Lately I have been feeling, and if I’m honest, acting, very negatively. It seems everything that comes out of my mouth is negative, I’m harsh with my family, I’m easily irritated with friends, I’m annoyed with the too slow cashier at Wal-Mart, I’m bothered by the sun shining too bright in my eyes, I’m enraged by the driver next to me that is tailing somebody far too close. The list can go on and on. I’m just negative. And frankly, I haven’t liked me lately.
I don’t think many have liked me lately. And the worst part is I notice it passing down to my children. I notice when I am negative they start to be negative too. Particularly Lilla. And it makes me sad. I want my girls to experience the freedom and joy that comes from a life of no negativity.
So I’ve been evaluating why. Why am I so irritated with my husband’s innocent comment about dinner, why do I get angry when I see the crayons spilled all over the living room floor, why do I roll my eyes when I see certain phone numbers on my caller ID, why am I annoyed that everyone has the same struggles on a different day, why does it seem I’m the only one struggling with what I am and everyone else seems to have it easier? Negativity.
It has creeped in and stole so much joy. So much joy. I’m not able to laugh with my children wholeheartedly, I’m not able to enjoy the sun filled days like I should, I’m not able to hear God’s whispers, I’m not able to show grace and mercy. Joy stolen.
So how do I get the joy back? Gratefulness. Thankfulness. Appreciation. I believe when I am focusing on all of the crappy stuff of the world it makes it pretty difficult to focus on all the precious, lovely, many blessings God has given.
Romans 8:5-8The Message (MSG)Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.
So last night, as I sat pushing my little one on the swing I decided to just start thanking God. Thank you God for a beautiful night, thank you for the green grass, thank you God for the birds chirping a lovely song…and what I noticed was Anna repeating all those things after me. Just yelling out into the air, THANK YOU GOD. She didn’t care who could hear her, she just said it with her whole heart. My thankfulness and gratefulness passed down to Anna. Thank you God.
Psalm 23:5, “My cup overflows.”