(Yes, I changed my blog background again. I cannot make up my mind.)
I just want to confess that yesterday I was in a really bad mood. I didn't fly off the handle at husband, yell at my kids, or knock a hole in the sheet rock or anything like that, but I really wasn't a happy girl. The smallest things were irritating me. Anybody been there? The week started with a sick child. Need I say more. I am thankful that Gracen is on the mend, but it has been a difficult and draining week, meeting the needs of my family, plus the needs of one clingy baby.
On Wednesday night, Gracen went to sleep at 10:00, two hours past her regular bedtime, and woke up at 12:20. "Ugh!" I thought to myself, when I heard her cries over the monitor. I gave her a few more minutes and thought, "Surely, she will just go back to sleep." She didn't. Not only did she not go back to sleep, she was wide awake until 4:30am. That is not a misprint. I thought I was going to die. I finally drifted off to sleep about 5:00am, after asking God to please let my children sleep until lunch. No such luck! Ask and you shall receive didn't work with that prayer. Reagan tapped me on the cheek at 7:00am, with a cheery, "Good morning, Momma." I really wanted to roll over and ask her what was so good about it. I kept my mouth shut though. It wasn't her fault I was up all night.
Gene is off on Thursday, but had a funeral to go to. A friend's grandmother had passed away so I decided that I needed to go as well. Remember, I didn't even want to get out of bed, much less get myself and two girls ready for a funeral. I also really needed to buy groceries....not fun on a full night's sleep. I was supposed to do this on Monday, the day I had to take Gracen to the doctor, so we were fighting over 3 pieces of bread to make lunch with. The day basically went downhill from here.
At about 4:00, I told Gene I was about to blow a gasket. My chest hurt from anxiety and Reagan's voice was really getting on my nerves. Gene decided it might be a good idea to get out of the house. I was thinking how nice it would be to go out to eat without the kids, but with no babysitters in sight, we loaded them up and headed to Logan's Roadhouse. I must say, we had a really good time. As soon as I started cracking those peanuts at the table, I felt my stress melting away. Dinner was good, and the conversation was even better. Reagan had never been in Logan's and loved it. She was really impressed with the loud music and the peanuts on the floor. Watching her joy made me joyful.
We have all had days we wish we could do over. I know that even in those days God wants my joy to be full. He wants me to focus on all the good things that I have in my life. He wants me to focus on Him. He wants me to come to Him and unload my burdens. Yesterday, it never occurred to me to stop and pray or to go and get my Bible out and let God speak to me. It never occurred to me to praise God, despite how I felt, knowing God inhabits the praises of His people.
Praise is the key that releases God's character back into even the ugliest of attitudes and darkest of situations. Where there is praise, God's presence can be felt and his presence brings the fruit of his character....love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). I needed all of those.
Satan delights in our anxiety, anger, and frustration, and would love to keep darkness drawn over our hearts and minds. He breeds within our dark ugliness all that is opposite of God's character...hate, despair, fear, impatience, rudeness, self-centeredness, self-reliance, harshness, and acting out of control. But as soon as we praise God, Satan flees. Praise pulls back the dark curtain and breathes fresh life into a weak and weary soul.
Logan's definitely made me feel better, but what I really needed was time with Jesus. So today, even though my to-do list is long and my energy is low, I will rejoice in the Lord and be joyful in God my Savior.
Anger Is Not the Way
17 hours ago