Just be Nice



My little Westie, Maggie sits shaggy in a shaft of brilliant sun sliding across her chair. The sky is radiant but the air is cold. Not one pine needle stirs in the grove out back.  This morning, I found out the temperature outside my house wasn't all that was cold in my place in the world.  I woke early to “bless” my husband with a frigid reception.

The year began two days ago. The beginning of 2011 came on a weekend this year so today is the first opportunity I have had to sit and think, to soak in the silence of home. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could sit here with my world in order, my relationships neatly managed, not a care in the world, planning on how my life is going to be different, how I am going to change, turn over some new leaves? Those are not bad things to do, but making resolutions has never really worked well for me.

This morning, my real beginning for 2011, I snapped at the one who loves me first thing. Yesterday, he washed and folded clothes and parented boys. Prodding child Number 3 along to get his room clean, and re-group for school that resumed this morning, my man made life easier for me.

He only asked a simple question, “Why are you up?” I was asked a simple question to a not so ordinary event since I usually am still curled up in the bed before he leaves to go be the baby doctor. His inquisitiveness was valid. My snap back: “Because I am awake!!!” The statement has little power in the written word, but my confession is that it came with raised voice filled with ire. I had excuses for my outburst---being tired and mid-life hormones. Blah! Blah! Blah! The victim voice in me excused myself by saying I wanted a “Good morning.” But the "get real with yourself person" says to myself, where was your “Good morning” when you walked right past him to the coffee pot without a word?

So instead of waxing philosophical about what life could be if I were to get intentional and focused on resolutions that could make the year count, I sit here recovering from being snippy.
For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.  Matthew 7:2 
I judged yesterday at church when I should have been listening. I tend toward getting all heady and miss the necessary things---like being nice! There I was sitting in church clamoring for meat, when I was getting milk. At least half my life is over and I resist swallowing milk when obviously that is what was needed. Maybe if I had drank long from the nourishment, then snippy wife wouldn't have raised her ugly head this morning.

A year is a long time. Not really, but it sounds good. Regardless, I need to approach life day to day. On January 3, 2011, with God’s help, with his grace, his forgiveness, my intention is be to be nice.

I could just give up on this year---I have blown it on Day Three—sinned first thing, letting my tongue steal the joy of the morning from the one I love. It did neither of us a bit of good. Now I come and seek forgiveness, to make my confession, my repentance and ask God to turn me in the right direction for the year ahead.

Lord, I pray give me another morning to start it out right.  What a waste to desecrate the holiness of the day you have given me with a hateful tongue before it has ever started! Thank you for wanting more for me, and for the weight of conviction. Thank you that you don’t condemn but you desire to restore and redeem mouths of those who turn to you with a sincere heart. Your admonitions, O Lord, bring me life, bring about my sanctification. You give me the opportunity to live in the power of your Spirit rather than in the grip of the flesh.

Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?
Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?  (Romans 2:3-4) 
Be a blessing-- just be nice.

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