We’ve all had them; those days. They test the Christian character, and squeeze mightily and relentlessly, in attempts to get a peek of the sinful nature within. Too often, they win. Those days. We stare at the rest of the day in disbelief, as in trying to figure out if it’s truly happening. Maybe it’s all a dream- no, a nightmare. “Lord, can I get away?” we consider.
But, alas, it is no dream, and Murphy’s Law is happening, indeed. All that can possibly go wrong, does.
By the end of the day, or sooner, we are worn. Our Christ-like character is inconveniently missing, and we’re not sure whether to laugh or cry. We will likely cry.
Such was almost the case for me last night. In short (trust me, this is truly the short version), the kids were particularly difficult in regards to obedience, noise, and rudeness; they couldn’t keep their hands to themselves, and I caught myself raising my voice more than I would have liked. You kind of have to when a child is screaming at the top of their lungs, and won’t let you get a word in.
I also homeschool my son, and he wasn’t particularly interested yesterday, as my husband was home, and he took that as an excuse to not get much work done. My husband, being the supportive husband that he is, sided with our son. He also forgot to buy the star ingredient of our dinner when he went to the store: chicken. It wouldn’t have been such a big deal if I wasn’t already feeling stressed.
I am happy to say that I handled it well, for the most part. I even had a few extra bathroom visits to get a few minutes alone with God, from time to time throughout the day.
This doesn’t sound horrible, I know. It’s not. But to a flustered, scatterbrained, stressed out mommy that feels entitled to a chocolate break, ice cream sundae, and alone time with God, it can almost bring you to the edge of yourself.
Which almost did happen in the evening.
I cooked beans, and I intended to share with my mother, whom I live next door to. I made plenty. I have never messed this up. It’s beans. You fill with water, few ingredients for flavor, and wait. I can honestly say, I’m pretty good at seasoning food. I have hardly ever over-salted anything. Of course it happened to the beans. No big deal; I added more water.
Then I refried them with chorizo. Semi-smashed, of course, because my masher wasn’t cooperating. I also added too much of the water, and it looked like soup.
“Can’t I do anything right?” I thought. I couldn’t believe how much I was messing up. Where was my mind?
“Lord, please save my beans,” I prayed silently.
It wasn’t just beans anymore. It was my sanity, my self-respect and dignity.
Is that dramatic enough?
How much importance and power we give to what might be insignificant things, if you look at the big picture.
I caught myself almost immediately, and decided I wouldn’t let it get to me anymore.
Even if we had to have chorizo bean soup. It sounded interesting, anyway.
Let’s learn to let go of stress before it boils over. If it is not righteous anger, it should have no place in our hearts or minds. Here are some ideas, in case you ever need them:
Stop: We are adults who possess a functioning, Christ-centered mind. Are we acting like it? Stop and consider what is troubling you. Are you mad at the kids for being kids? Enforce your rules, let there be consequences, love them, and try to move on, giving plenty of hugs in the process, even if you don’t happen to like your children very much at the moment.
Evaluate: Are you giving the same grace you hope others and God give you?
Will this truly matter in the long run?
Have you prayed about it, or are you just moping, and complaining?
Are you pleasant to be around?
Are you being Christ-like?
Remember: You are in control of your feelings, mouth, and actions.
This day will end, and the season will pass.
Decide: Don’t let insignificant things steal your peace.
Don’t be that quarrelsome wife they speak of in Proverbs 21:9.
Follow James’ advice to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry (James 1:19).
Show love, grace, forgiveness, and patience for others, and yourself.
Choose joy, and be willing to have a laugh or two, even at your own mistakes.
Enjoy the journey. It will be over too soon; don’t waste time being upset. There is joy in serving, and sharing life.
Simple things are the toughest to remember, or act on, it seems.
But we will survive if we hold on to our Savior, and walk in His ways. I promise.
By the way, my beans were great! We didn’t have soup. The flavor and consistency turned out well, and we all lived happily ever after. For now.
Enjoy the rest of your week, and if your meal doesn’t turn out as planned, improvise, or have your child help you, and then blame it on them. Just kidding!