“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV
I’m the least qualified person to write this.
I typed that first sentence and almost deleted it. I realize the irony of introducing the message of ‘positive thinking’ with a negative thought. You see, these damaging thought patterns run deep in me, like they might in you.
On a bad day, I let my anxiety and frustration take control of my mind. On those days, I call my husband often to complain about the kids. I mentally check-out. I wish I was someone else or at least elsewhere. I whine about my lot in life, a whole lot. It feels easier, more indulgent, like eating an entire bag of Ruffles, to let my negativity lead. But like that post-chips-binge, I’m left feeling yucky and unfulfilled.
I can’t give you a cure-all antidote to any negativity, but I can tell you that my days look drastically different when I fight to be positive. Because it IS a fight. I have to intentionally choose to pull myself out of the comforting negative space (often multiple times a day) and into the warm light. There is no victimhood, no self-deprecation, no wallowing in the sunshine.
How do we fight for positivity? I choose to follow the advice Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians – rejoicing every day, praying non-stop, and deciding to be thankful in all things.
So today, Lord, help me be positive, to be thankful, and to rejoice. Help me to WANT to be those things.
- When the baby won’t let me pack us up, clean, or go to the bathroom without being held – help me be grateful for the gift of being a mother. Help me rejoice over the precious, chubby fingers holding mine.
- When I’ve spent an entire day cooking and they would rather have Dino nuggets – help me be grateful for the gift of provision and food in the fridge. Let me serve said Dinos with a roar of playfulness instead of frustration.
- When we’ve turned back from our trip for the fourth time for another forgotten item – help me be grateful for the gift of time together and a home to return to, and let me choose to play their favorite song again, singing along to make it even more fun.
- When the snotty noses keep needing to be wiped and sick babies need attention – help me be grateful for the gift of health and mama medicine. Enable me to see this season of snuggles as a fleeting time.
- When it all doesn’t go as planned – help me be grateful for the gift that is my lack of control, and let me rejoice in it.
- What are some ways you can fight to be positive? What are some circumstances you can view differently when you choose gratitude and joy?
Bria Hyink (beingbria.substack.com)