Blog, Living in the Abundance of Christ

Today, My Attitude Was a Problem

I, sometimes, have an attitude problem. My day might start out OK, but then little things start adding up.  I don’t have the kind of energy I want and I feel a little achy. It’s cloudy, rainy, and cool. We don’t do what I thought we planned to do. I finish paying bills. I look around and see a messy house and everyone lounging. I think of all the unfinished projects we have started. I start getting irritated that *it seems* like I’m the only one that even cares about the condition of our home and that I’m the only one that *seems* to do anything about it.  I start getting a stomach ache, because now I’m feeling stressed. I fold some clothes with an attitude. I go to my closet to try to accomplish something and end up just putting clothes away. Then, I go to the kitchen to make dinner and realize – I have an attitude problem.

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So, maybe your day hasn’t gone exactly like this, but you may have experienced a similar kind of day. How can I turn this around? What are some things I can do right now to get out of this funk?

1. I say a quick prayer. I ask the Lord to help me with my attitude. This is an acknowledgment that I am the one that is having a problem and I need some help. This takes the blame off of others and puts me in charge of my own attitude. It also gives me hope that God can and will help me.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble.” Psalm 46:1

2. I think of David and the Psalms. I remember how he was troubled, and distressed. How he prayed and God heard him.

“In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.”

And then I remember how he encouraged himself in the Lord and praised Him, and I try and do the same thing.

“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:5

3. I listen to uplifting music. Lately, I’ve been listening to Page CXVI, this is my go to music for when I’m feeling troubled or need some calm. Their music consists of Hymns done in a new, fresh way and I love it.  It takes the focus off of me and puts it on God. You might notice the first paragraph consists of a lot of “I’s”. This means my focus has been only on me and how I’m feeling, so changing the focus from myself to God is vitally important. It reminds me that this life is just temporary. We have something far more glorious and wonderful to look forward to. This isn’t it.

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:17

4. I try and do something that will help the situation. Sometimes that means cleaning up something, throwing a load of laundry in the washer, working on a small project, a craft or writing a note or card to someone I’ve been wanting to send something to. Really, anything that is on your to-do list or that you’ve been intending to do. Usually, when I’m already feeling stressed or like I have an attitude problem I try and keep this thing small and achievable.

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men;” Colossians 3:23

5. Other times, went I’m not feeling well, it means resting. Your body may be generally worn out and easily stressed because you need more rest. This is legitimate and important. Taking a nap, reading a book, having a cup of tea and just sitting. This is not as easy as it sounds. Resting was something I had to learn to do. This sometimes means letting things just be messy. It’s OK. I promise the mess won’t go anywhere and if it does, then, great!  If you’re able, and what I sometimes do is, do a little something and rest and then do a little something more and rest again. Sometimes this isn’t possible for that day and that’s OK too.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures,he leads me beside quiet waters,he refreshes my soul.” Psalm 23:1-3

6.You can ask your family for help. You may or may not get it. When everyone is busy (like my family is all week) with work, school, and sports and they’re finally at home, they don’t always want to chip in. This is where chores or requirements (like we call them) can be helpful. I will say that having an attitude and “asking for help” can look a lot like berating your family about their mess. So this isn’t always the best time to do that. I, unfortunately, have a lot of experience with this. That’s one of the reasons I need so much help in the area of attitude!

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philipians 4:19

7. I talk to an encouraging, close friend, spouse, or family member. It helps me to get a different perspective and sometimes have someone tell me what I’m doing right or wrong (lovingly, of course). You can ask them to pray with you or for you too. I can always count on my parents to pray for me and my Dad will stop whatever he’s doing to pray with me right then. I appreciate that and it takes the whole weight of burden off of you when you’re able to share it with someone else.

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galations 6:2

If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” Ecclesiastes 4:10

8. Make sure you’re not taking on more than you are able to do. This is especially true when dealing with illness. This can mean only focusing on things that have to be done with and for your family, your home and your job and cutting out extra activities until you feel able to do some extra things.  I’ve said “No” many times, and I get better and better at it. If you’re not allowing for margin in your life, you are setting yourself up for failure and an attitude problem.

So, what are your tips?  What do you do when you feel like you have an attitude problem?

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