I am a stay-at-home mom homeschooling four children. It is my calling, my passion, my love, and sometimes… I tell you… it’s my near undoing!
There are many good days. There are rough days splattered throughout the month. And every so often, when the moon shines a bright blue, there is a day so terrible it knocks me off my feet.
My most recent Really Bad Day began in a messy house and a list of exciting to-dos, like: try that new recipe on Pinterest and clean the living room while dancing to Oldies. Nowhere on the list was: die to yourself or greet attitude and forgetfulness with grace and forgiveness. Early in the morning that my high expectations fell hard… and so did I.
Do you have days like that? You wonder how your day could have crashed and burned so badly and it’s not even 10:00am? You can’t decide whether to complain about your victimhood on Facebook or finally call that “perfect” mom at church and ask if she’ll adopt your poor children in an act of mercy?
It’s the devil’s playground, this run-away mind of ours that can spiral from hatred of the day spoiled to self-hatred.
Well, thanks to my recent experience, I have some practical tips to change the day from, “Only seven more hours of torture” to “This is the day The Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it!”
1. Call Someone – Have two or three friends on speed dial who will not merely stroke your ego, but pray for you and encourage you when things (or you) turn ugly. I have a couple of great mentors that I will text and I always feel a little better knowing that I no longer carry the burden by myself.
2. Get Out of the House and Bring Your Bible – If you can, change your scenery. Visit that friend you just called or walk to the nearest park. If your children are big enough to play independently, take out the Bible and read it for comfort and hope. If your children are too young to play independently pray while you push them on the swing or build a sand castle with them.
3. Be willing to notice the “little things” that are miraculously ordinary – Even on the worse days there are small things we can soak in as balm for the cracked spirit. That child that refused to nap earlier still has dimples in his fingers and one on his cheek, just like his dad. That older child who sassed you at home still says “aminals” and thinks that twelve is grown-up. Be thankful for the simple things you see every day, but don’t always notice.
4. Talk to your children, listen to your children, and apologize to your children – Children need to see how their Christ-following mother handles her failures. Will she blame those around her or will she learn from her mistakes and move on in the Power of the Almighty? And the beautiful thing about children is they are often so very forgiving.
5. You feel like a failure, but God sees you as perfect – Self-hatred has no place in the Kingdom! As Romans 5 says, “… God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins… even greater is God’s wonderful grace and His gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.”