Mondays can really be tough. Today has been no exception. Sundays are wild for us, with Sunday School lessons to teach, all these children to have bathed and presentable for church, hurried meals, hot afternoons at the ball park and then back to church again... All things we love to do, and we fly through the day and fall into bed exhausted, leaving dishes and laundry and messes for Monday. I woke up bright and early this morning determined to accomplish just one thing before I left to teach a class of 2 and 3 year olds at day camp. So I made the coffee, checked my email and somehow got glued to the computer long enough that I did not have time to do the ONE THING I meant to do...
I got to "school" (as the twins refer to day camp) to find that my precious class full of little ones had all apparently had the same kind of Sunday as me! They were tired, cranky, whiny, and frankly, so was I! And so began quite possibly the longest 3 hours of my life. My patience was thin as ice, my countenance could not possibly have been pleasant, though I was trying my best to appear cheerful. We all survived, with some tears and a few time-outs. (Wouldn't it be nice if we could put ourselves in time-out once in a while?)
Back at home, I fed my little ones and laid them down for a nap, and laid down on the couch to "rest my eyes" just a bit. Dear husband calls and asks me to look at his email for him, and I get glued to the computer again. This time, scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed. And of course, it happens. I see something that makes my heart start pounding, my blood pressure rise, and I feel the toxic defensive words forming in my mind and racing to my fingers to be typed in response to a "dig" at someone I care about. And I would be justified, right?? Shouldn't we defend the ones we love?
So I argue with myself a bit, and decide to wait, to let it roll off my shoulders, so to speak... to choose grace and be silent. And the very next thing I read reminds me to dwell on "these things"... "whatever is true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling and gracious, the best, not the worst, the beautiful, not the ugly, things to praise not things to curse." (Philippians 4:8-9) And then I remembered the thing I forgot to do this morning... I forgot to dwell on "these things" first. Before the morning rush, before the cranky little people, before the tired afternoon slump, before the reading of what ugliness others are "dwelling on"... I can't believe how easily I forget to do the most important thing. And what a profound impact that one thing has on my day, and those who are part of my life.
People are messy. Life is messy. And not one of us gets it right all the time. God whispers to me constantly, "Give grace, Kari... Give grace..." And I want to. I have certainly been given grace, and received it joyfully. Why do I just want to hold on to it, all stingy and proud, like I had anything at all to do with it? The rest of that passage in Philippians has a promise. "Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into His most excellent harmonies."
Harmony. Isn't that my desire? Learning with each day that it takes discipline, and choosing to fill my head with Truth, and choosing patience. I read once that "Love always begins with patience." And if I have so little patience, am I really loving anyone well? The hope here is this: I am growing in the failures... I am learning to see with new eyes... I am changing. Slow and steady. And I am thankful.
Hoping and praying that I am less forgetful, more patient, more loving and more "me" on Tuesday! Prayers for your tomorrows too.