This week I am at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference soaking up everything I can learn–and enjoying the beauty of Ridgecrest Conference Center. Since my writer brain is now a) in overdrive b)overwhelmed and c)travel fatigued, I’m bringing you this post from the archives.
My day started with an avalanche of pony beads. Approximately 10,000 of them. All over the dining room floor.
Here’s a tip: pony beads are not a good tool for getting your day off on the right foot.
I made the mistake of letting the kids get up before I did. The oldest decided she wanted to make a necklace and got the pony beads out of the craft cabinet. The youngest decided it would be fun to dump two buckets of beads out on the floor. The middle child decided it would be helpful to dance in the middle of them before gleefully running to tell me that his sister had dumped all the beads on the floor.
It was not an auspicious start to the morning.
Mornings have a way of bleeding into the rest of the day, like that one red sock in the white laundry. If our morning goes smoothly, the rest of the day goes well. But if I start my day with fussy children, oversleeping, spilled milk, or an avalanche of pony beads—well, it tends to go downhill from there. How the day begins is often how it ends, and when my day starts off on the wrong foot by lunchtime I often find myself wishing we could just hit the rewind button and start the day over.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
If we have accepted Christ, the Spirit of the Living God dwells within us. Our days should not be defined by circumstances, but by divine character. As Francis Chan has written,
I might wake up on a particular day feeling physically tired or stressed or impatient, and humanly speaking, these things would probably define my day. But the reality is that I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit. And because of this reality, stress and tiredness and impatience don’t have to define my day. (Forgotten God, chapter 5)
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. This fruit isn’t something we strive for and miss; it should be something present that God is developing in us by the virtue of his presence within us. Trees make fruit. Christians look like Jesus. It should be that simple.
So what do you do when a pony bead explosion destroys your dining room?
Pause. Give yourself a moment before you react. Natural reactions are rarely godly responses. Close the door, take a deep breath, walk away if you have to, but pause. Give yourself a moment to stop, think, and pray. Oh God help prayers count, here, too.
Remember. In your pause, remember that the Spirit of the Living God is working within you. You can respond with wisdom and grace. “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter1:3).
I’m pretty sure “everything” includes pony beads.
Respond. Don’t just react—respond. Hand out discipline, deal with heart issues, and clean up the mess, but find a response that honors God and your children. (Hint: It’s probably not the one that reduces mom to a screaming, hair-pulling lunatic). God’s grace is working in you, and he can help you redeem your day.
Even when it starts with pony beads.
What helps you redeem your days?
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