Love the 'mud.
A friend told me this story years ago. When his two sons were very young. 5 or 6 years old and only a year apart. They were just starting to play 'T' ball.
It had rained recently and the ground was kind of soggy. He decided to proceed with plans to go to practice anyway. The kids were so excited, and he didn't want to let them down.
They all had great fun, but when it was time the boys were ready to go. They ran ahead and piled into the back seat and dutifully buckled up. During the ride home, they chatted cheerfully about ball practice.
When Dad stopped in the driveway his two little 'bundles of boyish energy' blasted into the house. When he got out of the car and prepared to go in he glanced into the back seat. He was horrified.
Everyone knew how neat and orderly (prior military) he is. He was especially careful with his beloved car. He made sure it is in top condition and immaculate in and out.
The horror that he saw in the backseat? MUD! There was mud everywhere. On the seats, on the floor, and the doors, even on the inside of the windows.
He muttered angrily under his breath the whole time he was cleaning up the mess. He was imagining; deciding what 'punishment' will be meted out. This was unacceptable behavior, to make such a mess. He had recently had it 'detailed' in preparation for going on a road trip the next day.
When he opened the garage door to go in he was greeted with yet ANOTHER unacceptable condition wrought by those 'little rascals' Their bikes and yard toys were cluttering up the otherwise orderly garage. His temper boiled. As he began to pick up one of the bikes to put it where it's SUPPOSED to be parked, he had an epiphany.
If this garage WASN'T cluttered, and if there had been no mud in his precious car and none of the other things they irritated him with as little boys do. He wouldn't have these two wonderful children to take to games, sing with, and go camping and fishing with. In a word, 'empty' would describe that life.
He said he learned to 'love the mud' that day. He silently praised God gratefully for all the blessings, he so often neglected to recognize.
As a young father myself, this story had a profound effect on me ever since. It affected not only my attitude about the seven children that we raised, but many things.
Whenever I get irritated about an unavoidable adversity, I remember 'love the mud'. If I didn't have this property to take care of, make repairs, mow the yard etc. I like housework the least. I wouldn't have this nice house to live in. Or I get frustrated when something isn't quite right with my website. I've learned (not always easy) to remember the many blessings God has bestowed upon me and my family. Things don't seem quite so grim. I turn to pray for hungry people living under bridges.
Now, when people ask me "How you doing"? I often respond with, "Better than I deserve" because I'm humbled by the incredible gift that is this life. Jackson