Friday, 3 May 2013

Keeping a Good Attitude When Life with Littles is Hard

You know those days when things just fly by? When nothing seems to go your way, when the house is a disaster, the laundry isn't done, the baby wants to be played with or cuddled, and you just want to have five minutes to yourself, and it hasn't happened in weeks?

The last two weeks have been like this. Wiggles is going through this always wanting to be held and snuggled stage. Which is awesome. Sometimes okay. Mostly I'm just struggling. 

I find myself frustrated and taking it out on those around me more and more. 

And every time I see Flash jump and look at me with those hurt little doe eyes, or Caleb give that little sigh, I feel the spirit pricking me saying 'Why did you talk to him like that. Check your attitude.' I am the first to admit that I should be giving out many more apologies than I have been. 

I have been pouring over my Bible these last couple days, looking for ways to keep a good attitude when everything seems hard, and you know what? The Bible has some super practical answers for me, and for you too!

1. Joy

Proverbs 17: 22

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. 

Joy isn't some mystical emotion that is linked to happiness. No, joy is a choice, and a blessing from God. I can choose to be joyful in my life. You can too. Don't spend your day thinking about how hard your day is. Spend your day joyfully doing your work, playing with your baby, and enjoying every moment. Notice how that word enjoying sounds like you're making it joyful? It's because you are. It's easy to be joyful in the fun times, but having a joyful spirit in the hard times is one of those things we all need to discipline ourselves into learning. 

2. Work for God

Colossians 3:23

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.

There will be days when you get up and say 'I don't want to do this.' We all have them. But then get up, look at yourself in the mirror and say 'I'm working for Christ, and he deserves my best effort today. And so even if I'm tired or frustrated, I will work hard, because Christ deserves my best.'

3. Without Complaining

Philippians 2:14-15

Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.

It is so tempting to complain when things are hard. But this is the opposite of joy, and the only helps to make everyone around you miserable. Turn your thoughts away from complaints, and never let them drip from your lips. You'll be surprised how much this one simple change will change your day. 

4. With Praise

Psalm 150:1-6

Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!

It might be hard, but find something good to praise God for! This simple change in attitude will make a huge difference. Once you can latch onto one or two great things about your day, then things will go much better. Seriously. 

3. Humility 

Philippians 2:1-3

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 4:2-5

With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism.

For me, this is the hardest one on this list. Working with humility is so much more than it sounds. It's honestly in your heart, counting others needs above your own. It's apologizing to your son for your harsh tone, it's giving your husband 45 minutes when he walks in the door to relax, even when you really don't want to. But it's more than even that! It's taking the time to serve them. It's getting your husband that glass of water before he asks, and making sure he's comfortable, because his needs come before your own, and what's more, it's doing these things even when he isn't doing them back. It's doing these things even when they aren't reciprocated, joyfully and without complaint. Humility is a trait and an action that people take their entire lives to learn. But it is an essential discipline of the Christian life! 

Now, I'm preaching to myself here. xD Because I struggle with all these things more than even I admit to myself sometimes. 

Thankfully, I have realized that I don't have to do this alone. The women from my church have almost all, at one point or another, offered to take my darlin' for a couple hours so I can get some much needed time to clean and do things. They remember how hard these months are. Today, for the first time, I took one of them up on it. Tomorrow Wiggles is going home with her for a couple of hours so I can clean my house and take a much needed nap. 

We found about two weeks ago now that we're expecting baby #3! :D Which is awesome. But I had forgotten how tired you are these first couple months of being pregnant. Everything seems to wear me down, and all I want to do is eat fruit and sandwiches. Not kidding, Caleb and I went shopping for specifically those two things yesterday. 

Well, time to go apply these things to my life and clean my house. :D See y'all later, and God bless you! 
- Adele

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