Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Recently Alisa saw the need to enforce a no-grumbling policy for her oldest daughter. Each time Hadassah complained with statements like “I am tired” or “this is too hard” or “why do I have to clean my room?”– Alisa challenged her to turn the statement into something positive – something to be grateful for.
Driving her home from dance the other day, I asked Hadassah if her new Irish-dance hard shoes were broken in, to which she replied, “well at least my right foot feels fine.” (her left foot had developed several blisters from the new dance shoes)
She’s catching on!
Try being grateful and grumble at the same time.
It doesn’t work. In fact, gratitude drives out complaining and complaining drives out gratitude. We each make a choice about which mindset we develop in ourselves.
During “Oma-school” this week, my grandkids and I considered how our words impact others.
I challenged them to ask these questions before speaking about or to someone:
- Is it true?
- Is it kind?
- Is it necessary?
I warned them that when we speak about others, our words can be repeated, distorted and move from person to person. It’s how rumors grow and individual lives are harmed! What a responsibility we have in portraying others in kind and true ways!
We also discussed how our thoughts influence our lives day-by-day.
I have recently been reading many studies on anxiety which strongly indicate that changing the way we think changes brain chemistry and therefore reduces anxiety. Anxious people tend to ruminate negative thoughts. They habitually whirl worries, what ifs, regrets, and offenses. When they develop positive thinking habits instead, their anxiety diminishes. Ageless Biblical wisdom is right on:
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)
It’s with thanksgiving and praise that we come into His presence. (Psalm 100:4)
God’s peace envelopes us when we think on what is honorable, just, pure, lovely, and commendable. (Philippians 4:8-9)
Death and life are in the power of the tongue. (Proverbs 18:21)
Do you want to see the culture of your home grow more positive?
The culture of our homes is made up of what each person brings from within themselves. Our children are influenced most by what we, as their parents, model in our own lives. What a difference we can make by developing and maintaining a positive, uplifting perspective which is rooted in looking to, and trusting in, the source of life itself: JESUS.
ONE: Look to Jesus and not around at your circumstances.
These quotes by Linda Dillow in her book Calm My Anxious Heart express this well:
“Faith raises us above our circumstances. Faith enables us to be content even when life doesn’t make sense. Faith is the bulwark that keeps us strong even when we’re assailed by agonizing thoughts about what might happen or by what has happened.”
“It’s our ‘helping God out’ that leads to an anxious heart. When we take over and try to control what happens, we take our focus off the One who is in control and put our eyes on our circumstances.”
TWO: Look to Jesus and not to others.
Even your best friend or your spouse will let you down at times and in the same way you will disappoint them. We are not 100% trustworthy. But Jesus is. He never lies or slanders. He is loyal and understands our pain.
Jeremiah 17:5 says “cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord.”
THREE: Look to Jesus and not to your own thoughts.
Are you directing your thoughts or are they directing you? And where do they come from anyway? Often our thoughts are rooted in worries and fears and are not to be trusted.
God’s ways and thoughts are always higher than ours. (Isaiah 55: 8-9)
“Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.” (Proverbs 28:26)
TIPS on becoming more positive with your kids:
- Correct rather than criticize: They are far more receptive to hearing what you want them to do rather than listening to what they did wrong.
- Speak belief and affirmation: Even when they mess up, remind them of who they are becoming. Kids grow hopeless when they come to believe they can never “win” or be good enough to earn your approval. Speaking highly of them in front of others. They will rise – or fall – to your description of them.
- Focus on what you want: What you feed will flourish and grow, so bring attention to behaviors you desire to see happen. Notice when things are going well.
- Consider the positive side to their negative behaviors. Your son who loves to argue is practicing how to express his beliefs and he is staying in communication with you. Your strong-willed daughter is practicing standing up for herself and not giving up. Your dramatic 3-year old is learning how to express emotions.
PRAYER: Lord, teach us to make our words and meditations acceptable in your sight. Grow our resolve to be positive and uplifting with our words in ways that bring life to others. Grow our desire to speak only what is true, kind and necessary. May our words reflect your nature and may our children see your love and grace through us. May we change our homes by changing our words and our thoughts to align to Your nature and Your truth. Amen