When I was growing up I would often get frustrated with my dad. When we would go to church or be out somewhere and people would ask my dad how he was doing his response was usually, "Almost excellent" with a big grin on his face. In my head I would get so mad at him thinking, "That is not true. You are not doing well. Why are you lying to these people??" My dad was a non-compliant diabetic that was always suffering with some kind of physical ailment (like crazy blood sugars, huge ulcers on his feet, amputated toes, etc) and I felt that by saying "almost excellent" he was trying to deceive people.
Today I read an email that made me realize that he just had a different perspective of reality than I did. The email talked about 3 actions to help you change your attitude:
1. Shift your focus
2. Change your posture
3. Watch your language
Dad's focus wasn't on the fact that he was sick or hurting. He was surrounded by people which is where he loved to be and his focus was on the moment, not on his struggles. He had a huge smile on his face and he was using words that made his reality true. He's been gone for nearly 4 years but I am so thankful for the lesson that he taught me by example today.
During DEAR time today I re-read another chapter from Calm My Anxious Heart. (note: I just noticed when I put that link in that it is only $5 right now at CBD. If you don't own it BUY IT!) I'm reading it on my kindle app this time (it was free a while back) though the actual book version is one of the few books that didn't get packed when we packed all of our books because it is one that I have always had out and near since I first read it with my beloved Tuesday morning Bible Study back in 2007 at the Waterloo Rec. It is a book that I return to time and time again because I constantly need the reminders that are underlined all over it. I am reading it again because I need it again. I need to be reminded that God is "the Blessed Controller of all things" and to keep my focus on Him. Today as I re-read chapter 2 I was reminded once again that "Our thought life - not our circumstances - determines whether we are content." Seems like a theme that God is trying to teach me today.
And "How does God enable us to be content? He infuses contentment into us through His Word. [another theme He seems to be impressing on me.] As it seeps into our minds, it transforms us. Just as a cup of tea gets stronger when we give it time to steep, so we become more content when we spend time in God's Word and allow it to seep into our lives, transforming us to be like Him."
This week I have been reading Psalm 27 in my Psalm study. David has such confidence in God. He doesn't need to fear because God is his light, his salvation, his defense. He chooses to seek and praise God though his enemies abound. He chooses to wait on God. I love verses 13-14 "I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord." After reading them I wrote out a prayer: "Lord, this reminds me of One Thousand Gifts. It is so easy for me to give over to despair when my eyes are on my circumstances but You long for me to open my eyes to the blessings that You give that surround me day after day after day. Moment by moment blessings. Give thanks. You have made so evident Your goodness in 'the land of the living.' How much more will You in the real life hereafter. As I long for that day may I be constantly aware of Your blessings today!" Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.
Lord, thank You for the lessons that you are teaching me. I am sorry that I am so forgetful and must be taught again and again and again. Thank You for Your patience with me. Thank You for the example that You gave me in my parents. They both had so many struggles, physical and otherwise, but they rarely let them affect their attitude. Please help me to spend time steeping in Your Word so that I can shift my focus, change my posture and use language that will bring glory to You.