Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing.  My brethren, these things ought not to be so.  Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?

James 3:10

Erin, as a three year old, chattered about God putting holes in houses.

Alisa, as a three year old, taught her friend that Jesus died crossing the street.

In digging a bit deeper, I discovered that to Erin “holy” meant “full of holes” and she had learned in Sunday School that God’s house was holy!  Alisa connected the Easter story about Jesus dying on the cross with warnings about crossings roads and assumed Jesus was hit by a car when he crossed a street!

How we perceive things and others is often distorted by what we fail to recognize.

The quickest means to distorting my perceptions is something I actually cause myself; it’s when I burden my day with negativity- when I refuse to see my day with a “happy heart.” Two weeks ago, I wrote about the spiritual fog that results from those exceedingly  overwhelming & painful events in life. Last week, the blog was about how we face regular difficulties in life.  Today’s post is about how we embrace daily life.

Am I seeing each day with spiritual eyes or am I wearing blinders which distort my perception?

Nothing blinds me quicker than when I begin to think in grumbling and complaining ways. Before I realize it, my perception of the day has grown undesirable. Then my vision turns inward and I grow self- centered in my thinking.  My own foolishness blinds me.

A mans foolishness leads him astray, yet his heart rages against the Lord.  Proverbs 19:3

The man who is on the grousing line has no brightness or joy, no time for other people; he is taken up with the diseases of his own mind.  Oswald Chambers

Each day is a precious gift from God, meant for us to encounter deeply and grow from- to serve generously and bless from.  We are to wholly jump into the opportunities God grants us one day at a time- or we miss out in ways we will never know!

  • I can endure days with my eight young grandchildren as a distraction from my “ordered week” or I can embrace them as the blessings that they indeed are; despite the incessant activity, the sticky hand-prints on my windows, the toys scattered about.
  • Parents of young children can endure this short season in their lives as annoying or embrace it as fulfilling; despite the sleepless nights, the frustrating temper tantrums, the inability to focus deeply on anything “adultish”, the constant disruptions.
  • Parents of adolescents can endure this unpredictable season as troublesome or embrace it as a joyful challenge; despite the arguing, the lack of focus, the drama, the change, the concerns, the full schedules.

Each day is an opportunity to seize what God has intended for good or to let these moments pass by – unopened, never to be recovered.  Are you enduring your days, wishing them away or are you embracing each day as an opportunity to bless and to be blessed?  Each day has purpose for you to fully squeeze out; both the trials and the happy moments.

Count it all as joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have it’s perfect work that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1: 2-4

Daily I have an intentional choice to make:

  • Will I thank God for my circumstances or will I complain, wanting something different from what He has ordained and provided me with?  (In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I Thessalonians 5:18)
  • Will I choose a blessing or a curse? (This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.  Deuteronomy  30:19)
  • Will I practice living in contentment or will I establish thinking patterns of discontentment, blinding my eyes to God’s greater purposes? (But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain that we can carry nothing out. – 1Timothy 6:6-7)

To quote Elisabeth Elliott:

The devil is evidently attacking you in your innermost heart, not causing you to doubt so much as causing a spirit of discontent. Fortunately, we both know that temptation is not a sin, it is yielding to temptation that causes us to sin and I feel that you must count it joy that you are passing through these times of difficulty, for they are sure signs that the Lord is blessing you...”