From Miserable to Amazing: The importance of Attitude

Quote on the importance of attitude by Charles R. Swindoll

The above quote is from Charles R. Swindoll. He also says, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

In Chapter 8 of Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom, Tricia Goyer has two lists. The first one is titled: How to Make Today Truly Miserable.

  1. “Open your eyes in the morning and think of all you didn’t get done yesterday.
  2. Assume your husband has a huge list of things for you to do when he asks, “So, do you have any plans today?” (as if you didn’t have a huge to-do list every day).
  3. Push aside your Bible reading and jump into sorting that stinky pile of laundry
  4. Remember what it used to feel like to wear your skinny, skinny jeans.
  5. Compare your kids to your neighbors’ star athletes and whiz kids.
  6. Compare your house/office/yard to the awesome pictures continually reposted on Pinterest.
  7. Walk the mall and point out all the things you wish you had money to buy.”

The second list by Tricia Goyer is titled: How to Make Today Truly Amazing

  1. “Thank God for everything your new day holds.
  2. Give your husband a hug and ask if he has something special in mind for the day. If he doesn’t, tell him you do and do something spontaneous.
  3. Take time to read your Bible and ask the Creator of the universe to guide your day.
  4. Appreciate your health and pray asking God to help you in all areas where you are weak. Or if you have a chronic illness thank Him for walking you through it.
  5. Relax in your favorite part of your house for ten minutes and thank God for what He’s provided.
  6. Go through your closet and pull out clothes you haven’t worn in a while—then take them to Goodwill.”

Today’s balanced challenge is to take one of Tricia’s tips to make today amazing, implement it, and blog about what difference it made in attitude.

As I write this post, my five-year-old daughter and I are just recovering from the stomach flu. This round of flu started a week ago when one of my twins threw up all over the bathroom floor. The flu is no fun, BUT I’m very thankful that our family is very healthy most of the time. I’m also thankful that I had a couple of days to relax away from my “normal” schedule—yesterday I was only awake for about five hours other than trips to the bathroom. Obviously my body needed the rest.

A couple of years ago I read 1,000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Since then I have made it my aim to focus on God and the many gifts He gives me each and every day. Life often does not give us what we want. (We tell our kids, “Get used to it—Life isn’t fair!”) However, as Charles Swindoll points out, attitude is 90% of the equation, and we have FULL control over our attitude.

So, every day, I can change my day from miserable to amazing. So can you. What choice(s) are you going to make today to change your day around? I’d love to hear about it in the comment section :).


Why Should I Worry?

As a child, I used to sing a chorus by Eugene Peterson that says, “Why worry, when you can pray. Trust Jesus . . .” Here’s an arrangement I found on Youtube:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/9-d3CvVjaAc]

Philippians 4:6-7 says:

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (NLT)

In A Confident Heart, Rene Swope says we can conquor worry with the following three steps:

STEP ONE – Stop worrying: “press the pause button on . . . consuming concerns.” We all know this is easier said than done. Often we fall into some routine worrying in our lives. This is my list:

  • What if I don’t meet that person’s expectations?
  • What if I fail?
  • What if I don’t meet this writing deadline?
  • What if my marriage falls apart?

If I can choose to press the “pause button” and examine what I’m worried about, I realize I’m wasting my energy fretting about many things I don’t have control over. I will always fail to meet someone’s expectations. I will not always succeed at what I do. Some writing deadlines won’t be met. Without God’s grace, my marriage will fall apart. Even if these things do happen, will it be the “end of my world” so to speak? No. The problem comes when I base my worth and significance on anything other than God.

People will fail me and I will fail others. After all, we’re human. But, God doesn’t love me because of anything I do. He loves me because He chooses to love me. There isn’t anything I can do to make God love me more . . . AND There isn’t anything I can do to make God love me less. My whole world may fall apart, but I can be secure in God’s love. I don’t need to worry!

STEP TWO – Start praying: “tell God what I need.” We all know what it’s like trying to stop a bad habit. If we don’t fill the void of a bad habit with a good habit, we’ll fail every time. We can’t just stop worrying. If we focus on not worrying, we’ll end up worrying more. Instead, we need to pray. God is our Heavenly Father.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:7-11)

Book: One Thousand GiftsSTEP THREE – Keep thanking God: “remind (your) heart of God’s goodness by thanking Him for what He’s done.” Many of us are familiar with Ann Voskamp’s book 1,000 Gifts. Every day we have a choice. We can let worry overtake and paralyze us, or we can choose gratitude. Worry and gratitude are mutually exclusive – they cannot co-exist in our minds.

  • Instead of worrying about people’s expectations, I can thank God that He created me as a unique individual and He loves me.
  • Instead of worrying about failures, I can thank God that He knows my weaknesses. I can also thank Him that “. . . we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)
  • Instead of worrying about missed deadlines, I can do my best to meet the deadlines and thank God for the results. My schedule is not always God’s schedule!
  • Instead of worrying that my marriage may fall apart, I can do my best to be a loving wife and mother. I can thank God for my husband. I can choose to respect him and honor him. Even if a spouse dies or chooses to leave, God never abandons us

What about you? What worries nag at you? What will you choose to be thankful for today?