The Day from the Bad Place (and how to avoid one)

We’ve all had one. Let’s just call it The Day from the Bad Place. I had one last week. I hit the snooze button one too many times, turned on the computer instead of the shower, ran out the door late, had to turn around because I forgot something, and encountered traffic that made me even later . . . and that was all in the first hour.

I like to think bad days just happen, but if I’m honest with myself, I realize there is much I can do to start my day off right. And if my day begins well, it’s an investment into the rest of the day.

Here are five tips to start your day off right: 

1. Get out of bed 10 minutes earlier. It’s amazing what a difference a 10-minute head start makes. I always underestimate how long it takes to get myself or my family out the door in the morning. 

If I’m already running behind, I’m more likely to speak harshly or lose my temper when something unexpected makes me even later. Even a small time cushion allows me to do an about face for a forgotten item without losing my cool. And keeping my temper starts my day off right.

2. Use five of those extra 10 minutes to read something in God’s Word, even if it’s just one verse. The Word of God is active and alive. It can be a life-giving, life-changing part of our day if we stop long enough to read it. Most of us would never dream of leaving the house without checking our email or Facebook. A communication from the Lover of our souls should have even greater priority. Reading God’s love letter to me always starts my day off right.

3. After you read, ask yourself, How can I apply this to my life? Asking this question helps us remember what we’ve read and challenges us to use it during the day. It’s amazing how, if we think on it, we discover that all Scripture is useful, even those passages that seem unnecessary.

I realized this recently in my quest to read the Bible through this year. I was reading Genesis 36, which contains a long list of Esau’s descendants. Lord, I prayed in the shower, how can I apply Esau's genealogy to my life? Somewhere between washing and rinsing my hair, it came to me: Every one of Esau’s sons mattered to God. He knew their names, their birth order, and where they lived. If God cared about them, then God also cares about my children. This made me smile and started my day off right.

4.  Say something positive. Tell your husband he looks especially handsome this morning. Tell your daughter how helpful she was when she found her little brother’s shoes. If you live alone, say something positive to the first person you encounter. If all else fails, tell the cat what lovely whiskers he has. Affirming words are a gift to the giver and the receiver. Gifts always start my day off right.

5.  Surrender your day to God. Pray something like this: Lord, I don’t know what my day holds, but you do. I trust you. Help me be your ambassador today. Enable me to love people like you do and see the world through your eyes. More than anything else, I want you to use me today.  

When we invite God into our day, we begin to see his hand in everything. When we ask him to use us, we are more likely to see the opportunities he brings across our paths. Maximizing God-ordained opportunities is a wonderful way to start our day off right.

Beginning the day 10 minutes earlier, reading and meditating on God’s Word, speaking positively into the people around us, and surrendering each day to the Lord are simple disciplines we can easily incorporate into our mornings. Don’t let their simplicity fool you, though. If you faithfully apply them, you’ll start each day off right. And when we begin well, we’re much more likely to finish well.

Why not try at least one of these steps today? When you do, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Did your day run any smoother? If you’ve already incorporated some of these disciplines into your routine, tell us about your experience. Leave a comment below and bless us all. 

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