“…even in Australia!” Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, written by Judith Viorst is still an often quoted book in the Munton family. Our kids have loved the book and now that they are grown and three of them married, it’s a book that I still keep in my home for my grandchildren.
After my daughter sent me this picture of my grandson, who had just been “playing” with a load of folded, fresh out of the dryer clothing, I had to laugh and say, “some days are just like that–even in Australia!” (Notice baby sister is helping!) LOL
As a young mom I can remember having those days of complete frustration when nothing seemed to go as I had planned. Kids whining, things-breaking, head-pounding, coffee-spilling kind of days. We all have them. It’s what we do with them that can determine a legacy we leave with our children.
My first instinct might be to throw my hands up and say, “I quit!”–everything in me wanting to go back to bed and start the day over. *Sigh* Moms don’t get that option very often, do they…
“Some days are like that–even in Australia!”
It’s on those days that I would feel the most tired and useless, convinced that I was a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad” wife and mom. [Satan sure knows how to kick us right where it hurts, doesn’t he?] Tiredness was probably the biggest thorn in my flesh. I needed sleep. There are so many hours in a day and nights were often interrupted. I NEEDED sleep! Even with my best efforts to have a good attitude and stay positive, my lack of sleep would add to even the smallest of frustrations and magnify them. Things got out of focus. Priorities became jumbled.
My number one priority in life was and is to follow God with all my heart and to live out the purpose He has for me.
I am absolutely convinced that IT IS A HIGH CALLING TO BE A WIFE AND A MOM, and that it is the hardest–and most rewarding job there is. Our society today has robbed women of the joy and responsibility of taking care of our husbands and children. Sure, not all of our days are peaches and roses and sweet smiles and laughter, but they can be days filled with love and purpose and meaning.
What if I looked at my situation from God’s perspective? I know how hard it is when you are getting up way too early with little ones (after being up several times in the night), and you hit the ground running with only bathroom breaks (if you’re lucky) until the time you put them back in to bed for a nap or for the night. You seem to have little time for yourself, and the idea of sitting down to read your Bible sounds nice, just not very practical. I can remember lots of days that I’d put off reading my Bible until the kids bedtime, and I’d fall asleep myself, hardly remembering anything I’d read. I spent way too much time feeling guilty for not having “a quiet time”, frustrated that I couldn’t wake up early enough or stay awake long enough. Everything I tried seemed counter-productive until I read the book, Enjoying the Presence of God by Jan Johnson. Early in the book she makes this life changing statement:
“In truth, I needed only one thing–God. I didn’t need a great quiet time, I needed a God-centered lifetime.”
We have all learned, in sometimes painful ways, that good days and bad days will come in spite of our own best efforts. God has not promised us a life free of difficulty just because we follow Him. (Look at the book, Jesus Freaks if you want real life examples of godly people suffering for the cause of Christ!). He DOES promise that if we will trust Him and look to Him in the midst of our difficult days, HIS FAITHFUL LOVE will sustain us. When I “tried too hard”, my efforts were often empty and void, but when I quit TRYING and started ABIDING, I experienced joy, peace, and even patience! The fruit of the Spirit comes as I learn to seek Him throughout my day, filling my mind and heart with worshipful music, and by putting His Word in front of me and all around me. My desire for the Word grew and I found myself stopping to look up a verse or searching scripture for a particular truth. Sometimes consistency was enhanced by a written Bible study, and a read-through-the-Bible plan encouraged me to go deeper. I’m not saying you don’t need a set apart time with God–what I am saying is, on those really good days and on those days you feel overwhelmed, you need Him even more than just a 30 minute quiet time in your day–you need to invite Him in to all of your day, especially the not-so-quiet ones!
Hang, in there tired young mama, frustrated mother of a teenager, or aging grandma…God will take your hand and lead you to the quiet, still waters of His presence– And you CAN experience it, even on the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days!
Just remember, you weren’t made to survive–you were made to THRIVE!
“For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth and making it germinate and sprout, and providing seed to so and food to eat, so My word that comes from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.” Isaiah 55:9-11