An Alexander Sort of Day and Recognizing Your Own Sin


Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day was one of my favorite books growing up. Looking back, it’s probably because I can be incredibly self-absorbed (like Alexander) and I’m an expert complainer (also like Alexander), so I think I just related to Alexander a lot.

Today was an Alexander sort of day for me. I spent the weekend at an incredible, Gospel-soaked conference put on by the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation, so it would make sense that today would be a “coming off the mountaintop” sort of experience.

Or maybe just spending time soaked in the Gospel made me more keenly aware of my own sinfulness and need for a Savior.

So, for the sake of transparency, and because I need to be reminded to laugh at my own ridiculousness, I thought I’d share my day.

I overslept, so I didn’t have time to shave. Normally not a big deal (and probably TMI), but tonight was our Run for God “big group” run and so I’d need to be in shorts. So hairy legs were a problem.

It’s my carline day, so oversleeping messed up the whole routine. I didn’t get to make my coffee before I left for carline. So it wasn’t ready for first period like I like for it to be. I like routine.

Or I have a control issue.

I wore my new sock monkey hat to stay warm, but it messed up my hair. My 9th graders laughed at me. I may be 32, but I still don’t like to be laughed at.

I’m prideful, and don’t like people judging me. Even 15 year old girls.

Let’s just say that the messed up beginning of the routine threw off my thought process and it was a less than stellar teaching day. I could say that I strive for excellence and it was an off day, but I’m really a perfectionist and I failed to meet my own standard.

My lunch bag fell off my filing cabinet and my favorite soup mug shattered. I’d had that mug since college and have eaten countless bowls of Ramen noodles (or Thai rice noodles in recent gluten-free history) and soup, and I loved that mug. And I broke it.

I love things. Silly things like soup mugs. I’m a materialist. Though I claim with false humility that I’d give it all up to go live somewhere with nothing for the sake of the Gospel, a broken mug made me mad.

I received less-than-complete information about an ASAP meeting of the High School faculty, and instead of asking for more information, I made up a story in my head that ended with a dear friend and colleague, who had left earlier in the day with a migraine, having suffered a brain aneurism.

Turns out, we get to go to a high school playoff football game on Friday.

I don’t like being in the dark. I crave knowledge, and I make it up when I don’t have it.

So, back to the no shaving and running thing; I got home to change and couldn’t find any of my running tights, so I had to run in pants.

I have a “winter gear” box that I keep in the back of my car, but it wasn’t there, so I didn’t have my ear warmers.

I left my Ironman watch in the car so I couldn’t keep my time.

I stepped in dog poop and smelled icky the rest of the run.

At this point, I attempted to self-correct my equally icky attitude by reminding myself of people who have had a SO MUCH worse day than me: my mamas in Uganda, those along the East Coast who are digging out from under the rubble of Hurricane Sandy.

Behavior adjustment because I’m a legalist. Bad attitudes are bad. Change it.

But it didn’t work. In fact, my attitude got worse. Which made me mad.

Because I’m a perfectionist.

In my own head, I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

In my head.

Where I have control of my thoughts.

Where I can take my thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ.

His mercies are new every morning. Tomorrow is a new day, with new grace for a new attitude.

Because, after all, some days are like this. Even in Australia.

Or at least that’s what I’ve been told.

But I wouldn’t mind going there myself, just to be sure. 🙂

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