And be renewed in the spirit of your mind. – Ephesians 4:23 (NKJV)
What a morning! It was cold, cold, cold!
So I stayed in my warm, cozy bed until 8, then got up and got busy. I usually make the bed, set up my writing room for the day, make my tea, feed the cats, put in a load of laundry, add a log or two to the fire in the wood stove, and get dressed before I have breakfast.
I say my prayers before I get put of bed because once my feet hit the floor, my brain lasers in on my ambitious to-do list for the day. As you can see in the previous paragraph.
On my way to the kitchen that frigid Tuesday morning, I stepped in cat puke. Ever try to clean smashed, regurgitated cat food out of a braided rug and from the treads of your favorite slippers? Which in my case were my comfy, wear-all-day-every-day moccasins.
My mind was already labeling the day “Terrible Tuesday,” and the day had barely started. What I needed to combat the stinkin’ thinkin’ was a good, positive, encouraging quote from the file of inspirational quotes I collect on my computer.
I found the perfect one: “No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up, and never give up!” (Zig Ziglar)
I determined it was not going to be “Terrible Tuesday” but “Terrific Tuesday.”
It was a good thing I nipped that negative attitude in the bud because I could have had a real good pity party later on when the UPS man delivered only one box of three containing my newly released novel. When I checked the tracking numbers of the two missing boxes, there was no record of them. With a list of book orders from folks who were patiently waiting for the novel to be released, I could easily have defaulted to panic mode.
But I knew God knew where those AWOL boxes were, so I asked Him to please send them on their way. Soon.
Every time I thought about it, I just shot a few words up to heaven. Sometimes only one—“please.”
Life is full of setbacks, disappointments, and plans gone awry. We choose how we’re going to deal with them.
“ALWAYS be joyful,” the Apostle Paul advises in 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18. Not only when things go your way. Even when—especially when—they don’t.
“NEVER stop praying.” You don’t have to resort to long, repetitious prayers. In fact, Jesus said not to (Matthew 6:7). There have been times my prayer was simply a whispered, “Oh, Lord.” Our heavenly Father knows what we need before we even ask (Matthew 6:8).
“Be thankful in ALL circumstances.” Not only when the whole order shows up. Not only when things go according to plan. Even when—again, especially when—you don’t feel thankful.
“Be thankful IN all circumstances—not “for” all circumstances. Be like Paul, who “learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11).
The two missing boxes arrived on Thursday. The rug is clean (but not the moccasins only because I figured dry vomit would be easier to clean out of the treads, and I haven’t gotten back to it yet).
The next time you’re tempted to think “terrible,” stop, change gears, and think “terrific” instead.
You’ll be surprised how good life could be.
The next time I’m tempted to think “terrible,” stop me, Lord. Help me to focus on the “terrific.” Amen.
Extra tea: Read and meditate on 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18
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Thank you for being such faithful, encouraging readers!