This morning was one of those that found me frazzled over things I should have dealt with yesterday and had to address this morning. Of course, I was edgy with the kids and reactionary to things that weren’t really a big deal, overwhelmed for no particular reason. It set a poor tone for the day and isn’t the good start I wanted everyone to get. Instead of harping on who hasn’t packed their lunch yet and who left their shoes on the porch, these morning minutes would have been better spent as a time of peaceful encouragement before facing the day.
Of course, things will be fine and the rest of the household has probably moved on by now. But I am once again learning the lesson that that reactionary parenting, and reactionary leadership in general, is always ineffective, and is best avoided by planning ahead and starting my day the right way. As a dad, my words and actions set the tone for the kind of day my family is going to have, and when I get my spirit right, it leads to a better day for everyone involved.
I am pretty sure that I’m not the only one who has felt the remorse of setting a negative tone for the day and then trying to band-aid it up once the damage is done. Every parent has been there at some point. We let ourselves get impatient and agitated about things that aren’t really all that important, and then realize our kids now have ‘that look’. You’ve seen it too; the, “I’m just going to keep my mouth shut and stay out of the way while dad vents his frustration” look. And it is heartbreaking to know I put that look on their faces.
I’ve found that he best way to avoid this kind of a start to the day is by praying through Scripture. When we start off with the right focus and perspective, it tends to carry us through whatever we may face throughout the day, and gets us off to a much better start.
Romans 8:6 – “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”
Galatians 5:23 – “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Colossians 3:15 – “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
Matthew 5:16 – “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Psalm 51:10 – “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
These are verses that we can pray each day, asking God to give us a spirit of peace, patience and kindness that allows us to shine for Him, leading to joy and a right focus for ourselves and encouragement for those we influence.