Lover of my Soul


Today was not the best day of my life. Today wasn't even the second best day of my life. Today wouldn't really even fit into the "best" category of the days of my life. It was difficult and challenging and so very tiring. It very well may have spawned the best realization of my life, though.

Last night I had two dreams that have weighed very heavily on me all day today. My dreams are almost always extremely vivid and last night one of them was so very gruesome and heart-wrenching that I've carried the pain and the stress and the emotional fallout of it with me all day long. Because it was so real that it was difficult to realize that it wasn't even real at all.

My day didn't even get started well and two different drivers almost sent me into cardiac arrest within minutes and miles of each other. Thank the stars for good brakes. I will never again complain about the insane amounts of black brake dust that coat my front wheels ever again.

I got to work and first thing this morning the network freaked out on me just as I went to check my messages. The one good and shining part of my morning, sharing videos of Ty's soccer tryouts with a friend, was interrupted in a less-than-polite fashion dousing the smile of pride that had spread across my face.

And from there the list could go on and on of all the reasons why today will not be remembered as any great or wonderful day.

My day did pick up this evening when I went to church. On Wednesday nights I sit in with the youth group. Though I serve no apparent functional purpose most of the time, I sit in with them and I hope that at least the teens will know that I'm there. There's no denying that I've been there and done that with some of the temptations they're facing and decisions they're making. I'm on the other side of all of that now and I have a much better understanding of why God and our parents want us to conduct ourselves the way they do. It is not simply because they want to restrict our fun. It's because life is so complex as it is....doing wrong things or even doing the right things at the wrong time and in the wrong way only complicates things more and makes life harder. That's not what our parents want for us and that's not what God wants for us.

Back to the point.

So I go to church and I'm sitting in with the youth and the lesson tonight is on dating.

Christian Dating.

Which, of course, peaked my interest because there's a guy I'd definitely be interested in dating on a more regular basis if things work out that way.

So I'm thinking this is a good lesson to brush up on.

Except our youth director didn't exactly hit all the same old points.

Where I was expecting to nod my head in agreement, I found myself thinking "Ouch!" as my toes got figuratively stepped on.

Especially when Matthew 10:37 was mentioned where Jesus says, "The person who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; the person who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of Me." Now, it wasn't exactly this verse that lead to the sore toes but the fact that I realized how much focus and thought I put on relationships or relationship potentials or even hopes for a relationship when there is no relationship potential in sight. It's something I want. To quote the song, I love love. I love being in love.

And it dawned on me....how many times a day do I think of Ty? How many times a day have I thought about the current crush? How many times a day have I thought about just my future relationship hopes and goals for the future?

And then on the other side of that.....how many times a day do I pray? How many times a day do I thank God and praise God and bless God? How many times a day do I even speak about God and all the great and wonderful things He's done?

Ouch.

And the youth director said, "Don't make who you're dating bigger than God. Don't put them before your relationship with God."

I was mulling over that thought tonight as I laid in bed.

My mind goes towards the current crush because he's physically present in my life. He texts me, he makes me smile. I may not be able to physically see him at any given moment, but I know I could see him if I wanted and I have recent memories of having spent time with him.

And there's some anxiety and insecurity there on my part right now because I don't know where things stand or where things are going or what he feels or thinks or wants. He could vanish on me as easily tonight as happened six or seven months ago. And don't think that doesn't cross my mind. I'm human. I'm emotional. Occasionally insecurity and anxiety are emotions I deal with.

Ty, however, I don't have those emotions with him. I think of him constantly and continually because I love him and I adore him and he makes my heart so full of joy and pride and happiness. He comes to me and hugs me and tells me he loves me. I think of him all the time because he's there all the time. Because he's always doing something thoughtful to show me he loves me.

But so does God.

I've let myself get so wrapped up these relationships or potential relationships that I let them come before the relationship that truly matters.....the relationship that makes all my other relationships possible.

I don't even pay attention to the messages God sends me. I see the car that pulls out in front of me and slam on my brakes, sending my purse and everything in it flying into the passenger floorboard and I'm mad at the car for inconveniencing me instead of thanking God for protecting me and stopping my vehicle.

Minutes later the car in front of me screeches to a halt and everything that wasn't already in the floorboard makes a breathtakingly fast trip to join all the other items in my car. Again, I fume and mentally scream at the person in the car in front of me who--in my mind--instantly falls into that "Stupid People" category.

I don't, again, thank God for my protection and pray that He helps them with whatever they're dealing with to make them so erratic. I don't even pray for the other drivers that their recklessness is endangering.

I don't even think of God at all.

I go to work and the lack of smile and cheer in my voice seems to cue everyone into the fact that Ashley's having a bad day.

In spite of that, one of the inmates braves his way up to my office and offers to get me a cup of coffee if I don't already have one. I thank him for the thought (as I already had my cup), but I don't thank God for the thoughtfulness He gave this man.

Almost every phone call I got today was started with someone genuinely asking how I'm doing. Several of them asked after my health to make sure I was over my sickness from late July and a few asked about Ty and his tonsillitis he had a few weeks back. I thank them for their thoughts and concern but I don't thank The One who put that love and concern in their hearts and minds.

I spend my day texting a man because his messages make me smile.

I spend a day not even realizing all the messages and blessings my God sends me that makes me smile.

I spend a day wondering what this man is thinking.....wondering what will come of whatever is going on with me and him.

I spend a day not even appreciating that I never have to wonder that about God.

I spend a day thinking that no matter what happens with the guy....I'm glad we're getting to hang out and get to know each other now.

I spend a day without even appreciating or acknowledging that I never have to think about God ever not being there.

I spend a day thanking my son for each little I Love You and all the sweet things he does for me.....drawing me a picture, opening my car door for me, picking up his clothes.....and yet no Thank You is said to The One who gave me another day....a roof over my head, a son to enjoy, a guy that makes me smile for whatever period of time he's meant to be in my life, friends that love me....the list goes on and on of all the things He does for me.

And what thanks have I given? What praise have I sang?

What a fool have I become...
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.