In the spirit of giving thanks this season, my husband and I have been trying to be more positive when explaining what happened during our day. We tried to go one night without saying anything negative about the circumstances of our day. Our conversation went something like this:
“I am thankful for the opportunity to consider switching to a local bank because the man at our bank was so utterly frustrating today."
“I am thankful for the that horribly weird and bald kid Caillou, for if I did not have 29 minutes of him today, I might have knocked our son’s head clean across the floor."
And so on...
This expression of thankfulness is apparently not making a big change in our attitudes. It’s just making us more creative in the ways we voice our negatives.
I recently finished reading What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty (talk about a keep-you-up-at-night-till-you-finish type of book). The main character Alice hits her head in gym class, waking up believing that it is 10 years earlier. She believes that she and her husband are newly weds (not 10 years married with three kids). She believes they are blissfully in love (not separated and very mean to each other). Alice can’t understand her life - am I really this mean to people all the time? Do my children really perceive me as angry and constantly frustrated?
The book has me thinking quite a bit about who I want to be 10 years from now.
Lisa TerKeurst in her recent book The Best Yes says that “our decisions aren’t isolated choices. Our decisions point our lives in the directions we’re about to head. Show me a decision and I’ll show you a direction."
In 10 years, I want my child to remember me as a mom who didn’t just point out the negative all the time. I want to be a friend who doesn’t just complain about the situations in my life. I want to be a wife that can think of something positive to say at the table each night, instead of just pointing out the “list of woes” from the day.
I want to be a person that glows with the light of God’s love in my everyday life.
What decisions am I making today that are pointing my life in that direction? What am I doing today to feed a heart that glows God’s love to everyone I encounter? What habits or attitudes am I cultivating today that will make me the person I want to be in 10 years? Am I able to look past my circumstances and see how God does abundantly more than I could think or imagine (Eph. 3:20, John 10:10)?
What decisions are you making today that will point you towards the person you want to be?