A number of years ago I was having a particularly horrible, edgy day. I was angry at everyone, and everything around me. Even things that weren’t all that bad felt intolerable. I don’t even know what originally set me off, but I was totally out of emotional control.
And then the final straw: doggie poop in the back yard.
That was it. We had already had a pow wow with our children the month before, and the deal was agreed: they needed to pitch in on his poop and start caring for him without being reminded, or we’d need to find him a better home. Don’t judge me.
With seven children between the ages of 3 and 17, surely one of them would care enough about keeping our basset hound to show some initiative.
But unfortunately, it had been about four weeks, and only once had one of the children cleaned up his poop independently.
He was already listed in one classified ad, and we had received two calls up to that point. But we also had a list describing the perfect home (it would need to be a step up), and we weren’t going to give him away unless we found a home that matched the list.
But on this day, I was especially upset about the poop and determined to place another ad to speed up the process. My 14 year-old son saw me typing furiously on the computer and asked, “What are you doing?”
“Placing another ad for Charlie.”
“What?!” He was devastated. He couldn’t believe I was actually going to go through with it, and was horrified to find out this wasn’t my first ad. Finding no sympathy from me, he stormed out of the house to cool off. Naturally, I felt horrible. Total mom failure.
But a few days later I found out how God used me, even though I was a mess, to accomplish his purposes:
On the day I placed that ad, my younger ten year old son was across the neighborhood coming home from the park on his bike. His pant leg had gotten caught in the bike chain while he was on a street that we rarely traverse. He was stuck, alone, and didn’t have the strength to pull it out. That’s when my 14 year-old wandered into that remote area of the neighborhood, just looking for some time away from his cranky mother. But in reality, he was being LED to rescue his brother, and didn’t even realize it.
Now, I don’t think God purposely ticks me off so he can set up a rescue; but he does know me, and he knows my weaknesses, and miraculously, and mercifully, he even uses my weaknesses to accomplish his purposes. Knowing this helps me feel like everything is going to turn out okay, if I just keep trying and trust that the Lord is in the details, even on the days when I’m at my worst.
Think about that: perhaps all is NOT lost when you feel like a failure; in fact, I’m certain that quite often, there is more good that comes out of those experiences than we realize.
So keep your chin up, and if you want to learn more about how you can get really great results in spite of yourself, find out how in the Mindset Mastery Program. You really don’t have to be perfect to enjoy wonderful results. Originally published November 6, 2009
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This Post Has 4 Comments
This. My heart needed this. I have had a handful of bad days over the last few years and this article gave me “permission” to let those bad days go when they come. What a beautiful concept that our “worst”… or what really may be the “best” we can offer in a challenging time…can still be used by God for good. I am going to be thinking on this for a long time!
And I want to know what happened to Charlie 🙁
Hi Leslie! Charlie was re-homed to a new owner at first that didn’t work out, so we took him back and found a rescue home that was able to take him, which was also caring for several other Bassets. He was so happy to have constant company – it was a perfect fit. If I find and can upload the video we captured of him running around with his new playmates, I will update this post. Thank you for your concern for him!
Leslie, I felt like reading some of your old posts today. I am surprised this one got no comments so far. I am glad God can use me in my weaknesses. I am glad HE is the one in charge…and not me. I hope to find out someday, when I get to talk with my Savior, that He can tell me of the times I was used to accomplish God’s works in my weakest moments.