examine your heart

Do you think Jesus ever got up on the wrong side of the bed? A bit cranky, uncentered, and not feelin it as a new day dawned? He was Divine and human, so maybe it’s not far-fetched to think He had days where grumpiness seeped from His aura as His holy feet touched the floor. There’s a sense of hopeful consolation in thinking Mr. All Things Peace had his days of uneven keel; although doubtful at best.

The reason I ask you is because I had a wrong side of the bed kind of morning today where one irritating thing led to another. And I began to ponder how all of us can better and more readily turn things around if we start our days with our crabby panties in a wad.

My first mistake was checking my email before tossing off the covers. Doing such a thing before getting our mind and heart put right for the day is a recipe for disaster. For me, an email from GoDaddy threw more gas on the fire of a week-long frustration with my website hosting, meaning more wasted time ahead.

I carried my percolating annoyance into the kitchen only to find a roast sitting on the counter, warm to the touch because of an inadvertent overnight thaw. The vision of $12 flushed down the commode coupled with knowing such a chunk of beef could have fed a village in a third world country caused me to text my hubby and blame him for forgetting to put the meat away.

Think Homeland Sanity: Threat Level 2. An empty nest spared my kids, leaving my spouse to get a lone whiff of my stinky downdraft.

Then, while my dog was still outside doing his morning routine, it began to pour. Normally, Charlie can’t stand the rain and would cross his legs for hours rather than succumb to peeing in the wet stuff. Oh, but not this day. Instead he mulled around the deck in slow motion scrounging for who knows what, getting soaked by the second without a care in the world for the first time ever. In 11 years.

The ordeal of having to deal with a wet dog is beyond petty, but at the time was a super annoying addition to my growing irritation. Since I hadn’t had my quiet prayer time yet, nor my cup of Chai, I was all torqued up with no place to go; smelling fouler by the minute.

So how do we pause, unravel, and start anew when the irritation train keeps picking up speed?

Our Savior friend from 2,000 ago managed to get my attention through His still small voice despite the roar of frustration filling up my mind space. He suggested a four-step Holy venting to help quiet the irritating voices in our head:

V – vow to jump off the agitation train 

E – enter your heart space 

N – notice the real problem within you 

T – turn your thinking around

For sure, step one is most challenging. Often, when we know we’re being a brat we find more things to fuel our annoyance to justify our negative vibe. But once we commit to change, following Psalm 139:23 and asking Jesus to search us and know our heart isn’t so bad. Swallowing our pride allows Grace to rush in.

transformation

Step three is where real transformation begins. For me, the following  root problems caused my crankball demeanor:

  1. I had an agenda set for the day of the things “I wanted to do”, and dealing with website issues wasn’t on the to-do list. My plans changed without my permission, exposing the real problem of needing to be in control.
  2. Leaving the roast out was my fault. Pointing a finger at my husband masked the real problem of my guilt over being careless.
  3. As for the dog getting wet, I have zero patience with my poor Charlie lately because my kids are gone and I’m bitter about the full time caretaker role. The real problem with my annoyance in this case is my shame for feeling this way.

Every layer of irritation was due to a problem with me, not the circumstance itself. Humbling indeed.

Choosing to swallow the ugly pride pill turns around our thinking by default Partaking in the Holy venting helps us regroup and mentally start our day again, this time on the right side of the bed where we find new life and a fresh outlook.

The venting lesson from Jesus is an even deeper analogy for dying to self, where we search our hearts for what’s false, place our burdens on the Cross, and plant our feet on the right side of Jesus’ death. Here the hope of the resurrection gives us the promise of eternal life—the most refreshing of all outlooks.

Tomorrow I hope to wake up and put my best foot forward.

But for now, I choose to be grateful for today despite my initial grumpiness. The simple fact I woke up at all is more than enough reason to celebrate, tizzy or not.

Vent away, crazy Mommas!

 

 

 

 

Shelby is a Christian mom to three beautiful knuckleheads who have left her with an empty nest in which to ponder what the mom thing has (done to her) meant over the past twenty-three years. On her blog she shares with readers an open book of revelations, screw-ups, gaffes, and joys. Shelby is currently working on her first book.