Do you have goals? Dreams? I’m gonna go ahead and guess that if you answered no, then you lied. 😉 God has chosen goals and dreams for you, as well. And if you truly love Him, your goals/dreams match up with His. They translate into what is your destiny….your purpose. That’s right, our lives are purposed.
In our everyday lives, we have a tendency to operate in a Negative Nelly attitude. We want what we want when we want it and refuse to accept any other option. And when we know that we know God’s plans for us, we get an even uglier attitude as we hear the word ‘wait.’ It’s like we’ve taken the role as an actor in the J. G. Wentworth commercials, screaming at God, “IT’S MY DREAM AND I WANT IT TO MANIFEST NOW!”
I know we’ve all been there. Yes, I tend to write from experience. Still waiting for the soul mate God is preparing just for you? Yep. So in the mean time you plan to help Him out by joining internet dating sites. Called to be a Sunday School teacher, but it’s not your time yet? Yep. So impatiently you huff away from the church you’re in to rush into a position at another church. Or maybe you have a special gift or calling, but right now, your job is to scrub the toilets. Instead of gracefully scrubbing, you scrub with a spiteful attitude muttering things like, “I don’t know why I have to keep doing this while Sis. So-n-so gets to be in the choir. I sing better than her anyway.”
There are many other scenarios that we all usually handle the same way….we know what we want and the Negative Nelly in us can’t help but murmur and complain about the wait. Did you ever stop to think that your negative attitude is hindering your purpose? Maybe Sis. So-n-so has done her time scrubbing toilets and did so joyfully, anticipating the better things she knew were in store. Maybe Mr. Right is ready and patiently waiting for you, but your attitude is standing in the way. Often times we even barge into something too early and operate prematurely, getting in over our heads.
Yes, we may know what God’s purpose is for us, but we ought to have a positive attitude at all times. Even when we are having to scrub toilets, even when we’ve been waiting and waiting and it’s time to hurry up and wait some more—whatever the case, we must keep a positive attitude. Our attitudes should reflect the loving God who called us to our purpose in the first place. Even when it’s not happening according to our timing.
I’ll leave you with this— attitudes are contagious. Are you spreading around a good one or a bad one? Negative Nellies pull down those around them, draining themselves and others of joy and strength. Positive Pollies lift up and encourage people, dancing in puddles and looking for the rainbows in the midst of the storm. As Christians, we must choose to remain positive and purposed at all times. Who knows? Our destiny may be right around the corner.
Do you remember your junior high years of school, when there was always that one girl who was so snotty, that you found yourself starring at her and thinking, how awful it must feel to have to act that way ALL OF THE TIME!
Most of our readers know that I am a substitute teacher. As I was in class today, many memories were brought to mind, as I watched one of these Snotty Bossy Pants. She demanded everyone’s attention, then was rude as she received the attention that she was seeking. I, again, caught myself thinking, how sad it must be to HAVE to act like this.
To not really have any true friends. To have to command people to do as you say, must make one feel weary and lonely. Many times, these behaviors are taught. Sometimes, the adult figures in these girls lives, have let them get away with this behavior for so long, that they don’t know how to deal with it. Watching this young girl today, reminded me of someone. Her mother! The mother of this child demands the same kind of attention from others. She always has a permanent scowl on her face. Never truly happy.
I’m sure someone from your past was brought to mind as you read this. Hopefully, it wasn’t yourself! LOL
Let’s try something together. Let’s try to show love, kindness, and mercy to these types of people when we come across them. Your kindness and smile may be just what they need to do an attitude check.
So, here you are. You’ve gone through all of the steps to make your lemonade & construct your lemonade stand by grieving, forgiving, accepting, and moving on. Now you have reached the point where you set up shop, practice good customer service, and make those sales.
“Huh? What are you even talking about? Stop with the metaphors or at least explain them!”
(If achieving this step is just too much work, consider seeking counseling. There is no shame in asking someone for a little help. Also, depression is a very serious illness that can happen to anyone. It is not something that you can “just snap out of”. Seek help if you need it, please.)
So, what do you do now? Sit back, relax, and drink some lemonade!!!
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spiritis in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:
“ Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”
Ephesians 5:8-14 NKJV
Okay, so you’ve done all that you can in the kitchen for now. It is time to grab a hammer, some nails, a couple planks of wood and head outside.
Moving on can be one of the most difficult tasks. Leaving behind something that has been consuming you for some time can be a lot of work. So, why must we move on? Why can’t we just stay where we are? Because if you sit and dwell on what has happened, you will never be happy. It is not God’s will for us to be sad or angry. There is a season for that, yes, but it does come to an end. That is why it is a season, it changes.
Now is the season where things become warm, metaphorically. You began this struggle in the late Autumn. During the Winter you grieved. Late Winter and Spring you forgave and accepted. Now, it is Summer… and people are thirsty and in need of your lemonade. Soon they may be in the late Autumn and will need to remember how wonderful Summertime was and what that Lemonade you made them tasted like.
Will you ever go back to the kitchen? Oh yes. You’re going to have to go back to get sweetener, supplies, and once in awhile you’re going to have to take in more lemons to squeeze them out. But for now, you’re building your stand and preparing for the next step which I’ll be talking about next week when we conclude this series: Setting up shop and customer service.
As tempting as it is to go back inside because the sun is so bright and the air too warm, remember God got you this far… He’ll take you even farther! And if you want to go farther, you can’t live in the past… Put on a smile and a pair of work gloves (Read your Bible and have faith), because it’s time for you to construct (pray for) your shop front (attitude)!
This question has been on my mind a lot lately. How will my children, grandchildren, friends, and family remember me?
Will I be remembered for making gingerbread every Christmas? Will it be for being a woman who strived her best to be a Godly wife and mother? I’m desperately hoping it’s not for being a procrastinating, scatter brained, unorganized, occasionally crabby person who ONE time made a bad batch of tacos and ever since her husband questioned her every time she suggested them for dinner… Or made anything else new for that matter.
How can we make sure that we are remembered for the good and not the bad?
I would say the best thing we can do is to make the positive in our lives outshine the negative. Live with a positive outlook as much as possible. Let Jesus’ light shine through you. Don’t hold grudges, act bitter, be mean, or easily offended. And while it can be an easy way to handle a delicate situation by being passive aggressive, is that really something we would want to be remembered for?
Recently I’ve been trying to take note of my habits. Which ones are great to have, which ones I don’t mind or are not damaging, and which ones I would never want to be remembered for. Then I sat and thought of my Grandparents… Two of the most caring, loving, Godly people I’ve ever known. I remember them for all the funny and wonderful things they did. I remember them for raising their family for Christ. I remember them for loving coffee, Diet Coke, and going out to eat. I remember them for being compassionate and passionate for the work of The Lord. Do I recall them having flaws and being human? Certainly! However, more often I remember them leading us by example in a positive, unique, Godly way.
I have taken it upon myself to be sure that I leave a similar legacy for my own children and grandchildren. Why “similar” and not the exact same you ask? Because it’s MY legacy. Not Dorothy’s. Not Paul Benjamin’s. It’s ANGIE’s legacy. I want to pass down all of those same things, but in my own way with some added flare that says “Angie was here…” Part of that is that I MUST agree to have my photo taken more often. While still. Not on a ride at Disneyland making some dumb face. Ugh… 😉
What about you? How will you be sure that you are passing down what would be good habits for your children and not setting them up for a fall?