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Posts Tagged ‘attitude’

I’m having a Monday. Yes, I know it IS Monday, but somehow this one seems a little more Monday-ish. Maybe it’s because I’m fresh off a couple of vacation days. Maybe because I’m trying to get through my emails, prioritizing which ones really are as important as they seem to think they are. No matter the reason, it’s true. Mondays can be rough. And my attitude shows it.

No_Whining_Zone

I’m noticing a trend recently. Bad attitude = bad day. Good attitude = good day. Easy math there. If I choose to smile before I answer the phone, the caller doesn’t seem to get on my nerves. If I choose to be helpful to a co-worker, I feel a little better about myself. Of course, stuff happens. Sometimes those callers are just plain mean. But instead of getting all whiny and grumpy, I can CHOOSE to be positive. It does take some intentional thought processes, but it can be done.

Recently, I’ve encountered an individual who complains about everything. (No, it probably isn’t you…this person doesn’t know I have a blog…probably wouldn’t recognize herself anyway). After trying to figure out a computer form, she called to get help…which was happily given. She was determined to find fault with the system. It couldn’t possibly be human error – it had to be a computer issue. Well, as you’ve probably guessed, it was human error. And once that was diagnosed (and fixed), she launched into a long diatribe on the evils of change, how valuable her time was, how terrible blah, blah, blah.

This was a wake up call for me. How often do I complain and whine about situations beyond my control? How many people have heard my sighs of frustration or observed my grumpy face? How often do I blame someone or something else, when I’m the one at fault?

If I’m to be a reflection of Jesus then I better get a few things straightened out. My attitude is at the top of the list. And I know I can do it. Through Christ, all things are possible. As my friend Jennifer Dukes Lee says, “We are not powerless. Great freedom comes when we let go of what we CAN’T control, and rise up to take charge of what we CAN.”

Can Control (1)

 

 

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spic_and_span

This beautiful day gives me energy to take on some spring cleaning. After a long winter, I love to open up the windows, let in the beautiful sunshine and fresh air and get rid of the mustiness of a closed up house. Time to turn off the furnace – though in Iowa I know that’s a day-by-day, sometimes hour-to-hour, decision. There are three specific areas I try to take care of during my spring cleaning efforts.

(1)    Closets.

I don’t know how it happens, but my closets fill up with lots of junk over the winter. Sweaters, coats and boots take up more room than tank tops and sandals. My hall closet seems to bulge with the accumulation of hats, mittens, scarfs, and sweatshirts along with items no one knew what else to do with except shove it in and quickly shut the door. For you old radio show aficionados, it’s like Fibber McGee’s closet. So I like to go through each item, determine whether it’s worth keeping, and if not, it goes to Goodwill or the trash. We took 3 large trash bags today and I’ll have more as the spring progresses

(2)    Corners.

Our home does not have an abundance of natural light so we rely on lamps for most of our illumination during the winter. As a result, we don’t always take time to examine closely the corners of our rooms. When spring’s light shines in, those cobwebs show up big! Time for a little broom action to rid us of those little creepy-crawly homes.

(3)    Windows.

My least favorite area to clean but probably the one that needs it the most is my windows. We have a nature trail and cement manufacturer behind our house so I could clean my windows one day and they’d be just as dirty the next. So I don’t. I just get overwhelmed with the enormity of the task and don’t do anything at all. Guess what? My windows are filthy, especially the back ones. I finally tackle the project in the spring and of course, it’s amazing what a little soap, water and elbow grease can accomplish. The hardest part is getting started. 

'It must be Spring. I can't see out the window.'

‘It must be Spring. I can’t see out the window.’

I need to do spring cleaning in my spiritual house too. I don’t know about you, but I allow the dullness and routine of life to keep me from the regular maintenance we all need to do on our hearts. So how do the three cleaning areas in my house translate spiritually?

(1)    We all have junky attitudes that accumulate if we aren’t diligent about keeping our spiritual closets clean. Where God intends us to “store” our spiritual gifts and talents, we sometimes keep our unforgiveness, greed, selfishness and pride. We hide it away from prying eyes, but it’s still there. Now is a great opportunity to clean out those closets of your “old” self and fill it with God’s blessings of grace and favor.

(2)    I don’t think I’m the only one who needs to closely examine the corners of my heart. Old habits tend to grow and spread without the illumination of God’s love. Time to take the broom of God’s Word and sweep away the webs of deceit and lies. Allow the Holy Spirit to show you what needs to be cleaned up. He’s just waiting to be the “merry maid” in your cleaning adventure!

(3)    Finally, the windows of my soul need regular maintenance. The dust and dirt adhere so strongly if I don’t scrub them clean on a regular basis. It’s no fun. Who wants to see just how dirty you get throughout a season of life? But it needs to be done and not just once. We need to work out our salvation or do what’s necessary to keep ourselves saved. That means keeping those windows clean by continually being washed by God’s Word, praying (even when you don’t feel like it), forgiving those who’ve hurt you, serving those in need and allowing the bright light of God’s love to shine out from those beautiful windows.

So tackle that spring cleaning soon – both physically and spiritually. What a great way to begin a new season – uncluttered, clean and shiny!

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Ditch the fear sign

Day 40:

Last year I was privileged to participate in a very interactive workshop with the intention of discovering more about who I am, how I show up and what motivates me. The purpose was to help me decide to live an epic life…a life which impacts others. I can’t do that if I’m not being the best ME I can be. So I live intentionally. I make deliberate decisions to do things I’ve never done, go places I’ve never gone. That also means I’ve needed to confront a few faulty mindsets which had set up shop in my brain. In this “last” blog, I’ll share a few that have been most impactful to me in the last year.

“I have to figure it out first.”

Have you have said this? Doesn’t matter if you’ve spoken the words, the mindset might still be entrenched within you. I am a naturally cautious and careful planner. That seems like a pretty good trait, right? Not when it’s taken to an extreme. I was so careful that I missed out on the fun and laughter of being spontaneous. Do you plan the fun right of everything? Don’t you want to jump headfirst into an unplanned day sometimes? Go for it. Kick that mindset right out!

“If I try, I will fail.”

This one is the safe choice. I often chose safety over getting outside my comfort zone. Choosing to take back my health was my epiphany…baby steps forward helped me to be successful. But it all happened because I chose to try. Failure will happen. It happens to everyone. But it’s not the end. It’s just a wall. I got past it. You will too.

“It won’t matter anyway.”

I’m a natural optimist but sometimes I struggle to overcome this one. Defeatist attitudes are so easy to buy into. We don’t see the success we want. We work hard and see no difference. We diet or work out and see no weight loss. We spend hours teaching our kids to clean up after themselves, and still end the day setting the house in order, just so they can destroy it the next day. But life choices do matter. You matter! Each small decision we make to grow up, move forward, change destructive mindsets will matter. When I started recognizing those mindsets and chose to do different, then I noticed changes in my behavior almost immediately.

An epic life involves a day-to-day, step-by-step process. Here are a few choices I’ve made to change how I show up in life

Have fun

Choose “all in” participation – don’t hold back!

Take risks – choose the path least taken!

Minimize distractions! 

Get uncomfortable!

Don’t settle!

“Then, she began to breathe, and live, and every moment took her to a place where goodbyes were hard to come by. She was in love, but not in love with someone or something. She was in love with her life. And for the first time, in a long time, everything was inspiring.” (R.M. Drake)

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lack-of-money

Day 17 – Dropping my Poverty Mindset
Let me give warning right up front. This blog is not an expert’s advice on how to get rich, get out of debt or win the lottery. This is just a few thoughts I’ve had recently about how much I allow my mind to be consumed with money, especially the lack of it. And what I intend to do about it.

Let it be said that no one says, “I have enough money. Stop giving me anymore.” Well, maybe someone somewhere, but no one I know personally. In fact, most of us could use a little more every once in a while. We all have bills, some planned for like mortgages, car payments and school loans. Others are bombarded with emergencies like car repairs, doctors’ bills and “Yikes! I owe the IRS?” But there are actually some people who need money but don’t fret about it. And that’s where I want to be.

I have a poverty mindset. It manifests itself in worry, anxiety, stress, anger, bitterness, depression, envy and greed. It also takes away my joy, my happiness and my spontaneity. The words “No! We can’t afford that!” flow from my lips a lot. That attitude then spreads like a cancer into my kids, my husband, my friends…whomever has to listen to it, over and over and over.

Maybe you can relate? Ask yourself a few telling questions.
• Do you justify your lack of funds and make excuses?
• Do you complain about paying taxes on an unexpected bonus or reward?
• When something is free, do you grab as much as possible, even if you don’t need it?
• Is the concept of working for free crazy to you?
• Do you promise God you’ll tithe when you can afford it?
• Are you jealous when others are blessed with money or physical things?
• Do you go to bed most nights worrying about money?
I have to admit – I’ve had to answer “yes” to a couple of those things.

I have found it’s all about attitude and obedience. I tithe. Not because it’s some formula for getting rich but because God says I should. If I can’t be obedient in the little things, how will I ever handle the really big stuff?

I’m learning again to trust God (BTW – this lesson is never one you learn and move on…its presented over and over and over again). He is my source…not my employer, not my husband, not the government. With God there will always be more than enough. The only lack with room in my life is lack of worry, lack of stress, lack of anxiety.

I’m going for extravagance. Extravagant love…extravagant giving…extravagant grace…extravagant trust…extravagant obedience.

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