Saturday, April 12, 2014

"The Day I Lost My Smile" by Lysa Terkeurst

I needed this post. Many friends forwarded it to me and it is a must read for any mommy out there. I pray you read this and are relieved you are not alone! Read on and be refreshed my friend!

"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come."
Proverbs 31:25 (NIV)

I looked at my schedule and an overwhelming sense of dread started creeping
into my heart. "What's wrong with me? Why am I always running late, running
behind, and running after my people who all seem to compound this issue?"

Because time refused to stand still while I pondered, it was necessary to jump
right into task mode. There were lunches to pack, permission forms to sign,
and tangles that needed gathering up into ponytails. I put one foot in front
of the other and kicked into automatic, mentally crossing off one thing after
another on my morning routine checklist.

I gathered up backpacks and lunchboxes and started announcing from the front
door that we had to leave right this minute. And then I said it again. And
then I yelled it in a tone that finally got my kids to appear. I quickly
checked to make sure we didn't repeat yesterday's mistake of letting one leave
with no shoes on. Then I marched out of the house while tossing out a stern
reminder to please shut the door quickly so the dog didn't get out.

But the dog did get out.

As I slipped the car in drive, the dog darted right out in front of me causing
me to simultaneously slam on the brakes and spill both cups of orange juice I
had gingerly perched between my purse and the little stacks of toast.

I jumped out to usher the dog back into the house and let hot tears just have
their way. The green numbers of the dashboard clock seemed to simultaneously
mock and remind me I had no time to sit and cry it all out.

I handed my kids their soggy toast and in a rare moment of silence, they took
it without protest.

We pulled into the carpool line at school and I stared at the long line of
cars ahead of me. I imagined all the wonderful smiling mothers who were doing
this better than me. They probably had organized systems for packing lunches
the night before and making sure their kids kept up with their shoes. They
probably did family devotions each morning, ate breakfast at the table, and
sang songs all the way to school.

I compared all that to the realities of my morning and came to one
heart-sinking conclusion: "I stink at this."

Almost at that exact moment my phone buzzed with a text message from a friend:
"I had a really hard morning with my kids today. I'd love to have coffee some
time and learn how you do it all so well."

I couldn't believe it. I half sighed and half chuckled at the irony.

I turned around to my kids in the back and said, "Hey guys, I'm really sorry
Mommy was such a grump this morning. I think I misplaced my smile. So I just
want you to know while you're at school today I'm going to do everything I can
to find it."

After I dropped them off, I called that friend and told her what a gift it was
to get her text.

I shared with her. She shared with me.

Together, we brainstormed better ways to prepare for these morning pitfalls we
both kept finding ourselves in.

Together, we gave ourselves the permission to admit how hard motherhood can
sometimes be and that it's okay to feel caught off guard by the endless

Together, we listed reasons to be so very thankful.

Together, we found strength.

Together, we regained our sense of dignity.

And it wasn't too long until we both found ourselves laughing together.

It reminds me of our key verse, Proverbs 31:25
"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." But
sometimes it takes a friend to bring us back to the place where we can live
this verse.

We need each other. The key word that day I processed life with my friend and
gained a better perspective was, "together." It's such a powerful word and the
exact reason I wrote this devotion today.

You are not alone.

Oh, how easy it is to lose our smiles and forget to laugh at the craziness of
our lives. I need reminders. Just recently, I bought a necklace with a gold
pendant that reads, "She laughs." (See below in related resources for more
information.) When I see the reflection of this necklace in the mirror I
remember laughing is one of the best ways to show those I love that I enjoy
them and I like doing life with them. What a gift for them to have memories of
me laughing.

I imagine, though the circumstances might be different for you, you know that
place where I was. And maybe you need a reminder to laugh too. We all have
times where we feel like failures. We feel like others are doing life so much
better. We feel so very alone in our struggles and issues and chaotic
emotions. And we look up one day and feel like it was a lifetime ago since we

So, I slip this little devotion into your life and whisper, you're not alone.
You're doing this so much better than you think you are. God has entrusted you
with your life, your loved ones, your unique challenges because you are
perfectly equipped for it all.

Just don't lose your smile. And if you run into me today looking a little worn
out, might you remind me of this as well?

Dear Lord, help me not to lose my smile today. I want to find my joy in You.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Reflect and Respond:
What friend can you share your struggles with today?

Choose someone you can be honest with, and determine to encourage each other
through meeting for coffee, praying for each other, and sending text messages
throughout the week.

Power Verse:
Ecclesiastes 4:12 "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves." (NIV)

© 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries /
630 Team Rd., Suite 100 /
Matthews, NC 28105 /

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