Diary of a Real Mama

One mom's endeavour to become an authentic woman of God

This Is The Day

on April 5, 2015

Shortly after my entry into the blogosphere, I shared some thoughts about the importance of cultivating an attitude of thankfulness to prevent bitterness from taking root. Recently, it’s been a recurring theme again in quiet moments spent with my Best Friend. One of the things He’s been teaching me this time around is how gratitude also helps to combat a prideful spirit. I was reading Psalm 100:4, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.” (If you went to church in the 90s, I know what you’re singing in your head right now). I almost skimmed right past the familiar passage before slowing down to take a second look. I felt that the Lord was challenging me to start off my devotions by spending time giving thanks to Him, to enter into His presence with a thankful heart and mind. By taking a few moments to jot down some of the day’s blessings I’m thankful for, I’m reminded that every good thing I have is from Him (James 1:17). When I acknowledge that, I also have to humbly acknowledge that I am not self-reliant. I can’t be prideful about the blessings in my life when I remind myself that I’m not responsible for them. When that pride is gone, I can then more readily admit that I don’t know it all or have all the answers. And that’s when He can really start speaking to me and teaching me new things.

Following this little epiphany, I was diligently trying to form the habit of putting my thankful thoughts on paper before opening my Bible each night. But, I am a real mama and just as I thought I was really getting into the swing of things, I hit a wall. I’d been having one of those days. Where the minutes feel like hours and time refuses to pass as you know it should and you’re positive bedtime will never come. Ever. My husband was working out of town and wouldn’t be back until late that evening.  I was at home with the twins, one of whom was sick with a fever and not a happy camper. Despite it technically being ‘spring’, the weather was still ridiculously cold, so getting out of the house for some fresh air to perk us up was out of the question. I didn’t know if I would make it to work the next day and how I would ever get caught up if I didn’t. I was feeling cagey, frustrated, and stressed. The stage had been set for an internal monologue of self-pity. When bedtime finally did roll around, I sat with my thanksgiving journal open in my lap and pen poised in hand. And sat. And sat. On the good days, I could quickly and easily fill line after line with gratitude. But I wouldn’t exactly classify this particular day as ‘good’. Sure, I’ve had much worse, but even so, I felt pretty stuck. As I read Psalm 118:24, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it”, conviction lay heavy. My day certainly hadn’t gone how I had hoped or envisioned. But how could I call it a bad day based on something as trivial as my own selfish preferences? The day had been a gift, each breath given to me by God, and I had not been at all glad, much less rejoiced about it.

With Easter right around the corner, God has been gently reminding me that my cause to rejoice each day is His Cross. To help me wrap my head around all that entails and to help prepare my heart for Easter, I’ve been reading “The Cross: The Power, The Purpose, The Passion” by Cathy Ciaramtaro.  She invites us to seize the opportunity we have each day to come to The Cross and embrace all it represents: His suffering, His death, and His resurrection. On the hard days, the Cross inspires thankfulness that He can sympathize with us. He can relate to all that we suffer, for He experienced not only intense physical pain, but the emotional anguish of fear and betrayal, rejection and oppression, abandonment and false allegations. Not only did He experience each of these atrocities, but He faced them head-on and overcame them all, so they no longer have the power to define us. The Cross also prompts us to be thankful that because of His death, we no longer have to fear our own, for the end of this life is merely the beginning of all the wonders He has in store for us. Finally, the Cross compels us to give thanks for His resurrection. It is His victory over suffering and death that puts them into proper perspective. It gives us hope for a glorious eternal future. And it proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that with God, indeed all things are possible. We refer to the day of Christ’s death on the Cross as Good Friday. But truly, it is the Cross that makes every day good, giving us continual reason to rejoice and be glad.

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