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  • Good Intentions

    June 22, 2009

    I love going to the store early in the morning because there are usually no lines and it’s clean and quiet, plenty of good parking spaces.  Early shoppers know how to grocery shop. They understand and adhere to aisle etiquette. They know what they are doing.  They are my people.

    But this is not about grocery store etiquette. This is about how good intentions wear off around 9am.

    On a recent early morning shopping trip, I passed through the bakery area where I saw a mom-type person reach into the doughnut case, snag one with the tissue paper and scarf it down in about two bites.  I do not judge her, because who among us has not been overcome with doughnut fumes and passed out in the self-serve case?  She had probably gotten out of bed an hour before with the best of intentions to make it a better day, to do better, to treat her body like the temple that it is.

    But by 9:30, the morning sun had scorched her good intentions. Resolve dissolved.  I get that.

    Two aisles before I even got to the photo department, I heard a voice – intense and purposeful and rising like a thermometer.  When I turned the corner I saw a harried mom with four kids hanging off the cart. She was trying to work the self-service photo print machine and her four kids were trying to work her last nerve.  And then she lost it.  She bellowed at the source of her exasperation and melted down into a puddle of what appeared to be good intentions.

    She had probably gone to bed the night before promising herself that today would be a better day, that today she would do better, today she would be the kind of calm and reasonable mom parenting books promise you can be.

    As I was heading towards the checkout with my few things, I met up with a man with sad eyes and a red bulbous drinker’s nose.  He wore a defeated expression.  He bowed awkwardly and kindly waved me into the line ahead of him, although I had several things in my cart whereas he only had a case of beer.

    “Thank you so much sir,” I said. I looked into his eyes and what I saw was the cruelest kind of sad – self disappointment.  Had he gotten up a couple of hours earlier with the best intentions to make it a better day, to do better? Yet here he was buying a case of beer at 9:30 in the morning.

    Beer is not my thing, but sometimes it’s the doughnut. Or the promise not to yell or be snippy and short with people I love. Or any number of short comings from a long list.

    Like those people, I wake up each morning telling myself that today I’ll make it a better day, today I’ll do better. And then the sun rises in the sky.

    The early shoppers, the ones with the good grocery store etiquette and a cart full of busted best intentions, they are my people.

    Daily, my good intentions fail, but His compassions for me don’t. And therein lies my hope.

    * * * *

    “Because of the Lord”s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” ~Lamentations 3:22-23


    1. CircusKelli says:

      Even if your best of intentions end up in a puddle by 9:30am, that doesn’t mean you can’t mop up the mess and try again in 10 minutes.

      * * *
      True. Minute by minute. ~AM

      June 22nd, 2009 at 10:43 am

    2. Sandhill Sis says:

      You wanna talk good intentions? Lawdy, Girl! I’m the queen of them. My indian name is Crow Eater, because of all the “I’ll never dos…” I’ve said. So glad ‘His mercies are new each day.’ Because mine aren’t. Well, tomorrow they will be. 😉

      Great post.
      Sandhill Sis

      June 22nd, 2009 at 10:49 am

    3. Iota says:

      A lovely post.

      I sometimes wonder, too, if we have a very different perspective on our lives to God’s. I wonder if for God, it is like when our children say to us “If I get a dog, I promise I’ll look after it, I’ll walk it every day, you won’t have to do a thing, I’ll save my pocket money for vet bills…”, and we know that none of that will hold true if we get them a dog, but that doesn’t mean we love them less for being untrustworthy. In fact the opposite. Somehow it makes us love them more. (But I’m not quite sure whether this means I should get a dog or not).

      June 22nd, 2009 at 11:06 am

    4. Julie at Elisharose says:

      “Though the sorrow may last for the night, His joy comes with the morning.”

      “After all, tomorrow is another day.”

      June 22nd, 2009 at 11:16 am

    5. Amy says:

      It is only 10:20 and I am already having one of those days. Thank you for the reminder that though my good intentions fail, His compassion for me don’t.

      I needed to hear that today.

      June 22nd, 2009 at 11:23 am

    6. Dee from Tennessee says:

      I, too, was/am in need (acute need) of being reminded about His compassion right now..and that He cares.

      June 22nd, 2009 at 11:39 am

    7. Lisa says:

      Thank You for this post… I need to learn THAT compassion… I find myself judging others and SO wish I didnt. You have a great perspective and I think I need to learn that!

      June 22nd, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    8. Laura says:

      Thank you, AM! I needed that reminder and encouragement today.

      June 22nd, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    9. Kayla says:

      That was beautifully written and a great reminder. Thank you.

      June 22nd, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    10. MM says:

      Amen. Amen. Amen.

      June 22nd, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    11. Minnesotamom says:

      What a reflective post…thank you.

      June 22nd, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    12. Smockity Frocks says:

      I wish you wouldn’t write about me like this on the world wide web.

      I’m only sorta joking. I really do hate that I can relate to this so well.

      June 22nd, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    13. Roxanne says:

      I am that person. . .donut, yelling, procrastinating. . .loved your post. You may have just inspired me to get up and call our neighbor to see if the kids can go swimming today. . .even though I’d rather sit like a lump in my house.

      June 22nd, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    14. shayne says:

      Needed this today. Thanks for the reminder.

      June 22nd, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    15. Anne says:

      Thanks – this was especially timely for me today. I have witnessed behavior from my kids this weekend that made me feel like a parenting failure. It has been hard to be super loving to them today. But…if God’s mercies are new every morning, He can teach me how to extend that mercy to others as well. Thank you.

      June 22nd, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    16. The Diaper Diaries says:

      It says a TON about you that you gave so much Grace to these people and not judgement. I hope I would be so gracious.

      * * * *
      I can’t judge those people because I am those people in one way or another. It works out nicely for me that they’re letting screw ups and the weak willed in heaven. ~AM

      June 22nd, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    17. jen says:

      Insightful post.

      June 22nd, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    18. Carrie says:

      This is great. Yes, I have to renew my intentions all day long…my biggest one is patience with my son, especially when I’m busy. 🙂

      June 22nd, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    19. HarryJacksMom says:

      Your compassion often makes me more compassionate toward myself…thank you for your grace! Living in Texas, you likely know Lyle Lovett’s ‘she had good intentions’…I often hum that to myself in those particularly trying moments. Happy week!

      * * *
      Ha! Your comment makes me laugh! I do live in Texas but I don’t know one Lyle Lovett song. I would probably recognize him if I saw him at the mall, but that’s about it. ~AM 🙂

      June 22nd, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    20. Megan says:

      Thank you so much. What a beautiful idea to have come across on this rainy afternoon.

      June 22nd, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    21. Aunt Murry says:

      Wow. That’s all I have…Wow

      June 22nd, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    22. Lindsay says:

      I enjoy all of your posts, but mercy, that one just hit me… it’s me, everyday. Praise God that his mercies are new every morning!

      June 22nd, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    23. k&c's mom says:

      Spot on and worthy of much contemplation today. And the next day. And the next. Thanks.

      June 22nd, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    24. Bee says:

      Sometimes, I can just imagine Him shaking His head and saying, “Bee, Bee, Bee. It’s ok. We’ll try again tomorrow.” It’s a great feeling, knowing that He won’t give up on me.

      June 22nd, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    25. Baby Favorite says:


      Thank you for that.

      June 22nd, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    26. Linda says:

      Absolutely wonderful – such truth – such beautiful writing.

      June 22nd, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    27. Fiddledeedee says:

      A.M., that was beautiful. And I needed to hear it. 🙂

      June 22nd, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    28. Great-Granny Grandma says:

      Oh how very much I relate to this post. I am so grateful to serve a God who never gives up on me, and whose mercies are new every morning.

      June 22nd, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    29. Roxanne says:

      And we did. . .we DID go swimming. And then I made snowcones and watched Ratatouille with my kids. So there. You did more than a little good from far, far away.

      June 22nd, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    30. Michele says:

      I loved this post. You have such a great way of saying things.

      June 22nd, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    31. Sue says:

      This one is one for your book. I am crying a little now because today I was snippy and unkind to my sister, whom I love so much. I won’t make excuses. I was bad. I did ask her forgiveness, but I know words still leave a hurt.

      June 23rd, 2009 at 12:45 am

    32. Nancy says:

      thanks . . .
      i needed that.

      June 23rd, 2009 at 1:26 am

    33. Karen says:

      Perfect post- thanks for the reminder!

      June 23rd, 2009 at 8:06 am

    34. Lezleigh says:

      God answers prayer, I REALLY needed to hear that. Thanks for being the angel I needed sent….

      June 23rd, 2009 at 8:22 am

    35. mannequin says:

      Yes. Every day I vow to visit the little old lady across the street who lives all alone.
      When the ambulance comes, I rush over. When her lights are on too late, I call.
      And yet, at 9:30 am, the day is far too busy for my intentions.
      Yes, yes, I know.

      * * * *
      Oh please please please go see her today. Touch her arm, look in her eye. Ask about her childhood. That means so very much to old people. Their days are often so long and lonely. If you only visited for 15 minutes, oh what a difference it would make in her day. And oh how it would bless you. It takes so little to reap so much for the Kingdom. ~AM

      June 23rd, 2009 at 8:26 am

    36. Margie says:

      What an awesome post. Thanks.

      June 23rd, 2009 at 8:40 am

    37. heidig says:

      Ahhhh, you give me hope on a very trying day!

      June 23rd, 2009 at 10:15 am

    38. Kathy Vaughan says:

      A beautiful reminder of how much we all need – of how much I need – grace. Thank you.

      June 23rd, 2009 at 10:29 am

    39. Pat says:

      Oh, yes. Every day. Thanks for knowing and letting me remember His grace is new every day.

      June 24th, 2009 at 10:49 am

    40. mythoughtsonthat says:

      I am always telling myself and my boy that tomorrow is a new day. I am always glad for that new day, another chance.

      June 25th, 2009 at 11:32 am

    41. Nikki says:

      LOVE IT!! Tensions are high in my house right now and I’ve apologized in advance to my children. Movers are coming tomorrow to pack us up and load the truck for our move to SC. I’m stressed, sad, lonely, hopeful, grateful, scared and more all at the same time and barely know what to do with myself, much less how to ease the same feelings in my children. Tomorrow is a new day – and I’ll do better!

      June 25th, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    42. Leah says:

      I have that exact verse on my desk at work. We are not consumed- that is so powerful.

      June 26th, 2009 at 11:56 am

    43. Sunday Sunshine 06.28.09 « Minnesota Mom says:

      […] Good Intentions by Antique Mommy – You need to read this.   Leave a Comment […]

      June 28th, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    44. Amy says:

      That touched me deeply.

      June 29th, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    45. Screwed Up Texan says:

      Love this post and the gentle nonjudgmental way you wrote it.

      June 30th, 2009 at 10:40 am

    46. Cindy says:

      Girlfriend, if you have not already done so then you truly need to write a book!
      Sorry to add to your “to-do” list.
      But I am just loving your way with words.
      I am sure others are also.
      Blessings Always 🙂

      July 1st, 2009 at 10:32 am

    47. Jamaica says:

      Great post. I, too, frequently fail, but hope springs eternal.

      July 1st, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    48. Jennifer @ Clutching to the Vine says:

      I love your contrast between our intentions which so often fail and God’s compassion which never fails.

      July 2nd, 2009 at 1:46 pm

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