Tuesday, January 17, 2012

One Thing So Far

Wow! So, the first month of the new year is more than half-way over, and I'm still feeling a tad "directionless". Usually, between my birthday in late November and the end of the year, I sit down and pen some goals. Well, I still haven't gotten around to that. I had been sick, and just now am getting back into the swing of things.

Now that I'm done being all chaotic from just trying to manage stuff as it comes, I'm feeling that pull to be introspective and to really pray and examine myself and set my course for the new year. I have plenty to think and pray about; my home needs some TLC, my children need some structure, and of course, I need to prepare for the new little one making his or her debut in June (not necessarily in that order- ha ha).

One thing in particular, though, is glaringly obvious to me. I had fallen back into an attitude of complaining and criticism. It was just easier to have a "Chicken Little" mentality ("the sky is falling!") whenever my husband would do something minor like getting the wrong kind of cereal from the store, or when people wouldn't ask something of me in just the right way. I had been in the habit of blowing up over silly little things. This isn't really a new thing for me. Earlier this year, I began to learn the lesson of giving my husband liberty to do things even when I didn't think it was such a great idea. No complaining, no criticizing, no trying to change his mind. Just...going with the flow.

Most of the time, I think my biggest issue is just simply a need to shut up! That should be easy enough, and most of the time it goes a long way toward keeping the peace, not only outwardly but in my spirit as well. I started reading a book (pretty much unrelated to this topic- but I will likely share about it once I'm finished reading it), but it reminded me of a basic Christian principle: the principle of putting off and putting on.

But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:20-24, NKJV- emphasis mine)

It's good to put off a complaining, critical spirit (Step 1: Shut up! Lol!). But something really should go in it's place. It's funny how since I've caught myself having a negative attitude, Holy Spirit has also prompted me to look at things differently. Instead of feeling bad because of a messy house, for example, He has shown me to be thankful for the reason the house is messy. Instead of being mad about a husband that picks out the wrong cereal, be thankful he's even willing to run to the store for me.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NKJV)

Step 2: Give thanks!

This one thing so far is just one area I need to focus on. Now to get around to examining the other areas of my life!

Have you struggled in this area before? How has being thankful changed your perspective?

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