I CHOOSE JOY
Somewhere along the way of giving birth to four little boys, I became an angry person.
Or maybe I always was angry but never had circumstances to bring it out.
At any rate, it is here in my heart and it shows itself in the most unbecoming ways.
It shows in the sharp edge of my tone, when I answer the same question from my two-year old for the tenth time in as many minutes. It shows when I close the door just a little harder than necessary, to make sure the boys know I am not happy about the way they are carrying on. And if you could read my mind, it would be obvious in the fuming thoughts that tumble around in my brain...angry that I am tripping over my husband's shoes, that the kids are bickering, that the laundry is piling up, etc., etc., etc.
It doesn't really matter what it is that has makes me angry so much as why. And the why is because I am not getting what I want. What I want is a house that is always clean, with children that never fight and a husband that always picks up after himself. That probably won't be a reality any time soon, so I have two choices.
1. I can continue to be angry, contaminating the energy of our home and making everyone miserable -or-
2. I can change my perspective.
My husband may or may not start putting his shoes away. In the meantime, I can be thankful that I have a husband who is a hard worker, a loving husband, and a kind father. If he wants to take his shoes off in the dining room, it is a simple thing for me to put them away for him and takes a lot less energy to carry them to the closet when I am heading to the bedroom anyway, than to berate him and feel frustrated that "I have to do everything around here".
Instead of being angry that my two-year old talks non stop, I can be thankful that all my children are healthy and that I am able to be with them all day to answer their questions.
In 2010, I want to adopt the practice of putting off my negative, angry thoughts and replacing them with thankful, happy thoughts. I am going to deliberately and consistently change my thought patterns, through prayer and my husband's encouragement, and doing it again and again and again. I know how powerful our thoughts are to shape our reality. I experience it first hand when running. When I am running, and am tired and ready to quit, my body follows my thoughts...if I think "I am so tired, there is no way I can run another mile" then I guarantee you, I will turn home early. But if I consciously think to myself "I am not tired. I could run all day. This is easy" then almost magically, my footsteps get lighter and I feel a rush of energy. It is the craziest thing!
I am going to start meeting weekly with a woman counselor at our church. I am so excited! I love counseling. It is kind of like scratching an itch. It is uncomfortable but feels so good at the same time. My husband does marriage counseling and I often tell him that I wish I could go for counseling. I asked last night, and she said she had an opening and could start meeting with me!! I am looking forward to the accountability, looking at myself honestly, answering hard questions, and growing and maturing. I may or may not be able to change my circumstances but I can change the way I respond to them.
This year, my word is JOY and I am looking for it everywhere.