Getting Real: A "Do-Over" Kind of Day

Have you ever had a day that you knew was on a bad course but you didn’t know how to grab it by the horns and turn it around? Today was that way for me. Things were going wrong. My house was not looking good, the children were not behaving well, and the three To-Do lists on my desk had not even been glanced over. By lunchtime it was clear that things were not going to improve unless I could leave the morning behind and start a new day.

I fixed a good lunch, gathered my four youngest and fed them, and put them all down for naps. I took a few minutes to hold each one of them and I told them that our “bad day” was over and when they got up from naps a new “good day” was going to start. I prayed with them and after they were all settled I grabbed my Bible and a favorite Elisabeth Elliot book and sat down to collect myself – which basically involved a lot of repentance and prayer. It’s a good thing that God let’s me begin my day (and my life) over each time I turn to Him.

Then, as so often happens, I opened my Elisabeth book and read the short piece for the 14th day of the month which she must have written just for me. I’ll share it with you here:

“One reason we are so harried and hurried is that we make yesterday and tomorrow our business, when all that legitimately concerns us is today. If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete. There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy.

Lord, help me to take your yoke on my shoulder, not a yoke of my own making. May I learn from You to be gentle and humble hearted. May I find that your load is light.”

Soon the little ones will wake from naps and I plan to greet them with a smile and fresh energy, as well as plans for a reasonably good dinner which will make the entire gang happy. There is always reason to hope, even when it seems that a day has been lost.

Here is to a new day begun at 3:00; I may even make pancakes for an afternoon snack.


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Mark and Sarah
    July 14, 2008

    What a great story and reminder–thanks for posting on your bad-turned good (we hope!) day!

  2. melzmidnightbrew
    July 14, 2008

    This spoke right to my heart! Thank you for sharing ~ I hope everyone woke up happy & refreshed, and enjoyed pancakes for dinner! YUMMY! 🙂

  3. Adrielle
    July 15, 2008

    Good food, served with a smile is usually the best of cures!:)

  4. Angela
    July 15, 2008

    Thank you for sharing! It’s great to know others have bad days, too, and I love your attitude… ‘do over’ ‘start fresh…’ even if it is in the middle of the day! What a great example you are! Thank you!

  5. Brianna Heldt
    July 15, 2008

    What a wonderful post! I am always so encouraged by you!

    I have SO had those days…isn’t it amazing to think we love a God who makes all things new?!

  6. the ewings
    July 16, 2008

    Thanks for the wonderful encouragment!!! God knows how to turn it around and give us a clean slate! You are a blessing, Lisa!
    – Chris

  7. Sarah
    July 16, 2008

    That’s great encouragement. It’s pretty humbling at times being a mom isn’t it 🙂 I added you to my blogroll which I hope is alright. I enjoy reading about what you guys are up to. Tim had a really good time with you guys yesterday.



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