When a {Small} Bad Choice Affects Everything

We've all had "bad weeks", yes?  Where it really wasn't circumstances that caused it, but instead it was ourselves?

Last week was our first week of summer break.  And it was crazy.

Suddenly we had no routine, no ebb and flow of the day.  No call of "time to read!" and everybody gathered around.  No math lessons or grammar pages to mark the time.  The kids didn't know what to do with themselves.  Toys were being strewn from one end of the house to the other, they were fighting and Lucy was whining almost constantly. 

And I felt rushed.  Like every day. 

How was it that it was summer break, I wasn't doing school stuff most of the day, and yet here I was getting absolutely NOTHING accomplished.  And why was I waking up feeling startled and frantic?  

In the midst of a personal little hissy fit I told my kids that if this is what they were going to act like all summer than we would have summer school!  I'm not sure their eyes have ever been so wide.

But it finally hit me that the problem wasn't the kids.  It was me.  And I had been making bad choices.

Indeed Lucy had been more than a handful last week...finding every writing utensil possible and making her mark on any and everything, throwing fits at the drop of a hat, launching food and dishes off of her highchair at every meal, hitting, biting, screaming.  Seriously, pretty much everything I train her NOT to do.  It was awful.

You've probably realized by now that choices make all the difference in our life.  Your choices today affect tomorrow and paint the landscape of your future.  And our choices, good or bad are going to affect those around us. Sadly, my choices affected not just myself, but my children.

So what was this horrible choice I made?

Sleep.  I chose to sleep.  

Of course sleep isn't wrong.  We all know that.  Sleep can indeed be very good for us!!

It started out on Tuesday and I thought, "Well, we don't have school today, I can sleeeeep!!!"  

So the kids and I all woke up at the same time.  And I hadn't showered or read my Bible, or done a blessed thing!  Immediately I felt behind.  Let the crankiness begin!!

I loathe feeling that way first thing in the morning.  Truly. And it usually always sets a bad tone for the rest of the day.  I'm on edge, impatient, snappy, always rush, rush, rushing to make up for lost time...and that always rubs off on the little people, in a not so good way.

So Wednesday's alarm went off at (I usually get up between 4:30-5:00), and guess what?  I didn't get up again.  Same with Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

It was super easy now. Here I was creating this "new routine" but it wasn't a good one.  It was resulting in chaos.

The result was no time in my day for quiet, focused time with the Lord.  Also, things like studying for my Sunday School lesson or other things I enjoy doing like blogging didn't happen either.  (I try to never blog when my kids are awake.)  

Mentally I would schedule when I would read my Bible or whatever during the day since I had slept in, but it never worked out.  Something always came up and it was brushed aside.

So Saturday came and here I was trying to cram for my Sunday School lesson and the lesson for Children's Church since it had been neglected all week.  (Not a good idea!!) 

Right now I'm teaching through a book called, "The Choice is Yours" and the little tag line is, "Life Happens: Walking with God is a Decision."  So, true, right?

The lesson Sunday was about how so many of us don't spend time building a relationship with God because we don't have an appetite for it.  Sometimes it's because we are filling spiritual appetites with sinful pleasures, or with things that have no sustenance. And just like someone trying to lose weight has to retrain their appetite to make healthy choices, so we as Christians will have to retrain our spiritual appetites so we'll be hungry for God.  And then my next lesson for Children's Church was on Enoch and how he walked so closely with God.

So you can just know that this pastor's wife felt like the biggest hypocrite EVER teaching that lesson knowing that my own Bible reading and time with God has been sporadic the week before.  

I hate failing. And that's what I felt I had done all week.  

The pictures throughout this post are of beautiful, ripe red strawberries.  None of them are bad.  When we picked them on Friday we were careful, looking over each one and deciding whether it was a good one or not.

As we were picking though, we noticed how quickly one of our children was filling their container.  Steven and I decided to double check what was being picked and to our surprise, there were many bruised and rotten ones in the box.  We had to explain to our child that just one little rotten or bruised strawberry can ruin the rest.

You know, everyday we are faced with choices...and lots of them!  Life's choices aren't all as simple as picking a good strawberry, but the truth is the same.  Just like a bad strawberry can lead to the ruin of the rest of them, a bad choice can ruin our day or even our lives.

Joshua, the great leader of the Israelite people, challenged them with, "Choose you this day whom ye will serve."  (Joshua 24:15)  He knew that his people would have a life of blessing or misery based on the choices they made!

This week, things are going to be different.  I am choosing to still get up early and make time with the Lord a priority.  I am choosing to start my day with prayer because last week was an ugly example of what happens when I try to live in my own strength.  I get overwhelmed, frustrated and altogether bent out of shape, trying to carry a load not meant for me.

I don't want to live that way, do you?

The choice is mine and the choice is yours...I hope you'll choose wisely today!


  1. Although I feel for you and the week you had can I say that I am so glad that I am not the only one who experiences weeks like that. Fits, (mine and the children's), grumpy toddlers, poor decisions. Yup, been there. But you are so right Laine, it always starts with one (poor) decision! Not that reading our Bible every day will bring automatic peace and a problem free life but we do need to be careful about the choices we make.

    Thank you for the reminder! I NEEDED this today.

    I will pray that your week goes better. Lovely strawberries by the way. ;)

    1. Thank you for your encouragment, Krissy!

      And you are so right, (and I hope I didn't come across this way!) but no, reading our Bible doesn't bring automatic peace or a problem free life. It just simply refocuses us so that we deal with those problems properly. When I've starved my spirit, well, it's going to weak and it's even easier to react and act wrong.

      Hope ya'll had fun strawberry picking! =)

    2. Oh I knew that you didn't mean that...hope I didn't make you think that I thought that you thought that!!! ;) Got it?! Ha!!

      When trials come it makes a difference in our spirit if they are allowed by God as part of His divine plan for our lives...or part of His plan to let our own decisions kick us and wake us up. (No pun intended about "waking up" by the way!) ;) I ALWAYS learn so much from you. This post was no exception.

      We did have so much fun pickin'...strawberries. Yesterday's weather was gorgeous! I'm glad the kids talked me into it.

  2. This is timely for me too. Our routine has been in flux the last couple of weeks too and I'm having a hard time adjusting, which makes it hard on my kids -- and I don't have little ones anymore!

  3. Thanks, Laine for the reminder. When I read your post I could hear the Lord whispering in my ear, "This is exactly what is happening in your life." Thanks for letting the Lord use you through your post.

  4. Unfortunately, I can sympathize with you on this one! But, I am thankful that God reminds me of what is important and how HE wants my days to go rather than how I often let them go (literally)! Thanks for being honest and open!

  5. We used that book in a Ladies Bible Study last year and I loved it. Thanks for this post, I needed the reminder.

  6. We used that book in a Ladies Bible Study last year and I loved it. Thanks for this post, I needed the reminder.

  7. Love this, Laine. Thanks for the reminder. I am going through the book of Ephesians right now - trying to take it a teeny bit, study it out, and really meditate on it - and loving it. Also trying to figure out something I can do with my kiddos every morning. Definitely want them to catch a love for God's Word from me!

  8. What a wonderful HEADS-UP!! My boys are still in school now and I work from home. I have been sooooo looking forward to sleeping in through the summer. I appreciate your sharing. You don't know me but I go to church with Heather@thriftystories. I have been following you for a while now but haven't signed up for your e-mail as to avoid distractions. I am so glad that you are okay from the "C" scare - I have had one myself. Have a GREAT rest of the week. This sista gurl will be waking up with the chickens and doing my GOD time as usual.


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