Naomi partied it up til 1am without a problem at a church event. I think she knew that if she was getting the chance to stay up, she'd better take advantage of it. And did she ever!! She was wide awake, but you better believe when we laid her down in bed around 1:30 am, she was knocked. out. Lil' girl wore herself (and her parents!) out!
|Our tired little family post-church New Year's bash.|
With it came the attitude.
Seriously, who is in a good mood when they're doing laundry!? Well...me, to be honest. I don't usually mind sorting, and washing and drying. When it all needs to be put away, that's another story. On THIS day though, New Year's Day, I wasn't happy about the laundry. For some reason I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and wasn't altogether pleased that this motherhood thing doesn't afford you a day off. So off I went to do my daily thing of taking care of my sweet girl and the household. I grumbled grumbled grumbled inside myself about how just when the laundry seems to be done, it needs to be done all over again! *sigh* Such is life. And there's just nothing like starting out the new year with stuff from the previous year! Granted, it was just the day before, but c'mon, can't it just disappear??
It isn't just physical things like laundry that follow us into new days and months and years. Things like attitudes and bad habits have a way of creeping right along with us. Sometimes we know it; other times it has become so ingrained in us that we don't even realize the negative changes that have become a part of who we are. We go about our days and then it hits us out of nowhere--since when have I been doing/saying that? How long have I been neglecting this? When did that end up at the bottom of my priority list? Just like the new year sometimes seems to hit us out of nowhere, so does the realization that we've been carrying things along with us, bad thins, negative things for a while now and we wonder how in the world we ended up in this place. We then (well let me not say "we"--I know I can do it) I can end up getting frustrated with myself. I mope, and then that grumbling starts again, and I wonder how in the world am I supposed to persevere to the end when I can hardly keep up with everything in a year?
I think we tend to notice these things at the New Year more because it seems to be a bigger milestone than a day or month. After all, we celebrate birthdays after a year, right? (Though it would be pretty fantastic to have a birthday party every year. Gifts galore! Or, if you're a fatty, I mean, foodie like me, that might mean going-out-to-eat galore.) I feel like I write the same thing every year, but that's because every year the same is true. His mercies are new. And His mercies aren't simply new every YEAR, praise Jesus. they are new every DAY. Every day we are given is a milestone. Every day is a new beginning. Every day is another opportunity the Lord has given to rely on His grace more than we did the day before. And if I really break it down, it's really moment-by-moment grace and mercy.
12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
I know I just wrote it above, but I think this needs to be re-stated with some emphasis. HE who calls you is FAITHFUL; HE will surely DO IT! This is quoted much less often yet it is pivotal in our understanding of how we do these things God commands us. We allow Him to do the work in us...through us!! In and of ourselves we are incapable of being who God created us to be. I can't be the wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend that I'm called to be when I'm doing it on my own! I can have all the good intentions in the world and fail. And fail. And fail. Remember how I was talking about the laundry? It can be just like that. I try and try to keep up with the wash. And it just. keeps. building. up.
And ya know what? The laundry will build up at times. Sometimes we'll find it piling up more often than not. Sometimes we will turn around and find that we've wallowed and steeped ourselves into negative, damaging habits that have hurt our relationship with Christ, with our spouse, with our children, family members, friends. The amazing and grace-filled thing is this: At the time we notice that laundry, that mess, that dirt? At the time the Holy Spirit, through His Word, opens our clouded eyes to see the baggage we've been hanging onto that we're meant to let go of? That is the same time He extends His mercy, His grace, His forgiveness. Please don't forget, friends, His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
My goal this year is to redeem--make the best use of--the time I'm given. Life is so short! So I don't want to waste time dwelling on why I did so much wrong yesterday. As the Lord shows me, I want to conform to His will and move forward. Instead of wasting precious moments in self-condemnation, I want to dwell in His daily sufficient grace.
New mercies each day. New mercies each year.