Joey & Carla Link
We’d just returned from a ministry trip. A week before the trip, my knee gave out and I fell and broke my leg right where it sits on the ankle joint. You would think with time the pain would pass. With this break, every time the foot moves, pain shoots up my leg. The doctor told me I would be non-weight bearing for 6 very long weeks.
Non-weight-bearing foot + pain = Bad Attitude
We got to our destination after driving all day to find the hotel room we pre-paid a month prior did not have a handicap accessible room available and the staff was rude about it. At our new room in a different hotel which took us an hour to find since it was late at night, I opened my suitcase to find the vitamin water I had put in had spilled red liquid all over my clothes. (I ALWAYS use Ziploc bags for liquids and really couldn’t figure out why the bottle wasn’t in a bag and even accused my hubby of taking it which of course made him happy) Joey graciously volunteered to wash my clothes at the hotel while he met with our hosts…and the list goes on.
No room + Wet clothes = Bad Attitude
We chose to put a positive spin on things, reminding ourselves when we are getting ready to do something good for God, the enemy attacks.
What does this have to do with parenting? When you get ready to leave the house with your kids (no matter their age) disaster is waiting around the corner. I remember the time I needed to get the kids to church and we were already late. Briana was about 18 months old and I gave her a bag of cheerios to keep her quiet. When we drove into the parking lot, she had gummed up Cheerios everywhere – in her hair, all over her face, smeared all over hers and her brothers clothes. I turned around and drove home, bathed and changed Bri while Michael changed clothes and back to church we went so I could get to the 2’s & 3’s Dept. where I taught the children’s church program.
Or the time Briana, then a teenager, got to the car when we were going somewhere and saw the outfit she had on was the same color scheme as the one her sister was wearing. Not the same outfit, mind you, just the same colors! We were ready to head out the driveway and she was in her room changing clothes, which required different shoes and a new hair style.
Toddler + wet gummed up Cheerios = Bad Attitude
Sisters + same clothes = Bad Attitude
I am sure you get the picture. Oh, the bad attitude of each belongs to the parents.
ATTITUDE IS A CHOICE!
Even if you are a pessimist, you can choose to look at the bright side of circumstances, finding solutions rather than problems and opportunities instead of road blocks. Of course, this is easier said than done. Choosing a bad attitude over a positive spirit is destructive because a bad attitude focuses on self.
When you focus on yourself, you become your #1 priority in life, even over God. Oh, you may say God is first in your life, but your actions hardly show it. Making yourself feel good becomes more important than anything or anyone else.
Getting your focus off self and back on God and others takes willpower. When I (Carla) was in physical therapy after our car accident several years ago, I was told to talk myself into moving the right way. When I am trying to stand up, to this day people often ask me what I say to myself. I smile as I tell them I tell myself “You can do it!” When I say this, I breathe a silent prayer asking God for His strength to get through the pain.
You can do it, no matter what “it” is. Your 3-year-old daughter spilled her juice during snack all over the mail you left on the table, not to mention your cell phone. Take a deep breath, thank God for the opportunity to show her what kindness looks like, take her in your arms and kiss away her tears letting her know all will be well and ask her to help you clean up the mess.
“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 like lights in the world, holding fast to the Word of life.”