The Choices I Get To Make

I get to choose daily what type of attitude I “clothe” myself with.

I get to choose whether I see my cup as half empty or half full {on the days that my proverbial cup doth not runneth over}.

And get this: I even get to choose the “climate” of my home.

Wow.  What a reality check.  What a great honor.  What a hefty responsibility!

We, as women {especially as wives and mothers}, have a tremendous impact on the “tone” of our home environment.  In short…we set it.

It is sweet.  Or it is sour.

Unlike the sauce, It cannot be both.

I get to choose how I respond to my children when they behave poorly.  I get to rise above and initiate an energizing cyclein spite of bad behavior, and regardless of how badly I may have slept the night before {thanks to them}…or simply react negatively out of my own selfishness and immaturity.

Wisdom or impulse.  It’s my choice.

I get to choose how I respond to my husband when he is weary, unknowingly abrupt, and still in “work mode” {which, translated, means treating me in a way I interpret as unloving}.  Choosing to love and serve, even when I am feeling unloved and empty.

I get to choose.  Every time.

Fuel or water.

What will I choose to pour over the situations I find myself standing on the verge of on a day-to-day basis?  And those I find myself hopelessly stuck in on rare occasion?

My attitude has the potential to change everything…the basic dynamic of my day…of his day…of their day.

I’ve heard it said, “attitude is everything”.  And the older I get, the more I grasp the magnitude of that statement.  It’s undeniable…our attitude has the potential tomake or break us, and those around us.

And the heart-breaking truth is, I’ve failed miserably in this department over the past few weeks.  Specifically in regards to my sweet husband.

I so easily turn my focus inward.  Selfishness consumes my thinking, and a mutually uncomfortable season in our marriage, brief as it may be, becomes one where all I see is my own emptiness.

I am instantly the victim, my husband the culprit.

Sucked into the vortex of my own self-centered, little pity party, I fail to recognize where my man is struggling, where he is feeling worn down and empty, and how my superficial attempt to explain my feelings leaves him feeling dejected and insufficient.

Fuel or water?

I had been choosing fuel almost exclusively for a week.  Crying myself to sleep, I made agreements about myself and my marriage that were so far from the truth, but were powerful enough to slowly drive a wedge between us.  Intimacy, shot.  Heart, hardened.  Climate, frosty.

My perspective clouded by selfishness, I held him at arm’s length and practically demanded my {emotional} needs got met before his {physical} needs had a chance of being met.

How does the knowledge I’ve acquired regarding the differences between men and women get forgotten so easily.  While I was processing legitimate heart-ache, I was going about it the wrong way.  I know that isn’t how this relationship thing works!  I know that isn’t the way God intended me to love my husband.  I know that isn’t the way to woo my husband’s heart.

It starts with dying to self.  Laying my agenda aside.  Loving extravagantly – without expectation – and allowing God to do “His thing”.

I forgot the power of pure water.

I’ve laid my bucket of fuel aside, pursued my husband’s heart {in spite of feeling the nagging ache of loneliness…oh, how I despise ‘night shift’}, intentionally prioritizing the refreshment of his weary soul…and now find myself reveling in the sweetness of God’s upside-down way of doing love.

My cup runneth over!

It’s delightful.  It’s mind-blowing.  It’s life-giving.  Tis’ sweet, my friends!

And it has energized the heck out of my marriage.

I get to choose.  Initiate an energizing cycle, or perpetuate the destruction of the crazy cycle.

All because of a small {okay, enormous} decision to change the attitude of my heart.

I’ve written previously about my love for the often quoted saying by Chuck Swindoll… The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life…The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”

I’ve had an attitude adjustment over the past week {and for this, my husband is eternally grateful}.

It was hard and awkward and tear-filled.  But oh, so necessary.

And oh, so worth it!

{because marriage, God’s way, always is}

By Joy McMillan, Simply Bloom


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