It was a dark, rainy morning. You know, the kind that makes you want to pull the covers over your head and go back to sleep. But it was too hot to have the covers over her head!
She remembered her son’s whine last night that he didn’t have any friends here and he used to have so many “back home.” It reminded her that she could say the same thing about herself.
The next thought that slipped in was that all she had ever really wanted was a home of her own with nice neighbors, a minivan to get the kids to Little League and ballet lessons, and money enough to go to a Tupperware party occasionally. Now she had a rented home in the tropics, neighbors that don’t speak her language, a 15 year old car, no Little League or ballet lessons for the kids to go to, and no Tupperware parties within 5,000 miles!
The Pity Party was well underway as many other sleazy guests were crowding in the door of her mind.
Sound familiar? Pity Parties can happen anytime and anywhere. They are no respecter of persons. An article from Fun ‘n Faith Newsletter is a good antidote to this disease.
- “If you own just one Bible, you are abundantly blessed. One-third of the world doesn’t have access to even one.
- If you woke this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who won’t survive the week.
- If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people around the world.
- If you attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death, you are more blessed than almost three billion people in the world.
- If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75 percent of the world.
- If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top eight percent of the world’s wealthy.
- If you can hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because the majority can, but most don’t.”*
The next time some slippery guest tries to turn your thoughts into a Pity Party, why not send him running by beginning to count your blessings. When we lived cross culturally, I told our son to make a “Thankful list.” He said the only thing he could be thankful for was his bed. But then he thought he really was thankful for the floor that held it up and the roof that kept it dry and clean. It was a short jump to other things to be thankful for from there.
If some miserable thought tries to make it a “sleep over,” you can starve him out by not feeding him any juicy tidbits. Purposely putting your mind on pleasant things will shut the door of your mind to misery.
Husbands and kids can have Pity Parties too. Don’t join them. It can be lethal if more than one have a Pity Party at the same time. Since misery loves company, if there’s no company, the Pity Party will usually stop more quickly.
Developing your sense of humor goes a long way to making you much less vulnerable to Pity Parties. Prov. 17:22 tells us, laughter really is good medicine. It makes our bones strong and we can stand up and face a less than perfect world.
Telling yourself the truth sometimes kicks out the most stubborn thoughts. Yes, you have a 15 year old car, but most of your neighbors only have a little motorbike. Yes, there are no Little League or ballet lessons for your kids. But they never could have more fun than they do playing soccer with the local kids. Both places have their good parts and their bad. Speaking the truth can be so freeing.
Finally, no matter how bad it is at this moment, remembering why you are here can give you a solid rock to stand on. The call you received to this place was from One who knows what you need and how to provide it for you. He cares for you and is growing you up in His image. A sparrow cannot fall without His notice. Keep your eyes on Him and those miserable Pity Parties will become less frequent and less damaging.
* “Fun ‘n Faith Newsletter” Peggie’s Place, November 2000