Monday, November 24, 2014

Center Your Day Around Jesus

Some days just don't go the way we would like for them too. Things (like our attitudes) can seem wrong from the moment we wake up and our feet hit the floor. I know I have spent some of those days flailing and grasping for anything that could help me redeem the day and refocus my heart. Most of the time I take a few minutes to review all the things I have to be thankful for. The below picture is a collage that I made a few years ago when I was having one such day. (Note the cute baby adorableness. Children growing up is fun but so bittersweet.)

But an important principle I have been studying helped me even more. I am supposed to center my day around Jesus. Not around what I wish my reality were or what I want my day to look like. Not around naptime or my husband coming home or drinking Dr. Pepper or anything else I might look forward to. Not around checking everything off my list or my perfect vision of home. 

So many different frustrations can throw off our day. A lack of sleep caused by a new baby (or a toddler!), a late start to the morning, potty-training accidents, unexpected news, or scheduling changes can often change what we planned for our day. But I remember. 
...and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;       Hebrews 12:1b-2a
It's about Jesus. It's not about me or what I want. It's not about my expectations for the day; the race is already set before me. Jesus has mapped out my day. I need to look to Him for strength and grace for my race. It can be a race today because all today needs is today's energy. I don't have to worry about tomorrow. I don't have to worry about getting up and doing this same stuff over time after time.  I just need to be faithful today. 

Our preacher has taught us that patience is "cheerful and hopeful enduring." God's working in me. God's working in my kids. I am not to run impatiently or in frustration. I don't have to finish today. I won't finish until I go home with Jesus. 

I read somewhere that I shouldn't complain about the service God has called me to until I have done as much as Jesus did on the cross. That really stuck with me. I'm not to compare myself to what my husband or my neighbor or anybody else is doing, just what Jesus did.  That means I should never complain. I will never give as much of myself or give up as many of my own desires as Jesus did when He died for me.  

So how can I center my day around Jesus? Here are a few things that help me. 

1. Start your day with Jesus. Read your Bible and pray. Ask God for His help. And yes, this is frequently interrupted by small children. Relax your expectations. Do as much as you can and carry a verse with you. God knows your heart. 

2. Know what's most important. We've recently narrowed our parenting goals down to two concepts. Can you pinpoint exactly what you are supposed to be doing right now? Knowing that relieves some of the pressure because you can shrug off the things that can easily wait until tomorrow. 

3. Release control. This is a mental effort. Actually all of these are. So many of the battles in our lives are mental. That's why we are to bring "into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." (2 Cor. 10:5) This is Jesus' day. His plans matter, not yours. Give it to Him.

4. Give yourself grace. A lot of times the things that stress me out are expectations I've imposed on myself. I must read x number of books with the boys to be a good mom. I must complete x amount of work around the house to be a good homemaker. I can't give you a verse for those things and while they are good occasionally I need to throw them all out the window.  God's plans for my day may not involve any of my checklist! 

5. Repeat. I have to constantly remind myself to stay focused on Jesus. Everyday is about Jesus.  

Jesus can help me to walk through each part of my day with His grace.  Through the expected, the unexpected, the unpleasant, and the exciting. I don't have to wait for some thing to happen for me to have a good day and then be disturbed or upset if it doesn't happen.  Jesus is enough.  (But a Dr. Pepper never hurts either!)
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psalm 16:11 (emphasis mine)

No comments:

Post a Comment