Dropping to my knees, I struggled to regain composure. A Monday morning, particularly this Monday morning, should not start this way.
The night before I had just returned from a four-day convention. I needed today to go as planned. But my daughter delivered the unexpected by messing her bed.
Not an uncommon experience, but one I did not have time for today.
A half-hour later with her cleaned up, I knelt on the floor to tackle the dark stain there. My attitude was anything but gracious.
I struggled to gain perspective.
How many times have I told my children not to let unwanted circumstances get the best of them?
How many times have I written about leaning into the Lord during times of struggle and maintaining joy in the midst of them?
How many times have I shared stories about looking for the blessings in the unexpected happenings?
After all, I blog about embracing grace in the MESS of life!
So was I? Embracing God’s grace, that is?
Reframe the Day
Not at first.
But as I knelt with cloth in hand to clean up this unexpected and unwanted mess, I remembered an exercise that helps me refocus on the evidence of God’s love when I’m struggling. It’s the simple act of reaching out and giving thanks for the first thing I touch.
My extended hand fell on my daughter’s bed. And I remembered.
I remembered how excited we were at her birth. How terrified we were when we thought we were losing her at 6 weeks of age when she quit breathing. How we struggled to accept her disabilities.
I silently acknowledged how hard it is sometimes to care for and raise her. But instantly smiled at the incredible joy and inspiration she brings into our home.
Reclaim the Day
As I remembered and gave thanks, my frustrations melted away. Because the truth of the blessings in my life hit me full force in that one act of reaching and remembering.
Rachel is truly a gift. She is worth cleaning up after. She is worth every manner of hard we face as we raise her.
Not because she will hold a high office someday or will accomplish some great feat.
Rachel is a gift because she is our daughter; she has been given to us. She is a gift because God is using her life to grow me and others in great and profound ways. She is a gift because she is God’s beautiful child.
Had I not intentionally reframed my thinking that morning, I would not have been able to reclaim my day. I have no doubt frustration and anxiety would have dominated much of it.
Refocusing on the evidence of God’s love in the midst of the mess didn’t change the circumstances. I still spent the next half hour cleaning up the stain. But it did change my attitude.
The Abundant Life
With the glimpse of the gifts in my life, my joy in the day returned. Yes, I was now behind in work. Yes, I had to do an unpleasant job. But now I could see that this was the priority of this day, of everyday.
This kneeling. This serving. This obedience to let God lead, even when the path leads into messy territory.
This IS the abundant life. Grace showing up in the unwanted. Gifts wrapped in brown paper bags (or, um … brown, stinky something). Joy found in humility … in obedience … in surrender.
This is how we are called to live: anchored in the love of God.
We waltz an imperfect dance, but led by the perfect King of kings, it’s all glory, it’s all grace.
And yes, even when the music stops, He continues to lead … right into eternity.
“A man’s steps are established by the Lord, and He takes pleasure in his way. Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, because the Lord holds his hand.” Psalm 37:23-24
Reflections: Are you following the Lord’s steps or trying to lead yourself?
Do you struggle with reframing your attitude when in the midst of difficult or unwanted circumstances? You’re not alone. To help, I created the Reclaim Today action card, three simple actions to take to remember that each day is indeed a gift, despite how it unfolds. Reclaim your day: Click on the button to get your FREE action card now!
I’m thrilled to link up with Suzie Eller for #livefreeThursday and this week’s prompt, “anchored!” as well as Bonnie Gray from Faith Barista. I love these special linkups. They provide an abundance of great inspiration and encouragement all in one place. Click on the image below to check them out.
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Yours in grace ≈