When my children were younger and I was in the midst of restless nights, 2 AM feedings, diapers and toddler angst my father came to visit from Michigan. I awoke one morning to find him trying to help with breakfast while the little ones were, well, just being little ones. I made a beeline for the coffee pot, ignoring everything in the room. I was exhausted, overwhelmed and I didn’t know what lay ahead me for the day.
“Good morning!” My father announced looking up at me with a big smile as he placed food in front of my three-year-old.
“Really?” I asked, raising my left brow, challenging his wisdom. The Keurig gurgled and spit in the background as it dispensed my lifeline.
“Sure.” My father looked at me and I dodged his gaze. He was smiling at me, but I did not return the gesture.
I snickered in response; even though I was at that age when I was beginning to realize that my father did have some good life advice, I wasn’t ready to admit it at that moment. Do you not see that we are living in The Twilight Zone? I thought. The children were both little balls of energy, constantly on the go. Harnessing that energy would no doubt be like splitting atoms! The ripple effect of their play saw cars strewn about, towers of blocks knocked down and stuffed animals scattered all over their play area. This haphazard mix of toys and stuffies encroached upon the adult side of the room, with the occasional figurine positioned to jam a toe, cause someone to trip, or force a yelp when sat on.
Most of my life, at that time, was a mixture of Bob the Builder, Buzz, Woody and a lot of tears. Mind you, my children were not the ones crying…well, most of the time. I gave my father another challenging look and as he sipped his coffee staring back at me, a gentle smile on his face.
“Seriously?” I shook my head with disbelief and sipped on my hot beverage.
“You are the first person they see every morning. You have the capacity to give them hope. Don’t ruin that.” He set down his coffee with determination, unwavering his gaze. “You should always greet them with a smile and a big ‘Good morning, it’s going to be a beautiful day.’” He threw out his hands for effect. “Plus, it might make you feel better too.”
My heart sank as I realized the poor example that I had been to my precious little ones. In that moment, my father’s steel blue eyes and calm but firm words caused my wall of self-pity to implode.
In the last fifteen years, there have been many challenges and battles fighting against a positive perspective, but the hope of the morning remains the same. This reminder from scripture is one that I have found helpful. “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.” Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT