"Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virture, and if there be any praise, think on these things." - Philippeans 4:8, King James
This is my favorite verse; it's the best reminder I have to practice the exact opposite of my thinking on gray days like today. Only moments ago, my mind was in repeat mode, playing "poor me" thoughts, triggering feelings of worthlessness, apathy. Sitting on my white plastic patio chair under the three-foot awning, watching the rain stream down onto the oversized leaves of the bird of paradise that has yet to bloom. Breath shows in the cold air, steam from coffee rising like my negative thoughts. Another day, just like any other. Me, just existing, wasting God's time. Impatiently waiting for God to call with the good news: "Congratulations, child! Your wait is over. I've got a job for you, you can finally use that ivy league master's degree that put you in debt all those years ago. Your annual salary should pay it off in just a few years. Your teenager's poor performance her first semester in college? No problemo! She'll be on scholarship this time next year. Husband left you for another woman? Simple! We had a little chat, he's decided to serve me, and he should be calling any minute asking to be a family again. Your grandfather's cancer? Cured! Your grandmothers hip? Healed!" No worries, God fixed it all. Yeh, right! And I was the Queen of Sheba in my past life.
There, the winter skeleton of a tree supports one, two....seven birds, some shaking off the rain that's finally letting up. I'm jealous that they don't have to pay rent for shelter. Behind me, the front door of my neighbor closes anonymously. I met her when I first moved in, haven't spoken since. At my feet, my cat meows silently, is she getting sick or is she a reflection of me - going through the motions of living without a voice. Three year old is at the front door, wants more rice and beans. "In a minute." Mommy's busy stewing funk. "Close the door, you're letting the heat out." Just paid $250 electric bill. Another $50 to transfer billing to my new, smaller but cheaper housing arrangement. At least it won't cost so much to heat this one.
That's the lesson here: think of the "at least....." in every situation. Still working as a waitress, but at least I have a job. Lost my child care waiver, but at least I get to spend more time with my child now. Car needs work, but at least I have a car to work on. True it's cold and raining, but at least I live in Florida. The sun will be out tomorrow. That's little orphan Annie's song. "Gotta hang on till tomorrow, come what may." Holding on, God. Holding on.