Colossians 3:12-17 (NIV):
"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him."
My sister gave me a great piece of advice. She told me that each morning, she lays in bed and prays to see her day, and specifically the people in her day, through God's eyes.
When I take her advice and ask God to help me see people and situations through His love, grace, kindness...though Him, it completely transforms my ordinary day.
When my kids pour milk into their cereal by themselves and more milk ends up on the counter than in their bowl, I can see a conspiracy by my boys to make me clean up one more thing. When I look at the situation through God's eyes, I am glad my boys tried to do something by themselves. (And really, doesn't it take me about 1/2 a second to wipe up the spill or remind them to?)
When I can't find my cell phone or car keys, I get so frustrated that I am - once again - wasting my time looking for something. When I look at it through God's eyes, I am grateful I have a car to have keys to and cell phone to look for.
When I get cut off in the line to drop my kids off at school, I see the person as rude. When I look at her through God's eyes, I see a busy mother who maybe had a tough morning and is just trying to get everyone where they need to be on time.
When I feel sad to drop my four-year-old off at daycare, I can look at it with gratitude for his amazing daycare that he loves and a part-time job that I love.
Like all high school teachers, my students can present a million challenges in a day to me. When I see my job through God's eyes, I see how important a teacher is. I am reminded how grateful I am to my sons' teachers who have taught my boys and encouraged them in different ways than I was able to as their mother. I can play that role in my own students' lives. It is important for me to be consistent as their teacher, but above all be kind, affirming and encouraging to their delicate souls that are not so tough as teenagers often act.
When my eye doctor is moody and rude through the whole appointment, I leave thinking how unprofessional she was. When I look at her through God's eyes, I am reminded that I don't know her full story. (I later found out she was fighting terminal cancer.)
When I stand in my kitchen and ask myself - once again - why my family always wants a meal; I can feel tired of the monotony. When I see through God's eyes, I am grateful that I live in a country with an abundance of food that we can afford. (And that He so kindly blessed me with a husband who is happily our weekend cook.)
When I look at people through God's eyes, I treat people kinder. Instead of reacting to people with the emotions I feel in the moment, I can pause and readjust my focus.
But the funny thing is that the blessings that I intend to fall on others, lands heavier on me.
I am kinder to myself. I am the type of person that thinks everything is my fault. Even when it doesn't make sense. (The other night we were at my oldest son's football game and his trophy was stepped on and broke. My instant thought was that I should have gone over and asked if he needed me to hold anything. What??? I didn't know his coach had given him his trophy at the beginning of the game and that my son would set it by his water bottle. I expect myself to always know when my son might have something I need to hold for him? Crazy thoughts.) Learning to extend grace to myself is a beautiful thing.
Looking at my day through God's eyes settles my heart. I am happier when I don't let the little frustrations of daily life bother me so much.
At the end of the day I can more freely say, "It is well with my soul."
Lord, each morning help me to look at people through your eyes. Not the face that we often put on but as people dealing with individual challenges who need each other's grace and understanding. Help me freely give the grace and compassion to others that you give to me.
Throughout life's monotonies and daily frustrations, Let my soul always deeply feel your sustaining hand in my life and your consistent peace that hope in you provides.
When I have a hard time seeing through your eyes, help me to know that faith is a journey and help me feel that beautiful fresh start that every morning brings.
No matter what, may it be well with my soul.
This is one of my favorite pictures of the first time my boys played in and experienced the ocean.
A magical moment.
A magical moment.