Meeting With The Master In The Middle Of The Messy: 4 tips to save a day gone haywire
Ever had one of those days?
You know, one of those days where you’re awakened by a tiny person in the predawn hours, and it’s one urgent need after another, until noon when you realize that not only are you still not dressed, but you haven’t eaten anything, the cup of coffee you poured yourself six hours ago is still sitting on the counter, now cold, and your Bible is somewhere still unopened.
Yeah, one of those days.
And for the Christian woman trying to maintain her walk with God, they can be discouraging. They can even leave us feeling defeated, and spiritually dry, especially when we have several of them strung together, like when there’s an illness in the family.
There are many good reasons to start our day in prayer and Bible study, but sometimes despite our best intentions, and efforts, it just doesn’t happen.
So what do we so on those days?
Here are a few things that I’ve found that make the difference between a day gone haywire, and joyful living.
1. Don’t Complain
I know this is hard. I’m a world-class complainer. I can whine with the best of them.
But it doesn’t help anything. It doesn’t make anything better. In fact it makes it worse, because all those negative thoughts build on each other until your whole day is ruined.
It also sets a bad example for our children, and makes them feel like a burden.
When you are tempted to complain, and those negative thoughts threaten to invade, turn to Philipians 4:8
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
One of the best ways to turn your attitude around is to focus on the good stuff. It’s there just adjust your vision to see it.
2. Chose Compassion
Would it surprise you to know that Jesus had times in His life when He was interrupted? In Matthew chapter 14 we find an account of the death of John the Baptist. Jesus’ reaction to the news was to get on a ship and head for the desert. Strange right?
Not when you realize that He intended to be alone. He was grieving and wanted to talk to His Father about it.
But of course He was followed. He was followed pretty much everywhere He went. Sound familiar?
What did He do? Did He get annoyed that His “me time” was being interrupted? Did He get irritated and tell them to go away? No, He had compassion on them. He healed them and then He fed them, all five thousand plus women and children.
After they were healed and fed, Jesus sent them away, and then He went into the mountain to pray. (Matthew 14:23)
He met their needs first, and then went to be alone. Sometimes we have to wait too. There will be times when we have to meet the needs of our families before we go to the mountain to pray. But the mountain will still be there after our multitudes are fed.
Which leads me to:
3. Don’t Wait For The Perfect Time And Place
Take it from someone who knows, if you wait for the perfect time and place to connect with God, you never will. I know all the excuses. I’ve used them myself.
“I can’t wake up early enough.” “I don’t have a private space.” “My kids, or husband, won’t leave me alone.”
Maybe it’s not an excuse. Maybe you really did try, but your family had legitimate needs that needed to be met. That’s me more often than not these days.
The good news is, there’s no rule that says, if you miss your appointment with Jesus, you have to wait till tomorrow. He wants to meet you whenever and wherever. All that’s required is a heart that sincerely desires to meet with him.
So let the toddler dump the Legos on the living room floor, and pull out your Bible. Let the little ones see you doing this. They need to see you studying Gods word and on your knees in prayer. And they need to see you fighting for this time.
Our children mimic the behavior they see in us. We lead best by our example. A frightening thought when we’re not on our best behavior.
It’s okay to let them know they have to wait for your attention sometimes. It’s necessary even. They need to know they’re not the center of the universe.
4. Reshuffle Priorities
Most of the things we think we have to get done today can wait. Those dirty dishes don’t really have to be tackled first thing in the morning. There will be time for that throughout the day. Housework is important, but we can’t let it be more important than sitting at Jesus’ feet.
Remember Mary and Martha?
And what about all those things we impose on ourselves that aren’t really important at all?
Is it important that all the children be dressed in matching outfits? Or is it enough that they are clean and dressed? Do they have to have Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes? Or will another easier to prepare food feed them just as well?
What could we have done last night instead of watching television or scrolling through Facebook that would have made this morning go more smoothly?
A Pinterest perfect life won’t bring us the fulfillment we seek. Only our Savior can keep our souls filled and hearts watered. We can’t let the haywire days keep up from Him.
It’s probably not an attack from the devil when those days happen. It’s just life. But he loves it when we let those days make us irritated by the presence of our little ones, or resentful toward our husbands.
Jesus wasn’t opposed to being served, but he knew when that service was an act of worship and love, and when it was done out of obligation. (Luke 7:36-50) It’s our attitude that makes the difference. And He can make a difference in our attitude.
Take a deep breath and look into the face of your Heavenly Father. Go to Him and sit at His feet for just a little while.