Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Attitude is key.

I've been working on striking a balance between school, home, free time, chores and trying to figure out what is or isn't a priority in my life and that of my family. You may remember I had a day or two not long ago, where I just couldn't shake my bad attitude. Nothing was 'wrong' necessarily, but my heart was heavy and it showed itself in the way I spoke and my whole demeanor was 'off'. The kids could tell; they sensed it right away. Chip knew I wasn't my usual self and he didn't quite know how to respond or what to do to 'change me back'.
There wasn't a radical moment or some big event or zap of energy or anything noticiable. But truly I have sensed a small transformation within...and hopefully it has carried over to the outside of me as well. I think we all go through times like this in our lives. Whether it is a change of seasons, a change of jobs, a change within our family dynamics, financial or healthwise or any number of things can trigger a change in attitude. What I love though, is that it comes down to choice. We have a choice- no matter our circumstances- in how we respond to what happens or what doesn't happen in our lives.
I took my 'bad attitude' seriously and that meant I spent time praying about it and I asked for God's guidance and direction and for strength to not let it consume me. As you may know, I pray everyday. Sometimes it seems as though I find myself praying almost the whole day long. It has been that way since Teagan died. I considered myself 'religious' and felt I had a strong faith prior to her death, but found myself literally unable to move or see beyond my grief and so I turned to God as my source of strength. I have leaned on my faith every single day...and sometimes I have found I have to take life moment by moment- or I am overwhelmed. The crabbiness that came to the surface is something I don't struggle with very often- and I truly believe it's because God listens to my prayers- or my burdens seem lighter simply because I 'give them to God' and trust Him to provide for what I feel I cannot handle. That is what gives me peace and Joy and freedom to seek happiness in life. But it's not always easy, and I am human and sometimes I just feel like God doesn't need to be bothered by me and my little problems, so I take them on myself or begin to let them eat at me.
I love that I am getting wiser and better about stopping the 'bad' before it gets too big and out of control. I asked God, specifically, to help me know where I need to be I asked for wisdom to know what I needed to be doing. Life is so full and so busy that it is easy to get bogged down with too many things and too little time.
That's been part of my struggle. It's just hard to know how to best use my time and to feel like I am able to be the best wife and mom- first and foremost- and to let the rest of my life line up with that. Kids and clutter have a way of making me feel like I am mediocre, most of the time, at best. Add to that trying to balance 'work and play' and that is where my heart was spiraling down. I was torn as to 1)how to be my best...and 2)what does my best mean at this point in my life.
Anyway, all that to say that God has been so real to me in some small ways over the past several days. I just want to encourage others who may be struggling with whatever is on your plate or threatening to overwhelm you in your own life. God is not calling any of us to be superheroes. I think He wants us to recognize our weaknesses sometimes. I have felt Him showing me that He wants me to just be my best and to respond to the things that come my way- not by doing it all on my own but- by handing my fears, my worries and my inabilities to Him. He is showing me that I am nothing on my own...but that is the very place I find the greatest sense of peace and accomplishment. By recognizing it is God in me- God through me, I see that I CAN be my best me and that doesn't mean my life will be perfect, but that it will be lined up according to His purpose and design.
I am always amazed, (although I shouldn't be) that God speaks to me and makes Himself known to me at times when I am desperate for answers. I let my head spin with questions and with scenarios until I finally say, "Okay God. What do you want me to do with this?" and it never fails that God 'shows up'- whether through song lyrics, Bible verses, wisdom from a friend or even strangers. When that happens I just have learned to pause and to thank Him for even caring about me. It is humbling. But I find that the more I grow in my own spirituality, the more I recognize my need and it only displays God's greatness to me all the more.
I was wrestling with how scrapbooking plays into my life at this time. I am not ready to cut it out of my life, but felt that maybe it was an area of my life that needed to be considered. Last night I was able to spend some time in my scrap space. I was prepared to do some 'creating and some thinking', but flipped on the radio thinking the music would be a good back drop for my thoughts. Instead, a message that I drew me in and I ended up scrapping all the while my heart was worshipping and praising God. It just affirmed to me that no matter what we do or how we do it, it can be an act of worship to God.
One of the quotes from the message I heard struck me. I wrote it down to add to my new inspirational quotes journal. It says,
"Greatness comes not in vast, miraculous actions, but in daily positive attitudes". I loved that because I have been on a journey of learning that truth for several years now. My life has been a challenge, but with each day- each moment- I have sought to accept a positive outlook and to seek Joy. Even though I have 'failed often or been brought to my knees at times' I see that there is something bigger and better than me because of it. And it's true-not just for me and my family- but for anyone that chooses to overcome. God is the source, I believe, and the Hope of overcoming the impossible in this world. I love that I don't have to even have great strength or great faith. But by simply handing Him my brokeness and trusting Him for guidance and healing and Joy- He can bring it to pass. Or at the very least, I am learning that He gives my heart a right attitude. Which really does make all the difference in the world.

10 comments:

Sarah said...

Jody,
Thank you SO much for sharing that today...I also was a stay at home mommy for 7 years, and just went backk to teaching this year I have been so sad and grumpy...and just blah...but I needed to change my attitude. Your post has given me the strength to do that!

Sarah

Sonja said...

That quote from the message is so right. I love it. It is hard to figure out how to do all of this "stuff" that we have to do, a lot of times I feel like I'm doing all of it, but none of it well.
My life has felt a lot better lately and I know that it is due to my conversations with God and my choice in attitude. However, I don't spend enough time in study and silent thought at all, and your blog has reminded me how important it is. Thank you Jody

:) Sonja

Julie said...

Hi, Jody. Glad you're starting to feel better. I have a quote that I often have to see multiple times a day to get me thru. It is on our living room mantle: "We tend to seek happiness when happiness is actually a choice." I have to choose many times during my day and it's a great reminder to choose wisely. Keep sharing your thoughts, my friend. They help us all be better women.

Julie

angela said...

Jody,

thank you so much for sharing your thougths via your blog. your post today especially resonated with me and i am grateful for you.

angie

Kristin said...

Jody,

Thank you for sharing...you articulated that so well! I can soooo relate. I look to your blog so often for glimpses of your faith and am always glad I did. God is truly amazing and I too am often overwhelmed that He actually cares about ME?!
Blessings to you and your adorable family.
Kristin

Nicole said...

Thanks Jody, I really needed to hear that today. I have been struggling with a lot of things lately and I needed to hear that. I think that God sent you to touch me today.

Brittany said...

Thank you, thank you! I am a stay at home Mom, pregnant with my 4th child and have been somewhat down for what seems like no reason sometimes. I needed the reminder to lean on God for the small things, too, not just the big details. You minister to so many with your blog. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. I needed to "let go" of some things that have really been bothering.... mostly regarding theological debate within our church community and I find I need to "let go". God is ABOVE ALL and transcends our human arguments about who has the right view. I thank God for using your words to help me find this peace.

Melinda

Kristine said...

ditto...
God's blessings to you

Peg Graham said...

Jody,
Thank you for your words...I really needed to hear them today. I am getting ready for some brain surgery and was a bit frightened, but after reading your blog, once again, I am renewed and strengthened.

just wanted to say Thank You.
hugs-Peg