Friday, July 22, 2011

First World Problems

Yesterday I caught myself in a bit of a tantrum. Most of it was internal. But it was a tantrum anyway. I was irritated to start with because Claire lost one of her sandals. We were at my parents house for the day and Claire and Elizabeth went with my mom and dad across the street to swim at a neighbors. They came back and the kids laid down for some quiet time. Later, when it was time to leave, I started packing up our things and then I went to get the kids shoes. I found 3 shoes. Both of Elizabeth's were there but only one of Claire's. So then I began to search for the missing shoe. We were pretty sure that my parents new puppy had carried it off. I looked all over the house and after about 20 minutes of looking inside my mom went to look at the neighbors house. The shoe was nowhere to be found.

I left the house without the shoe. I was pretty irritated. Not with anyone but just aggravated. And to make matters worse it was 100 degrees outside. We were supposed to stop at the mall on the way home because I needed to return something. We went into the shopping center and I was carrying Claire because she was shoeless. Of course the moment we get into the store the kids need to use the bathroom. And it is pretty difficult to help a two year old use the potty while not being able to let her touch the ground. Needless to say poor Claire's little tush went into the toilet. I was feeling quite irritated and generally crabby. We finished our business and made our first stop at the discount shoe store to get sandals for miss Claire. We bought our sandals and made our return and left the mall.

Somewhere within this time frame God spoke truth into my heart. It was not audible. But it was clear. I need to be thankful for these problems. The reality is many people in the world live their whole lives without shoes. They cannot afford them. So they do without. My kid loses one and I can go right to the store and buy a new pair. Many people have no running water or toilets. Let me remember that the next time I complain about having to take my kids to the potty. How would I feel to have to take them to a hole in the ground? And then have to get water from the lake less than 20 feet away?

So as my crabby butt was driving my air-conditioned van on my way to my air-conditioned house I remembered that the majority of the world lives without these luxuries. My first world problems would be a blessing to many. Did that automatically make me less crabby? Not really. Did my mood get dramatically better? No. And I had to stop on the way home because Claire threw up in the car. Added joy, right?

But it does add perspective. And I am still chewing on that one.