When You Do Everything Right But It All Goes Wrong
I knew it was going to be a great day. Seven hours of solid sleep, a steaming cup of coffee in my hands, and dinner in the crock pot by 8:30 AM, and I was setting myself up for a successful day of homeschooling my three oldest boys. The Bible verse God had been putting on my heart for the month was Proverbs 31:26:
“When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.”
Armed with the Word of God, I was ready to instruct my kids in a spirit of kindness. I set up our dining room table with their work for the day, placing a favorite activity at their places, knowing my boys would be delighted. I did everything right to ensure a happy morning.
As my kids woke up to start their day and made their way to the table, they groaned when they saw our first fun activity for the morning. Not exactly the enthusiasm I was going for. As we moved into math, all three of my boys were stuck on challenging problems. Instead of being able to work it through with them as usual, my mind was going blank.
They were frustrated and so was I. Not long after, my CD player for our history lesson broke and I couldn’t find the instructional DVD for their grammar work. After a short break, one of my boys complained of intense stomach pains that him doubled over which meant a trip to urgent care instead of heading to the skate-park with friends. Everything went wrong.
As moms, we can easily become defeated but it’s even more discouraging when we try to do everything right and it still all goes wrong. I have found that two things help me turn it around when I’d rather drive off into the sunset and leave all my frustrations in the dust.
Keep perspective. As difficult as things may be, what we focus on will consume us. Counting our blessings, in every circumstance, allows us to keep perspective. I could dwell on all the things that went wrong, or I could list all the things that are still right and good in my life--like a car that works to drive us to good doctors and understanding friends who are willing to reschedule play dates.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (I Thessalonians 5:18, ESV)
Don’t be surprised. God acknowledges that we will face troubles. This world is a place where sin abounds. It’s a fallen world but it is not our final home. When we remember that problems are par for the course, it helps us focus on problem solving and trusting in the Lord for the things we cannot change. Knowing that Jesus has overcome the world and that He is for us, gives us the hope we need to press on when troubles press in.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NIV)
Nobody ever promised us that mothering would be easy. Even on those days when you try to do everything right and it all goes wrong, we can consider it an opportunity to model hope and trust in God’s goodness to our kids. When they see us handling disappointment and challenges with grace and hope, the better lessons are being communicated in ways that having everything go our way can never do. When we embrace that truth, things turn out alright, after all.
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