My morning started with my child stepping into a big pile of dog doo, thirty seconds before the bus pulled up to the bus stop.  The driver watched as I stopped frantically trying to wipe poop off a small left shoe (still attached to the child) with a twig, sighed resignedly, and waved the driver on without my kid.

My evening ended with an email cheerily rejecting my submission and a little pep talk letting me know that her organization would love for me to try again next year.

And the stuff in between these two unpleasant events?  Well. Let’s just say that I’d spent the day navigating especially difficult conflict both as a lawyer and a parent almost nonstop between the dog doo and the rejection letter.

In other words, I was tired, cranky, and at the end of my string.

As I sat alone in the still of the night, with the rest of my household tucked in and sleeping sweetly, I started thinking: What do you do when the day is just crappy (pun intended), from start to finish? How do you keep from diving headlong into the temptation of complaints, whining, and (my personal favorite) snarky texts and emoticons sent to a friend?

What if we acted the most like Christ in the moments when we want nothing more than to throw a tantrum like a toddler in Target?

And, really, does whining, complaining, or snark do anything to change the underlying circumstances?  Does it do anything to lift our mood?  Or, do those choices allow us to simply roll around in the bad experience and share our negative comments and moods with those around us?   

I don’t know about you, but I still have some growing up to do and some changes to make.

Lord, thank you for grace and mercy over our imperfect and messy lives. Thank you for new days, fresh starts, and the ability to pick ourselves up and try again. Help us to recognize when we are shifting into behaviors unbecoming a follower of Christ and help us to immediately stop. May we reflect your glory on the good days and on the bad days.  In Jesus’ name, amen.