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Posts Tagged ‘attitude’

courtesy Alexiscorvus | Dreamstime.com -

courtesy Alexiscorvus | Dreamstime.com –

Throwback Thursday….from a post three years ago. I needed this reminder. Maybe you do as well.

 

An author friend of mine, Anita Klumpers*, posted this on Facebook about her grandson:

Lesson learned from a 37-month-old, trying to control his sad tears: “Liam, how did you stop crying so fast?”
“I made my mouth go different.”

Scientists state it takes less muscle effort to smile than to frown, but often times it takes a lot more spiritual muscle effort, doesn’t it?  It is hard to stay upbeat, positive and hopeful when the world dumps troubles and strife on our shoulders like buckets of coal.  Yet, as Paul wrote to the Philippian Christians, we are supposed to rejoice, be thankful in all things and steadfast in prayer.  Is this possible?

Yes- if we make our mouth go different.

  • Take a deep breath and move your lips into a smile. It is hard to be angry, hurt or anxious if you can smile, or even drum up a chuckle.
  • Open our lips to only speak good things. Our grandmothers were right. If you don’t have anything nice to say…
  • Audibly Praise God no matter what and pray for Him to alter your attitude.

The next time you feel your lips quivering into a frown, ask our Lord to help you make your mouth go different. That is not to say emotions are not valid. There are times we should be sad or angry. Jesus cried.  He also overturned tables in the Temple.

I’m also not insinuating we shove our negativeness down our gullets where it can fester. But, we can change our attitude by purposely altering our body language and our thoughts.  We can choose to brood and be rude or make the choice to rejoice. We can give our angst to God instead of spreading it to others and pray for Him to give us the attitude of gratitude instead of stinkin’ thinkin’.

“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,  and do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4:26-27

Each moment we have an option – be hopeful or despair, trust or distrust, stand firm or melt into a pool of self-pity. How will you make your mouth go today? However it goes, your thoughts and attitude will follow.

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It  had been a rough week.  My son had been in the hospital after a  hit and run for ten days, undergone two surgeries, and the returned three days after he was finally released because he popped stitches. Next, my bad knee decided not to support me and I fell, jamming a toe and severely spraining my writing hand. I felt angry, useless, and my bruised body now matched my heart.

But through it all, there were God-moments sprinkled in, like a soft misting rain on a hot summer day.  I kept humming the new song by Toby Mac- move, keep walking. Lift your head.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MX1G71WK-FA

Then, to celebrate the fact we both were well enough to finally go to church, afterwards we went to our favorite local Chinese restaurant. This was the message in my fortune cookie:

imag0520

A smile is a curve that can get a lot of things straight.

Straighten up. Smile, keep going, shoulders back. These orders, long ago said by parents, teachers and coaches, whispered in my mind. It is all about attitude.

I could have wrung my hands, moaned, “Why me, Lord?”, and shuffled through these events with my head down and shoulders slumped. But, God’s little hugs in the form of serendipity after serendipity (too numerous to mention here), friends’ comments and prayers, and even songs on the radio at just the right moment lifted me.  Even through tears and moments of anxiousness, I could find something to smile about.

We all can.

If we can wrap our faith around the concept that God loves us and will walk with us through all the times in our lives, good or bad, then we can retain a joyful spirit even if we are not feeling particularly happy at the time.  Mentally and physically exhausted, at the end of my rope time and time again I found a “NOT”. You are not alone. You  are not meant to handle this all by yourself. You are not cursed, but blessed. 

I feel blessed that God gave me the faith to reach out to Him, and to friends.  I don’t have to be strong alone. I don’t have to pull up my big girl panties by myself. I have a Lord who wants to bear my yoke and help me carry the load.  Because He provides the strength,I can do it. (Philippians 4:13)  I can straighten up and smile.

No matter what curves life throws, we can keep on the straight and narrow.  Just move, keep walking. Lift your head…to Jesus.  And smile.

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courtesy  Alexiscorvus | Dreamstime.com -
courtesy Alexiscorvus | Dreamstime.com –

An author friend of mine, Anita Klumpers*, posted this on Facebook about her grandson:

Lesson learned from a 37-month-old, trying to control his sad tears: “Liam, how did you stop crying so fast?”
“I made my mouth go different.”

Scientists state it takes less muscle effort to smile than to frown, but often times it takes  a lot more spiritual muscle effort, doesn’t it?  It is hard to stay up-beat, positive and hopeful when the world dumps troubles and strife on our shoulders like buckets of coal.  Yet, as Paul wrote to the Philippian Christians, we are supposed to rejoice, being thankful in all things and steadfast in prayer.  Is that possible?

Yes- if we make our mouth go different.

  • Take a deep breath and move your lips into a smile. It is hard to be angry, hurt or anxious if you can smile, or even drum up a chuckle.
  • Open our lips to only speak good things. Our grandmothers were right. If you don’t have something nice to say….
  • Audibly Praise God no matter what and pray for Him to alter your attitude.

The next time you feel your lips quivering into a frown, ask our Lord to help you make your mouth go different. That is not to say emotions are not valid. There are times we should be sad or angry. Jesus cried.  He also overturned tables in the Temple.

I’m also not insinuating we shove our negativeness down our gullets where it can fester. But, we can change our attitude by purposely altering our body language and our thoughts.  We can choose to brood and be rude, or  make the choice to rejoice. We can give our angst to God instead of spreading it to others and pray for Him to give us the attitude of gratitude instead of stinkin’ thinkin’.

In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,  and do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4:26-27

Each moment we have an option – be hopeful or despair, trust or distrust, stand firm or melt into a pool of self pity. How will you make your mouth go today? However it goes, your thoughts and attitude will follow.

 

*read Anita’s suspense romance
novella, “Hounded”, along with mine, “Greener Grasses”  in the Love Is Anthology Book One.

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Baruch (Bar-OOK) is a lesser known prophet, and legend has it, he was the great prophet Jeremiah’s personal secretary. He lived during the time the Hebrew people were in exile in Babylonia.

That was a pretty dark time. They had been punished by God for not repenting. You might say they were in “time-out”. Like a parent disciplines a stubborn child, God removed them from all the wondrous things He had given them – the Promised Land, the Temple in Jerusalem, an identity as a nation under Him.

Yet, Baruch tells the people this, “Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem, and put on for ever the beauty of the glory of God. Put on the robe of righteousness from God and on your head the diadem [ornamental crown] of the glory of the Everlasting.” (5:1-2)

It reminded me of when Paul talks about putting on the whole armor of God in Ephesians 6.

That then led to the celestial tap on my brain — what are you putting on, Julie?

closetEvery morning I stand in my closet and decide what I am going to wear. The same is true for my attitude. Will I put on garments of sorrow and affliction, the unresolved hurt feelings, the negative attitude  I have towards someone  ( or myself) . . .or will I take them off the hangers and lay them at the feet of Jesus, stand naked before my Lord, and then let Him place on me His robe of righteousness and crown me with His glory?

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