My Un-Favorite Day

Today has not been my favorite day.

But it didn’t start that way. Well, maybe it did….

I had to wake up “early” to take my older kids to school. I’m generally spoiled because they school where my husband teaches and he just takes them along. But on the rare occasion that he has something really early to attend (Bible Study, workout, etc) then I take them.

Today was one of those days.

It’s not the me having to wake up that’s so terrible. It’s having to wake up my toddlers (who, on any other day, would already be awake… but some unwritten law for children states that they must sleep in on days they have to be up at their normal hour of arousal).

That sets the tone for some serious whining from sleep-deprived kiddos. But I digress.

I woke up my kiddos and loaded all five of us in the car. We drove them to school and came right back home. I did my marathon training workout- which hurt. Our fence is broken so I had to run to the bank to get cash to pay my friend to fix it. Which made me late for my work call.

During this work call, I asked for prayer. I asked that God would give me wisdom and direction in how to spend my time… which is already pulled in so many different directions. Planning to move to a smaller home (and out of the country entirely, next June), trying to sell stuff, organize stuff, complete the kids’ albums, write, mother, wife…. Much of my last couple of days has been filled with things that I don’t want to do, but must. (And also with very enjoyable tasks as well) Alas, my prayer request.

My work call ends. They’ve prayed for me and I for them. Then comes my time to start work. I work online. The internet wouldn’t connect. Nice. An hour after some chat with an outsourced Comcast woman from Timbuktu, my internet is working and I have no idea what the problem was. Whatever.

It also happens to be a Smart Rate day. That means that from 2-7pm my electricity and gas are 3 xs the normal cost. BUT all the rest of the time, it’s 1/3rd of the cost. On days like today, I freeze the house out and then let it go until 7pm when we are all counting down the minutes that we can use lights and AC. Today, my computer battery died. Can’t plug it in. Guess work ends early.

After dinner (which I bought), I attempt to complete my digital photo album of my son. I’m very close to finishing and can do so tonight. Just in time. Because ordering this book will keep me activated as a Creative Memories Consultant (which gives me a nice discount on all of the books I make for my kids). I turn it on. Error code. Can’t find root element. What the heck is a root element? And where did it go? And how do I get it back? And of course, Creative Memories is closed so my questions simply float away… despairingly unanswered. Turning my computer on and off 15 times didn’t bring it back. Neither did a Google search on “how to find missing root elements.” Every other book I’ve ever made opens up just fine. But not that one…

*sigh*

So here I am, putting my kids to bed, trying not to look at the tornado’s destruction that hit my house. My 4 year old slips while skipping and hits his head. Hard. I don’t see swelling. But this definitely isn’t his normal quick recovery from an injury. Ice. Pain Reliever. More Google searches. I think he’s okay. No signs of internal bleeding or concussion. But still. Really?

I’ve just spent 634 words to tell you why this has not been my favorite day. I’m sure I could find a few more words to use… but the reality is, not every day of our lives is a good day. And that’s equally true for Christians. Or whoever else. Sometimes the day just sucks.

And today was sorta one of those days. For me.

And it’s okay. Tomorrow is a new day. With new mercies. New obstacles. New joys. New.

Perhaps all of the things I thought I needed to get done… weren’t God’s plan for my day. Maybe I’ve struggled with the answer to my own prayer from the beginning. Every step I took was re-directed. My desk was entirely re-organized, packed, and put away when I would have been working online. I cuddled with my daughter on the couch when the photo album program failed me (this after being really irritable with everyone). My son’s room wasn’t entirely clean, but I loved and cared for him through his fall and headache.

So here I am. My book is unfinished and I may have to deactivate. My work was incomplete. My dinner was not homemade. My son has a headache. I’m tired. Sort of. And it has not been my favorite day.

But sometimes un-favorite days are the best kind. They remind us how often we take for granted all of the other days. Today also reminds me that I kind of prayed for this… for a re-direction of my time and priority. For wisdom and guidance. And I balked at it. Fought it. Whined. Pounded my fists. Did I waste my answered prayer? I hope not. I hope tomorrow finds me a willing servant on this journey to living the life God has for me.

How about you?

Grateful for Gratitude

The last part of our bedtime routine, in my home, is prayer with and for the children.

Tonight, my three-year old son excitedly exclaimed that he would be praying for me and that I would be praying for his little sister. Oh, and that I would be starting first. I prayed for my daughter (and the other three of my children) and notioned that it was his turn.

“Dear Jesus, thank you for Mommy and my sister and the big kids and Daddy. Thank you for Auntie Laura and Auntie Zelda and Auntie Chris and her kids, Noah, Sam and Gabe. Thank you for….” and the list went on. After thanking God for the entire world, nearly every animal on the planet, and every item in his room, I realized that he had opened a book. As he turned the pages in the book (also on animals) he thanked God for whatever he saw on each page. Really, he was stalling to keep me from leaving the room. The Mommy in me wanted to close the book, kiss him goodnight, and finally have my own time!

Suddenly my brain-train switched tracks. Actually, his idea was brilliant! How many times have I had a poopy day (literally and figuratively) and had the hardest time being thankful for anything? How easily I could pull just about any book of my shelf (with pictures, of course) and begin to choose thankfulness for whatever I see! What a great solution to the gratefulness-block!

As if that weren’t reason enough, I was reminded of an event at my local MOPS group. Karen Wood, a woman with much experience in the Psychology field, came and spoke with us about the human brain. She taught us that it is impossible for the human brain to be grateful AND complaining at the same time. Those two occur in very separate areas of the brain and therefore, can’t be done simultaneously. Equally, your brain can not worship and worry at the same time, for the same reason. (Or be grateful and worry or worship and complain).

Try it. The next time you are in a grumbling mood, stop and begin to be thankful for things. Your life. Air. Water. Whatever. The oxygen in your brain will begin to flow to the part that is required for gratitude. Beautiful!

With all of that in mind, my son’s choice to pull out a book and be thankful for its contents (when he’d depleted his own bank of items) inspired me to remember how important it is to choose gratitude. Its mind-transforming. Literally.


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