Friday, March 19, 2010

Mama and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

It had been "one of those days." We all have them. You know, where you can't seem to get a foothold on anything. The kids are grumpy, tired, and bickering too much. I had been there all morning. By about 10:30 I realized that the pot of coffee I so longingly brewed 2 hours earlier still sat there untouched. The only thing I had eaten was 3 bites of Ella's cream of wheat after she decided she'd rather have cereal. By 11:00 I had put 3 out of 4 children in time-out for various reasons. If I thought my baby would have played happily or just given into a nap by making her sit in time-out, I would have tried. I quickly realized that the grocery store trip I had planned was not going to happen which meant I'd have to go after my husband got home, missing out on some "family time." I felt cheated on my weekend because my husband informed me he was working Saturday, and Sunday after church I was obligingly attending the bridal shower of a future family member who doesn't even know my name. Boo hoo for me!

I really started wallowing in self-pity. What a day! What a lousy day! Then, I thought of a book I purchased for my oldest son that all of my kids enjoy, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I bought it for Jaden who has a tendency to become moody and grumpy when things don't go his way. I really wanted to help him understand that sometimes we just have rough days. As Alexander learns, "some days are like that, even in Australia." When I picked out the book I remember thinking yeah, this will be good for Jaden. He definitely needs to lighten up and enjoy the ride, even when bumpy. Hmmm...

Okay, now I get it. I bought that children's book for myself! Yep. I really needed to lighten up! True, the morning was a bit on the rocky and bumpy side. But, the day was certainly not over! I could change my attitude and my perspective. I could choose to do this. Really.

I decided to take my kids' nap time as an opportunity to refocus. Well, it hasn't been perfectly smooth; I've run up and down the stairs at least 5 or 6 times dealing with a 4 yr. old who doesn't agree with my decision to give him a nap. I still haven't eaten anything of any substance. But, I have taken some time to refocus. I put on a cd that my Dad burned for me from some old childhood records that bring back fond memories of more innocent days. I opened my Bible to a favorite Psalm. Psalm 71 is a psalm that I like to pray over my children. It never ceases to amaze me what praying for others (especially my own flesh and blood) can do for me. It changes me! It changed me today. It "lightened" my mood. This day will do just fine!

"But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise Thee yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Thy righteousness, And of Thy salvation all day long; For I do not know the sum of them. I will come with the mighty deeds of the Lord God; I will make mention of Thy righteousness, Thine alone. O God, Thou hast taught me from my youth; And I still declare Thy wondrous deeds. And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Thy strength to this generation, Thy power to all who are to come. For Thy righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens, Thou who hast done great things; O God, who is like Thee? Thou, who hast shown me many troubles and distresses, Wilt revive me again, And wilt bring me up again from the depths of the earth. Mayest Thou increase my greatness, and turn to comfort me."
Psalm 71:14-21


  1. When we pray and say what God says over who he has put in our lives, we execute our authority over them and become good stewards of the most valuable currency in the universe, relationship. I too, find it amazing that this can turn our own heart and change a day or a situation, and it's cool what you said about it. I enjoy reading your blog. Your wisdom is enlightening!

  2. i appreciate your honesty, and It frees me when reminded that other GREAT moms have bumps in thier days also.

  3. Steffie, I am in awe of you! And may I say, I have always regretted being such a yelling kind of Mom. I was so young and I didn't really have any friends to compare notes with or to complain one really, except my heavenly Father. Boy, did He get an ear full all the time! Please forgive me for not affirming you more often. I should have, but I was so busy and so overwhelmed much of the time! I love you and I think you are a fabulous Mother! I am so very, very proud of you my beautiful daughter.