Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I Got Caught Behind the Beef Tongues...

and other reasons why I am struggling to have a heart of gratitude.

Avery needs two large bags of stick pretzels for school tomorrow, so I thought I would pick them up at Walgreen's when I picked up my prints and deodorant for Caleb tonight after dinner. Walgreen's doesn't have pretzels, so I grumpily get in my car and drive half a block to the grocery store to buy two bags of pretzels. Notice the ungrateful heart has already set in? How thankful I should be to have a car to get into and an alternate place to buy food a half a block away. But my attitude is not grateful. I grab my two bags of pretzels and get in the express checkout lane behind a family of four and their 10 items- 8 frozen beef tongues and 2 bags of sugar.

The problem... only two frozen beef tongues per customer. So while each family member (including their two year old toddler) purchases his/her respective beef tongues, I am disgusted that I live in this place where people buy beef tongues and my family is a million hours away and a 30 second transaction turns into 4 transactions, taking 15 minutes. I grab a Heath bar, thinking the chocolate/toffee combo will satisfy this grumpiness brewing, then was even more ungrateful as the checker slid it through the pool of melted beef tongue thawed grossness.

This has been a day of ingratitude, I sadly admit. My kids woke up really early...but they woke up. Then the trash truck woke them up from their naps 20 minutes in... but we have a trash truck that picks up our trash and we don't live in the slums. I am stressed trying to keep my house clean as it is on the market... but we own a house. I have an awesome new job- a perfect, divine gift from the Lord that comes 6 weeks before my fourth child is to be born... but I have a job, and the evening news continues to share the woes of our country's increasing unemployment rate. I came home this afternoon to prepare dinner for our family and the water was shut off, I groveled for 3 hours... but I have food to prepare and running water nearly every day of my life.

We had a young couple at our church this weekend, visiting from their mission work in Kenya. They shared the blessings in their lives, cinder block houses for orphans, new uniforms for these precious ones who still don't have a school building, well water that now runs clear instead of muddy, medicine for the children infected with HIV. And... hearts of gratitude.

My sister-in-law left for a mission trip to Kenya yesterday, she will be gone for several months. In all sincerity, I wish that I had a heart of gratitude for these two groups, but really my heart struggles with jealousy, desperately wanting to be with them in Kenya, struggling to be content in my situation.

I so desire to have the attitude of contentment and gratitude that Paul has in his letter to the Philippians, don't we all? Don't we all want to be satisfied?...

"Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need." Phil 4:11-12

Lord, please make this heart in me... and make me a little more tolerant of beef tongues.

16 comments:

Benom said...

Tyne, I echo this blog 100%. It's REALLY cold here. Cindy and I find ourselves complaining that it's "cold in this old, drafty house." Granted, it's a good 40 or 50 degrees warmer inside than out, and we have a solid roof over our heads. So, you're not alone in these circumstances and emotions. Even though we don't have 3 kiddos and 1 on the way, I feel the Plumbs and Whites are (and will always be) "two fellows in the same ship." Love and miss you guys with all of our hearts.


-Benom and Cindy

Katrina said...

I wish I could be there with you, sharing in your good days and hard days, praying with you like back in college. Miss you!

Krystyn said...

What a great message. Is is to easy to not have that attitude of gratitude and instead fill it with awful thoughts.

I will try to do this today, too!

Meaghan said...

thank you so much for commenting on my blog so that i could come read yours!!!! what a beautiful post! where exactly DO you live where people try to buy 8 (!!!) bags of beef tongues! btw...i despise word ver, so thank you!

Jen said...

Prayers for contentment girl! Thanks for sharing! It's also at this moment and I am truly grateful for being vegetarian! Beef tongues? Yuck!

Elaine A. said...

Thanks for the reminders. I've been a little ungrateful myself lately.

2009 is the "Year of Paul" in our liturgical year (I am Catholic) and I have already learned SO much about him. And that passage is perfect.

McKay said...

Sometimes parts of our lovely United States is LIKE living overseas - beef tongues? Sounds like a weird foreign food to me! :-)

Totally feel ya! Africa taught my family all about expectations - if you expect little or nothing, you're always pleasantly suprised when you have something! Like electricity, hot water, sturdy house, open stores on every corner... It's a nice thought, but hard in the "high expectations and standard of living" America. Time for us to change our minds on what we "have a right to" vs. is a "privelege"

Sorry for the social commentary - love your blog, sweets!

anti-supermom said...

Tyne, what a beautiful post. With all the layoff here in Minneapolis, I've often been thinking about how lucky my husband and I are just to have jobs, have a home, have food.

What a great reminder and as always, so well written.

Carol said...

Oh honey that was lovely totally made me think of all the things I have to be grateful for that I take for granted.

Cheers for the reminder.

Beef tongues?? Yuck!

Heidi said...

I totally get this post. It's hard to find the 'silver lining' sometimes. I just embrace it and sooner or later I get over it.

OHmommy said...

Beautiful message... it's so hard to loose sight. Good days and bad. I am hoping for more sunshine for everyone.

Jamilyn Bolen said...

Your blogs are always entertaining and helpful...from owl poo to gratitude. Thank you for the inspiration.

OptimizeFuel said...

Truuuuue!

vickypad said...

Tyner, I love you and if you need anything even pretzels for the 100th day of school, you beter call me. thanks for being a great friend. Vicky


We are worthy of nothing but it is through His grace that we are saved.

And Javier loves lengua!!!
Sorry.

carissa... brown eyed fox said...

oh there are days... my goodness...
where it is hard to see the big picture!

i was complaining earlier about something & then had to snap my little rear right out of that!

we are only human though... so natural for us... plus... come on as moms... we are so busy juggling a million things... sometimes all we CAN see is the piles of "poo" around us! :)

BIG hugs from one mama to another!

CC said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the reminders of ALL the stuff I should be grateful for right now!!!!