Some weeks you wish you could do over or skip altogether. I’m not sure which category last week fell into, but it wasn’t easy.
For most of January my daughter has not been feeling her best. Her school behavior has reflected that. The most frustrating part is I can’t quite pinpoint what is causing her difficulties. A viral infection, sinus issues, the beginning of something worse?
If you have experience with a person who has limited expressive ability, you know how difficult a diagnosis (or even knowing if you need to pursue a diagnosis!) can be.
At the beginning of last week I thought Rach was doing better, only I ended up keeping her and her brother home from school (him 1 day, her 2). After mega-napping both days, she was surely better. Only the next day’s school report wasn’t so great.
Then Sunday dawned promising, until Rachel awoke dirty, fatigued, and with a headache. Church attendance flew out the window for Rach and me. I so badly wanted the worship, the community, the adult conversation.
Instead I ended up bathing her, doing laundry, and disinfecting. With tears forming, I wanted to scream.
Somedays are just that way. A good scream can be therapeutic.
Power of a Re-Attitude
But what I did instead proved far better. After getting everything cleaned up and Rachel back to bed, I put on worship music and made a nice dinner.
I didn’t really want to, but I didn’t want to be in the dumps all Sunday either. So I listened, sang, and prepared food. And things changed; I changed!
With each song, with each step in dinner preparation, a new blessing came to mind. And as I counted the gifts in my life, my spirits began to lift.
Giving myself time to gain perspective, I could see the sweetness of the extra time I’d have to cuddle with Rachel. I could see how serving her was growing me. I gained satisfaction of having time to prepare a nice meal for my family.
I was having a re-attitude!
A Re-Attitude Plan of Action
It didn’t matter what circumstances I faced. It mattered with what attitude I faced it. And shifting my focus from the ugly of the moment to the beautiful in my life changed it for the better.
I wish I could say worship and thanksgiving were my natural defaults, in good times and hard, but I don’t think that’s true for many of us. Certainly not me.
It’s hard to see something worth giving thanks for in the mess. Yet in the mess is where we can most benefit from having a re-attitude plan of action.
My action plan has to include worship music and activity of some sort. That’s when I can see past the immediate struggle. That’s when I can let go of my perceptions and trust God’s redemption.
Your re-attitude plan might involve being still or debriefing with someone. Study yourself and experiment until you find what works.
Circumstances Don’t Matter So Much
We can adjust our attitude because we always have hope of something better. We are never alone in any situation, and there is always something good in our lives.
Forcing ourselves to refocus on that good can make a world of difference in our outlook, even when our circumstances stay exactly the same (or take a turn for the worse!).
Your last week may have looked far worse than mine; maybe it played out far better. The circumstances don’t really matter. The important thing is with what attitude we faced the events of the week, of each moment, good and bad.
Legitimately we can mourn and, yes, even scream. But the difference maker in attitude is worship and thanksgiving.
Although praise and thanksgiving won’t change your circumstance, they will change your attitude. And a re-attitude is a good thing for each of us.
Honestly, I needed this plan of action today. I’ll likely need it tomorrow.
Thanksgiving is an act of obedience, a sacrifice of worship. And it makes all the difference in how we face our days.
It did for me Sunday; it will for me this week. And it will for you too.
“I will offer You a sacrifice of thanksgiving and will worship the Lord.” Psalm 116:17
Reflections: What is your ideal re-attitude plan? What is one thing you do to help turn a difficult time into one of thanksgiving?
- Being part of an online community whose members love Jesus; God’s impeccable timing in message delivery; Skype call with Zachary
- Beauty of freshly fallen snow; Reached a small but significant milestone; Helped a dear friend celebrate her 89th birthday
- A day of rest for three of us to kick this bug; Special “Dad’s gone” quick-fix, kid-loved supper; Ending the day watching National Treasure
- Rachel feeling better after mega napping for 5 hours!; My girl’s hilarious attempts at getting a rise out of me; Wardrobe simplified and organized
- Beginnings of a healthy household (I hope); Fresh fruit in the middle of winter; Couldn’t get anyone to watch Rach, but went ahead with date night anyway (location just changed to home)
- Big breakfast morning; Making a snowdog with Rachel; Popcorn balls and movie night
- Okay, so we’re not healthy yet, but it provided me more cuddles with Rach; Walk with Hubby; Sunday of reading
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Yours in grace ≈