Are you confused? Sorry about that... Let me start over from the beginning.
On Tuesday night, Mike was leading some training at the church for the Love-in-Action children's outreach that he oversees. It was night 2 of 3 that he would be gone in the evening, due both to Love-in-Action and to the softball team he's helping to coach.
I was at home having a small pity party for myself.
I was annoyed at how his activities had affected me. Not that I was annoyed at him for being involved in these things - I was just annoyed at the busy-ness they had thrust upon our lives. It changes how I have to think about dinner plans, and grocery shopping plans, and my plan for what I will accomplish in the evening.
Me, me, MEEE!
I was sitting on the couch sulking when God did the equivalent of a mental smack-down. If this had been written in letter form, here is what it might have said:
Dear Erin,Talk about an attitude adjustment! I realized how selfish I was being. I realized that God had given me a ministry (exactly what I've been asking for) and here I was, whining about it. Refusing to see it because my life has somehow become all about ME.
For the past several months you have lamented over the fact that you aren't involved in a ministry of any sort, aside from volunteering once a month in the church nursery. I don't fault you for not being involved, because the first ministry I have called you to is taking care of your husband and daughter. I know you desire to give more, because you have told me this many times.
My dear child, do you not see the opportunity I have placed in front of your very eyes? Do you not see your part in making Love-in-Action possible? You are involved in the Love-in-Action outreach - if you weren't taking care of things here at home, Mike wouldn't be free to lead this program. And while we're at it, don't you see that Mike's involvement with the girls on the softball team is also an outreach - an opportunity for Mike to show them my love?
When you sit here and grumble and complain, and then greet Mike with this attitude when he walks through the door, don't you see the consequences of that?
Just something to think about.
This reminds me of Colossians 3:12, which tells us to "...clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." When I put on my clothes in the morning, it is intentional. The clothes don't just fly out of my closet and attach themselves to my body - I must decide what to wear, and then I must physically put those clothes on.
My attitude is the same way. I must first decide what type of attitude I will wear. And then I must put that attitude on.
Mike was 30 minutes late in getting home on Tuesday night. Instead of thrusting Kaitlyn at him when he first walked through the door and acting huffy and annoyed because his lateness put a crimp in my plans, I put on at attitude of joy and offered to make him dinner. I asked how the training went, and was genuinely excited when he gave me all the details.
It's amazing what a difference your attitude can make.
Here and here are two more posts related to this topic. The first one influenced my "duh!" moment and the second one, which I read today, reinforced it.