I shuffled from room to room performing the nightly bedtime rituals. We prayed, sang songs and shared hugs. Most every one of my tribe starts his or her prayer the same way. With a head rested on the pillow and toes tucked under the blanket, each voice whispers, “Dear God, Thank you for this day …”
Most nights I barely hear the familiar words as I wait for my turn to pray. But this one night God used their innocent offerings to Him to unravel me.
See, this night, like most nights, my heart didn’t overflow with, Thank you, God, for this day.
Instead, my heart felt heavy. Defeated. Keenly aware of everything I didn’t do. The jobs I didn’t accomplish. The calls I didn’t make. The songs I didn’t sing.
My thoughts retraced my failures and shortcomings followed by accusations like, You’re not enough. And that poison worked its way right through my thoughts and into my heart … making a heart that should be a wellspring of life a pit of discouragement.
And maybe you know what I’m talking about, except your thoughts shift towards worry and fear of the next day instead of the failures behind you.
Either way, there’s a better option. A life-filling instead of life-draining option. Two words that will change your day.
I woke early this morning to prepare for another full day. Toddlers to toilet train and breakfasts to pour. Math facts to teach and closets to clean.
By lunch time you could argue the day had gone awry. While the toddler was in the bath tub, an eager boy not quite old enough to make his own lunch gave a PB&J his best shot (imagine bread soaked in jelly). We stopped math prematurely after a word problem veered way off course. And I’m praying the little ones stay in bed for naptime so I can steal a nap, too.
I’m tempted, even at the halfway point, to throw in the towel.
But, after all I’ve learned, I refuse to lose hope for this day. After all, God did create it (Psalm 118:24).
Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, because the LORD holds his hand. ” Psalm 37:24 (HCSB)
If you find yourself in the middle of a day or at the end of a day – or the end of a week – and you’re discouraged, let me encourage you right now. Stop looking at everything you didn’t do and thank God for everything He accomplished in you and through you.
Today, instead of letting all that has not been affect everything that will be, let’s choose to change our focus.
Thank you, God, for waking me early to spend time with You in Your Word.
Thank you, God, for a meal shared around the table.
Thank you, God, for the giggles and cheers of fun in my home.
Thank you, God, for the grace to whisper when I wanted to shout.
Thank you, God, for patience with my spouse when our plans didn’t match.
You may notice an immediate attitude shift, or it may take relentless determination to force your thoughts into gratitude gear. But rest assured, you have permission to cease the inward assault on your soul. And not just from me … from your heavenly Father:
Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable–if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise–dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8 (HCSB)
Copyright © 2021 by Katy McCown @https://katymccown.com/2016/03/04/two-words-changed/ . No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from Lifeword.org.