So Many Choices

A new day dawns 365 times in a year. I don’t know how old you are, but if you do the math, it’s not hard to be impressed. So many days. So many new beginnings. So many choices.

Some start each day with a groan and the snooze alarm.

Some start with the certainty that they will be amazed and gifted.

Some dread the new day, some revel in it.

But one thing is certain. We all have the honor and privilege of opening our eyes and activating our power of choice. All day, the events and circumstances of our lives call us to decide the best course of action. From the moment the alarm sounds in the morning, to the last prayer on our lips as we drift off to sleep, we decide how we greet and treat this day.

When the end of the day does arrive, in our quieter moments, the just-lived day unfolds before us, playing in our heads like a sports highlight reel. The questions of ‘what happened today’ and ‘how did I respond’ find an answer in short bursts of memory that begin slowly, but then pick up steam. Soon, the choices made and the results of them wash over us like an ocean wave.

The good decisions, the victories and generous acts performed, those are the comforters. Faced with helping ourselves or our neighbor, we activated the grace in our souls to create moments of heaven on earth. Not only did joy come to the ones we served, it came to us too.

But not every choice was a good one. As much and as hard as we try, falling short of the goal to make healthy and loving decisions for ourselves and for others…well…it happens.   We are human, armed equally with grace and weakness. Not to mention short attention spans in the spirituality department. So sometimes weakness wins out, and remembering those moments is anything but comfortable.

Finally, before heading off to bed, we are faced with the biggest choice of the day.

Are the mistakes we made today allowed to cling to our weary minds, flooding the soul with waves of sorrow? Or can we instead challenge ourselves to learn from the less-than-our-best moments, ask for forgiveness, and then allow the mistakes to sink into the ocean of mercy that is God?

Until we can make peace with ourselves and God and perhaps whoever we hurt that day, tomorrow will not dawn full of promise. Instead, it will find us waking with souls filled with the heaviness of regret. That’s no way to begin a day.

We all have the grace of choice, and can begin each day with joy and wonder. Yesterday is gone, and all that should be carried forward now are the lessons learned from it.

Wiser and more understanding, let’s be on our way in this new day, ready to make better decisions. May we never forget or refuse to gratefully accept the renewed mercies of God.

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50 thoughts on “So Many Choices

  1. Yes, His mercies are new every morning! I know I can fear I am making mistakes in the choices I am making today, and wonder about consequences from past choices. So true that we need to make peace with ourselves as God wants us never under condemnation. May the peace of God be full in our hearts, minds and souls, always.

    • Hi Lynn! I love your prayer for peace, and I join you in it. Worrying about what happened yesterday is a recipe for worry. We need to make peace with the Lord and believe that he wants us to live in that peace.

      Let’s go into each day with joy!
      Ceil

  2. I have invented a new alarm clock which wakes you up in the morning and then runs all over the bedroom to stop you from activating the snooze button. By the time you’ve caught up with the clock, you’re out of bed anyway.

    I would like to use it as a prototype to make other clocks and get rich. But I can’t find where the original invention has run away to.

    I like the imagery you describe about waking up in the morning and re-calling the day’s events last thing at night. I usually start the morning by thanking God that I have woken up once again. And last thing at night I thank Him in case I forgot to say “thank you” during the day.

    God bless.

    • Hi Victor! I remember an alarm clock that actually would roll around the room, making you get out of bed to turn it off. Brilliant! ( But I would HATE it!)

      I love the way you pray on rising and going to bed at night. That makes sure that nothing negative will follow you into the new day. Gratitude is so powerful!

      Have a peaceful night,
      Ceil

  3. Ceil, this is such a beautiful and inspiring post. I especially love what you said here….Until we can make peace with ourselves and God and perhaps whoever we hurt that day, tomorrow will not dawn full of promise. Instead, it will find us waking with souls filled with the heaviness of regret. That’s no way to begin a day.

    Amen! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Hi Linda! Thank you for your kind words about the post, I really appreciate them. I know I’ve spent plenty of mornings regretting what I’d done the day before, and beating myself up. Not the way God wants me to be at all!

      Thanks for visiting today, and have a peaceful night,
      Ceil

  4. This just might be my absolute favorite post of yours yet, sweet friend!! Oh, so profound and so needed today! Thank you! My favorite part of it? “Yesterday is gone, and all that should be carried forward now are the lessons learned from it.” As we continue our minimizing journey, especially in something I am facing and in the midst of RIGHT NOW, this was SO helpful to me. I always find such encouragement here. Thank you ever so much for your faithfulness to God’s call upon your life. You are such a blessing to me!

    • Hi Cheryl! I am so pleased that this post spoke to you in such a positive way, that’s so awesome! God is so good.

      I have spent so many mornings being miserable about what I’ve done the day before, and it’s just such a waste of time. We shouldn’t live in the past, but always look forward. That’s where God wants us to be!
      You are in my prayers, as is your family. God bless you all, and may he bring you his deep peace,
      Ceil

  5. Amen, Ceil! Each new day presents us with a new beginning – to learn from the past mistakes and ask God’s help to guide us on the right paths moving forward. Just as Paul says we should not let the sun go down on our anger, neither should we beat ourselves up for our shortcomings at the end of the day. We should, instead, ask God’s forgiveness and expect to receive His great grace.
    Blessings!

    • Hi Martha! I love that you used the quote from Paul, and used it for this idea. We must move forward, leaving what’s behind, behind.
      Too many times, we can get so pulled down by our mistakes that we just can’t go on. Not God’s plan, that’s for sure.

      We make mistakes, we have to learn from them and then move further on our paths!
      Blessings,
      Ceil

  6. Been thinking a lot lately about all the things I have ever said or done wrong. Cringe. (The ones I can remember anyway.) Why? I don’t know! But your post is a good reminder to let go…look toward the sunrise… receive grace, give grace.

    But…how?

    • Hi Sandi! It is such a challenge to overcome our bad habits, including allowing the shade from our past to block the light of today. I always think the solution is grace and our determination to overcome.

      Grace alone can’t do it, our determination alone can’t do it. But put these two together, and there’s just nothing God can’t do in us. It might take time, but it can be done. I know you can do it, because I had to overcome my own left-over feelings from the day before…and it’s hard to change. I’m still working on it, but I’m much more successful now than I was when I started.

      May God bless you with the grace and mindset to face that sunrise and smile with joy!
      Ceil

    • Oh my goodness Pam, what an encouraging comment! Thank you so much for your kind words, I really appreciate them. I am so happy that this post impressed you so much.

      Thank you for your sweet support!
      Ceil

  7. Why is it so hard sometimes to forgive ourselves and shake off those chains even after we’ve asked for forgiveness? I love your reference to God’s “Ocean of mercy!” Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a loving, compassionate comment. I’m thankful for your prayers for me and my sis right now. So hard on my BIL who adores her. He will never be ready to live without her but he, like we, hate to see her suffer. Happy Mother’s Day, Ceil. Hope it was special for you!

    • Hi Dear Mary! God’s mercy is like an ocean, he can flood us with so much power to renew ourselves every day.

      I can’t imagine your pain and worry about your sister, and I absolutely will be praying for her, you and your BIL. May God’s peace be with your days, and his healing grace.

      I did have a lovely Mother’s Day, thank you!
      Ceil

  8. What an encouragement, this gentle reminder, Ceil! Too often we feel boxed in a corner or tethered to every decision we’ve made along the way that wasn’t one of our smartest moves.

    We love and serve a God of hope. And we’re defined by His love, nor the dumb things we’ve done.

    • Hi Linda! I really like your last line, it sums up the post beautifully. Of course we are going to make mistakes, we are not perfect. But we can learn from them, and move on. This is what God expects of his children.

      Have a great week!
      Ceil

  9. There is so much to glean from this post, Ceil. Sometimes, I lay in bed beating myself up for things I said or did that day, only to wake up in the morning and see these things in a much better light. More and more, I am choosing to see God’s grace in my day, and to fall asleep in His all-knowing. all-forgiving arms.
    “Or can we instead challenge ourselves to learn from the less-than-our-best moments, ask for forgiveness, and then allow the mistakes to sink into the ocean of mercy that is God?” I say yes to His forgiveness and His mercy! Thank you, Ceil!

    • Hi Laurie! You’re not the only one, I have been the queen of misgivings, let me tell you. I know that Jesus is all over it, forgiving and asking me to forget, but it’s so hard to let go sometimes. Sounds crazy, but I think it’s uniquely human.

      I say yes to his mercy too, as I continually practice being kind to myself and accepting the mercy that gives me peace.
      Thank you for commenting!
      Ceil

  10. “From the moment the alarm sounds in the morning, to the last prayer on our lips as we drift off to sleep, we decide how we greet and treat this day.” We make choices every minute of our days. Choices about what we wear, what we purchase, what we read, Today, I made a choice to do something nice and unexpected for a neighbor, I think she was pleased that I thought of her and her crew, The word JOY is an acronym: Jesus, Others, Yourself. It is a way to live.

    • Hi Cecelia! Sounds like you made a wonderful choice today, and showed the love of God to a neighbor. Good for you! And thank you for sharing that here so I could be inspired too.

      Love that Joy acronym!
      Ceil

  11. The reality that so often our consequences are a result of our choices is always an important reminder, my friend. As I was reading this I was also reminded of hearing long ago the importance of keeping short accounts with the Lord and others. One of the interesting things about choices is how one builds upon and affects the next one. We also can forget that God chose to give us the gift of choice. It’s obvious He gave it for many reasons including to learn the value of and the lessons from that gift!

    • Hi Pam! Such a great point about how choices can snowball on each other. A blessing for good ones, and big trouble for bad ones! As a counselor, I’m sure you have a lot of experience with choices and how they affect everyday mindset and behavior.

      May God lead us in his gift of choosing our way today,
      Ceil

  12. This is so beautifully written! And your insights truly resonate with me- all of us I suspect.
    This gets a “WOW!”
    Love, Denise

    • Hi Denise! What fun to see you here today! Such a nice gift for my Tuesday.

      Thank you for your kind words about the post, I’m glad it resonated with you, it sure does for me. Allowing mercy to flood, and letting go of regrets is hard, but it’s such a beautiful gift. I’m gonna keep on working to accept it!

      Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day,
      Ceil

  13. How difficult it can be to not become mired down in the muck of yesterday. How difficult it can be to humble ourselves and ask forgiveness. Even when we know the past is left in our yesterday, we keep rehashing that which cannot be changed.

    Great Post, My Friend!
    Blessings!

    • Hi Lulu! I think you have encapsulated all the steps many of us take when faced with tough times. We can’t change yesterday, it’s impossible. But we can learn from it, add some wisdom, and then move forward. It’s what God wants for us!

      Have a blessed day my friend,
      Ceil

  14. When i come to the end of my day and reflect on it, my need is Grace. Grace overflowing. I can then wake up the next morning basking in that grace. And know that my whole day has started with and will finish with grace.

    • Hi Bill! Your comment really hit me, I love the idea of starting the day and finishing with grace. I’m sure it gives you a calm and peace that is just like a still pond. Love that!

      Thank you for sharing some of your spirituality today.
      Blessings,
      Ceil

  15. I love the photo, Ceil. Is that your daughter and grandkids? Such a beautiful choice to take time to read to our children in the midst of a busy life. 🙂 Your thoughts about how we need to “allow the mistakes to sink into the ocean of mercy that is God” really jumped out at me. I need to learn that more. To remember that God’s mercies are new every morning, and He never condemns us. Love and hugs to you!

    • Hi Trudy! No, that’s not my daughter, it’s a stock photo, but I did think that it reflected the day-to-day struggle to do our best when things don’t go right. I think mom’s are always susceptible to feeling ‘less than’ and holding on to failures.

      Yes! His mercies are reborn every day. His love is everlasting!
      Ceil

  16. I love slowly waking up in the morning and talking with God, thanking him for a new day and for friends and family. Breathing in his spirit deeply before getting out of bed is only topped by going to sleep in prayer too. Lovely post, Ceil!

    • Hi Jean! I really admire the way you wake in the morning. I think I immediately go to what I have to do that day. Your way is much better, I need to do that. Thank you for this wonderful comment!

      Blessings,
      Ceil

  17. You have me thinking, Ceil, of how often I dwell on the things that didn’t go right, and, alas, I carry that thinking into a new day, essentially crippling the day from its very beginning. How sad the Lord must be to see us carry these unnecessary burdens! He is the Burden-Bearer, not us. May we truly cast our cares on Him, knowing that He absolutely does love us unconditionally.

    • Hi Alison! That’s such a good insight about grieving the heart of Jesus. He wants us to cast our cares on him, and then go forward. If we don’t, and are heavy-hearted, that’s just not the way he wants us to live. Thank you for that.

      He does love us so much, and wants our happiness. May we give that to him every day,
      Ceil

      PS Thank you so much for your Facebook presence on my page. You encourage me!

    • Hi Cindy! Thank you so much for your encouraging words, I really appreciate them. I was thinking this morning how a new day should be a NEW day. Yesterday is gone, let’s move on in God’s plan for today!

      Wishing you a blessed Wednesday,
      Ceil

  18. Hi Ceil! I apologize for being tardy in reading, responding, and sharing this meaningful post. The reminder that our choices do make a difference–in how we approach each day and how we use the day(s) God give us. I try to view each day as a fresh start–a day to perhaps get more things right. It’s interesting to view each new day like the start of a new year–in some way it’s empowering to know that each day is a fresh start.

    Blessings,

    Kim

    • Hi Kim! Please don’t apologize, I know you must be so busy. It’s just nice to see you here!

      A new day as a new year…that’s a great thought. We all think of a new year as a clean slate, forgetting the past (except for the lessons learned) and moving ahead. That’s actually a very holy response to time. Thank you for your insightful comment!

      Hope you’re having a blessed Thursday,
      Ceil

  19. I am one of those who do not need an alarm and am awake and ready to put my feet on the floor every morning without fail at 5:00 AM. I can’t for the life of me sleep in…even until 6 or 6:30 but wish I could some days. I thank the Lord that I wake up ready to face each day and just don’t experience dread and fear as a general rule. Even when my life has been turned upside down (and you know that it has been at times), I can attest to the fact this scripture is true…“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Ps. 30:5). Great post, Ceil!

    • Hi Debby! Great Scripture quote, I should have used it in the post. What a great gift to never feel remorse, I wish I could be more like you! Hopefully, the grace of God will keep pouring on me, and I can slowly let go of all of that. He wants me to be happy, just like you!

      Thursday blessings,
      Ceil

  20. Such wise and encouraging words! We are so blessed and do have choices – so thankful for that. This post brings to mind a quote I saw the other day. It said, “One day. Or day one. You decide.” Praying our choices align as they should in His plan for our lives. Blessings to you! 🙂

    • Hi Karen! I wrote down that quote, I just love it. Thank you for sharing it today. Every day can be ‘day one’ in our life, new start, new grace, new opportunities. Love it!

      Thank you for visiting today!
      Ceil

  21. Each day is truly a gift from the Lord, and it helps to remember that even if the day doesn’t go just like we think it should. Wonderful thoughts about the passing of time, and how we can either take it for granted, or be thankful for each and every moment of time that we have. Blessings to you today Ceil!

    • Hi MM! Nice to see you! I bet you’ve been busy setting up your second blog, it’s an exciting time for you.

      Let’s all love the time we’ve been given, and concentrate on moving ahead, not looking backward…I believe that’s what God is asking us to do.

      Have a wonderful weekend!
      Ceil

  22. It is encouraging to remember that every day is a fresh start and we can choose how to use it. It’s important to remember that as it’s easy to just let the day drift by instead of being intentional in how we spend our time. I’m grateful for God’s mercy too and that when our choices have not been the best we can move on from it and start again.

    • Hi Lesley! That spirit of mindfulness is really important, and it certainly would contribute to less mistakes, less worry. Great thought!

      If we truly believe in God’s mercy and forgiveness, we can learn from our mistakes and move ahead, which is holiness. May I always remember that God is more interested in my salvation than even I am…he wants me to move on!

      Have a wonderful weekend,
      Ceil

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