IOW for April 25, 2008
If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!'" We smile as we read the wall plaque in the novelty store. But our smile quickly turns to a frown if truly "Mama ain't happy." This is because the wife and mother in a family often "sets the tone" in the home. The "tone" God wants her to set is one of joy, optimism, and a delight in the Lord and in her family. If your family were called upon to describe you, what would they say?"~Martha Peace, "The Excellent Wife”
Thinking about this plaque Martha talks about reminds me of school shopping for my granddaughters. Trying to find clothing that didn’t have some kind of “attitude” written across it was a harder task than I anticipated. Sayings such as, “I can’t believe you think I’m listening to you,” “If you don’t like my attitude don’t talk to me.”
Years ago the popular “attitude plaque” if you want to call them that was a thing called “A round tuit.” Written on the front of the round tuit was some kind of a statement that said, “I’m busy right now but I’ll get around to it.” I thought it was so cute I just had to make one for myself. Years later all the small round tuits that hung from the big one are gone and all I have left is the statement or written out attitude.
Sadly enough we have jumped from a written out mind-set on a piece of wood used to make people smile and chuckle to people living out these very attitudes. As Martha put it in her quote today a wife and mother of a family often sets the tone in the home and it’s vital what that tone should be.
Just because we are having a bad day doesn’t give us an excuse to make everyone else have a bad day as well. Similar to the common cold it’s best that we don’t share with others. What God wants us to do is set a tone full of all the right characteristics that will be a delight in the Lord and our family. We are all far from perfect and there will be those days that no matter what happens the whirlwind of circumstances can catch us off guard and bring us quickly down if we aren’t paying attention. Something we need to prepare ourselves for.
Isn’t it strange that being negative is a right that we don’t easily give up? We will give up our right to be joyful, positive, upbeat, and glorifying to God but not our right to complain, voice our opinion, and share with others the bad day we are having. Oddly enough when those around us pick up on our tone and follow suit we can’t figure out why things are going the way they are.
Pretty soon what we have left is a statement or written out attitude showing up in our lives causing a pandemic that has no end. From a wooden plaque to our heart is not the route we should allow our hearts to take.
Dr Dobson once said, we need to find creative ways to teach our kids. Thinking about the epidemic of negative attitudes my creative idea to combat it was, for every time one of my granddaughter or myself said something negative we were to put our nose on a nearby wall and count to ten. The first reaction I got out of my 10, 8, and 7-year-old granddaughters was, “What if there isn’t a wall around?” Silly girls! There’s always something we could put our nose on, imaginary or real.
Standing in my kitchen one day all alone I had a negative thought about something that only God and I was close enough to hear. Remembering my idea about fighting the negative I went over to a wall and put my nose on it and counted to ten. “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. I won’t be negative again.” Giggling to myself at my added touch, I thought about what the girls would have said if they heard grandma that day in the kitchen.
Hopefully what they see and hear daily is grandma doing whatever it takes to have that joyful, optimistic, delightful attitude in order to set a tone that glorifies God. Something worth hanging in any heart, an attitude that is “delightfully contagious” in an uplifting godly sort of way. She may wind up with a flat nose but not a written out attitude gone public in her heart.
CLOSING THOUGHT: Each morning when we get up to face a new day we need to decide before we even start what our attitude is going to be. If we leave the choice of our attitude up to the circumstances of the day we are opening wide a door for Satan to enter and toy with our heart and mind. Keep the control knobs in your own hands, don’t hand them over to the congested traffic people on the way to work. The teenager gone wild at home, the traffic light that didn’t change the minute it saw us approaching. Like the printer that tells us the toner is low, what is our attitude telling us? We can take the toner container out and shake it up and put it back in hoping for a few more copies or we can change it. Shaking up our attitude here and there is only a temporary fix. We need to take it out and change it to one that glorifies God; it’s a daily choice a day-by-day decision.
Our host this week is Christin at her site, As Gold Refined. She has chosen a quote from by Martha Peace.