Ever had one of those days, or even one of those weeks, when you just couldn't seem to pull yourself, or your life, together? True confession. I have, and it's not a pretty picture of me.
Those are the days when I'm overwhelmed, overloaded, over scheduled, and simply pooped at the end of the day. What is really bad is when the day rolls over into a week, or a week into a month. I meet myself coming and going. My eyes look tired no matter how much makeup I use. My patience is short and my attitude stinks behind my smile. I feel inadequate and push harder. I begin to complain and have a critical spirit. I look through the grid of life from a negative, rather than a positive perspective. I should stop right there – you get the ugly picture of me.
Those are the times when I crawl in bed at night and wish I could have a "do-over day."
I regret the short patience, the stinky attitude, the complaining, the critical spirit, and the negative perspective. I don't like it when I'm worn-out and overwhelmed with life and a busy schedule. Maybe you need to know this and hear this because there's a little bit of you in there somewhere too. Maybe you feel like me when you want to shout, "But this is not who I am!" Maybe when you crawl into bed at night you want a "do-over day" too.
I've learned a lot about myself over the years, some good and some not so good. I'm working on the not so good, and grateful for God's grace in the process. You do know about God's grace, don't you? His unmerited and undeserved favor and love for us when we are a total mess. It's His grace that gets us through each day. It's His grace that gives us do-over days and second chances. Throw in His mercy, and you've got a win-win. I live with God's grace and mercy even when He sees the ugly picture of me.
One of the countless things I love about God is that He is so practical – shall we say, "down to earth" in our everyday life. He meets us right where we are, right when we need Him, in the big things and the little things. Oh how I desperately need Him on those days when I feel like I'm coming unraveled and unglued and can't pull myself together! He shows up at my pity party as I grapple and muddle through the day, waits for me to refocus on Him, and then reminds me what it takes to clean up my "poor me" pity party.
Here are some practical things God continues to remind me when I need a "do-over day" . . .
Key word! Focus on God, not all the stuff that fills your day. It's so easy to get distracted, discouraged, and disillusioned. Your day goes down-hill from there.
Ask God to help you when you feel mentally, physically, and emotionally stressed out. Sometimes we forget that a change of heart, actions, and attitude begin with the simple act of prayer.
Lean on Him
Realize you can't pull yourself together alone. Admit that you are not superwoman and you need God's help.
Strengthen yourself with the truth of God's word
If you feel it or need it, God addresses it in scripture. Check out a topical concordance of scripture in the back of your Bible. Pick any word, like courage, joy, hope, trust, faith. You'll find the scripture you need to encourage you.
Reflect and Re-evaluate
Take time to think about what God has called you to do rather than what others would like for you to do. Re-evaluate your commitments, priorities, and responsibilities often. It's good to take a second look at what's really important or necessary.
Recognize the red flags
Know yourself well enough to know when those red flags of stress pop up and you've got to stop and get yourself back on track. Don't get caught up in what you think you have to do, do what you need to do to take care of yourself. You can't continue to pour out to others if you are running on empty. Just ask me.
Remember the Basics
By golly, don't think you can continuously stay up half the night, skimp by on junk food, and just walk to the car and back. Sleep, eating healthy, and exercise are vital to your mental, emotional, and physical health. I have learned these things the hard way over the years. These basics are tried and true, my friends.
Know when to say no and when to walk away
Don't let your calendar or your schedule control you. You control what you put in your day. Doing more doesn't make you a better person, and being busy is not always being productive. Learn to walk away from your computer, your phone, and yes, even social media, for a period of time each day. Creating space on your calendar and with technology is not only freeing, but good for a mental break.
The next time you and I feel like we need a "do-over day," let's both stop, take a deep breath, refocus, and remember the words of this scripture and hymn . . .
My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed thy hand hath provided.
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!"
(Hymn based on Lamentations 3:22-23)
Here's to a fresh start and a new day with God's grace and mercy!
From My Heart to yours,