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On My Best Days
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Recently, I had a particularly bad spell of self-loathing. “I’m a bad mother because...”, “My husband doesn’t surprise me enough...”, “If only we made more money...”, and so on. 

Sometimes our feelings are justified. Life presents unfair circumstances, it’s true. Even when we do our best to meet those injustices with courage and integrity, at times our private complaints slip past our grip of optimism to a chamber where we wallow in doom and gloom. 

Then, without warning, the door opens, the phone rings, a message arrives.

A young friend shows up on my doorstep late at night to cry in my arms. Her father is having an affair and is planning to leave her family. She is holding her family together while fighting conflicting feelings of anger, love, and sadness towards a man she’s depended on her entire life. 

Then a family member loses her pregnancy at 20 weeks. The emotional pain alone is indescribable, but now she must endure the physical delivery of a lost beautiful dream. The baby she may or may not get to hold will be lifeless.

My breath is taken when I learn an admired friend said a final “goodnight” to her three-year-old boy after a fatal accident. And now she is “blessed to be a blessing” through organ donation. The pain of this miracle is knowing her son’s heart is beating in another mommy’s little boy when only hours ago she kissed his forehead for the last time.

Beautiful Messy Life

I have been challenged. How can I possibly be sad about my beautiful messy life?

If the saying is true that “the only thing I can count on is that I can’t count on anything” then all I can do is acknowledge that God is holding my hand.

On my best days, I stop, breathe, and thank God for my blessings and my curses and then move towards blessing others.

On my best days, I pack up the clothes my son has outgrown for the single mom at church. I prepare a comforting meal for the mother who just had her first baby. I go to the home of a sick friend and mop her floor. I hold the door for an elderly woman at the store. I smile at a stranger who looks lonely.

On my best days, I look outside of myself. 

I hear my chattering three-year-old son and thank God for the noise that often irritates me.  

I call my father to talk about the weather, how my Grandma is doing, and what he’s planning for the holiday weekend. I tell him I love him despite our history of hurt. Because today I’m reminded I do. 

I hug my husband for an unusually long time and sincerely thank him for his faithfulness. 

And as I pray myself to sleep, I’m so much more aware of the blessings of an imperfect life. I fall asleep knowing that I am blessed to be a blessing.

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By Liesl Vistaunet. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines

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