“If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” That famous saying has been around a long time. There may, or may not, be some truth to that. The truth is, as Moms – we set the attitude in our homes. Not that other attitudes don’t affect the other people- or even our own – attitude- but we are the ones who are teaching our children about how to deal with situations, how to interact with others, and most importantly, how to be thankful and praise.
The kids came running in the door with their grandfather, excited to share with me what they had done that day. They were bursting with excitement and joy. What they found wasn’t an excited mom, though. I was elbow deep in dish water, and three other projects that had been left unattended were sitting around me. I was stewing in my own pity party of cleaning the kitchen for the fifth time that week (it was only Tuesday!), being behind on work, and they were not doing the chores we had set out for them – so I was doing those too. I also had been to the grocery store and the orthodontist that day. Joy and Praise were not abounding out of my lips. They skidded to a stop and decided that they should go upstairs and play. Granddaddy hurried out the door – and again, I was left in my misery. And then, it happened.
The arguments. The bickering. Yes, my kids do it too. And instead of using those moments as teachable, I began to yell. And argue. And bicker. The night wore on – and so did the bad attitudes.
Mama, we control this. Or maybe it is our lack of self-control that controls this. I don’t share that story to make another pity party – I share it because it is honest. I should have taken some time, as a grown up, who has the Holy Spirit living in me, to turn around my attitude. To be thankful. Yes, even in my bad day. But it goes beyond the bad day.
Bad attitudes are contagious, and they often don’t end. The bad day I wrote about- turned into a bad WEEK! It didn’t get better until it was brought to my attention that I was the one who was constantly changing the attitude in my home from good to bad to worse!
So, how can we turn our attitudes from the dumps to praise? Here is how I started changing my ways – they were outward changes that led to inward realities.
- Play Praise Music– I learned that the more praise music- or Bible reading – I had playing in my home – the more my attitude was lifted higher to the place it should be. Music can truly change the atmosphere of our home.
- Have Your Bible Open to a Scripture to Meditate On- Each day, on the arm of my chair- or on the table beside me – my Bible lays open to the passage I have read. I keep my Bible open because just like prayer should be continual, I think reading God’s Word should be too. Whenever I start getting into a foul mood, I turn that Bible over to Psalms- and just start reading. I will be reading through some of the Psalms starting next week- and I would love for you to join me on Thursdays as I share my heart from them! God’s Word changes lives, hearts, AND attitudes. It does not return void. If I am in the car- I listen to God’s Word on my YouVersion App!
- Share the Goods- Each night at the dinner table, we share the good things that happen in our day. We also share a bad thing (if we had one) because this is a good way to get the kids talking about their day – but focus on the GOOD! We make our kids find a good in every day- even if it is just that it is almost bedtime, and we get new mercies in the morning! Focus on the good!
- Speak Words of Praise Over Your Family– As we are training and raising our children, we need to be sure that we praise as much as we correct. We want to be sure our children hear praise coming from our mouths- for God – and for them! Be sure to find at least 3 things to praise your child for every day. Sandwich things that need to change in the middle of two positive things.
- Pray- Ask God to help turn your heart towards praise.
It really does start with us. We need to be sure we are keeping an attitude of praise flowing in our home.