Here’s what I know…
When my children are able to strike a nerve just by…
- Squealing as they chase each other around the house
- Saying, “MOM” (no matter how many times)
- Asking for something to drink
- Wanting to play a game
- Trying to stay right next to me (even if it’s all day)
(You get what I’m trying to say, right?!)
- Basically by just being kids…
Something needs to change in me.
In this case the phrase is true, “It’s not them, it’s me.”
SO, I have to ask myself the same thing I would ask them were they grumpy seemingly without reason. We have all seen the euphemism…HALT. Am I…
H – hungry
A – Angry
L – lonely
T – tired
The truth is, sometimes, I’m all 4! It just helps to pause and attempt to discern what is really going on.
I use a phrase with my kiddos. It’s simply this – “CHOOSE YOUR TUDE”
Attitude is a choice.
How better for my children to learn this than for me to model it through my actions?
I’ve seen people in some of the worst circumstances my mind is capable of imagining and yet they are smiling and praising.
I look forward to the time when I am not apologizing so much!
When I have learned patience (be careful what you ask for. Usually the only way to learn patience is to practice), perseverance (you know, the kind only a mother can have), humility (ick), having a servant’s heart (more of you, less of me), the act of being present (ouch! I have a loooooong way to go on this one), being the example of what I’m asking them to be (it’s only fair, right?!)
And if we want to get right to the heart of the matter – I need to pray specifically for these things…MORE. I need to lift my children up to the Father…MORE. I need to ask for help (the Divine kind)…MORE. And I need to do those things that recharge me mentally, emotionally and spiritually (without guilt! Or the feeling that I’m being selfish!).
And no matter how many times I point my finger, the responsibility always comes back to me.
The following is an excerpt from one of Max Lucado’s books.
It is by far, one of my favorite prayers to pray and one that changes my attitude faster than anything else. I would encourage you to read through it once and choose the part that most speaks to you. Post these words somewhere…your mirror, dashboard, desk, computer, (you get the idea), and pray them once or several times throughout the day. You will be amazed how it begins to, not only change your perspective, but shape your actions as well.
Try it! What do you have to lose… except a stinky tude?! Who knows, people may even enjoy being around you.
In a few moments the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day. The calm of solitude will be replaced by the pounding pace of the human race. The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met.
For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day’s demands. It is now that I must make a choice. Because of Calvary, I’m free to choose. And so I choose.
No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.
I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical . . . the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.
I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.
I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I’ll invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clinching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.
I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.
I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.
Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their father will not come home.
Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.
I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self-control.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek his grace. And then, when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.
From When God Whispers Your Name
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 1994) Max Lucado
The Message (MSG)
But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.
New International Version (NIV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.