Always Real, Faith

Good Intentions

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

48 thoughts on “Good Intentions

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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).

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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. 🙂

  11. 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 🙂

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

  17. 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

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

  19. 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!

  20. 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 🙂

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