How Barbie Ruined My Day (Almost)

Yesterday was Tuesday.

This hardly seems like a revelation, I know.  And yet it has a special sort of meaning for us this year.

Tuesday is our “rush from school to ballet to Bible study without stopping at home for dinner, come home later than bedtime with kids too wired to sleep, and pack school lunches at 10:00 at night” kind of day.

Maybe you have a Tuesday, too.  Maybe your “Tuesday” is on Wednesday or Thursday or both or all of the above.

Since Tuesday was our “Tuesday,” that makes Wednesday our “Wednesday”—-the I wish I could sleep in bed late, lounge in pajamas, read a good book and sip tea without any other commitments but I can’t —-day.   That’s because Wednesday is only slightly less busy than Tuesday.

So, we shuffled out of bed this morning.  I asked my one daughter five times if she was ready for breakfast, but she was “too tired.”  Finally, she just nodded her head “yes” and waited for the cereal bowl to appear.

The girls fought over the television, so I led my preschooler by the hand to the back room, laid her out with her pillow and blanket and let her choose a movie to watch while we rushed through the morning routine.

She picked Barbie.

I quietly slid it into the DVD player, hoping no older children would hear Barbie’s voice.

I failed.

They heard.

The older girls followed the sounds of Barbie and planted themselves in front of the television.  Since she was still noshing on cereal, one girl even brought her bowl and spoon along and set up a makeshift table.

I caught her there, eating in slow motion, too distracted by the movie to chew.  I don’t know how long it should take to mash a piece of Cinnamon Toast Crunch so it’s soft enough to swallow, but I’m pretty sure the cereal was disintegrating in her mouth.

I flicked the TV off and pointed one child to the bathroom to brush her teeth and the other to her socks and shoes.

Then I sent my older girls out to the school bus while I put shoes on the little one, who was now screaming for her sisters not to leave without her.

It’s tradition for us.  Every morning, my older girls hug and kiss their younger sister before getting on the bus.  Today, we had just enough time for a quick kiss, but not for a full-out hug before the bus pulled up.

So, for the next 15 minutes I sat on the couch trying to comfort the now-hysterical un-hugged baby sister.

And I thought, “Thanks a lot, Barbie.”

Thanks for ruining my day.

It’s easy to feel like one stressed morning, one forgotten item, one mistake, one misspoken word can destroy the opportunity and promise of a day.

But I’m thinking I should have a choice in the matter.

When Jesus called out to some fishermen and a tax collector to “Come, follow me,” they had to make a once-for-all, life-altering, totally revolutionary decision to toss aside nets and a ledger and follow an itinerant preacher around the Galilean countryside (Matthew 4:19).

Yet, surely the choice to follow had to be daily and it had to be deliberate.

They had to choose to keep walking alongside Jesus, even when mobs pressed in and they moved from town to town, day after busy, tiring day.

They chose to follow Jesus even into foreign and uncomfortable towns like Samaria.

They chose to follow when religious leaders criticized their every movement, complaining when they gathered wheat because they were hungry on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1).

When Jesus said, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest,” they chose to leave the excitement and buzz of successful ministry and walk away for some time with Jesus (Mark 6:31).

They had to choose to follow Christ into Jerusalem even after He told them that arrest, persecution and death awaited Him there.

Whether the command to follow was easy or hard, uncomfortable or downright scary, the decision was theirs to make, not once, but every single day.

Do I follow Jesus when He calls?

Do I set aside my own agenda and allow Him to direct my day?

Do I allow circumstances, a stressful schedule, a rotten morning, a mistake, an annoyance, an unexpected event, or even outright tragedy determine my attitude and actions?  Or do I choose to follow Jesus despite it all?

In her book, Choose Joy, Kay Warren wrote:

If we are going to experience joy in this lifetime, there is only one possible way: we will have to choose it.

So, I make a choice today to have joy despite Barbie.

I make a choice to follow Christ wherever He chooses to take me.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2012 Heather King

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