Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More thoughts about attitude

I wanted to call this post "What I've learned about a good attitude in the midst of stomping my feet, complaining to God, and waiting impatiently for something good to happen". But I thought it would take too long to read the title, you wouldn't stick around... so I kept it simple. As it is, my daughter tells me I am a quite wordy writer.

I mentioned in yesterday's post about the differences in the tiny houses I was walking by... while the car sat at the corner with the flat tire. One can sense the difference in attitude of each dweller by the look of the house. Those who wanted to "bloom where they are planted" and are thankful for what they have are the dwellers of the cute little well painted houses with lace curtains and well kept little lawns.

Perhaps one of the lessons I learned the most from Edith Schaeffer was that one should not neglect where they now live, even if their heart desires a different location. I thought of that teaching quite often when we rented the townhouse, the place we lived before buying this house. I don't remember ever crying when I moved in a place, until that townhouse experience.

For my surroundings were dirty, most of my neighbors scary (except the couple who lived next to us, whom we came to adore), a huge industrial trash container sat next to each door, a cement parking lot was the view from the front, and since the townhouse went "up" instead of "out"... there was no place we could easily have people over.

Sigh, I thought of Edith a lot at that time and turned my kitchen (which was surprisingly roomy) into a warm and cozy place to cook, and my bedroom was transformed (at no cost) into a very lovely place of respite even if I could hear drunk neighbors... not to mention the drug dealing teenagers. We set up the computer and the TV in the basement area with the old sofa and Lazy Boy so Christopher was happy. We gave away our formal living room set to a favorite young family.

There were times I remembered my lovely large home in the beautiful neighborhood and missed it very much. I often wondered if I'd ever have my own place again. However, Edith had taught me long ago to make where I am pretty so I often used the good dishes and had flowers on the table. (We turned what the others used as the living room level into a dining room to be able to use that furniture.)

It's truly all about attitude at times. My husband used to complain that he couldn't do much (due to his illness) and would get quite cranky. I often reminded him that the one thing he CAN take to the Lord is a good attitude. It took awhile but he began to understand what I was saying.

It's truly not a Pollyanna way of looking at things for that would verge on possibility thinking or some other soulish attempt at looking at life. Not that such a way of thinking is all bad but without a foundation for our good attitude, it would become a vain attempt at glossing over the bad things that happen to everyone.

Instead, when the foundation is Christ in our lives... there is a lot to be thankful for. If nothing else, I know this world is not my final destination and there is a lovely Home awaiting on the other side even if my present dweling is less than perfect. Life can be hard and we get weary of well doing if we aren't gaining strength for the day from the One Who Made Us. Every reason for a good attitude, even if we must put it on by faith.

So... how did we happen to arrive at our cute and cozy home in the country? That story is found under the Coffee Tea Books and Tea Favorites, called "Laying My Isaac Down". But I'll make it easy for you... just click here. :)


Sandy said...

OK, you're really challenging me, here, Brenda. I hope that was your intention. :)

Letters From Midlife said...

I appreciated your thoughts in this post.

Modest Mama said...

Very good thoughts. We have moved our family of 9 into a small home of 1000 sq ft this past june, This is the first home that I decided to make it as cozy as possible and homey for our family. My children have noticed and they love coming home to our little home in the cedars, as we call it.
Thanks for the encouragment.

In HIS Keeping,

Anonymous said...

For me, it has been a long, learning experience but I will say that I think it is only in the losing of "things" that we find (with God's help)true contentment and gratitude for what we do have. It is only then that we can see clearly and still He is gracious enough to allow us the choice of our attitude. I remind myself often that the one thing I possess that can never be taken from me is my salvation and that makes my heart sing with gratitude!

Anonymous said...

I won't go into details, but I am really thinking about this attitude choice I have....the Lord must know I need some encouragement in that area, He is definitly using your blog to speak to me. We had a lovely smaller home paid for, and hubby wanted to purchase his old homeplace, so two years ago, against everything that was in me, I agreed.....but it's only half paid for, and his job was eliminated...yes, we have a cushion, but this has been really tough for me to reconcile....but God is sovereign, and I must trust He knows best. I am certainly challenged here.

Anonymous said...

I cried just this morning over wanting a larger home and not being able to afford it. I was hoping some circumstances would work out but so far they haven't. It would take a miracle from God for us to get the house we want. While crying I prayed for contentment. I am trying to make the best of this home but emotionally I need a different house for personal reasons. I found one that I love but can't have. Oh, how it hurts!!

Debbie in CA : ) said...

Hello, My kindred friend. Yes, indeed, Mr. Lewis . . . we read to know we are not alone. I always appreciate what you share, Brenda. My childhood included the "Scary" townhouse experience. Your gentle and winsome writing about such experiences helps me look at things less from a "kid-remembering" view and more from that of an adult revisiting the memory with greater understanding of her mom's difficult "choices." Sometimes you choose the lesser of two bad situations, right? And then we leave it all up to the Lord. He's always there. : )

moreofhim said...

Thank you, thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts on attitude here. This is truly an area I am working on (with some difficulty) and I know the Lord led me here to give me direction and encouragement. May the Lord, Jesus Christ, continue to richly bless you!


Farmgirl said...

I pretty much have tears streaming down my face right now. As I read your "Isaac" story......How many Isaacs we all have that we should lay down.....thank you for your encouragement. Ours is the opposite, I am in my house in the country. It is too small and it is in the desert.....but at this moment I have been feeling more content than ever and just trying to keep it cozy in these times we are living. However, I have had to lay my "home" at the feet of Jesus. Right now, month by month, God has provided our house payment....and food and that is about it. But this month is almost over and we have $13 in our bank, again, I must lay my "Isaac" down....Thank you so much for your words, I do know God is a God of miracles.

Lisa Winton said...

Thank you, Brenda, for your thoughts. I just began following your blog a couple of weeks ago and have found much encouragement and food for thought. May the Lord bless you!

Clif said...

I have just returned from reading your "old" blog about getting the house. I was deeply moved. Great story. Great writing. My attitude is better now. At least for awhile. I have been listening to entirely too much news about the economy today. Thanks for your good posts.

Elizabeth said...

Good post. May I link to this from Project Home Economics?

Lallee said...

Now see? This is why I enjoy reading your blog. You demonstrate so beautifully 'being content in every circumstance', and all of us have a circumstance we need reminding to be content in. And what is that candle you're burning today? It sure smells like the aroma of Christ to me!