A Place To Start

Do you do the thing when you lie in bed at night and start the film reel in your head that replays your day? It’s like the opposite of the highlight reel. It only plays the scenes where you fell short, lost your temper, or distanced yourself?

Yeah, me neither…

Truly though. It’s like a reflex or an instinct to end my day with this pit in my gut that tells me that I have so much room for improvement. 

Take yesterday. Valentine’s Day. I was anticipating this day for my kids with the excitement of their birthdays or Christmas. I got them giant felt envelopes to serve as “valentine’s day stockings” and heart shaped plates that I plan to use every year as a special and easy way to make a memory. 

I made pink heart shaped pancakes and a pink cherry yogurt sauce (they like to dip pancakes in yogurt) and even put sprinkles all over the top of their breakfast. I painted Lila’s nails three shades of pink, and let her wear everything in her wardrobe with a heart on it. She was in heaven, and so was I! I love the mush and fuss and celebration of any and every occasion. I think it makes life fun and is a major happiness booster. 


As I fell asleep, I wanted to cry. Later in the day, Lila was messing around with her valentines from school that day and still slightly buzzing from being sugared up at school and I heard this rotating script, 

“Can I have this candy?”

“Can I put this tattoo on right now?”

“Daniel ripped my valentine!”

“Can you fix this mask?”

“Can I have this candy?”

“Danyaaaaaaaal! Don’t! You’ll rip it!”

I said, “Okay, look, we need to take a little break from the valentines for a bit. Go play in your rooms.” Well, it didn’t go over well. There was defiance, disobedience, sneaking and major attitude coming from one of my children and we had to have a “conversation and consequence.” I feel like it cancelled out the awesome morning we had. The grey and sour mood lingered overhead for quite a while afterward. 

When I looked back on the day, I saw alligator tears and disappointment. I saw lost tempers and frustration. I only saw the red squiggly lines underlining and emphasizing all of my mistakes, like spell check. 

I have so much room to improve. Why can’t I just get it right? 

Then, I stopped myself. 

NO! I’m NOT doing this again. I am not going to let that one nasty situation steal the joy of the whole day! It’s ridiculous. 

A couple days ago I journaled about 1 thessalonians 2:12 and how it stood out as bite sized and encouraging advice on how to continue to grow as a mom. 

We dealt with you as a father deals with his children. Encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lived worth of God, who calls you into His kingdom and Glory. 

I went through pictures of my babies on my phone. I looked at their smiles and their delight. They are happy kids. They are loved.  They are encouraged and comforted and celebrated, but also urged to live a life worthy of God. It’s not just about crafting beautiful memories, it’s about shepherding hearts. The hard moments will come, and I’ll be constantly trying to perfect how I handle them, but these baby steps are a great place to start. 

This is my prayer- 

Encouraging- Help me to lift my kids up and affirm them. Help me to speak positive true things over them. 

Comforting- Give me compassion. Help me to see their struggles from their perspective and offer them comfort and truth as salve to their little wounds. 

Urging- Strengthen my resolve to diligently guide them closer and closer to Your heart. Even when it takes more time and energy and it would be easier to just let stuff slide. Help me to relentlessly point them to You. 

and finally

Grace- Cover me with grace and let me be confident in it. Let it be where I fix my eyes at the end of the day. 

Yes. Amen. 

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