Every morning before we get up to face the day he prays.
This morning, something that he prays everyday got through.
Thank You for this day that You have made and given us, let us rejoice in it, and everything it holds.
It struck me because there are parts of today that I am dreading – or more importantly this evening I am dreading – I’ve been dreading it for a week or two. And his prayerful request for us/for me this morning struck me to the core.
How many days do I approach with the intention of rejoicing in all that is ahead, and all that occurs? Not too many really – my default is grumpy … “Feeling” grumpy or cranky has been a theme for me for the past week or so, but how often have I commented on how happy I’m feeling today or how joyful?
There are parts of the day today that promise to be difficult … if I let them. In the lead up to today I have let them – no wonder I’ve been “feeling” grumpy! I’ve not taken the message to heart that THIS is the day that the Lord has made, and that I can choose to rejoice and be glad in it.
We have a preteen or two who at times struggle with the emotional baggage that is known only by children of divorce. They are negotiating the difficulties of being a preteen and on top of it they have pressures that few of us can appreciate or understand.
Two big events loom on the horizon for them that put this under the spotlight.
One tonight, the information evening for middle school. Now normally this can be stressful for kids – the transition from primary to middle school. But one of the kids in particular becomes racked with anxiety as these events approach. Why? Because there is an expectation that she will behave in a particular way, regardless of how she feels at the time. These children of divorce walk a tightrope – not of their own making. They have a desire to be loyal to both of their parents and even step parents but sadly for some children this is not possible all the time.
I read in a book on step-parenting something a five year old boy said to his step mother – “I love you – but is it ok with you if I hate you when I’m at mum’s?” Now it’s not that extreme for us, as far as I know, but it is still heart breaking to see a child trying to work out what to do, to prepare their behaviour and reactions in advance.
As parents, all we can really do is demonstrate how we do these kind of things. So we tell them to do these events in the way that is going to be easiest for them – no judgement, no pressure from us and then take it one step further, I hope, and we show them how we behave. I haven’t always done this well … Sometimes I’ve shut down, retreated into myself – other times I probably should have.
So as the evening approaches (it’s hours away) – the thing I know to be true, the thing I need to work through my mind and into my heart and then into my behaviour is this… THIS is the day the Lord has made – I will rejoice and be glad in it – ALL of it.
On a day like today what worries me, is my propensity to forget what is true. There are days that I know He’s made, the signing paperwork for our new home days – the “I love you so much Mum, you’re so beautiful” days, the family meals when everyone is happy and chatting and talking about the best, worst and funniest parts of their day, it’s easy to remember He’s made those days.
But in the next few weeks we will be in environments in which we are in the same location as people who have spoken badly about us, who have spoken rudely to us. People who have attempted to disrupt and distract and damage what we have. We can let them do this. And if we do I can become someone else at these events I can become a mouse in the corner racked with fear, or a raging, impulsive, reactive mother bear, or and I’m going to try this one tonight – I can say to myself loudly – THIS is the day that the Lord has made – I will rejoice and be glad in it, and smile my way through it.
And what that means is, for you, you the ones who comment on the way I’m dressed, or how often I’ve worn this outfit, or how that you wouldn’t be caught dead in what I’m wearing, or how unruly my hair is, or how I could have at least put some makeup on, or how much weight I have put on, or how ugly I am, or how mean I am, or question my character; you are part of my day today and what that means is I’m meant to rejoice because today God has chosen you to be part of my day… you!
So I can put into action the things He’s teaching me about Himself and me and what He can do with and through me.
Above all of this I need to remember there are people who watch me, assess my behaviour and responses and these are the people who I really care about. I know that our three take a lot of their behaviour cues from us. It is up to us to choose to rejoice and choose to behave in ways that we want our children to emulate.
I want them to know what to do when people talk about you, when people try to intimidate you, when people lie about you. I want them to learn these things, I want them to stop people doing those things to others, I want them to see the difference between lies and truth and embrace truth over lies every single time.
I know one of them watches me because she feels it at school herself a lot of days, she has people who want her to forget to smile, to forget to laugh, to worry about what they think of her, to make her feel like nothing because all of the girls in her friendship group plus about 30 more were asked to a sleep over and she was left out.
SO this is the day today – I’m going to rejoice. The good thing is that I can make this choice every morning.
And I’m going to, and I’m going to do it all over again at the primary graduation next week and the yr 12 graduation in 2020 and in the days between whether our paths cross often with theirs or not. Of course by 2020 I’ll be much better at all of this, the rejoicing in the day I’ve been given, hopefully they’ll see it too and it will catch on.