As the warm rays of sunshine beamed through the bedroom windows, a joyful feeling welled inside my soul. It was a brand new day and a perfect day for a fresh start; the do-over I yearned for the day before. I was bound and determined to get this day right I thought, as I reached for my cell phone and began scrolling through emails and social media.
My nights don’t always come with joyful feelings. Instead, I sometimes struggle with many restless nights as I lay in bed reflecting on my previous day. I’m filled more often than I’d like to admit with emotions of discontentment, disappointment, emptiness, and thoughts of “what I “should of” or “could of” done” differently.
I have several lists that constantly run through my mind. I have a list of things I have to do, a list of things I need to do, and a list of things I desire to do.
We all have lists of some sort whether on paper or simply floating around in our minds. Somehow, we are led to believe that if we get everything checked off, we will deservingly feel successful.
There have been times when I felt very productive at the end of the day, because every single stitch of laundry was clean and put away, the beds were made, and the house was spotless. But the feelings of contentment and joy were overtaken by a overwhelming sadness. My heart ached as I thought of the precious time that I had missed out on with my children. I was so busy trying to mark off the lists of what “had to” and “needed to” be done that I had sadly missed out on the simple beauty of soaking in my children, listening to their silly stories, going to look at their new captured bugs, or reading them a bedtime story and saying prayers with them. Time had slipped away from me once again.
There have also been times when I felt like mommy of the year, because I did accomplish these things. Yet, when night came, and I had time to breath and reflect, I still felt overwhelmed over the chores I had not done. But it was the feelings of discontentment and emptiness that I couldn’t shake.
No matter how much I felt I had accomplished on any given day, my heart still beat with guilt. My soul yearned for something more.
I can’t quite remember who the speaker was that day, but I’ll always remember the advice she offered. I consider it the golden key to a productive day in which one is filled with contentment and joy!
“Pray before your feet hit the floor in the morning. Invite the Holy Spirit to fill you up and to plan your day for you. Give Jesus control over your day and stay alert with a listening ear for what He wants you to hear, to see, and to do.”
When I began allowing the Holy Spirit to lead me, I was okay with dropping the laundry to go watch my daughter practice a cart-wheel or look at my sons room he had “re-decorated” by tacking stuffed animals to his walls. I didn’t feel bothered by leaving the messy kitchen till morning so that instead I could listen to my children share their day with me and say prayers with them. Social media didn’t consume my time, and my husband got more of my undivided attention. When you let God plan your day for you and trust Him with it, the list of benefits is never-ending.
I used to get so wrapped up in the business of life or waste so much precious time on social media that I often let my quite time with God fall to the way side, which would leave Him with a half said prayer before I fell asleep at night. When He is top priority in my everyday and on all my lists, I see purpose in my days and my heart overflows with joy and contentment. I sleep better too!
I wish I could tell you that I am faithful at using this golden key everyday, but unfortunately for me, I am still a work in progress. However, when I find myself having a rough day, it’s then that I usually recognize what it is I forgot; the golden key!
When I take time for God before I do anything else and invite Him to guide my day for me, I go to bed feeling content and at peace. Funny thing is that all of my “to do” lists are still missing a lot of check marks, and I’m okay with that! I’m not disappointed in myself or overwhelmed, because this time when I reflect on my day, I realize Who was in control and I feel confident we got done exactly what needed to be done!
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for today! Thank you for your grace and mercy, and for giving me another day to attempt to do your will for my life. I pray that you fill me with your Holy Spirit today guiding me in my every step. I pray to hear the things you want me hear, to see the things you want me to see, and to have a mind to comprehend things the way you intend for me to comprehend them. I pray that I am aware of what it is that you have planned for me today, and that I let no opportunity go missed. I pray for patience with my children today, and I pray that I don’t let the chaos of today steal my joy. I pray to be slow to speak with a gentle tongue and a listening ear. I pray to see the good in everyone, and for the boldness to share your glory when an opportunity arises.
In Jesus’ name ~ Amen
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)