I’ve had some pretty tough days lately. The kids have been at each other, emotions have run high, routines are fluctuating a bit, and we’ve had some nasty Summer colds thrown in the mix. Needless to say, we’ve had an influx of whining, arguing, exhaustion, and overall crankiness.
One day, in particular, I may or may not have texted “I quit” … multiple times. Some days, I’m just done. Being a mom is HARD. Good and amazing, but hard.
This got me thinking about a conversation I had a while back with a dear friend. She asked me what constitutes a “good day” … from my perspective.
Without hesitation, I told her a “good day” is one where I know I have been a good wife, mother and friend. The kids could be at odds, the house a wreck, the cupboards short on food … but if I respond and react to the people in my life with gentleness, kindness, patience, grace and love … I feel like it’s been a good day. I can hold my head up high.
Please hear me, I do not enjoy the fighting, having a messy home, or experiencing any lack, but I realize this is part of being a mom, a part of life. It comes with the territory. I don’t think I have ever experienced a perfect day, one without hardship. The reality of being a wife, a mother, and a friend isn’t always easy or smooth.
It is in these moments that I must choose.
Just as I often tell my kids, we cannot control what others do or say, we can only control ourselves. So, it is the same with my own choices.
At the end of the day, I can gage whether it has been a good or bad one based on how I thought, spoke and responded/reacted to the people in my life. Did I seek to honor the Lord and honor others? Or, did I look to only please myself?
Ultimately, I know it was a good day if/when …
- I had time in God’s Word at the start of my day (it truly does impact the rest of the day!!)
- compassion oozed from my being to minister to my hurt or sick husband, children or friends.
- my patience didn’t wane even when others around me pushed all of my buttons.
- grace abounded.
- forgiveness was given freely.
- I died to self and served wholeheartedly.
- discipline was done for the purpose of teaching, correcting and training in righteousness; not out of spite, malice or vengeance.
- my voice remained steadfast and didn’t spike in bursts of anger or frustration.
- I did not whine or complain.
- I looked into the eyes of those I love and saw them for who they are, not for what they did or did not do.
- I smiled and laughed often.
- I walked in integrity, especially when no one else was listening or looking.
I may not experience ALL of these EVERY day, but if I hit many of them, I can tell a difference in my overall view of the day.
As much I would love to control everything and everyone around me, I know I cannot. This leaves me coming back to myself. I have choices to make. My greatest desire is to be able to stand before the Lord and know I have done my very best. I know it won’t be perfect. I know I will fall short daily. I know it will be hard. But, if I know in my heart of hearts I have left it all on the court, then, I feel it’s been a “good day.”
It is in these moments when I feel I have made a difference, I have made an impact in the lives around me. Hopefully, prayerfully, they see Jesus in and through me, as HE is the source of all that is good in me.
Circumstances do not define my days, good or bad; no, it is my response and reaction to those circumstances that draw the distinction.
I confess, there are many days where I check out and try to just get through it. I often “quit” (though, not really). It is during these challenging moments when I more earnestly seek His face. Then, when tomorrow comes, I start anew. His mercies are, indeed, new every morning. A fresh start with new choices to be made.
Grace. It truly is a gift.
Yes, yes, let’s make it a good day today. Let’s walk with integrity, seasoned with patience and self-control, and saturated in truth and love …
To God be the Glory!