I don't know if I was born this way, or if it's a learned behavior, maybe it's just my own insecurities, but I can have a very critical, condemning, self-serving spirit. It sounds like this....
"You didn't do that right!"
"You aren't doing that right! You should do _____ instead!"
"Are you wearing THAT?"
"Who drives around in a car like this?"
"Didn't anyone ever teach you to_________"
"You're driving too fast! Too slow! You took the wrong path."
"We don't need that! Why'd you buy that? You got the wrong thing, AGAIN."
"Come on guys! We're not the half-a$$ Dows! Finish that job up!"
That's the kind of spirit/attitude that will wreck your marriage and mother/fatherhood. It'll keep your husband/ wife from trying to please you, or even worse, wanting to be around you. It'll keep your kids from connecting with you. Trusting you. Growing into who "GOD" designed them to be, rather than who "YOU" want them to be. In the earlier days of this blog, I wrote a lot about how I, just trying to be a "good" momma and wife, honestly I WAS, was just hurting the relationships in my own home. I need to dig some of those out the archives and re-share.
Anywho, I've been accused a time or too of being a perfectionist. A clean freak. So much so that when my house is a total disaster and it looks like a tornado swept through, I almost like for people to come in so that I can say, "SEE! LOOK! I'm just a "normal" gal living a "normal" life! Look at my mess! See! I'm "Normal!"
Really, I just want to be a "normal" laid back easy going momma! Wifey. But I am not. I like to get stuff done and I want it done RIGHT and RIGHT NOW. That's the honest truth! I WANT to be gentle and kind and patient. I want to care about people more than stuff. I want a slower pace. I strive for those things, but I am always combating "self."
How do you combat that? How do you get from who you are to who you want to be? How do you get past a very critical, perfectionist spirit? Do you want people to remember you that way? Do you want to be the mom or dad who constantly saw you as "Not getting it right?" "Not doing enough?" "Always being asked to change this or that to PLEASE you?"
How do you balance "training them up in the way they should go" and being gentle? Do your kids only want to clean half the kitchen too? Or do they clean their rooms by shoving everything under their beds, as if you won't notice? Do they ever pick up their shoes out of the doorway without you asking repeatedly?
I want to train them to be helpful and responsible and grateful and to "work as if they are working for the Lord" but without sounding like all I do is nag and fuss and complain.
Is that even possible? I don't know. Honestly, I don't.
But I do think THIS helpful.
Have an attitude of gratitude. It sounds so cliche, but really, I think it helps.
All day, everyday, instead of the above phrases or sayings, I try to sound more like this...
"Thank you so much for getting your lunch packed!"
"Thank You so much for washing my van! That makes me so happy."
"Thank you so much for making us dinner! This is amazing!"
"Thank You so much for taking us out to eat! I love a break from cooking and cleaning."
"Thank you so much for brushing their teeth! I hate that job!"
"You already gave Lukey his meds! Thank you for remembering!"
"Thank you guys so much for tyding up the toy room! You guys are the BEST. KIDS. EVER!"
"You are doing good so far! How can I help you finish up the job all the way?"
I want my voice in my husband's head and my kid's head to be one of Gratitude. Kindness. Goodness. I hope that voice is louder and more frequent and genuine than my critical, self-serving self-pleasing one. I think that constantly looking for ways to be grateful and by actually saying them out loud, all day helps me to have a lot more JOY and PEACE in the chaos! I am certain it does for my family as well.
Let's do that. Let's look for reason to be thankful all day. Every day. You can change. You can start today. Someone once commented on my writing or a picture, "Whatever you are looking for, that's what you'll find." I LOVE that! It has stuck with me. And it is so TRUE! Let's look for good and let's SAY IT! Let's create positive Joyful homes that husbands and wives and kids can't wait to get home to!
Some verses that help me get my head on straight....
Proverbs 18:21 "The tongue has the power of life and death"
Proverbs 31:28 "Her children rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her."
Proverbs 21:19 "Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill tempered wife."
Proverbs 25:24 "Better to live on a corner of a roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife."