Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Changing from a Should/Have to Attitude to a Get to Attitude

My perspective has changed. I can't tell you when nor how, but it's changed. I used to be the sort of person who looked at life as Shoulds and Have tos. This didn't make me happy. It made me bitter and isolated.

But something changed.

I started looking at our prayer/praise time at church as an opportunity, not an obligation or duty. Instead of hemming and hawing I said,
"I get to pray!"
"I get to converse with the Creator of the Universe!"
"I get to sit and listen to his Word read from brothers and sisters who love Him and desire His presence!"
"I get to wait on the Holy Spirit and briefly and finitely touch His power!"
"I get to sing praises, close my eyes, lift my hands and stand in awe and wonder!"
"What a privilege when many around the world are suppressed and oppressed. Many around the world can not meet in communion. What a blessing to have this time!"

I used to dread Sunday mornings. I used to heave a sigh, walk to church and anticipate---nothing. Now I say,
"I am sitting with others who love the Lord, through their pain, happiness, sorrow, wants, needs, plenty...they all love the Lord and depend on Him!"
"I get to recite creeds, sing songs which are ancient and new, Christians around the world are doing the same. God is building and encouraging His church and I am a part of it!"
"I get to hear incredible teaching from scripture. I am allowed to learn more from the Word."
"Many around the world have to travel, walk, miles and miles for their fellowship. I walk 20 yards!"

I used to grumble and complain about picking up after the family (OK! I still do everything now and then!) but now I mutter,
"I love this family! They are fun, for the most part enjoy each other and it is a privilege to have each person in my life. I am serving them!"
"I have my wits about me, strength in my arms and legs, my kids can run and scream and play and have minds to create--I am blessed."
"My husband is a servant and gives his all to his job and his all to his family and first his all to his Lord. He is a manly example of a follower of Jesus and I am so blessed to be married to him and allowed to serve him."

I still complain about Walmart but now I say,
"Thank goodness there is a market close by, I have funds to shop for food, clothes and other necessities!"

I will continue to complain about our government because that is my duty and,
"I am privileged to live in a country where disagreement and discourse are expected and that's what keep our country afloat."

Looking at my circumstances with a new perspective, a privileged perspective, reminds me how much I am blessed. Instead of bitter I am thankful and instead of wanting to sit alone I anticipate fellowship.

How's your perspective?


Suzanne said...

Wow...what a way to start a new year of set a great example......thanks...and an early Happy Birthday!

Beth said...

I love this post, Barb. I have found myself thinking about it so many times since I read it a few days ago . . . it especially hit home this morning as I was once again putting the disaster in the playroom back in order—I've decided to print out the paragraph "i love my family . . . " and keep it on the wall of the playroom as extra ammo against a bad attitude. Thank you so much for the encouragement!

Barb said...

OH, Beth. Today was the day when I should (bad word!) practice what I preach. I exploded and went on a tirade. Even though my attitude is to be thankful and remain in a heart of gratitude and blessing, I am fully human and .... Well, let my family have it. In a way, that's necessary - but with patience and love. Because it's part of being a family, serving one another.

I decoupaged a quote on one of our side tables:To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others. It's from Pope John Paul II.

Suzanne said...

Opa just read this and thinks we would all be better off if we had the same perspective.....thanks Barbie and Happy Birthday!