Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Change of Attitude


As the mother of a teenager, I have heard that word a lot in the past 5 years. Even before she turned thirteen and officially entered that life stage of  "teenager",  her father and I would often hear our daughter utter "Whatever" as her response to something we told her. We always knew that the word signaled an attitude somewhere within her- an attitude that meant that she had put up an invisible wall and no longer wished to carry on any form of a discussion with us. This sometimes would get in the way when we were trying to impart some piece of what we viewed as life wisdom.

As I read this week's chapter of Stressed-Less Living, I realized that I also have attitudes. In particular, there are 2 types of attitudes that tend to get in the way of my receiving the full blessings from God: an "I Can Do It" attitude and an "I'm not good enough" attitude.

At first glance the "I Can Do It" attitude might seem a positive thing, but allow me to take a minute to explain what I mean and I think you will understand the negative connotation that it actually holds. Too often when faced with a problem, I say, "I can do it! I can take care of this! Here is what I am going to do." Sounds good.... right?......

WRONG! Something is missing. When faced with the problem I took it into my own hands and failed to stop and include the most important person, GOD. The solution that I perceive as the correct one may not be the one that God intended. Sometimes when I jump in and try to take care of it.... things just get worse and I end up enduring stress and strains that I might not have, had I just turned things over to God in the first place and had faith that he could... and would... provide a solution.

Then there's the "I'm not good enough" attitude. That one rears its head a LOT in my life. I have doubts about my appearance, doubts about the quality of my mothering skills, doubts about how good I am at teaching, and this inner feeling that I am not as good a wife as I could be because my house is not as clean as the ones I see on the internet. One of the morning shows earlier this week did a good job explaining how the worldwide-web creates feelings of insufficiency in women like me. We go online and see the blogs of mothers who spend literally HOURS baking and decorating a child's birthday cake and then we run to the nearest superstore for a commercially prepared one, all the while feeling guilty. We sit down to cruise through Pinterest and we see pin after pin of some amazing craft or organization idea that another mother has posted. Inside our heads we think, "That's a great idea... if I had the time or the talent, but I could never do it." It's a lot like peer pressure, I suppose. We see others who are seemingly "Super Woman" and we want to achieve that status too.

Through this week's readings I have come to realize that if I am ever to overcome, or even decrease, the stress within my life I am going to have to turn down the volume on those two attitude voices and crank up the volume on God's voice. Philipians 4:8 says it best:

I need to focus my thinking on godly thoughts. Instead of focusing on the piles of things that my children leave around the house, I need to think about how thankful I am to have a wonderful home in which to live and raise my family. Instead of thinking enviously about someone else's talent or idea, I need to think about what my own God-given talents are and how I can use them for his purpose. Instead of jumping in and saying, "I'll take care of it!" I need to take the situation to God in prayer and allow him to either provide a solution in his own time and way OR wait for him to show me the path that he would have me to take.

Don't get me wrong. It isn't going to be easy. I cannot imagine what it must feel like to have that total trust in someone else, even if it is God. For too long, I have been independent, stubborn, and even bull-headed. That isn't going to change overnight, but with God's help and continued Bible study and prayer it WILL change.


  1. Hi Stella,
    I really enjoyed reading your blog. I can relate to it on many levels. I'm sure most of us can. Thank you for sharing! Be blessed! :-)

  2. It is so easy to slip into "whatever" thinking instead of "whatsoever." I loved your discussion of your two attitudes. I struggle with those same thoughts, too. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Sweet Stella - that feeling that I'm not "good enough", I so get that. And, I heard your heart loud and clear when I got to your explanation of jumping in because of the "I can do it!" thinking without including God first. Ouch. But, learning new habits of trust takes time. And an awareness that we need to do so. I'm plodding along with you, friend.

  4. I've struggled with the "I'm not good enough" attitude quite a bit myself. I think that's one of Satan's favorite arrows to use against us - we see other moms & wives who seem to have it all together & wonder "why can't that be me?" The only way to overcome it is by focusing on God & His plan for us. Thanks for sharing!!

    And I also thought immediately of that teenage attitude when I saw the blog topic!! :-)