(I feel competely honored to have my dear friend Mandy be a guest blogger for Joyful Mysteries…her faith is amazing and she inspires me daily.  Enjoy. K) 


As I was putting on mascara this morning (a rare but glorious occasion), a random thought crept into my wandering brain…as is often the case when it (my brain) has a moment.  Handsome Husband was on The Boy (darling son) patrol.

And here’s the thought: Celine Dion. 

 Yep, that (or she) was where my brain went at precisely 9:07 a.m. while getting ready for mass.  Not quite the spiritual exercise one might hope for on a blessed Sunday morn but thankfully, it evolved.  I think I read once about some preposterous requirements she had about her dressing room and what she HAD to have in it.  Something to the tune of only green M&M’s facing “M” side up.  (Please don’t quote me on the details or say that I should google it, just ride the ride with me ‘k?)  Ridiculous.  Right? 


The thing is, I definitely have my own preferences.  I have even called myself “particular”…and at my own wedding!  I like my hot coffee hot (though this rarely happens with aforementioned darling son).  I like my beef cooked “medium”.  I like clean sheets and clean bathrooms.  I like feeling like I’m being heard.  I like being liked.  The list is endless, mostly likely longer than yours just because that’s how I am.  And the thing about these things is, they are all good. 


The difficulty can be that when my coffee is cold, or when the bathrooms aren’t clean (or pick any number of things that I probably prefer because I probably do prefer them and probably in a particular way…that’s how particular I am), ESPECIALLY IF THERE ARE A NUMBER OF THESE NON-PREFERENCES HAPPENING ALL AT ONCE, I tend to let it do serious damage to my day.  And those little things, well they build an attitude of preferences and “have-tos”.  So when a big thing happens (moving, illness, death) that isn’t in line with my preferences, I sometimes don’t know what to do with myself or my relationship with God.  Perhaps it’s because I’m already lamenting how un-preferred my life is that any heavy weight pushes me over the edge.  It’s not that I don’t think I should know what I like…it’s that if I do not rein myself in, my likes become necessities and so numerous that I am unable to “perform” (at least happily) if they go awry.  Ultimately, it’s my pride.  Preferring to be preferred and to have my preferences.  Being a wife & mom is my road to sanctity by just fighting with this one sin every day.  Thank God that I was not left to my own devices. 


Knowing that there are those of you reading with more faith and perhaps more of a “whatever will be will be” attitude, pay no attention to me and my rant.  Maybe my perfectionism kicks my butt more often than the average person.  But if you “get” anything that I’m saying, take a 5-minute break, put on some mascara or polish your toes (or both, God willing) and ultimately, just try to be grateful for what you have.  Cold coffee is better than no coffee…at least that is what I keep telling myself.  And my bathrooms are never “gross” – just in case you decide to visit.


That’s the balm to my wounds (the big and the littles): Gratitude.  I know.  I forget.  I remember.  I try again.  And sometimes in my life (thanks be to God), gratitude has been my attitude (seriously, can someone make me a t-shirt or a decorative pillow?). 


(A bit of practical application: If I’m stuck in a bad rut, I refer back to a Thanksgiving themed youth group I led sometime in the far distance past.  I had “my” kids to the ABC’s of Thanksgiving.  For each letter, they had to come up with someone or something that God had gifted them.  My nature likes the order of this type of gratitude giving, though I often can’t make it past the first few letters, too many blessings to count.  Anywho – if you are in a rut or a rant or just seeing far too many bits and pieces of your life that really are not your preference, try the ABC’s.  Works like a charm for me.)