I never noticed until this morning that the end of gratitude looks a lot like attitude (only figured it out after I googled how to spell gratitude). I decided in attempt to be increasingly thankful instead of increasingly overwhelmed I’d change my chalkboard from the same verse that’s been up there for 3 months to a list of gifts. After a morning with the dog barking, baby crying, mountains of laundry piling into the hallways, a nail polish explosion that I just didn’t have the energy to clean up it became a necessity. I thought to myself surely there is a better way to live.
Because sometimes the tensions are too much between writing, mothering, wifeing (yes I made that word up) and a house that does not clean itself despite my best attempts to annoy apple that in fact there isn’t an app for everything. Sometimes I want to throw my hands in the hair, curl up in a ball on the floor and say “I am not enough woman for this” (hasn’t happened yet but I think the countdown is on).
Then I realize…
Attitude…. (noun) “a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior.”
The fact that attitude is a noun confirms my suspicion that there is in fact an extra person lurking around my house stealing joy. Then I realize it’s me. I have settled into a way of thinking that life is too much, that stress will be my days, and that business is a higher achievement than holiness.
Then I read this…
Romans 12:1-3 message
“1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
3 I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace”
As I read the words freedom rushes over me because I am only required to bring God my life. He doesn’t want my performance, he doesn’t care if my house is sparkly clean, or decorated like pottery barn (although I’d like it). He just wants my life to point back to him. So my goal shifts from trying to work for God to knowing God. Letting him move and mold me into the woman who not only can handle it but shines his light while doing it.
My mom was great at this. I don’t remember a chaotic house and we didn’t do a lot of Jesus crafts (mostly we played outside and with big boxes we found) but you know what I remember. I remember her calm spirit when I’d come home from school crying. I remember the house not being perfect and that being ok because we were being kids and everyone knows those pottery barn catalogues don’t have life in them. We laughed a lot, we ate junk food every now and again (which I think now is a punishable offense) and my mom shined Jesus brighter than any woman I know. I want to shine Jesus in my house and I think that begins with my attitude.