Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hitting reset on a no-good, very bad day

(This is another post written so that I can read it over again and again.  It's stuff I need to hear.)

I've enjoyed reading a few friends' blogs over the last few days.  As I read, I often feel a range of emotions:

Joy - I am truly happy for what's happening in their life
Sorrow - When friends write of sad things it, obviously, makes me sad for them
Encouragement - I love being encouraged when I read of ways I can improve.

And then there's:
Jealousy - I admit that I sometimes find myself wishing I could have the experience that I'm reading about.  Whether it's a deep spiritual thought or a fun family activity or a conversation between good friends, I wish, just for a brief moment, that the experience were mine.

And then I smack myself upside the head, figuratively (and sometimes literally) for being so ridiculous.  And then I remind myself that I only read the highlights.

To keep it real on my blog (since I'm all about keeping it real), let me tell you about the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day I had recently.  There were a few things that happened that, by themselves, would not have made much negative impact on my day.  But one thing piled on top of another and many times through the day I found myself apologizing to the kids for my behaviour.

I had made promises about how the day would go that just didn't happen.  Circumstances were out of my control, but kids expect promises to be kept all the same.  I barked at them and they lost their tempers with each other.  I told the kids that I was trying.

I know that it could have been worse.  I was trying to exercise self-control.  I didn't yell a whole lot.  It was more an inner frustration at things just not going as planned.

We finally all sat down to dinner together and chatted about our day.  It was time to hit the "Reset" button on our day.  After dinner we spent about three hours just having fun together.  By bed time we were all smiling and looking forward to the fun we would have tomorrow.

I'd had it up to "Here" with my awful day.
I'm trying to be very purposeful in my parenting.  I am (trying to be) purposeful in not taking out my frustrations on the kids.  I am (trying to be) purposeful about looking at the kids and really listening to them.  I am (trying to be) purposeful about doing what I say I'm going to do.  Being an imperfect human is tough!  I am so glad to know that I am filled with the Holy Spirit.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."  Galatians 5:22-23

Without that fruit, I'd be a mess.  And the more I submit to the leading of God's spirit in my life, the more fruity I get.  Oh, I still have some rotten fruit that doesn't come from the Spirit.  Otherwise I wouldn't have terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.  But I am so thankful for God's grace, which lets me hit the reset button on those days and start over with a different attitude.  Because a God-directed, Spirit-led day is so much better than the alternative, even in Australia.

(Sidenote:  "Fruit of the loom" is googled more often than "Fruit of the Spirit".  Not surprising, I suppose.)
(Sidenote #2: I do have Gal 5:22-23 memorized but it's easier to copy and paste it than to type it.  Ironically, I ended up typing a lot more just to write these two sidenotes about looking it up.)


  1. This was a wonderful reminder that we aren't perfect and it is all too easy to get frustrated and take that frustration out on our loved ones. I can see my family members' moods deteriorate in direct correlation to my own. On the one hand, it is amazing to have that much power and influence in their lives and on the other hand, how frightening and humbling that I (as crabby & grumpy and imperfect as I am) can have that much power and influence in their lives. Yes, I did mean to say the exact same phrase twice. God is so gracious, we need to shower some of that grace onto others...thanks for being so honest. I need a reset too sometimes. Praying for you!

  2. "...the more I submit to the leading of God's spirit in my life, the more fruity I get."

    Best quote I've read all week.

  3. Yep, I loved the quote that Mark mentioned, too! I so enjoy reading your blog posts!
    - Aunt Bernice