So You Had a Bad Day

11:47 AMHeather

I made my daughter cry last night.  And not in a good way--as if I'd overwhelmed her with touching and moving emotional support and encouragement. 

More like, "Get up off the couch and turn off the TV and get in here and finish your kitchen chore."

Oh, yes.  My three children were summoned to the kitchen as I lugged in the 2,000 pound bag of dog food for our 20 pound rescue dog.  Dog food that I had to go get at 8:00 pm.  In the freezing cold. All by myself.  And in case you didn't know this about me...in the winter, I want to put on my jammies once the last kid is home from school or practice or whatever and then never venture out of my house that day. Because it's dark out and my melotonin levels are down and hey--I'm over 40.  And tired.  Just tired, y'all.

Basically, I deserve a gold star for leaving my house AFTER dinner.  Alone.  When it was 30 degrees.  And dark.  Driving the whole 0.75 miles to PetsMart to grab food for my starving puppy.

Which, I suppose, is still not heroic enough to overlook my complete melt down upon walking back into my home.

The children were screamed at called down to the kitchen and impolitely sweetly commanded  asked to finish cleaning up dinner in the kitchen and complete the trash chores for the night.  Because Mom's good graces were used up and my day was officially over.

I then stomped walked upstairs and slammed shut my bathroom doors to do the only thing I could possibly muster the courage to do.

Soak in a hot Jacuzzi bath to drown my sorrows.

I had a bad day. 


You'd think my melt down would reflect some grand horror or awful fate that just crushed me.

Nope.

Just one of those days where the grand sum of little things gone wrong equaled one truly noteworthy melt down.  

One kid gagged on breakfast, threw up and then begged to go to school because they were not sick--just had their food go down the wrong way.  Just at the time we should have been walking out the door. Another kid begged to stay home due to a migraine, but no vomit to show for it.  Kid #3 had to be at school approximately at the EXACT time as kid #1.  Oh, sure.  Easy task for a mom who's used to splitting morning duties with the hubby who happened to be on a business trip.  

Running behind, of course, we sat at a red light for 7 minutes.

7 minutes, bloggy friends.

Can you even fathom such injustice for a poor mama trying to juggle three kids solo who all need to be at three different somewheres at the exact same time?

7 long minutes.  Said child was delivered three minutes late. And none too happy about it.

I know you are crying me a river right about now.  So let me add to it.  There was a jury summons involved, and a lost retainer.  Which the orthodontist's assistant explained would be about twice what I'd expected.  

She probably regretted being the bearer of said news when I broke into pitiful sad tears silently streaming down my face in response. Really? Affordable care, my foot.  It's the darn expenses of regular routine things for healthy people in my family of five that have me plotting and scheming our family's budget.  Cavities?  Ain't nobody got time for that.  Bi-annual colonoscopy? Ain't nobody got a budget for that. 

AND we have a group insurance plan.  Not even self-employed benefits.

Yes, dear bloggy friends, I'm sure I've swayed you to appropriate feelings of sorrow for my woes yesterday.

So, I texted my out of town husband in response to his text to check in on ours, and I said our daughter was crying.  Maybe he should go ahead and call her?  Or not?  Because I was officially off duty.

I climbed into my bed at 8:36 and felt oh-so-sorry for myself.  Big time.  Basically uttering prayers like this:  "So, listen, God.  I'm pretty much over these things I've been asking you to fix.  I don't think you really heard me.  Or maybe you just don't care.  Because I'm laid low with my feelings of sadness about the things that have not yet happened!"  I also texted my awesome snarky and sincere Bible study buddies, asking them to cover me in prayer because I wasn't so sure I was on speaking terms with God today.

My darling girl got off the phone with her patient daddy and climbed into bed to sleep with me, as she always does when Dad travels.  And she said our good-night prayer. 

Starting with, "Jesus, help Mom to have a better day tomorrow and good sleep tonight."

Seriously?  Okay.  A tiny prick of hope.  A bit of conviction. 

Yes.  Tomorrow.  A do-over.  Maybe things will feel differently tomorrow.

So, I did that awesome modern parenting thing and texted my teenagers to put themselves to bed.  On time.  Because I was going to sleep.

And then sweet sleep came upon me.

About 9 minutes later my phone rang.

Wrong number.

Hmpf.

When they texted an apology, I let them know they woke me up.

And they wished me a happy new year with the deepest of sincere apologies.

Talk about heaping burning coals upon my head.

Alas.  What wisdom do I have for you, tucked between the lines of this blog post rant today?

First of all, I have deep issues with getting over myself.  You may not have known that, but God is oh-so-aware.  

Perhaps this season of waiting and frustration is supposed to be teaching me something?

I swear I didn't pray for patience.

Second of all, I find comfort in this truth from God's word for days when I come unhinged at the stupidest first world problems.

(Lost retainer?  I know plenty of kids around the world would love to have teeth because malnutrition has claimed theirs.)

Here's the truth where I find solace as I consider the spectacle of myself in the light of a new day.

Even God's heroes of Biblical proportions had bad days.

Um, Moses.  Killing a slave master.

Noah.  Getting drunk and well, doing things he should not have done.  (The only "righteous" man whose family God ordained to save--but not with rock monsters involved like in that recent Noah movie).

Abraham and Sarah.  Bringing in the maidservant Hagar to accomplish what God had audibly promised them.

Abraham again.  Lying not once--but twice--to the local officials about his wife, saying she was his sister.

David.  Conquered a giant, but had a little problem with a lovely lady named Bathsheba.

How about Isaiah?  That great prophet of old.  Who said this:

He (God) has broken my teeth with gravel; he has trampled me in the dust.  I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is.  So I say, "My splendor has gone and all that I had hoped from the Lord."
Lamentations 3:16-18

Listen, if you think you sound like Eeyore then take a gander at some pretty big men of God who wrote the book.  I mean, literally--THE Book.  Of life.  And had some rotten, no good, horrible, awful, terrible days.

And they dared to write all about it for all future generations.

Here's the lesson learned, IMHO.

If you had a bad day, you can be honest and forthright and go ahead and wrestle with God about it.  He knows anyway, for the love.  So we might as well keep it real with him as we run TO him, not from him, and just get it all out there.  

His tender love and unfathomable grace covers it.

As a father has compassion on his children, 
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; 
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass, 
they flourish like a flower of the field; 
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children's children--
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
Psalm 103:13-18

I believe that the Bible is the Word of God that he breathed and inspired and every word of it is true.

So there must be a reason that these great big Biblical superheroes were incredible transparent about their own failings and feelings and struggles and meltdown days.  Just read through the Psalms or the book of Lamentations.

There's a pattern there.

People who want to follow God.  And pursue his ways.  And fall and stumble at times.  Even daring to let God know how unfair they think he is when things don't go their way.

And they wrestle it through.  They pour it all out, in honest surrender, the good and the bad and the ugly and the hard to admit.

Authentically spilling their guts to the Lord they follow.  Because that is part of deep and intimate relationships.

Learning how to navigate the not-so-good-days.  The "I'm-full-of-myself" days.  The "I'm-a-martyr" days.  The days of wanting to pack up your toys in a childish fit and go play somewhere else.

So, yesterday I had a bad day.  Nothing to be proud of.  But I thought you should know.

You're not the only one.  

And our Heavenly Father picks us up and dusts us off, even our worst days.  And he says this to us.

You're still mine.  I still love you.  And I'm worthy of your trust and surrender.  You're in good company with your struggles.  I didn't call you to be perfect.

I called you to be mine.  And to learn to dive into my grace even on the yuckiest of days.

Keeping that in mind, I think I'll make it.  

I'll put on my big girl pants and remember whose I am. 

And who is big enough and loving enough to stand in the storms with everyone of us.  Even we make our daughters cry.

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