that! It’s true, you know.
Reframing is the key to taking the ugly and untidy, worn and used and shining them up to beauty.
I can look at any given situation—whether it’s the ginormous mess or the task overlooked, again and again or the critics who are unkind and careless—and look at it in ugly, harsh tones. Or, I can do some editing and enhancing, shifting the shading, perhaps zoom in or zoom out. It’s my choice. I can put the frame around it in a new and pardigm-shifting perspective.
We can look at the mess OR we can look at the blessing that caused the mess.
I’m choosing to look at the blessing that caused the inconvenience or mess or extra work or busy-ness. It’s amazing how my heart takes strength and God gives me just what I need to keep going. Many people don’t have the blessings I do and would appreciate a little inconvenience. I’m afraid the things I complain about, someone else may be praying for. Reframe.
We are going into the beautiful holiday season. My very favorites of the year! Many are clued into the “30 days of Thanksgiving”. I’m all for it. It’s important. But, honestly, gratitude and joy are the gifts of reframing any time of the year. God has these beautiful gifts waiting for us and we bypass them every time we choose the lifeless, flat perspective of not reframing.
I’ll repeat Dr. Husband, “You are going to have to reframe.”
Ugly shifts. Hard softens. And gratitude and joy slip in and sidle up next to you.
It really is all in the reframing.