How To Face Today When You Sucked Yesterday

Yesterday was awful. Today is New.

The alarm rings and I let it. Over and over again, I let the blaring wash over me.  Yesterday’s failures play through my mind like a trailer for a horror film.  Most days I blow something – lose patience, put my foot in my mouth, turn negative or cynical – something slips and I’m reminded how short I fall of perfection.  

Yesterday though – yesterday was a train wreck.  Every struggle seemed to rise up with the sole purpose of crushing me.  I failed in so many ways and so many times.

The alarm stops, putting itself on snooze, and I know I have five minutes until it starts again.  I try to push back the darkness, but I’m too worn.  My thoughts turn against me, rewinding and repeating my mistakes, the commentary becomes vicious.

The alarm sounds again.  This time I push the snooze, putting an end to the blaring outside noise, but the blaring within only intensifies.  

I will myself to think of nothing, to let the exhaustion cover me like a blanket, to fall back for another five minutes of rest, of quiet.

It seems like seconds before the alarm is going off again and my stomach clenches up tight, faced with just how much I suck at this life thing. What if today isn’t better?  What if it’s better for me to just stay here, under these covers, hiding?   

God, Help. It’s the closest thing to a prayer I can muster.

He agrees.  I do suck.  I hurt people, say the wrong things, waste inordinate amounts of time and energy and talent.  I want things my way, and I always, always, always want to be right.  There is truth in the lie.  But the rest?  The conclusion?  The "I should stay under the covers and sulk" bull?  Pure fiction.

Sometimes I don’t suck.  Sometimes I lean right into him - right into love and sacrifice and humility and selflessness. 

AND.

Every time, I woke up for a reason. Every time, there is purpose in my breathing lungs and beating heart.

AND EVERY TIME His grace is new, and EVERY TIME His mercy is all I need. Whether yesterday was an apex day or a stuck in the muck day, I get fresh mercy today.

Thank God. 

What To Do When You're Being Scolded

HOW TO HAVE GRACE FOR YOUSELF

HOW TO HAVE GRACE FOR YOUSELF

It was worse than yelling - it was a mean whisper, spewed through clenched teeth. 

I knew it was bad as it left my tongue, but I couldn't reel it in so I watched helplessly as it struck him - as he hid his head behind his leg. 

I tried and botched an apology. 

"I did it because you . . .," is what I told him. 

"You deserved it," is what he heard. And his face stayed behind his leg. 

I am mean, I thought. I'm a bully, I thought. I'm the worst, I thought.

So I took a breath and I tried again.

"That was really mean - the way I said that. I bet it really hurt your feelings. It would hurt my feelings if someone talked to me that way." Pause. A nod from the backseat. "I'm so so sorry. Can you forgive me?"

He said he would, and he lifted his head, and he asked for his burrito. 

He seemed to be over it, because he is loving and forgiving and seven. But I wasn't over it.

I scolded myself, worse than yelling, mean whispers spewed at my own soul through clenched teeth. Until a quiet thought stopped me. 

"It's been a hard couple of days. Your feelings are hurt - anyone's feelings would be hurt. I'm so sorry. Can you forgive you? Can you let this go?"

I decided I could, and I lifted my head, and I reached for a taco. 

*Yes, know better. Yes, do better. Also, know you're not perfect. Also, have grace for your own mistakes. If it helps, picture yourself as a child before you scold and whisper and spew at you ♥*