It's January 2nd, which means I'm not too late to participate in the name your year link up over at Sucipio! At first I wasn't going to do it because I really couldn't come up with one word that I wanted to work on throughout 2014. I mean "TRUST" is always on my plate, as I think it has been for the past number of years. Outside of that, nothing came to mind.
That is, not until I actually prayed about it. Last night while doing my night-time prayers, a word jumped out at me. It is something I realized a few months ago I needed to work on so it seems the perfect thing to focus on for the new year:
Positive, not in the sense that I am going to be optimistic about everything, as I truly believe that I am a realist and not capable of being an optimist (although that was sort of a pessimist statement, wasn't it?). Posistive in the sense that I am working towards having my first reaction to people, situations and information be positive.
You see, my knee-jerk reaction is to think the negative. Oh the kids did this (or didn't do it) because they're lazy. My neighbor said this because she doesn't like me. The world is in chaos because people are horrible. This coffee is bad because it's just the way my life is. This kind of immediate negative reaction can be so poisonous. It also is VERY hard to get rid of; you actually have to stop and think before reacting. Can I say that I'm not very good at that? My brain, and sometimes my mouth, often engage before I can even think to stop them. Slowing down enough to think and really look at a situation before forming a judgement is a very difficult, but prudent habit to develop.
I think this type of positive thinking goes hand-in-hand with gratitude. If we can develop a grateful heart, then that means we are looking for the good in all things. If we can take the time to reflect back and see the good, then can you imagine how enjoyable life would be if we saw the good while it was happening? Sometimes searching for the good in that moment can change everything; even shape the near future by having things go in a different direction than if we had seen the negative instead.
I've even been working on how to form questions in a more positive light. Instead of asking, "How come these dishes haven't been washed yet?" in that irritated, motherly tone, maybe something like, "Calling all dishwashers to the kitchen. Dishwashers take your stations" might get more attention...and action!
This will take a lot of effort and grace, I am sure. I am so grateful that the Holy Spirit brought this to my attention and now that I have publicly proclaimed it, I am held accountable to it. May God give us all the grace we need to each work on our "word" for the year.