When my children were small I was, at times, overwhelmed and found little joy in the day-to-day struggle of raising them. My husband was busy with another season of coaching baseball and I was a new stay at home mom, giving up my career to raise my children. I had taken on the new profession of stay-at-home mom but wasn’t finding the task as rewarding as I had thought it

Proverbs16:23-24would 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.

Romans15:13The change in me was what was the difference. I was embracing the joy that God had already gifted me. I chose to make my children feel special. No matter the circumstances I chose the gift of joy.

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.

The wisdom and conviction the Lord lays on our hearts change our words and attitudes. Heart changes allow a joy that the Holy Spirit has already placed in us. Our families know how truly special they are, more special and important than any circumstance could alter.

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

When God Convicts

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