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The day didn’t start well. I had slept in due to sheer exhaustion and discoing that I had a migraine during the night. My days never start well when I am thrust into the day already in progress.
I didn’t take the time to gather my thoughts at all, much less read my Bible chapter for the day, utter even a quick 30 second prayer for grace and strength, or just take a deep breath. All these things are a recipe for disaster in my life.
I also started my day with work, the sitting at my computer typing kind of work, which at times can be ok, but this day it made me feel like my day was not my own right off the bat when combined with everything else in my “fatal recipe.”
By noon I had had enough noise, chaos, and clutter, and it felt like the walls of my living room had completely closed in on me. Literally. I am not sure that I had ever felt this phenomenon before. There was not a clear space on the floor as far as I could see and blankets, pillows, cats, and people were hanging off the couches, which kinda gave the same effect as things hanging from the ceiling, swinging from the chandelier so to speak in that moment.
Then the old me, the act before I think reactive me, reared her ugly head, and she blew. She spewed her ugliness all over the little, and not so little people I love. I had a full-blown yelling, throwing “junk,” on the brink of tears tantrum to the point that I woke the sleeping baby who had finally given into his heavy eyes in the midst of the same living room.
It felt horrible. The words felt like gravel coming out of my mouth, and the looks on the faces of the ones I loved made my heart sink.
Everyone stepped right up into action cleaning the room that looked like the setting for WWIII, but they did so in silence except to mutter an apology for the day.
These were not the ones who needed to apologize. It was their not so gracious mama ~ the very same mama who resolved to anchor her words in grace that year. The mama who they noticed had been yelling less, the mama who had begun to loosen the grip on unrealistic expectations, the mama who can usually keep everything under control. The same mama who repeatedly tells them to “live with others in an understanding way” had just put on a not so understanding display.
Hands working together did help, and as I regained my own “new” thoughts that were rooted in grace, I felt as though I could breathe again. I realized that it was greatly my lack of starting my day with Bible reading, a moment of quiet (at least as quiet as it can be in a house of nine), or a game plan for the day that lit the flame for the fire that started with an explosion in those moments right before lunch.
I chose to realize that the long winter months are also difficult on these wee ones…no freedom to go outside and run and play, to whiz down the hill on their bikes, or even to feel the warm sunshine on their faces while savoring the fresh air that lives so abundantly during the warmer months. I chose to see that their patience had been wearing thin, too. Patience to just be, to endure, and to live in grace had become in short supply for them, too.
The apology did come, later that night. As did my resolve to dust off the collection of energy burning indoor activities to implement the very next day.
Most importantly, I was reminded that starting my day off behind the eight ball rarely goes well. That even in those rare occasions, I need to take a moment to just breathe, to just be still, and to anchor my day on that which fills me first.
I won’t always get it right. But, I am growing, I am learning, and I am becoming stronger, even in the moments that I completely blow it.
Mama, you are not alone in your “blowing it” moments. But you, too, can become stronger through your moments of weakness. Determine what the ingredients were in your “recipe for disaster,” and come up with at least one solution to offset one ingredient. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, take a deep breath, and start again. Start new. Start fresh, in that very moment.
Being equipped with a plan for being proactive provides a feeling of empowerment and a tangible solution to heading off a blow up before one even starts. This is a really great place to start.