I recently read a quote by Lysa TerKeurst, an author and public speaker, who had recently experienced what doctors called a medical miracle. The quote says, “When the baby is crying and the deadlines are pressing and the stress is mounting and the enemy whispers “just get through this crappy day.” Look up and shame the enemy back to hell by acknowledging today is a gift.”
We’ve all heard people say familiar quotes such as, “Life is Short” and “Everyday is a gift”, but it wasn’t until Lysa added the last part on there, that I realized that there are a lot of days that my goal is to just get through the hard, stressful and” crappy” days. To survive. In the past, those expression always seemed appropriate when someone close to me was injured or passed away too soon, but I never thought they applies to the stress of daily life.
You know the saying, “tomorrow is a new day”, but by always looking to tomorrow, I’ve missed so many precious opportunities and memories that could have been salvaged from the rest of the each day. I would mentally check out and allow the stress and frustration of the day to distract me from what was truly important and tell myself, that tomorrow would be better….just make it to tomorrow.
This week, Daniel and I decided to cut out all sugar and any other junk that we would occasionally eat and by the end of the first day I had a massive headache. I survived and got through the day by looking forward to the next day. Day 2 was not much better and I found myself dragging through the day and for the first time ever, I yelled at one of my kids. I’m not a yeller…I tend to say “please” and “no thank you” when I am correcting them and pretty much always talk to them calmly even when they probably could use a slightly raised voice of correction.
Well, Joshua would not stop going in the fridge, Abigail had just spilled her cereal all over her lap and the floor and I was already currently cleaning up Joshua’s spilled cereal. I yelled very loudly, “Stop It” to him to get him to leave the fridge alone. He stopped immediately and started crying. I felt like the worst mom ever. I had clearly scared him. (although I did note that maybe a slight raise in my normal voice might produce a little bit of healthy fear in him, maybe even enough to get him to listen better.)
I was tempted to throw in the towel on the rest of the day. I quickly swore off dieting because it makes me grouchy and made me yell at my kids. I told myself that tomorrow would run smoother and maybe I wouldn’t be so grouchy from sugar deprivation but then I remembered that quote and realized that I had 8 more hours to spend with these kids. Was I going to waste those 8 precious hours and not poor my heart and soul into all the moments we had for the rest of the day and salvage what was left, even if it wasn’t any better than the start of the day? Was I going to be grouchy to them for the rest of the day because the day was” worthless” now that I had messed up?
Now, when I complain about just wanting a moment to sit down or wish my kids would just play quietly and not need me to play with them all the time, I remind myself that every day is a gift. What if tomorrow never comes? What would my kids remember of our last days together? Did I mentally check out when things got overwhelming? Or, did they know that I loved them and gave my all to showing them that, regardless of the circumstances of the day or their behavior? Did I show them that they are more important than all the struggles of the day? Did I grab my phone to mentally check out or grab them and hug them and tell them how much they mean to me?
Everyday will not be perfect, I am sure I will fail miserably most days, but by having this phrase visible in my house, it will be a moment by moment reminder that each day is a gift. A gift I get to spend with 3 beautiful children and an amazing husband, all who love me. We have a home and a job which is more than a lot of other people. No matter how hard life gets, being alive is a gift we should celebrate every day.