"But Moooooooom..." my child moaned as she fell forward in her chair.
The whine was like a vacuum, sucking the life out of me and weakening my resolve. I am happy to report that not all of my commands are greeted by such negativity, but I've realized that my own contribution can make or break a good attitude in my kids, regardless of consistent consequences.
I've figured out that my default mode is activity. There is nothing like getting a lot done to put a smile on my face. I think often that I seek out that good feeling by jumping into the day with a list of intended accomplishments. The problem is that my focus tends to get off balance. Sometimes I let my "getting stuff done" part be too important, and I respond with impatience and irritability when that is "interrupted".
Balance is so important. I've determined that to change my default mode, I must focus on the smile, and take the time to really listen and love on my little blessings. The irritation is like a thief, stealing away not only my joy, but also the amount that would have been accomplished had I been focused on an encouraging smile.
The reason for my joy is also key. If my joy receiver is plugged into my accomplishments, then I am going to be one depressed Mama on some days. But if I am plugged into the source of joy Himself, then surely my smile will come first; it won't depend on something that I do. It will instead spill out of my actions instead of waiting on them.
I found this little poem online and had to share it...
Smiling is infectious,
You catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner,
And someone saw my grin,
When he smiled I realized,
I'd passed it on to him.
I thought about that smile,
Then realized its worth,
A single smile, just like mine,
Could travel round the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begin,
Don't leave it undetected.
Let's start an epidemic quick,
And get the world infected.
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13