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Friday, September 23, 2016

Family Friday: Snap Out Of It!

Written by:
Mrs. Laurie Whitehouse

                                                                  SNAP OUT OF IT!

Psalms 101:2  “I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.”
Last Christmas I woke up very early in the morning to spend some time with the Lord before the festivities of the day began. Christmas has always been a family day for my family in which we spend the whole day together opening gifts, eating, playing games, and enjoying one another’s company. As I read my Bible and prayed during the quiet morning hours, the realization of the transitions I would face in 2016 began to flood my emotions. Our oldest of four children is already married, our second son is getting married in May, and our daughter (although not engaged at the moment of this writing) will undoubtedly be married by the end of the year leaving our youngest son who is 18 at home. Christmas 2016 will be decidedly different than the Christmases we have had for the past 27 years. The tears poured down my cheeks, as I asked the Lord to help me not be an emotional basket case. Finally, I thought to myself, “You can get up, dry your tears, and make a good memory of this day, or be a silly, emotional mess. Is that what you want your kids to remember?” I determined at that moment how I wanted to be remembered. I got up, dried my tears, turned on Christmas music, lit the candles, and began cooking. We all went on to have a wonderful Christmas day, and no one was the wiser in knowing that mom had an emotional start to the day! 

Psalms 101:2 reminds me how important behaving rightly in my home is to my family. My testimony to my husband and children far outweighs my testimony to anyone else on earth.  My family is my number one ministry.  Although my kids are older now (18, 21, 22, and 27), it has been my goal to have them remember me as happy, joyful, active, industrious, even-tempered, fun, funny, sensitive to their needs, and spiritual.
Many years ago I memorized these words to a song that impacted how I felt about being a mom:
Up before dawn and out the door
What in this world are we striving for
We already have much more than our time affords
Struggling up the ladder offers us little reward
If we’re heroes to strangers and strangers to our children
We won’t stand blameless before the Lord.

He said,
Suffer the little children; for such is the kingdom of Heaven.” 
Oh, you know He loves the little ones.
So mothers and fathers, let’s follow the Saviour
And cherish the treasures we have in daughters and sons.

I would often recall this song when our children were little because we had chosen for me not to work so that I could be home, and we were financially struggling; and now I recall the lyrics when I think of the inheritance of the testimony I long to leave my children (they might not get much more! Lol!). Being a wife and a mom is a one-shot deal. I hate the stereotype, which unfortunately is often earned, of a woman
being grouchy, silent, worried, moody, and emotionally out of control—even though we have all been there. I don’t want to leave those images as my legacy to my family.  

Here a few tips that help me when I need to snap out of negative emotions:  
* Take your grievances, sorrows, and pain to the Lord. He knows and cares about what is happening in your life. He truly is the Friend that sticks closer than a brother.
* Meditate on a verse that helps you. This year I have claimed Ephesians 3:16 “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
* Play some peppy Christian music. Music helps lift my spirits.
* Challenge yourself to keep your negative moods at a minimum. I decided long ago that I won’t waste days being upset at situations. If I am mad, I try to get over it quickly. If I am upset, I won’t let my worries affect my whole day. Although we all have situations to deal with, we also have a life to live. I long to be known as a happy person.
* Decide how you want to be remembered in life. You are making memories with your family every day. Your children will remember things about you that you will not remember.

Even when I get in “one of those moods,” I need to realize it and ask God to guide me out of it so that I can be what I am supposed to be for my family—a happy wife and mom! 

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