It was one of those mornings a few years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday. I was doing just fine...had a great quiet time, began my day by waking my daughters with sweet butterfly kisses, began to pick up little things here and there...and then it happened...
(Cue the disaster music) My youngest daughter yelled out "You never do laundry! I don't have a clean undershirt!" Just then, the dog barked. Nobody had let him out yet and his water and food were completely empty. I had to let him out. I promise you, if not for me, that poor dog would die of neglect. Then my other daughter started complaining about not having clean and matching socks. I realized I had three loads of laundry that were clean but sitting in various corners of my home waiting to be folded. I had to step over my son who fell asleep in the living room the night before. If I didn't clean my bathroom soon, I was sure social services would be here to give me a citation. I had a sink full of dishes and I promise you I think this has to be my worse hair day ever!
I couldn't resist it one more minute. I completely snapped. I let 'em have it:
"I'm the only one who does anything around here! I didn't realize I was your personal slave! Maybe if you would gather up your dirty laundry and bring it down - maybe then you'd have clean undershirts! I don't have any socks either because you take all of my clean socks out of my drawer when you can't find yours and they disappear into oblivion somewhere! Someone's gonna catch something in that bathroom! Can I get some help around here for crying out loud? Today after school, it's on til the break of dawn! You kids are cleaning and organizing and helping me get this house in order! I'm over it! No playing today, no fun til the work is done!"
As I stormed around the house, picking things up (I do this when I'm upset - can't control it - it's like I turn into a little cleaning tornado) I began to ask God to help me. I knew I'd blown it. All the quiet time words of wisdom were gone. I think they went into the oblivion my socks go into. Then I heard a still voice in my heart say "Resist the devil and he will flee from you."
I can honestly tell you that there was a very big part of me that thought "You know, I don't feel like resisting right now!" But as I sat there, folding one of my loads of laundry, I began to pray. "OH, GOD! Please help me right now. I'm angry, I'm bitter and I'm in a funk. I can't do this."
Just then, my husband who had been observing my not so pleasant morning, approached me and put a book in my lap that was opened to a page that said "Never, never, never give up." And the scripture that was with this quote was Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
My perspective began to change as the Lord brought to mind my friend Julia. She had dirty laundry, two young boys, a husband, cleaning, cooking, a full time job and two dogs to care for and she did it all while going through chemotherapy - for years and years. And she did it hoping all the while that the Lord would give her more time to continue to serve her family in this way. The conviction was almost unbearable at this point.
I heard someone say once that there's no such thing as a bad day when you have Christ in your life - because of His sovereignty, you can choose to look at the bright side of every situation. Sounds good, but what does that look like? How do you begin?
I think it begins with being thankful. So I began....
I'm thankful for my health so I have energy to clean and pick up my home (and I'm thankful we have a home!)
I'm thankful for my missing socks because it means my daughter can have a set of clean, matching socks on her feet.
I'm thankful for the dirty bathroom because as I clean it, I will be serving those I love.
I'm thankful that I have the opportunity to care for my dog, because he brings tremendous joy to all of us.
I'm thankful for the dirty dishes, for it means we have food to eat.
I'm thankful I had a son to step over in the living room (because now he's grown up and moved out of the house and I miss him terribly.)
I'm thankful for a bad hair day for that means I have hair.
I'm thankful for times like this because God uses them humble me and remind me of what is important in my life.
I'm thankful that when I apologized to my girls that morning, they gave me a kiss and said "We love you Mommy. It's okay."
And I'm definitely thankful for a godly husband who, without a word, pointed me to the truth of what I was experiencing.
I think of the day that I "snapped" often. I think of being thankful when I do have these days. And my days become more joyful when I do. What are you thankful for today?