Thursday, September 30, 2010

A New Song

The last month has been a very busy one. Between teaching school, teaching piano, and all my other responsibilities, I have hardly been at home! Yet, through this busyness I have been learning a very important lesson. "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19) Even on my most difficult, rushed, busy, stressful day, I have always had all I needed to not only get through it all, but to find joy in the midst of it.

Today was one of those days where I was so busy, it seemed there was no rest in sight! Even though I teach half-days, I ended up heading out of my classroom just about the time school got out. I then had three stops to make on the way home, and I had to hurry to be home in time to look up the directions for the home visit I had scheduled tonight.

Driving home in rush-hour/school zone/road work traffic, I got stuck at a particularly slow (as in not moving) spot, and I was just about to give in to the temptation to get into a bad mood about it, when I suddenly remembered having seen a "random" copy of a hymn stashed in my Thomas guide map the other day. I pulled it out and started singing, and before I even realized it, that stray thought had completely changed my attitude! (That's 1 Corinthians 10:13 at work.) : )

All the way home, I marvelled about the difference that is made by a simple song. It made me think of Psalm 40:3 "And He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it , and fear, and shall trust in the Lord." Others around me might not have had anything to sing about. It was hot, and we were stuck in heavy traffic at the end of a long and busy day, and there was nothing we could do about it. What a difference to use the time to praise the Lord, rather than grumble!

There's a hymn that comes to mind as I write this:

O Say, But I'm Glad
"There is a song in my heart today,
Something I never had
Jesus has taken my sin away
O say, but I'm glad!
O say, but I'm glad, I'm glad
O say, but I'm glad!
Jesus has come and my cup's overrun
O say, but I'm glad!
Wonderful, marvelous love He brings,
Into a heart that's sad;
Through darkest tunnels the soul can sing,
O say, but I'm glad!
Won't you come to Him with all your care,
Weary, and worn and sad?
You, too, will sing as His love you share,
O say, but I'm glad!"

Monday, September 6, 2010

Gentling Influences Part 3: Attitude

Mommy and I were at a store today when I found this mug.

Attitudes can be quite contagious.Have you ever noticed how when one family member is in a bad mood, everyone else quickly joins them? I seem to be particularly susceptible to bad attitudes.It is so important for us as ladies to keep a good attitude. If we easily "catch" the grumps of others, our homes will soon be full of contention, anger, and selfishness.

I recently realized that a bad mood is actually just selfishness. Think about it. What usually sets off a bad mood? It is usually some mistreatment or neglect (real or percieved) directed towards ourselves by another. Of course, things of a serious nature do need to be dealt with, but are we holding onto the little things that don't even matter? Even if another is grumpy, we do not have to join them. We have a choice whether or not to be selfish!

You know, a good attitude is just as contagious as a bad. Mommy and I have a game we play when driving through road work areas. We have noticed that the "flaggers" almost always look decidedly grumpy, with either a frown or a scowl on their faces, so one day, we decided to try to make the flagger smile. As we drove by, we smiled at her and waved a thank you. She smiled and waved back! And after that we have always tried to make the flaggers smile as we drive by.

That game works in our homes as well. Just as one bad attitude can cause the whole household to be grumpy, one with a determined good attitude can completely reverse it!

~Try it and see!