Today started out awesome. I had my quiet time, prayed, worshiped, and got out of my pj’s! (This should be just the right formula for a day full of beauty, right?)

I arrived home from work in enough time to prepare a snack for the kids after school. Their little faces greeted me eagerly. Anticipating a trip to Grandma’s tomorrow, they were excited to do whatever I asked. Well, that went out the door when I asked them to do something other than what they already had in mind! Shocker, right?

From there it was just one struggle after another to get them to stay on task so we would be ready to leave in the morning.

By the time I tucked those little boogers, I mean angels, in bed, I was spent. Frustrated and in a hurry to just shut their doors and be done, I lost my temper with my son. He went to sleep with an abrupt prayer and a kiss. (He’s lucky I was able to muster that!) As I left his room, I started to feel terrible about how I had acted.

Next was the girl child, who had been instructed to put her clothing away and pack her bag for Grandma’s. She hadn’t put her clothing away and hadn’t checked anything off her packing list! I simply asked what she would do once she got to Grandma’s and realized she had no undies or pants. Blank stare, folks. Blank Stare.

I was frustrated to once again be pushing back bedtime. (Can I get an exit signal please?! Someone save me.)

Then came the shameful inner dialogue: “What is wrong with you? Seriously! Do you not even love these kids God gave you? How on earth can you be a parent when you don’t even want to parent. What kind of mom are you?” I just wanted to hang my head and run.

When my husband got home from work, I was in a tizzy. As I was gathering up the garbages around the house, I huffed at my husband, “I don’t know what’s more frustrating, doing everything myself or asking people to do things, having to remind them, and they still don’t do it.”  He said something which I didn’t hear, and upon asking him to repeat himself (I’m pretty sure he said “Ouch,” which would make sense), he said, “Sorry.” That diffusing word. Again, I felt like I had failed.

Later, as I was scurrying around the house and he was on the sofa relaxing, I again made a statement to my husband. “Why do you have it so easy when we go away somewhere?” He simply responded, “What would you like me to do?” Again diffusing the situation. But I replied in frustration that I was just plain tired of spelling out for everyone what needed to be done.

My attitude was terrible. I knew what I needed. I went to my room. Mama needs a little shift time (like hours ago!).

I lay on my bed, hands over my face. I began to think over the past few hours, and tears rushed out of my eyes as if they had been held at bay all day. I asked the Holy Spirit to refresh me. I asked the Father to show me the root of my responses to the challenges of the day. I heard my answer. The root is selfishness.

I asked forgiveness: Why, why am I so selfish? God, help me to serve my family with a good attitude. Help me to love those around me and not become bitter. Help me refresh when I give myself away through the day. 

You see, I fail, you fail, we all fail DOWN…It’s like ring around the failure of our lives.

We need grace, peace, and rest. I wish I could tell you the fruits of the spirit are just flowing out of me like milk and honey, but sister, I’m not the promise land. I will tell you, however, that it was short lived compared to six months ago. I was quicker to take the time I needed to reset.

God knows what we need in those moments. Refreshing.

What is keeping you from taking that time? For me it’s avoiding the admittance of need or keeping too busy to notice it.

Let’s run to our room. Let’s give ourselves the break we need to become human again. Let’s face our family with humility, ask forgiveness, and most importantly, forgive ourselves for not being as patient, loving, and kind as we want to be. God can take all the moments of our day and use them for good. He’s enough! Trust him with your failures, and he will show you how he weaves them together and how you are growing even when you don’t see it right away. Trust him, even when you lose it.

Ginger Smith Bailey

Author Ginger Smith Bailey

Ginger and her husband work together in ministry at Lake Geneva Christian Center in Alexandria, Minnesota. She cherishes her roles as wife, mom, business manager, and volunteer. She is creative and loves engaging others in bringing projects to completion. She loves to worship, and she’s expressive in her words, actions, and especially her smile, frequently leading to conversations with total strangers.

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