We were all exhausted from the weekend's activities. Sunday is the morning that I usually wake up and gladly make my family a wonderful breakfast all in an effort to start the day off right. (Saturday is Daddy's day to get up) The idea was that I wanted to avoid what I experienced as a teenager. You know what I'm talking about...by the time everyone gets in the car to go to church you've had several arguments, you all hate each other, and worship is the last thing on your mind. Well, I know when the girls are teenagers, it will be a bigger challenge but I'm still hoping to set some precedents now. The girls get up EARLY and every Sunday my husband and I would both lay there praying the other would get up and deal with them. Needless to say, that system didn't work very well so that's when we came up with the Daddy does Saturday, Mama does Sunday plan. No excuses, Sunday is my day and I will set the tone, and we WILL go to church happy.
Well, I haven't been feeling well this week and though I toughed it out some yesterday, I wasn't perky this morning. I got up, made cereal (some special breakfast huh?) and went back to the bed. To make a long story short, by the time we got in the car, both girls were crying and I wanted to leave them both on the side of the road somewhere. Then the Lord reminded me. He taught me a long time ago that I don't have control over much in this world but He has given me control over one thing...my choices. I make them. I can choose the flesh, or I can choose the Spirit...but I choose. So this morning on the way to church I made a choice. I chose to use a different tone of voice with the girls. I chose encouragement over sarcasm. I chose to ignore my flesh and ask the Holy Spirit to be my guide. I sure couldn't get going in a different direction without that power. Worship was amazing. I could write another post about that alone and maybe later I will but anyway...We got home and I still didn't feel too good, so I put everyone, including myself down for a nap as soon as we walked in the door, but as I laid down, I felt victorious...at least for the moment.
Whenever I think about choice, I think about something I read by Max Lucado years ago. I thought I'd share it with you. I hope it will remind you, you can't control all the circumstances of life and you can't control all the people in your life but God has given you control over one thing and it's HUGE. He's given you control over your choices. What will you choose?
Author, MAX LUCADO
It's quiet. It's early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world is asleep. The day is coming. In a few moments the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day. The calm of solitude will be replaced by the pounding pace of the human race. The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met. For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day's demands. It is now that I must make a choice. Because of Calvary, I am free to choose.
I choose Love.... No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.
I choose Joy.... I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical...the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.
I choose Peace.... I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.
I choose Patience.... I will overlook the inconvenience of the world. Instead of cursing the one that takes my place, I will invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for the moment to pray. Instead of clinching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.
I choose Kindness.... I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.
I choose Goodness.... I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I accuse. I choose goodness.
I choose Faithfulness.... Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their father will not come home.
I choose Gentleness.... Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice, may it only be in praise. If I clench my fist, may it only be in prayer. If I make a demand, may it only be on myself.
I choose Self-Control.... I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my Faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self-control.
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek His grace. And then, when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.