Thursday, February 10, 2011

Game Plan

Have you ever had a really bad day?  A crappy day, one of those days when it seems that everything, from the small issues like breaking a dish to the more destructive mistakes like losing my cool with my son, is incredibly discouraging?  Of course you have.  Of course.  We all have.

I had one of those days this week.  I was caught up in phone troubles, frigid weather, street parking issues (any of you who live in heavily populated urban areas can feel my pain), and terrible tantrums ALL DAY LONG.  I got frustrated, especially because we've been having a lot of tantrum issues, and forgot to be gentle and kind and patient with others and with myself too.  I'm not proud of the person I was that day.  I thought things and said things that were not loving.  I am ashamed, thinking of the terrible disease, poverty, and tragedy some people live through, and here I was coming unraveled over these comparatively small issues.

So the next morning, I was determined to change my attitude, no matter what circumstances developed.  I prayed for a while and took out my "whisper journal."  I like to record God's promptings--or His whispers--to remember and review as needed!  I titled my entry "Game Plan for a Tough Day."  Here is my game plan, with some specifics added for my current struggles.  The specifics will change with the person and the day, but the game plan remains the same:

1.  Cry out to God, My Savior.  How can I be patient with hours of tantrums?  Help!  Help!  It makes me so anxious about the future, although I shouldn't be worrying about that now.
2.  Confess to God, My Forgiver.  I lost my temper and was impatient.  I thought angry thoughts and wasn't loving the way I have been commanded.  I also spent too much time escaping from how bad I felt about myself by watching TV and surfing the net instead of coming to God right away.
3.  Accept Forgiveness from God, my Healer and Restorer.  Thank you Jesus for forgiving me, so many times over again.  Thank you for loving me unconditionally.
4.  Remember to be truthful but gentle with myself.  It's not easy to forgive myself. While I don't want to deny my sin and weakness, I also need to encourage myself with thoughts of starting over again.  I have to remember it's a new day with a fresh beginning!
5.  Find Truths for today from God, my Truthteller.  I picked verses from Galatians 5 to steer my thoughts towards living out the Fruits of the Spirit.
6.  Return to the Truth when I start to stray.  I decided to keep a couple of strategically placed Bibles open to scripture throughout our home so I could read them at a glance.
7.  Find something fun to do todayInject some brightness into a gloomy pattern by intentionally seeking joy.  We went to a fun playgroup, and I changed some of my tasks to different times so I could give longer stretches of uninterrupted time to my son.  I also set aside time during his nap to craft.
8.  Keep your mind engaged in the present.  I don't want to let negative thoughts creep in and distract me from my game plan.
9.  Don't go to my "default weakness" if I get down.  My default weaknesses are too much TV and internet.  Others eat, shop, drink, etc.
10.  Pray.  A LOT.


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