Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Thankful Heart

I've been doing VBS this week. It's been good and I'm loving it, but I come home tired every day - wanting just to sit down and chill for a bit.
However, when I got home Wednesday, 'sit down and chill for a bit' was not on the agenda. I was met by Joshua telling me he was going to the movies and the mall with his friend - which was OK with me. But moments later he told me he needed $4 to go to the movie. Apparently, he forgot the 'money' he was originally counting on in his wallet was in the form of a gift card. So I gave him the last of the cash I had in my wallet. And I was a little grumpy.
Then I noticed Joshua hadn't unloaded the dishwasher yet, and told him he needed to take care of it before he went to the movies. He grumbled under his breath, and I thought, It isn't like this is a new thing, my son. Unloading the dishwasher is your job every day.
And I became a little grumpier.
I was making myself a sandwich, and as I put something in the trash I was reminded it needed to be emptied. Something I had asked Joshua to do the night before. I said, "I almost hate to say this because I know you aren't going to like it, Joshua. But you need to empty the trash, too."
Any guess as to his response?
Yeah. He grumbled.
And I became more irritated.
Finally, his friend arrived to pick him up and on the way out the door, Joshua dropped the pizza he was going to eat for lunch.

OH, was he hot!!!

It made a mess on the floor and splattered on his shorts. I cleaned up the floor and Joshua wiped his pants, as I tried to console him by pointing out that the movie theater would be dark and no one would notice his shorts. "Yeah, but I'm hungry and now I don't have anything to eat," he retorted. Joshua's voice was shaky and I could tell he was near tears.
But sitting on the counter in front of me was the yummy fried egg sandwich I had just made for myself. So I wrapped it in a napkin and said, "Here. Take this." And I sent Joshua on his way.

He was happy, and now it was my turn to grumble.

I came home to un-done chores. He took the last of my money. I listened to him complaining about things he knows he needs to do. And now he has my lunch, too. Grrrr.
Oh, I could list my son's offenses. I could keep track of every thing he did that bothered me. I'm pretty good at gunny sacking.

But I found it was only serving to increase my irritability factor.

So I started giving thanks, instead.

*I thanked God that my son is able to make plans to go out with his friends.
*I thanked God that his friend's mom was able to drive them.
*I thanked Him that I had money in my wallet I could give to Joshua.
*I thanked Him for His perfect timing. That my sandwich was ready right when Joshua needed it. God knew the pizza was going to fall, and He worked out the timing so Joshua could eat my sandwich.
*I thanked God that there were more eggs in my refrigerator, so I could make another sandwich for myself.
*I thanked Him that I had the opportunity to serve my son, without even knowing that's what I was doing.

I discovered that one thought of thanksgiving quickly gave birth to another. I could keep right on thanking Him for lots and lots of things. And I realized my grumpy heart was no longer grumpy. Giving thanks had changed it.

And that change made me even more thankful!

How's your day going? Feel like grumbling about your circumstances? Try giving thanks, instead!

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18



Leah @ Point Ministries said...

think I will print this post out and tape it to my forehead!!!! I grumble to myself way more often than I should. What a great reminder to speak words of thanksgiving rather than grumbling.


luvmy4sons said...

Oh how can any mother relate to this post! We often cannot choose our circumstances but we can choose how we good to stop and be thankful it reverses everything! AMEN!

Irritable Mother said...

Leah - Great idea! Just be sure to cut eye holes, so you can see where you're going. *wink*

Leslie - My former pastor was known for saying, 'My response is my responsibility.' Yep. And it makes a HUGE difference!

TheUnSoccerMom said...

WOW!!! This could have also been titled: A Day in the Life of Jodi


THANK YOU for this and for reminding me to give thanks for everything. Isn't it wonderful how we can see things in such a different light when we give thanks??

Also, I'm still praying about that women's conference. God has given me the opportunity to do something I've always wanted to do, but it's going to take up my extra time. I don't want to say "no", but at this time, I can't say "yes" either. Who knows!? The opportunity God has given me may be my ticket to the conference! :o)

O Mom said...

Wondeful reminder and a confirmation for me.....:)

On Purpose said...

I think the boys and I will be having us some egg salad sandwhichs for lunch!

Irritable Mother said...

Jodi - Honestly, the difference in my attitude and outlook which results from giving thanks is remarkable. One would think I would grumble a lot less and give thanks a lot more. One would need to remember I'm a slow learner. But I'm getting there!
Regarding the conference...God can make a way for anything. If it's in His will, it's going to happen. And I just love watching to see how HE works things out. *grin*

O Mom - I'm glad. :)

Nichole - Mmmmm. Enjoy!

Patricia/NYC said...

Perfectly & wonderfully said!!!!!
And yet again, EXACTLY what I needed to hear RIGHT NOW!!!!!

(My goodness, He must think I am dense!! lol!!!)

Wendy said...

So very true! When we pick out the negatives we invariably find more and more to complain about, but when we stop and give thanks, we realize just how very much we have to be thankful for.

And I simply must share this post with my oldest daughter. She often forgets to unload the dishwasher, too. :)

Irritable Mother said...

Patricia - No, no. I'm sure HE doesn't think you're dense. But He knows what you need and His timing is perfect. *wink*

Wendy - Yes! Our focus affects everything.
I left a note to remind Joshua about the dishwasher yesterday, and that worked. Wish he'd just remember on his own. But I'M THANKFUL HE CAN READ. *grin*

Mary Voogt said...

No matter how rough the day is going...always be thankful for your children :)

A great reminder to be thankful. Tough for me at the moment as I sit here as big as a house and nauseous...knowing that it's not for the reason I'd like. But there is always something to be thankful for.

Irritable Mother said...

Mary - In those moments when giving thanks is most difficult - when it feels more like an effort than a response - I am so thankful for the grace of God which moves me past my feelings and closer to His heart!