Reclaim the Day

Every once in a while, I think about quitting my blog, because I would feel like less of a hypocrite.

It might be better if I wasn’t publicly sharing my ideas and opinions that sometimes turn out really badly when I try to practice them for myself on a daily basis.

Take Wednesday, for example. I wrote this post on Tuesday, and believed it with all my heart.

And then I woke up on Wednesday, and it was a horrible day.

Ben was working from early morning till late at night for most of the week, and we barely saw him. We all took turns having the stomach flu. Nasty hormones also insisted on making a flamboyant appearance. I got an email regarding a speaking engagement in February, and really felt as though I was the last person on earth who should be considering even opening my mouth in a public setting.

Everything reached a breaking point on Wednesday.

As I was writing this description, Anika started reading over my shoulder.

She asked, “What was so bad about Wednesday….Oh, yeah. I remember Wednesday.”

When Ben came home late that night, I sat on the couch and bawled. I felt like the worst mother in the entire world. And that stupid blog post I wrote! Soaking in family moments, making happy days, blah, blah, blah. What an earth was I talking about?

And then wisdom and salvation came from two excellent pieces of advice.

As I sat crying on the couch, Ben quoted my dad’s wise words: Don’t look at the crops when it’s raining.

In other words, evaluating my life when I’m sick, exhausted, discouraged and frustrated is not the right time. Wait until everything calms down a bit. Things always get better. Until then, just hang in there and don’t think too much!

The other bit of advice came from that fantastic new book I’m reading, which you should all have added to your Christmas lists by now: Simplicity Parenting, by Kim John Paine.

Just three little words: Reclaim the day.

Those words offer such hope, don’t they?

Some days just go really badly. Sometimes we make mistakes, and we need to give ourselves a lot of grace.

On days like that, I can be pretty quick to write off the entire day.

“We’re just having a bad day today.”

“I’m feeling sick today.”

“I’m in such a bad mood today.”

What’s with “today”?

Why not give  the day a chance? Leave some space for things to turn around?

I remember using this concept when I was in high school. Except I called it “Starting the Day Over”.

There were some days when I just felt yucky about stuff in general. I was having a bad hair day, my outfit that seemed like a cool thing to wear when I put it on in the morning somehow lost its coolness by the time I got to school, bad things happened during the day that left me feeling discouraged about my little teenage life.

So I’d come home, have another shower, redo my hair, put on a different outfit, eat some chocolate, and call my best friend.

Starting the day over. At 5 pm.

I cannot imagine myself going to such lengths to “start the day over” now. (There is no way I’m doing my hair twice in one day.)

But is it ever too late to start things fresh?

I’ve been trying to think of how we might do that around here.

Some time alone, or some fresh air.

going for a walk

Happy music, books and blankets on the couch.

A little pep talk and a different approach.

I have no idea how well it would work, so I won’t make myself into a hypocrite by sounding like I’ve got this whole thing figured out.

I’ll just say that “Reclaiming the Day” is on my mind, and I’m going to try it the next time I’m tempted to sit on my couch crying about the day.

So I will choose to get up and start over. I will be intentional about turning this thing around. And I will keep blogging, even if it means publicly exposing how much I still need to learn!

And now I really need your suggestions!! What might “Reclaim the Day” mean for you?

4 thoughts on “Reclaim the Day

  1. Oh, yes, reclaiming a day. I totally agree about not thinking about it too much. Some people tend to overanalyze how the day went wrong and then they end up making everyone else around them miserable as well even though they were in their content “well-this-day-didn’t-go-quite-as-planned-but-that’s-okay-cause-I-still-have-everything-that-matters” state (and I am saying this from my own personal home life experience). Reclaiming a day for me would probably include a long hot soak in a bathtub, eating chocolate and reading a novel. By candlelight. Drinking a sparkling beverage. Oh, that sounds so lovely. I think I need a bad day now just to do that. Ha! I totally know what you mean though so I keep reminding myself of these lyrics to a very popular song – “May I be singing when the evening comes.” In spite of everything that happens in the day, may I still be singing praises to our Lord when the evening comes. Easier said than done but a good reminder nonetheless. I hope today is a much better day for you.

    • Your ideas for reclaiming the day do sound very nice! I don’t think you should wait for a bad day to enjoy them! And I love the lyrics to the song you mentioned – singing when the evening comes. That would make every day the best day.

  2. Your post made me think of the verse Grandma Dueck gave me for my nursing grad back in 1996: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9, NIV). Yes, I also have times when I feel like a hypocrite but this verse has kept me going so many times whether I’m in the middle of a night shift that seems will never end or I feel like I just can’t get through to my kids or I wonder if anything I’m doing really makes a difference to anyone. Grandma intended for that verse to encourage me when I was weary during long night shifts but I’m finding it applies to every other area of my life as well and is now my favorite Bible verse.

    • I read that verse just the other night, and you are right – it hits exactly on what the heart needs to remember when the rest of me gets weary.

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