When dreams vanish and temper tantrums appear, Princess Cindy has surfaced. An inward anger had begun to rise. Boy, was I mad! I’m a grown woman who is almost fifty years old, you’d think I would have outgrown this by now. But the situation had crushed my anticipation and excitement, and now I was beyond LIVID!
My husband Vance and I had booked a cruise onboard one of the largest boats in the world. At first, we had paid for an inside cabin. Then I called the cruise line to upgrade us to a balcony room overlooking Central Park. This is a beautiful, flowered, and treed oasis on the ship that looks like a park from your fairytale dreams.
A month later we boarded the ship excited to find our room. I was giggling as we walked up the plank and boarded the incredible vessel. When we entered our cabin, the door was already open. We walked in and grabbed our room keys(which are like credit cards) off the entertainment unit. To our surprise, there was no balcony, just a window with a partially obstructed view. No problem, they made a mistake, we’ll go to Guest Services and get this fixed-.
We hopped on one of the twelve elevators and went to Guest Services to stand in line.
Half-an-hour after we waited in line with other disgruntled cruisers, we arrived at the desk and were greeted by a lady (picture jail warden.)
I explained the situation nicely and asked her if she could help us?
Jail Warden had learned to have a stone exterior. To say the woman was sympathetic would be an overstatement. Too bad so sad for you, get over it! I explained this wasn’t our fault but that of the rep who booked it over the phone. The cruise line would not accept the blame for their mistake.
By now I was beginning to get worked up. My incredibly, sympathetic, and annoying husband was starting to say things like; it’s okay we would prefer the current room to an inside cabin. I gave him the evil eye. He wasn’t helping me build my argument.
She dismissed us with, “We’ll call you if something becomes available.’
We left, and I was fuming inside not only at her, but my husband also. I don’t remember the walk back to our room, but twice we had to return with room keys that didn’t work.
It was all a blur because I was too busy thinking about the complaints I was going to make about MISS ATTITUDE.
We finally settled into our stupid-obstructed-view-state room. I plopped on the couch and got mad at my husband for being ‘too nice.’ He had ruined my chances of negotiating a balcony for us.
I have an alter ego that flares up every once in a while, Princess Cindy. On this day, she was LARGER THAN LIFE! She usually shows up when I have high expectations, and when I’m disappointed that I didn’t get what I wanted.
I am a fumer when Princess Cindy appears. I stewed inwardly since we weren’t going to sit over the tropical oasis. My anger at Vance dissipated quickly (I was comparing it to years ago.) He hardly EVER gets angry with me, and he has been a shining example of grace in my life. I have watched him closely and tried to learn how to be gracious to others.
When we travel, I usually try to download a Christian non-fiction book to the Kindle app on my phone. I mentioned to Vance that we should both download the same book. We could talk about it over dinner each night (okay sounds boring to most of you, I know!)
When I clicked on Amazon, the first Christian book to appear was A.W. Tozer’s book. (Click here it’s free: –The Pursuit of God.)
Little did I know, what I was really getting into. It’s like eating an enormous sirloin steak, in every paragraph. There’s so much quality writing in each sentence, and readers cannot consume this book all at once.
The second morning of our voyage I was still sad about not having the glorious balcony. I had planned to spend my spare time writing on the patio when Vance was at the gym. (eventually, I settled into writing at Central Park as you can see above. ) One early morning, I was having coffee while waiting for Mr. Sleepyhead to get up and at em’.
I pulled up my book and began reading a few paragraphs of A.W. Tozer’s book when I came upon this paragraph:
As my eyes read the words, gracious conviction settled into my heart. I felt a soft whispering in my soul.
“Cindy, I want to help you learn to be happy, no matter what the circumstances.”
Ahhh the sweet words of God. How he desires to help me overcome my selfish nature.
I needed to use the bathroom after my conviction and walked down to the nearest one. A woman was cleaning the bathroom. She greeted me with a smile, and warm brown eyes.
“How are you today?” she asked politely.
“I’m on vacation, so I should be happy!” I said to her with a giggle. ”
“How are you doing this morning?” I asked her.
We started chatting, and she told me she works ten hour days with no days off during her six months onboard. Her husband usually worked on the ship too, but he wouldn’t be back on the ship for another four months.
My eyes looked at her round face, and sadness hung between us.
Here I was the bratty-vacationer, and she was the wife away from her husband.
My heart twisted a little more. I have everything she can only dream of having one day…plus I feel entitled. The woman said they needed the work on the boat since they supported their extended families back home. Many times I have heard this story from women working on the ships we’ve travelled on.
Walking back to my table in the cafe, I thought about my attitude:
I am a spoiled- rotten-self-absorbed-brat and I have learned to be happy when expectations are filled and carried out!
My anger at times has come from moments I hoped for: but didn’t get. Experiences I had planned: but were never executed. My complete joy is not from knowing God, loving him, and BEING LOVED BY HIM.
Why is God’s love not enough for me? If I lost everything precious in my life, could I still say, ‘It is well with my soul?’
I’m not there yet. Not even close. I still have a lot to learn when dreams vanish and tantrums appear, about being content.
But it is my prayer to get to a point where I can let all expectations roll off my shoulders. Instead, a smile and a joyful heart will remain when life takes away my hopes and dreams.
These are the ramblings of Princess Cindy, and I wonder if you can relate? Have your dreams disappeared and been replaced with disappointment? Did you feel devastated like me? It’s tough to keep a smile and joyful heart when our hopes vanish- isn’t it?
Would you like to join me in this prayer, and together we may see victory when we have moments of disappointment or loss…
“Lord, help me to make you, The Source Of all Things, and the only joy I need, to find true happiness. Amen.” 💗
*Read about Jazmin, my daughter-in-law, who battles stage-four cancer at age twenty, and still tries to remains joyful. Click here: Joy Killer