It starts with me.

  Growing up, I often heard my parents say that there will always be someone watching me, and there will always be someone who is looking to see how I do something or listening to what I say so they can do/say it the way I do.  I never liked  hearing that, mostly because I didn’t want to accept that responsibility.  As I got older though, I began to realize the truth of that statement.  We all have influence, good or bad, whether we want that responsibility or not.  So now, enter in the fact that I have been blessed with two beautiful girls.  And what do they do?  They observe my every move and hear my every word.  Not only that, but they also copy my actions and my words!

There is something I’ve been learning on a deeper level the past few years…attitude is everything!  All of life is made up of choices…some are made for us, some we make.  But always, always, we get to choose our attitude.  What we choose, consciously or subconsciously, can make all the difference in a day, a year, a lifetime!  How?  Because what we set our focus on, is what sets our days and therefore our life.#94 004

If you choose to focus on the negative, then that is what you will see…the dark clouds, the sun that is too bright, the slow person in front of you on the drive to work, the child getting distracted from their responsibility, or the husband leaving his clothes draped on the chair.  But if you choose to focus on the positive?  Then you get to notice the sunbeams shining from behind the dark cloud, the fluffy clouds on a sunny day, the happy person singing along with the radio, the child whose imagination has her doing dishes in the Queen’s castle and the husband who remembered not to drop his clothes on the floor.

Anyone, believer or unbeliever, can choose to change the way they look at life.  Just a twist in the way you view your life and your circumstances can change things drastically!  The difference for those who live in the power of Holy Spirit, is when you choose to replace your negative thoughts with positive ones, it is multiplied exponentially and an unexplained joy and peace will flow from you that is only because of Him.#94 012

So a few weeks ago as I was thinking about this, I began to realize just how much of what my girls are going to learn in life, starts with me.  Whether it’s baking/cooking, decorating, loving their Daddy, making good choices, showing hospitality, having a joyful attitude, serving others, living for God…it starts with me.  Why?  Because it’s me that they see in the day-to-day of life.  So if I want to teach my girls what being filled with Holy Spirit looks like, if I want to teach them anything, it starts with me.  It starts with me spending time in His presence so I know how to be the person that God sees me as.  It starts with me making good choices so they have a model to follow.

At this point in life, I am the one they see doing these things…I am their model of what a mother and housewife/manager of domestic affairs/home manager looks like.  I am their model of how a wife shows love & respect to her husband, and who models how a woman should be treated.  Even now, with the holiday season having just ended, I get to model how to enjoy the season without stressing out, or eat the yummy goodies while still exercising self-control or how to laugh when the baby just destroyed the plate of cookies meant for a neighbor.  I am their model of what Jesus looks like.  And when I am acting out my negative emotions?  It means I have a chance to show them how to stop acting that way and choose to act out of the love and joy that is in me, because of Who is in me.#94 0482

I’ve heard it said that the mother sets the tone of the house…”If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”  Right?  And I’ve found that to be so true!  I’m usually very quick to want to take the credit for happy children and a peaceful atmosphere.  But honestly?  When there are tears and whining and grumpiness?  Well, then it’s not because of me and my impatience or attitude, but it’s because the baby needs a nap or someone’s hungry or…you get the picture.

If I want to teach my girls that they are in control of their attitudes and feelings, who better than me to show them?  Who else is going to teach them that it’s okay to take a “mommy time-out” so I can set my mind right and then speak to them in love?  Who else is going to show them that in the business of homework and supper preparation, we can stop and  dance to a song and reset the mood in the house?
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This responsibility could be heavy at times, but it’s not.  Why?  Because I’m not doing this alone.  Yes, I have my husband and he is amazing and I am so blessed with how he helps me when I need it.  This job, this responsibility, would be overwhelming and so heavy without my Jesus!  He is the One whose presence I need so I have strength for this awesome responsibility of raising my girls.  He reminds me to stop and think before I speak.  He gives me peace in a crazy situation.  He gives me patience when I want to hurry them up.  He helps me laugh when I want to cry.

It is because of Him and only with His help, that I can accept the responsibility and do my best at being wife and mommy.  It is because of Him that I can choose to live life with joy and love.  And it all starts with me recognizing that He is my everything and with Him I can do anything…It starts with me.