It’s All About the Attitude

I am finding myself too often consumed by the daily distractions of my life to sit and ruminate on something, much less write about it. I thought about taking a hiatus from my blog just because I cannot keep up with my personal expectations for myself.

Do any of you suffer from that? Are you constantly failing in your own opinion of yourself? Well, I often suffer from that virus.

So I told Superman that maybe I would not write for awhile. He, of course, was all about encouraging me to not give up on writing completely but just give myself the right to not post every. single. day.

Those of you who have faithfully been following me know that I am not keeping up with my original goal. I just can’t.

So I thought, why not write just once a week? He said not to commit to that often or limit myself too much either. He is a smart man. I am blessed to have him for my confidant and best friend.

When you care for children all day and have grandchildren living with you, there isn’t a lot of time to just BE. That time to have peace and quiet and do the things that only you can do. And so often that makes me feel like a failure.

I don’t have the same energy I had when I was raising my own children. There is a very strong argument that could be made regarding having your children while you are still young and fit enough to run and play.

But I still play. And never could really run…asthma went undiagnosed for too many years and I always had so much pain in my chest when I did try to run. Anyway, I digress.

I like to be silly with my little friends. We dance to silly songs and run in circles and play follow the leader. Doesn’t that sound all nice and rosy?

But as is the case so often with humans, there are times when little people get selfish or temperamental and need a little course correction. An attitude adjustment.

I try to make the corrections relevant and easy to understand. Apparently, that can be annoying.

Curly Top used to be this angelic child. Sweet and innocent and compliant. Whoever stole that from her, please return it. Immediately.

This week, on two subsequent days, that little Diva shared her attitude with me. I feel called to share it with all of you. Just a wee bit of insight into the developing personality of my only granddaughter.

That child who is so sweet can really spark a fire with her little mouth and attitudes.

She was sitting on the couch being annoying. Not really being naughty, just whiny and complaining and uncooperative. I suggested that maybe she needed a nap.

And without dropping a beat, she said, “I don’t think so!” With all the attitude you can imagine. Her mother and I looked at each other and it made us raise our eyebrows.

The following day, she and the other cherubs were running back and forth through the house, stopping and starting at the front door. (Apparently there is a code that determines who gets to be in which spot at the front door. And the spot by the door knob is prime real estate.)

Curly Top believed that prime real estate was her designated space. And pushed the others out of it. Hmmm, that seemed to be a great opportunity to discuss kind treatment and gentle hands and nice words.

“Curly Top, you need to gentle with your hands and say kind words to your friends. It isn’t nice to be selfish and mean to your friends,” I said, looking her in the eyes.

No response. She turned her face away. I turned her face back to look at me and held her chin in my hand.

“Do you understand?” I asked.

“Okay!” she replied, with a great deal of sass and completely devoid of sincerity.

I tried again.

“Say it with a nice voice,” I said, still holding onto her chin.

“Okay!” she growled, still with a great bit of sass, but less vehemence.

A third time. “You need to have a gentle mouth. Say it with a nice voice,” I said as I continued to look her in the eyes and hold onto her chin.

“Okay,” she responded. It wasn’t very sweet, but the sass at least seemed to be gone.

I turned from her and as I walked away, she muttered, “Finally!” with the sassiness of a thirteen year old. I couldn’t believe it.

She sounded just like a certain child of mine did…it brought back a lot of memories.

But that child, who can be so full of joy and laughter, is a little sinner, just like me. And her stinky attitude is exactly like mine when my attitude needs some readjusting.

I find that when my attitude stinks, it is because I am just not thinking about the things I should be thinking about. There are so many things that generate a right attitude, it shouldn’t be that difficult to have the right attitude, but we allow things to sour us.

That is when it feels like God takes hold of my chin, looks me in the eyes, and says to me:

Philippians 4:8

…whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—
if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.

If I am dwelling on the truth, the honorable, the just and pure…If I am thinking about the lovely and those things that deserve commendation…If I make certain that there is moral excellence and praiseworthiness, won’t I have a right attitude?

I find that as I get older, I just don’t have time to dwell on the negative. I can’t afford the cost. I fail. I fall short.

But God daily pours out His love, His grace, His mercies over me. No matter how I fall short, He is there, faithfully forgiving me and demonstrating to me, over and over and over, how much He really loves me.

Even if I don’t write in my blog every day.

Philippians 2

So if there is any encouragement in Christ,
any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit,
any affection and sympathy, complete my joy
by being of the same mind, having the same love,
being in full accord and of one mind.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but
in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 
Let each of you look not only to his own interests,
but also to the interests of others.

Have this mind yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God,
did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men. 
And being found in human form, he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.  

Therefore God has highly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Do you need to adjust your attitude? Where do your thoughts dwell?

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The Costco Butcher

(I know Easter has already passed. Tell that to my internet connection that keeps kicking me offline when I want to be online. I am behind, but I decided to post my Easter thoughts at this late date regardless.)

On the Saturday before Easter, my husband took me on a date to Costco.

Yes. Costco.

And yes, it was a date.

We don’t have a lot of time to ourselves, so stealing away to a place that offers free samples of tasty treats, great deals on all kinds of cool stuff, and GLUTEN FREE DOG FOOD should certainly be on the top of anyone’s Top Ten Date Ideas, right? I know, you’re jealous of my life…

So we made our way through the humongous Six Flags over Groceries and Stuff, and eventually walked through the meat department. There is something to be said at finding a pork loin that is almost three feet long…I cut it into thirds so it would fit in my pan…

But as I looked over the selection of meat, I saw the butcher walking through the meat department. He was wearing a white uniform and what probably started as a white apron. The apron was now very blood-stained, bearing the marks of the butcher’s workmanship. It wasn’t the first time I had ever seen a bloody butcher’s apron, but this time it got my mind going.

The following morning, I was again reminded of the butcher in his bloodied apron. It was Easter Sunday, and I was thinking about the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As I thought about the soldiers who nailed Jesus to the cross, my mind was filled with images of them being splattered and stained with His blood. His sacrifice was not a neat and tidy job. It was truly a bloody and torturous death. And in much the same manner as the butcher bore the bloodstains of the slaughtered animals, so would the soldiers have borne the stains of the Savior on their bodies and clothing. I wondered how they felt? Did it cause them any fear? Did they feel nothing at all? Were they even aware of WHO they were killing?

My memory of the blood-stained butcher is stamped in my brain. Even stronger in my mind is the image of my slain Savior who died at man’s hands to offer the final sacrifice for sin. There is no longer any suitable offering for sin…Jesus completed His work at Calvary. Not only was the sacrifice sufficient, but in rising again and being ascended into heaven, we see the work of Christ complete as He now is seated at the right hand of the Father.

There is nothing left that any of us can do to make His sacrifice more effective or more complete. He bore the payment for sin in His own body that I might live. Freely live a life of hope and grace and mercy and love. 

Hebrews 9:11 ff

But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.

For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant

For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things,
but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.
Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly
since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all … to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.