Do Away with Do Over Days
Make Your Life Mirror
If only I could get a “Do Over.”
Take back my words.
After a flip-flop filled week of family vacation in Myrtle Beach, Dale left this morning to take our kids and their friends home for youth camp. He’s meeting parents halfway and heading back so we can enjoy some time together. Today, the beach condo is eerily quiet, filled only with the gentle sound of ocean waves lapping the shore. Oh, yeah. And the haunting sound of my own thoughts screaming, “You were not so gentle yesterday.“
The day was supposed to be perfect. (Yeah, I know, first mistake).
My kids were supposed to want to spend Every. Waking. Moment. at my side before embarking on their adventures at camp.
Forget the fact that they brought friends on our trip to the beach.
They were supposed to understand my excessive, unrealistic expectations.
Honestly, I didn’t quite decipher them myself until I spent some time reflecting and praying today. The Holy Spirit gently extracted the root of my bitter words.
Here’s the thing. We are now inching toward my daughter’s graduation from high school (In 346 Days to be exact, not that I’m counting). The thought of her leaving home and exploring all God has for her life produces an immediate lump in my throat. It also breeds anxiety and imposes unrealistic expectations onto our relationship.
If I’m not intentional about managing my emotions, days that are supposed to be drenched with joy and laughter implode into a pressure cooker. And I get crabby. And snippy. And harsh. In spite of my desire to please God and love my family well, I serve up a plate of attitude and a down a spoonful of regret. That’s when I start hunting for the remote. Trust me; regret tastes terrible.
Perhaps you, too, wish for “Do-Over Days.” Perhaps the sting of regret has left it’s mark and you, too, utter the painful phrase; “If only…” Those two, tiny words have enormous implications and a voracious appetite, capable of eating you for lunch. I’m all too familiar with the sickening feeling of missing the mark, witnessing a dream dissolve into disappointment. Although I’m far from perfect in this area, I honestly long to glorify God by learning from my mistakes. Our words should drip with tenderness, yet too often they demolish trust.
We don’t have to allow the “If Only” moments to run us over and ruin God’s plans. Life may not provide us with a remote control, but we can still avoid the sour aftertaste of regret. Would you join me in embracing 5 key truths today? I promise you’ll move one step closer to “Making Your Life Mirror“ the image of Christ.
1. Evaluate Expectations: Unmet expectations are the root of all conflict in relationships. Prayerfully consider whether your expectations are healthy and realistic. Invite the Holy Spirit to guide you toward necessary adjustments in the attitudes of your heart and in the dynamics of your relationships. Chew on the keen insight Author Lysa Terkeurst offers about keeping our emotions in check: “Feelings should be indicators, not dictators.“
2. Expect the Unexpected: “Blessed are the flexible for they shall not break.” Striving for perfection is a set-up for failure. It’s noble to desire excellence and search for ways to squeeze the best out of every day. However, remember that things rarely go as planned. Preserving a stellar attitude in the midst of derailed plans is far more important than boasting perfectly unfolded plans.
3. Exercise Self-Control: Galatians 5 lists “Self-control” as one of the fruits – or evidence – of the Spirit in the life of a Christian. God didn’t dole out divine remote controls, but He did offer us the gift of growing in His divine nature. 2 Peter 1:3 – 4 shares dynamite news!! We are able to operate in self-control even when circumstances are out of our control.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
Do away with Do-Over Days!
“Reach for self-control when things seem out of control and you’ll never need a remote control.”
4. Examine Your Heart: Rotten fruit indicates a rotten root. Allow the Holy Spirit to excavate places of your heart, pulling up negative motives and wrong attitudes. He’s an expert in identifying the poisonous thought patterns lurking behind destructive behaviors. Memorizing and applying these “go-to” verses will encourage you in your journey: (I post them all over my bathroom mirror!)
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight O God”, Psalm 19:4
“Don’t be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”, Romans 12:2
5. Eat the Word: We renew our mind – replacing detrimental thought patterns with His truth – by eating the Word. If you resolve yourself to eat God’s Word, you won’t have to eat your words. It’s our Life Manual, teaching us how to navigate through the choppiest of waters. It’s also God’s Love Letter to us, displaying His unwavering faithfulness and unfathomable forgiveness. Don’t let the bitter taste of regret obscure God’s purposes in your life. Take off the rearview mirror and marinate in God’s grace.
The next time you’re facing a “Do Over Day”, remember this truth:
“God repurposes our ruins.”
If life came with a remote control, what button would you be most likely to push? Leave me a comment: