Wednesday, February 23, 2011


In life, we have choices to make. The choices we make affects ourselves as well as others. As mothers, the choices we make have the biggest impact on our families. One aspects of my life where I often fail is in providing joy on a daily basis. Joy to myself, joy to my family, children, partners, and joy in God and his ministry. I get caught up in negativity. Negativity from outside forces and negativity from internal forces. And it's not just about providing joy, it's about cultivating joy.

Yesterday, I was frustrated with my daughter because she was in a crabby mood while I was trying to get her ready for school. I finally told her she needed to change her attitude and she went onto the bus mad at me. I thought about this throughout the day and realized it was wrong of me to demand she change her attitude. There are many times when I am in a negative mood and take it out of my family by being sullen.

I reminded myself of a Bible lesson I taught at Sunday school last month.

1 Corinthians 12:25-26
All [the body's] different parts have the same concern for one another. If one praised, all the other parts share its happiness.

The lesson talks about how as a ministry, we all share and celebrate God's work that is done by others as well as ourself and identifying our unique places. I realized yesterday I wasn't applying this to other parts of my life. It's also important that I work with others in all aspects of my life and share and celebrate God's work even when that work happens in our family. I was expecting my family to behave one way when I wasn't doing the same. On mornings that I wasn't feeling joy, I let negativity get me down instead of celebrating and finding joy, however, I would demand my family feel joy instead of working to cultivate joy within them.

This morning, I almost let negativity bring me down again. Six months ago, I had an order for training pants and received positive feedback. Last week, I received a message that the training pants no longer fit and asking if they could return them and I replace them because they also wanted to order more but if I didn't work with them, they'd take their business somewhere else. I sent a message back that it had been six months and apologized that they were no longer happy but because of the time that had passed, I could no longer replace them. When I opened my email this morning there was a message that they took their business elsewhere and that I was a bad business person.

This made me sad because sewing is hard work. It takes time away from my family and can be labor intensive for the amount of money that is made. I almost let this email ruin my day. I wanted to reply and defend myself. And then I stopped because I knew this would accomplish nothing but upset me further because the other person was bound to respond back.

And then I told myself that I was not going to let this negativity ruin my day. I walked away and made the decision to fill my day, and my family's day, with joy.

Nehemiah 8:10
“Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

May your day be filled with joy and may you bring joy to others.