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Okay, so I promised a book review today. Well, I haven’t had time to write it yet. Watch for it in the next day or two.

In the mean time, I wanted to share something that happened to me yesterday. It is an experience that illustrates how we can have victory in everyday trials. You see, I have a tendency to frustration–as all moms do at some point! And I was very encouraged by the outcome, even if it didn’t seem so great at the time!

My son drinks a lot of hemp milk, so I buy it buy the case. He had just finished one case and it was time to open another one. Now, try to imagine how the box looked. It is one of those boxes that opens with pull-tabs on the sides. The two ends are open in the middle, so you can see inside. There is a tab that says “pull here” on each side of the opening. Underneath the cardboard is a plastic strip that allows one to pull from that tab all down the side of the box around to the other end. Doing this on each side will separate the top of the box from the bottom, making a convenient way to store the containers still in the open half of the cardboard, kind of like they would on display in a store. I hope you have the picture in your mind, because it is crucial to understanding what happened.

The box was on a low shelf in my pantry, about mid-shin level. I decided not to pull the whole (probably 30 pound) box out and put it on the counter; I would just twist the box a little and get the top off right there. So I knelt down and pulled on the right tab with my right hand. It broke off at the corner.

Now, on a bad day, I would get frustrated right there. But this day I had been communing with God, and I immediately sensed His call to my heart to let it go. The other end was still intact, so no big deal. So I just smiled and tried the tab on the left side (same end of the box). It broke at the corner. I smiled and turned the box around and proceeded to pull on a tab from the other end. It, too, broke at the corner.

Again I felt self trying to well up, but I said, “Lord, please help me not to get frustrated at this!” After all, the cardboard wasn’t very thick. I could tear it with my hands if I wanted to. But I hoped I could at least get one side open, so that I could access the containers of hemp milk. So I pulled the last tab.

It broke at the corner.

I laughed and thought, “I should have asked the Lord to not let the tab break!” I laughed because He had answered my prayer exactly, and had not done what I had not asked for. “Ye have not because ye ask not.” So I decided I would have to just tear the box. I dug my right thumb into the right side of the box and began to pull to the right to tear open the box.

Then my hand slipped.

Now, try to imagine the scene in your mind. I am at a pantry door, which is just like any bedroom or bathroom door. It is open to my right. When my hand slipped, it went straight for the corner of the door, and slammed into the corner at full momentum. Instantly I was in pain. I grabbed my hand and opened my mouth in a silent scream (I didn’t want to startle the children playing nearby). Gislaine noticed and asked what was wrong. I told her I had gotten an owie. She came over to see. When I looked, there was a blueish dent on the side of my hand about 3/8″ wide. Within seconds it began to swell around the dent, and it was painful to the touch. Manny, of course, wanted to touch it, saying “boo boo”.

Through it all, I was amazed that I had not become frustrated. As I poured Manny his milk, I pondered how Jesus had never given in to frustration. I’m sure He must have felt like doing it over and over–especially in the last few hours of His life. But He never did. And He is our Example. He has provided all the power we need to overcome even frustration when things don’t go our way.

I can’t say that I always have victories like this. But I had one yesterday. And I want to have more. I want this to become a pattern. I want to choose to control my thoughts and feelings. And as I make that choice, God will provide the grace.

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