(Repost from my daily devotional blog, May 2011)
Everyday when we wake up, we have a choice: will it be a good day, or a bad day. To say, “Well, that isn’t my choice. I have no control over that,” is a lie you tell yourself and honestly believe.
No matter how I feel when I wake up, the first thing I say out loud is, “Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful day.”
I don’t sleep well at nights. I’ve always had problems falling asleep. I envy people who can just close their eyes and they’re out. For me, it takes shifting, tossing, turning, pillowing fluffing, and nearly two hours of trying to shut down my mind and get it ready for dreamland.
Because of this, I’ve never been a morning person. I don’t get those people! Who wakes up chipper and cheerful, singing and smiling? Not me. And now with our little guy, who is only weeks away from turning two, waking up to his thunderous bouncing in his crib I’m always thrown into overdrive without the few minutes (a lot of minutes, actually) to really wake up and realize another day has dawned without my asking.
I have to force myself—and I mean, FORCE—to get out of bed and thank God for the day ahead. Because quite honestly, I’m not too thankful for it after a night of restless sleeping. I’m not thankful for being so tired I can’t walk or see straight. I’m not thankful that I know when I open our son’s door he’ll be sitting there buck naked, smiling at me while he sits in his own urine because he has discovered how to take off his diaper. (And he probably does it in the middle of the night, because he, too, has my awful sleeping habits.) But I have to smile back, regardless of what I’m seeing, because he’s so happy to see me. He bursts into song, “Momma, momma…hi momma!”
Thank you, God, for this day, I have to remind myself as I take him out of his crib and dunk him into a bath without his breakfast first.
Everyday…it’s something. Everyday brings on a whole new truckload of challenges. And everyday I have to make a choice: will it be a good day, or a bad day. I could get angry and let Tavin’s pee-soaked blanket irritate me for the rest of the day, but where does that get me? I’ll be set to go off on any other little thing throughout my day with that mindset.
Tavin smiles at me, even though he’s naked, cold and wet. He smiles at me. He’s glad to see me. And although I’m not glad at the scene I’ve walk into, I’m incredibly glad to see that beautiful smile; and his love for me is so overpowering nothing else seems to matter. So I [choose to] smile back and say, “Hi, my Tavin!” and give him love instead of a scolding.
When we wake up, God is smiling on us, just like Tavin does when I walk in the door. He’s saying, “Good Morning, so nice to see you! I love you!!” And what is your response? “Bug off, God, I haven’t had my coffee yet!”? Or, “Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful day!”? That’s your choice. I choose [force myself] to smile and say, “Thank you, Lord.”
Everyday it’s something new. A new day. A new attitude. A new decision. A new outlook. A new feeling. A newfound love. Everyday it’s something new.
What’s new for you today? Is your new thing wearing you down, or lifting you up? Did you make a choice today to be happy, or to be angry and bitter again? Did you tell God that you are thankful for a new day, or did you curse Him for it? Those are choices. Those are your choices, not God’s, not your circumstances, not your job, not your spouse, not your children, not your co-workers. Yours and yours alone.
If you haven’t told Him yet today, tell Him now. It’s never too late.Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful day (and if it’s raining—it’s still beautiful!). Let me see the beauty everywhere I look today. I choose to be happy today. I choose today to see the good things in life and not reflect on the bad. I choose to see the good even in the bad.
Scripture to reflect on upon waking: Psalm 118:24
This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.