“Vulnerable strength isn’t an emotional outburst, rather it’s working through misunderstanding.”

Very important words this morning. Yesterday was not the most stellar of Mondays. I managed to get through most of the day by just taking deep breaths and letting go, but by 8 PM I was tired, frustrated, and really at the end of my rope, although I didn’t fully realize it. I stopped to pick up some prescriptions at a local pharmacy on my way home, and tried to make a separate purchase with my new debit card. That’s when the trouble started. The card would not work. At all. “No big deal,” I thought. I told the fellow that I would just cancel the purchase since I did’t have enough cash. I went back to my car, my mind racing over the past few days’ purchases. Surely I had not overdrawn my account! Then, my youngest called wanting me to bring home “something to make this cough stop.” I explained that we already had cough medicine at home, and that since my card wasn’t working I couldn’t make anymore purchases until I figured out what was wrong. I hung up the phone and tossed it in my bag on the seat beside me. Pounding the steering wheel in frustration, I started screaming and yelling at the unfairness of it all. “She has had this stuff since before Christmas. WHY won’t it go away??? Why is this stuff all piling up? WHY was today so crappy???” And so on for about a mile. I swung into the ATM to at least get my account balance. “Contact distributor of card.” Oh dear. This. is. not. good. Pulling back onto the street, I buzz towards home. My phone dings. I pick it up–the screen is BLACK. Apparently the toss into the bag created another issue for me. Now I have no cell phone.

Anybody else see a trend here? I am FAR too dependent on things. And I let little stuff bug me WAY too much. My place of employment is full of people who have woes far worse than mine. And yet I regress into toddlerhood and create more issues for myself. Suzie Eller wrote the words I quoted above, and in her blog post today she is talking about responding with grace in difficult situations. My issues yesterday evening had more to do with anger at myself in the long run, but I have also been guilty of not responding with grace in relationships as well. Thinking back on how I could have responded yesterday evening, lashing out didn’t do anything but create more problems, and I certainly didn’t feel better after my temper tantrum. It seems the more I resolve to do better in that area, the worse I do.

A side note: I fully expected my husband to really be upset over the phone, which is going to create another expense even though I do carry insurance on it (and the protective screen covering which we paid extra for didn’t do it’s lifetime guarantee job). When I explained what happened (a drop on the floor earlier in the day, unintended, did not help I’m sure), his comment was, “well, things happen.” His usual “I’ll just buy the part and fix it” approach won’t work this time–a replacement screen is $150. Sooo, he is taking it back to the phone store for me today since I work another 12 hour shift and won’t be able to do it myself. Oh, and the bank issue? Seems my email to the bank last week about a new card arriving after the Target debacle triggered a chain reaction. They deactivated the new one before it even arrived at my house because it had been sent out 3 weeks ago. Long story short, I still have money, just no debit card–because I cut up my old one this weekend after finding the new one in the unread mail pile. *sigh* Life’s inconveniences…

And how has YOUR week been?

My prayer is that I respond with more grace and less silly emotion. Stuff happens. I need to get over it.

1 Peter 1:2b, “May God give you more and more grace and peace.” (NLT)