would be. I found myself getting frustrated that the dishes were piling up, the laundry was out of control and my house looked like a tornado had blown through. The frustrations grew with my kids’ lack of listening skills. My voice grew louder, my words grew harsher, not only to my kids but toward my husband. One night I was at my breaking point. I prayed to God that He would help me get out of this situation. I don’t know what I meant by that prayer but I knew I couldn’t go on with the frustrations I was feeling.
“When your children walk in a room light up like it is the most exciting moment of your life.” I read this in a book I was reading on parenting. My response, ‘But what about when they are arguing, or tattling, or misbehaving?’ God spoke to me strongly in my heart, ‘No matter what the circumstance.’ I tried. I tried to be joyful and show excitement every time my children walked into a room. Their first reaction was shock, ‘What’s wrong mommy?’ When I heard that my heart broke. Had I become a person, a mother, who had been so grumpy that being joyful made my kids think that something was wrong? I prayed that the Lord would take this bitterness from me and I would embrace the joy that He has gifted me. This was a turning point in my attitude. I began to light up and get excited when my children approached me. When my attitude changed so did theirs. I wasn’t perfect and didn’t always carry out the gift of joy that God had gifted me, but I would see the difference in my children when I did show joy versus when I didn’t.
With this change, I began to think of other areas of my life where my attitude was a game changer. Guess where the Lord directed me? Yes. Directly to my marriage and the attitude I had in my relationship with my husband. No ma’am I did not want to go there. I am home alone with three small boys. I have to do everything around the house, with the boys and their sports and doctors and puking and fevers. He is in a nice hotel traveling on charter planes and eating steak, I get chicken nuggets on a good night. When God convicts He directs. The change happened slowly in my children, my husband and in me, but the change happened.
I thank God for the conviction of how my attitude and words can affect others. I pray that the Lord continues to convict each of us to seek Him in all that we say and the attitude we show toward others. Is there an area in your relationships where you need to ask God to convict you and direct you?
Suggested Reading: James 3
Billie, I am really enjoying your stories. This one really touches home. I’m sure it does for many women, but certainly for me as a stay at home Mom. Wish I had read this oh . . .15 years ago?! Still, it means so much. It makes you think. Thanks.
Thank you Debbie! I have to remind myself daily to use my words better!!!
It’s amazing what a little attitude adjustment will do, isn’t it? It has such a ripple effect. I always greet my kids with a happy “Good morning” when they wake up, and it melts my heart that now my little guy comes down the steps in the morning, walks right to me and says, “Good morning!” My husband’s been up longer and is usually busy and stressed out by the time we’re gathering in the dining room, so I’m trying to gently remind him before he goes off on something to stop and just greet us. There’s a huge difference in the morning’s mood when he does that.
So true Carolyn! Continuing to act with encouraging words is a great example!!!
Absolutely love this!! Thank you for sharing because it certainly hit home today!! Right on time!!
Thanks for reading it Celina!!!