I really love being home. Some weeks I only leave for church and one day of errands … some weeks, I do my errands church and only leave the house once in 7 days. I’m a homebody, I feel like our home should be where we want to spend most of our time. But as homeschoolers and as a homebody and with 3 growing boys being home all the time can stop feeling comforting and start feeling confining. Yes, there are acres to roam around our house and for that I’m always grateful, but a desire for a change of scenery creeps up on me every-so-often and getting out is what the mama-orders.
On this day, that was our plan. Once we finished school I told the boys we were going to do our grocery shopping in a neighboring town and have some fun before-hand. My plan was to have a mid-day cheesy-bacon-french-fry snack at a cute little restaurant and then play at the nearby park.
We got to the restaurant, and contrary to the hours they had posted online, they were closed as of 30 minutes ago. So we opted for frozen yogurt … drove to that shop the next street over, and it was closed, indefinitely. I felt frustration and annoyance creeping in because these circumstances were not in line with my plan for our ‘fun’ afternoon out. But pretty quickly I told myself that my happiness wouldn’t be defined by my circumstances and we’d figure something else out.
We proceeded on to the park…
Now, needless to say … I was happy to go to the park because I wanted the boys to play and have fun. But, also? I was excited for the chance to photograph them in the beautiful light that glowed through the park. And we had it all to ourselves … until we didn’t. I’d snapped a few frames before two kiddos arrived that felt the need to hang, walk, stand, and visit with my boys right in the midst of every image I was longing to take. Fortunately, I was mature enough to not ask them to leave my children alone so that I could take pictures. I was annoyed at my annoyance, trust me. But it was there. Again, I reminded myself about circumstances and that this wasn’t going to rain on a fun afternoon out with my boys.
Gage and Cooper began a game of America Ninja Warrior while Kaden happily ran around with the other two little photo-bombers, and I thought to text our best friends and see if they just happened to be in town at the same time as us. They were! So I waited for them to arrive, feeling my immature circumstance-based-happiness starting to lift … because, well, our circumstances were about to change and one of my favorite friends was about to show up and that, of course, made me happy.
Until Kaden stepped in dog poop somewhere on the play-ground and I spend the next 10 minutes scraping it off of the bottom of his boot. And the rest of our time there being anxious that someone was going to step in it again, or worse, fall in it.
I snapped some more photos … thankful to have a long-lens with me (the 135 2.0) so I could not capture the now-growing number of kiddos arriving since school had apparently just let out.
Eventually, it became obvious that my plan was not going to work as I’d hoped. My mood was down and I was mopey. Mopey! Sullen. I’m 33, friends, and I’m pretty sure I was pouting. Even after our friends got there, I was just not myself. How sad is that? How sad is it that I let myself be so dictated by my petty circumstances?? I mean, seriously …. I don’t know that anyone else would have noticed my mood, but it was definitely effecting me. I’ve battled this for as long as I can remember … that if things don’t go my way I can get sour and moody. Over the years I know I’ve gotten better about it as I see my boys falling into this same destructive habit. And, maybe this is why I like routine and predicable days. The plan is simple and there isn’t much room for disappointment when the routine just stays the same.
But, gosh, was I annoyed with myself. All of these sensible thoughts finally came over me as we drove from the park to get our groceries and I shook my head at myself. I’m always learning and hopefully always in the process of ‘improving’. And it often happens as a result of recognizing my sinful ways, submitting and repenting. My contentment and happiness can not be reliant on my circumstances.
This was on my mind this past weekend when we did a last minute trip to the coast and missed the gorgeous beach sunset as we sat in the restaurant waiting for our dinner to arrive … and I thought about it on Sunday morning when our pastor just happened to be preaching on this exact topic. And hopefully I’ll be thinking about it day in and day out when I get weary or worried or frustrated. And even when I’m joyful, feeling blessed, and completely happy. Because there is only one place that contentment, peace and true happiness can be found and it definitely isn’t in our ever-changing-never-predictable-often-blessed-but-often-disappointing-circumstances.
I might need that tattooed on the back of my hand, but I’m praying that eventually I’ll live that truth as naturally as I just typed it out. <3
Thanks for visiting and for reading my thoughts! Photography friends, as I mentioned, these were all taken with the 135 2.0 at f/2.2. I wanted a long focal length but Big Curtis (70-700) still embarrasses me a bit in public.
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