How Changing Your Focus Changes You
My five-year-old had just finished up a trial karate class. As he walked towards us, my two-year-old ran to him and hugged him like he hadn’t just been playing with him less than an hour ago, like he hadn’t just sat there watching him the whole class. Click. Click. Mental snapshot.
Less than 24 hours later, they are brawling over a pillow fort. Sigh. No clicks.
The winds change quickly with siblings. I know that. I have a brother and a sister. Yet, it still surprises me how easily moods change now that I’m the adult in the situation.
Wait. Why am I surprised?
Didn’t I reply snappily to my husband this morning for no reason except I was tired? Didn’t my voice rise a bit when I thought my son broke a dozen eggs while he was helping unload the groceries? Didn’t I sigh as I washed dishes that had gotten stacked too high on the counters?
There is hope though. It peeked through as I tried to find gratitude every day for one little thing.
Because as I’ve tried to give thanks for ONE thing, I have given thanks for many.
There’s the toys that are set up creatively so that the firefighter has a nerf bullet waterhose to fight fires with. Smile. Click.
There’s the piles of laundry waiting to be folded that also mean we have plenty of clean clothes and a washer and dryer. Smile. Click.
There’s the microwave to reheat my hot tea three times before 8am because I’ve been up too early chasing little ones. Smile. Click.
When ALL THE PEOPLE get up at 5:30am and you need to reheat your hot caffeine for the third time by 8:02am, the microwave becomes the machine of your dreams. (You know, those dreams you aren’t having because your people have become anti-sleep.) What are you thankful for today? #inallthanksgiving #gracewalking
There’s the delight in a baby’s hand rather than the frustration that he’s waking every few hours all night long.
There’s the God of the universe who came down to earth to forgive us and enter into relationship with us because we could not save ourselves (so let’s just stop trying to, ok?).
In all things give thanks.
Moods change quickly. If we allow ourselves to indulge in the sinful moods, they will rule. We know that. We live there.
Moods change quickly. If we take the stressful thoughts captive and focus on what is good and lovely, peace will rule. I’m learning to live there.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. And what you learned and received and heard and saw in me, do these things. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9, NET)
I’m focusing on the hugs and not the brawls. I’m apologizing quickly for my snappish responses and remembering the love in our home. I’m seeing the blessings in the stuff we get to clean over and over and over again.
My family knows I say I believe in God. They also know better than anyone else who I let rule my heart and head. My children know when what I say doesn’t line up with what I do.
I want to present to them what a life lived out for God looks like, not only outside of my home but inside it too. Especially inside it.
In all things give thanks.
Thankfulness is remaking me into Christlikness as my camera, my phone, my tablet focus on the good in life. Because it’s not just the pictures that come into focus, my life does. And in turn, I do.
Check in daily with @jamie.lath on Instagram to see my journey #inallthanksgiving