On my journey of late – I have literally been bombarded with reading and hearing messages of being aware of one’s mindset. Watch what you think and see how it affects your daily life.
‘Okay, God – You must be telling me something here.’ So here I am trying to really take a closer look at something that I thought I pretty much had in the bag. I mean – I know how negative thinking leads to negative talking and that, in turn, can create a very sad, dismal life. It wasn’t until I was grown and out on my own – just having had my own child that I first remember considering the effects of such negative thinking. But I was pretty sure that as the ‘expert’ I believed myself to be – I know how it all works – right?
I remember doing some of that self-talk that I commonly do and saying that I did not want to raise my daughter in such a negative environment as I was raised in. Let me stop here and say that I love my mom. I love her. She did the best she could with what she knew and how she was raised. I understand that. But truthfully she was one of the most negative people I’ve ever known. She was quick to tell you what you were doing was wrong or how something couldn’t be or couldn’t happen because of (fill in the blank). She could be hurtful in the things she said.
So I did not want to raise my child in the same manner. At the time, I knew nothing about things such as that being carried on through the generations similar to alcoholism or abuse, for example. What I did know is that it was going to be up to me to not be that way. So I made a point of trying to be positive with my daughter. I made a point of hugging her and telling her openly that I loved her (again – not something that we did as I was growing up).
Through the years since the birth of my daughter, my family (including my parents) went through a transformation. We made progress in how we interact with each other. We became closer. We hugged each other. We told each other ‘I love you.’ Just ask my brother – who was not living near us – he thought we were a bit odd when he would come to see us and we were all touchy-feely! LOL
As I said – I felt that I had this mindset thing in the bag. BUT – I must admit there are other things I am just now realizing that maybe I didn’t do so well or am not doing so well. Or maybe I fell into that trap of depending on myself and my own abilities a tad too much. And, since I’ve been asking God to ‘change me from the inside out’ – then, I believe I better sit up and pay attention because He is showing me a few things here!
For instance – I don’t know how to have fun. You know if you don’t know how to have fun, it is difficult to enjoy life. I truly believe that God intends for us to enjoy this life and what He has provided for us. Yes, we went on vacation recently and that was fun! But what I mean is on a daily basis kind of fun or enjoyment. And that thought keeps rolling around in my head lately – ‘I don’t know how.’ And honestly – I will leave that one just as it is for now….because I really have no more to say about something I know nothing about. All I know is that it bugs me – and it needs to change. So I will wait to see what He reveals to me in this area. It’s coming – I just know it.
Everything goes hand in hand too. I believe that God is always there to provide for me. I trust that fact. But I still find that when the pressure is building and life’s stresses come around – I tend to get grumpy – and sometimes a tad depressed. This leads me to believe that I need to change my way of thinking – right?
So why do I get grumpy? Hmmm….. Could it possibly be because I find myself losing ‘control’ – or at least what I perceive to be control of a situation? Yep, I think so. So why do I need to feel that I am in control? Hmmm…..Fear? Yep, I think so. What am I afraid of? Well, I don’t know…..failure, I guess. Big whoop. All I know is that I have always had a fear of failure – and that kept me from doing things – a lot of things actually. I wouldn’t participate in games for example because I didn’t want to make a mistake when all eyes were on me.
And yet if I circle back around – do I or don’t I trust in God? If so – then I need to not have fear of anything – right? *Sigh* I am getting tired…..and dizzy – aren’t you!?
Okay – so those are the biggies right now. But also it is all of the little things that snowball into huge things. I say this because I see a lot of my shortcomings in the area of negativity coming from my children. Ouch. And here I thought I had it all figured out….
My daughter is so awesomely strong! She is fearless and I am so in awe of her and her accomplishments at her young age of 21. But at the same time I see difficulties as a result of her hard-headedness and her negativity. This, in turn, affects those around her making everyone miserable. It comes out in anger. People and things constantly ‘make her angry’ (although we all know that no one makes you angry unless you choose to be angry). She’s been hurt in her life and this is her defense mechanism. And my heart hurts about this because though I may not be the main cause of that pain, I do own that I had a part in it too.
My beautiful 7 year old son – he is a fairly quiet and tender-hearted individual. However, he complains – a lot. He cries often out of frustration for things not going his way – not like tantrums that kids have – but more like sadness. For him, if he doesn’t know how to do something – he cries that he can’t – even if you attempt to show him that he can. He seldom ‘likes’ things – it’s usually ‘I don’t like it’. And it really doesn’t matter what it is – he may like some sort of food today but tomorrow if you give it to him – he finds something wrong.
But wait a minute…..isn’t that what I was talking about earlier when describing what I grew up in? But didn’t I say that I consciously made an effort to be different and not raise my kiddos in the same way? I didn’t think I did….but what happened?
Obviously God is showing me that I don’t have it all together and that I shouldn’t be getting such a big head! He is showing me that I still need to learn to lean on him more – like lean ALL the way on Him. And I have to say folks, this is scary for me – because I don’t know how this happened, but I am beginning to see that I am the common factor here with my kids….so…..it…..must…..come…..from…..me!? Again – ouch!
My devotional for today is from Haggai 1:5 where God tells the people who are dissatisfied and experiencing problems to ‘consider their ways’. And again I see where I need to take a hard, long and honest look at myself. I need to consider my views of the world and what thoughts and words come from me. I influence others – and how I do that is up to me. It can be in a positive light where people can see Christ in me or it can be in a negative manner in which no one would or should follow.
I am praying that God will help me to see more – as painful as it is – and to help me to learn. I pray for a changed heart, a changed mind. And I am also seeking forgiveness for past sins and claiming victory over the generational ‘curses’. I am declaring that they be broken so that they no longer carry on in my family. My family will heal and grow in God’s loving care and we will overcome!
Thank You, Father – for loving us and providing for us. Thank You for Your patience and Your grace – especially when we are slow to learn. Amen.