Some days you just have to start over. For whatever reason, both my younger daughter and I woke up on the wrong side of the bed the other day. Our first hour of school was miserable. She was in tears. I was ready to pull hair out.
She goes up to our elementary school for PE, and I was sure that break would get us back on the right track. No such luck. She came out of school as grumpy as when she went in. When we got home, I looked at her and said, "We need to start the day over."
"Does that mean I have to take my spelling test again?" she asked.
OK. Maybe we didn't need to start completely over. But we did need an attitude change. We did need to leave behind what had already occurred and start again. So we did. We took a few minutes and did our Bible reading for the day. Then we both prayed for better attitudes.
I'm not going to tell you the rest of the day was perfect, but we did make it through without killing each other. We got our work done before noon and were able to have some fun in the afternoon. We both had better attitudes for the rest of the day.
Some days are like that. For no reason at all it seems that everyone is in a bad mood. Kids are snapping at each other, and mom is grumpy. When that happens, we have two choices: We can continue on like we are and watch the day slide into chaos, or we can call a do-over.
Calling a do-over doesn't mean we've failed. It doesn't mean we've given up. It simply means we've realized the direction we want to go is not the direction we are currently going. It means we recognize the need to take a time out and change the play.
My older daughter's soccer coach stops play during practice all the time to point out what he wants the girls to do differently. They take a minute, listen to him explain what he wants done, then resume play. Sometimes that's what we need to do during our day. We need to reset the play.
Sometimes pride keeps us stubbornly on the road we started on. We think we have to accomplish a certain task or we have to do something a certain way at a certain time. But the truth is that our plans can be changed. We can take five or 10 minutes to redirect our day because if we don't, then our day probably won't go as planned anyway.
When you need to call a do-over in your day, remember this. God calls a do-over for us every single time we come to Him asking for forgiveness for when we've screwed up. Isaiah 1:18 says, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." God wipes the slate clean for us when we need a do-over. There's no reason we can't follow His example when our days are dissolving into disaster.
So, the next time your day has disaster written all over it, call a do-over. Sit down with your kids, pray together, reset the tone of the day, then head out to conquer whatever task is next on your list.