New Mercy

Yesterday was one of those days.

Do you know what I mean?  A day where all the minor, petty, irritants added up to a sky high heap?  A day where little ones are whining, crying, fighting and fussing.  Where noses are running and the dog keeps getting in the trash and house just keeps getting messier and then you get bills you didn’t expect and responsibilities that this was just not the best day for.  There are toys all over the place and you trip on the boots of teenage girls and you spill your coffee and it’s too hot in here and why is the baby fussing again?  And anyway, you’re not even feeling very well and would kill to lie down for just fifteen minutes.  Naptime seems 100 years away and the dog is whining and barking to go out and the little ones need so many things and you just need to pee and would like to do so without an audience.  You’re so, so tired and so, so frustrated.   You’re cleaning up messes you didn’t make and that no one every should’ve made and it’s only 10am…And then you take a minute to breathe and try and get your head together and someone pours out your Diet Pepsi into your yarn bag.

Days like that are commonplace in my line of work.  Every mom I know except the ones who lie have shared about days like these.  Days like these are kind of soul crushing and draining.  Days like these are decidedly NOT one of the perks of motherhood but they are a reality.

About halfway through the day, I had an epiphany.

I had fallen off the wagon.

Several weeks ago, right before Christmas, I felt God prompting me to work on my attitude.  It started with Kevin Gerald and his podcast series called “Favor Forever”.

I realized in listening to this series that I had the wrong mentality. My “poor me” mentality was stopping me from seeing how “rich” I really was. I was seeing every glass as half empty and not even noting what was in the glass at all. I was missing some of the things God was trying to do and show me. I was seeing the negative first and discounting the positive.

The next step was the negativity fast. I was seeing on friends’ Facebook walls a talk of a negativity fast. I posted about that  a few days ago and it has been very profitable.    I’ve been astounded at how much I had to correct myself on the negativity. How many times I’ve had to catch myself. I had no idea how many thoughts needed to be taken captive until I took the time to look for them.

The next thing was the “1000 Gifts” book and the dare to be thankful.

I have been tracking my blessings, graces, little gifts and big gifts since right after Christmas. I have discovered that my life abounds in beauty, joy and blessing. I have been steadied by this practice. I have been changed by this practice. I am now seeking out things to write in my gratitude journal…I’m reading back over the graces of the day…I’m looking for goodness in this land of the living.

But how quickly it all fell apart. One bad day. One hard day…that really, in the grand scheme of things was just a day of minor drama. I let that string of irritants win…I fell off the wagon. I went on a negativity fueled ungratefulness binge. I complained, I grouched, I even cried self pitying, childish tears, I vented…and you know what? I did not feel better.
The days I’ve studied joy, studied grace, studied happiness and blessing…those are the days I felt better. The days I’ve given the small stuff to God and chosen not to stress over it…those are the days I did better. Wallowing in my own crappy day just made me feel crappy.

So, back on the wagon today.  I ended yesterday with a repentant heart and repentant prayers.  I began today with a hopeful heart and hopeful prayers.  I’ve listed my gifts throughout the morning, I’ve come clean about my attitude and I started over.

Because, His mercies are new every morning.

Every morning.

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