The Types of Days
Life has Good days and Great days.
There are soft pudgy baby feet to love on and cookies fresh from the oven with chocolate melting on our tongues.
Friday nights are made for movies with popcorn and blankets, and afternoons hold lower work piles and standing talking about everything and nothing with co-workers.
There are vacations on the calendar, the anticipation sweeter than the margarita once we get there.
There is hearing a child’s laughter from the best-ever-won tickle fight.
We may cherish the music of hundreds of voices singing worship to God in a Sunday morning favorite hymn, or we may have solitary worship during the silence of our 6:00AM run when we hear our tennis shoes hitting the pavement and our breathing, hard in and out of lungs strong and alive.
Those are the Good and Great days — days when the bad stuff that happens is met with maybe a sigh, an eye roll and an “Okay, that stinks but we will get through it somehow.”
Life has Horrifically Awful days.
The day of the diagnosis. The day of the phone call.
Time slows and we remember every– single– detail– etched into our brains as if played on a movie screen, because we have watched it over and over again in our minds. Yet it’s all a blur. We say things like “I remember it like it was yesterday, yet it seems so long ago.”
The mixture of grief and adrenaline do that.
A few years ago I had what my doctors thought might be a cancerous pancreatic cyst. (Thank God it was benign, we later learned).
After one arduous phone conversation with my doctor where we discussed tests, choices, needles, and procedures in the same way we might talk about the weather on Saturday, I sat on my kitchen floor talking to a friend on the phone for 3 hours. I was eating my 4th piece of cinnamon toast. She was crying. I didn’t cry. I distinctly remember thinking, “Well, if I’m going to die, I’m going to eat whatever the hell I want.” Apparently cinnamon toast was going to be the way I lived it up in style.
The thing about the Horrifically Awful days is they do give you a certain Get Out of Jail free card for awhile. Of course it’s a terrible one you really don’t want. No one wants to get out of life responsibilities to spend it sitting in a hospital bed, in the surgery waiting room, at the courthouse, in the nursing home hallway, or choosing a casket. Tragedy hands you that with the package, though.
Life has Middle-Hard days.
The Middle-Hard Days, my friends, are the ones that will bring us to our knees so fast, we don’t know what hit.
These are the $4,000 van repair bills, but it’s because we’ve been overspending for years and the debt is starting to add up way more than it should kind of day.
It’s the boss who is unhappy with the proposal we spent the last 3 months writing, and we are already stressed about the twenty people we know who were laid off by corporate days.
It’s the jeans that fit in the spring but why aren’t they buttoning when we try them on again in the Fall? When really, it’s knowing we’ve got to do something to get healthier once and for all days.
It’s seeing the school on the phone caller ID which means our child is either sick or in trouble again and actually wishing he would be sick and then thinking, “What kind of a mother am I?” kind of days.
What is so tough about these days: Life does not stop. Life goes and goes and we wonder if there is more, why other people seem happy, and why these little things are putting us over the edge.
One word: Grace. The little pieces and parts of the beautiful and the glorious are mixed in and interwoven with the yucky, annoying, and stressful almost all of the time.
Our lives are 97% regular days. Whether the days are going to be Good and Great days or Middle-Hard days is going to depend on the amount of Grace we allow into them.
The Grace is there for the taking. Consider what the apostle Paul wrote:
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.
I Timothy 1:15
Our salvation comes from one place: Jesus Christ alone. Everything else we cling to is like shifting sand.
But, oh, when we cling to Him, what a radical life-change Grace brings!
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness,humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
When we become Christ’s beloved children, we receive a compassionate heart.
A compassionate heart means turning our Middle-Hard Days into Good and Great ones. Not because life suddenly becomes easy. This is a radical shift because Grace comes into every place — it floods every space.
Grace for unpaid bills. Grace for kids who mess up. Grace for bosses who yell and jeans that don’t zip. Grace for myself.
Grace for myself. Grace for myself shifts a Middle-Hard Day into a Good or Great One.
Where does grace need to flood into your life?
I’ve written a series of Bible studies for teens and youth groups. It’s a free download. Come check it out here!
Linking today with Mom’s Morning Coffee.