Today was one of those days that I started the day feeling frustrated. We had a very stressful day at work yesterday and today wasn't much better. As I drove home, I was feeling like all I wanted to do was to go home and crawl into bed until tomorrow. I didn't know how I was going to make it through all of the rest of the day.
My first job was to walk the dogs. Often, I take them for a run in the forest (at least, that's been my practice this fall). Unfortunately, with the dark coming so early these days, it has gotten to be dark so early that the dogs and I have had a couple of very stressful walks in a "just shy of dark" stage of dusk. Luckily, the dogs are white but I spend time praying that we won't meet any curious night creatures who may not be overly friendly. I decide that I would message my friend who has a farm and ask whether the dogs and I could walk there. She was thrilled. As I drove into the farm, I was dying to vent to someone about the frustrations of my day. By the time I drove out of the farm, I was smiling, making some Christmas plans and excited about life again. It had been one of those times when I really connected with a good friend and it took me outside of myself and my own problems.
This evening, after supper, I ran to drop the kids off at Awana. K, a friend of mine, is the greeter in the lobby. We ended up chatting about some frustrations she is having at work and as I drove away from the church, I found myself excited about the idea of getting her a little treat to pop into the courier at work to give her a little surprise. I was smiling even more.
I drove from there to my Wednesday night prayer and book study group. I LOVE these women and yet again, I had reminders over and over again that there are other members of my faith tribe, even if we don't go to the same churches. I left feeling refreshed, excited about my faith and most of all, connected.
That's the message today - to get outside of myself, especially when I am brooding, and enjoy the company of the many amazing people that I have been blessed to have in my life. When I count my riches, the people around me and the good friends that I may not have in my immediate vicinity but who I know are out there are definitely my greatest asset. God has blessed me with these riches and I need to be sure that I don't forget that. Advent can be a time for me that I remember - I remember to take time for these people, to listen, to help and to savour the time I have with them.