I found this Mood-o-Meter in the garden today. No doubt it was unwittingly left behind by a child who, at any moment now, may break down in tears over the fact that it’s gone missing and she hasn’t noticed.

By “garden” I mean it was in a clay pot containing a parched plant in need of much attention. And by “in the garden” I mean I took my lunch outside and sat in a black metal chair for ten minutes to get some fresh air.

I thought it curious to find this little circular list of emotions waiting just for me, as if to ask, “How are you doing today?” It was good to be asked this question because I sometimes forget to check in and gauge how I’m doing.

I’m not one to say we should let our emotions sweep us away like a riptide taking us to places deep and dangerous. But I do think emotions were placed inside us by a creative Creator to serve a purpose. They can be clues and cues which can draw us closer or further away from Him and others, depending on how we handle them.

Also, it’s the reality of living in a fallen world that we receive from our environment and then spit back out some of our hurts and fears. It’s good to be in tune with our hearts so we know when we need to press in for help or healing or take a break before we blow.

Although it’s not one of the listed “moods” on the dial, today I feel quiet. And I’m working A LOT. The tax deadline is less than a month away and it will be a sprint toward the finish line. I finally feel focused and ready to give it all I’ve got.

Quietly working is not a bad place to be. Right now it’s absolutely necessary if I don’t want work hanging over my head through the summer when I’d rather be playing at the beach with my kids, feeling carefree and taking afternoon naps.

I’d love to label the mood I’m in “peaceful” but that would only apply if “peaceful” included things like:

  • being even more impatient with my kids than usual
  • letting dirty dishes and unopened mail pile up for days (okay, weeks)
  • avoiding fresh air and sunshine in favor of number crunching and coffee
  • doing Denise Austin’s Hot Body Yoga while kids are sleeping since there’s no time in the day for exercise (oh, for the love of blondes in leg warmers).

It’s hard for me to get quiet and stay focused when I’d rather be running, writing, or sipping coffee with friends. It helps to remember this is only a season. And committing to something for a season means my heart will be free to do other things once it’s over.

What’s your mood today? What season are you in that’s requiring more focus than usual? Even in short tempers, dirty kitchens and squabbling siblings, I know God hides gifts for us to find along our way and that His mercies are new each morning.

And each moment.

If we only keep our eyes wide open… 

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  • amy

    Two fantastic take-aways from this post: His mercies are new each morning. This is only a season. Very wise words.

    • Samantha Livingston

      Keeping those pasted on the backs of my eyelids right now. :) Thanks for visiting Amy!!

  • Jacqui

    I just wrote about emotions, too, sort-of, and I agree with you…in fact, you put it into words much better than me! :) I also just turned in our taxes today, yay! My husband runs his own business, and I got behind on the paperwork last year. I was dreading the taxes, but now that they’re off my to-do list, I’m feeling the peace! Thanks for all your encouragement, Samantha.

    • Samantha Livingston

      Love a kindred writing spirit. It’s always encouraging to me to know others have the same topics on their minds. I love the unity the Holy Spirit brings to us believers. :) I just read your post and love it. Love the Psalms and love your heart in going there for hope and to shed light on the emotions poured out by David. Well done. We are ALL in progress :) I’m right there with you.