Best part of church together on Sunday is it softens both our hearts and gives us great one liners to throw out during the week. I cannot tell you how many times on Sunday Keith looked at me and said “I’m not getting what I want” and we both had a good laugh.
Sunday morning I woke up feeling a little tired but ready to face the day. The house was quiet and I grabbed my copy of For the Love and headed to the patio with coffee for a little reading. It was glorious! My family started stirring and there were tv’s on in two rooms and my little chatterbox right in my face talking about her birthday. This family is all mine and they make me so happy so why was I feeling full of anxiety? There were so many things around the house that really “needed” to be done and we had already missed the early church service which meant if we went to church half the day would be over especially after lunch. We went anyway and thank goodness we did!
This morning I am feeling grateful for the truth being spoken just when I need it most. Our pastor has been preaching a series on Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World for the past several weeks and this week it was all about family conflict. I don’t know about you guys but there are definitely days filled with family conflict at our house and honestly this morning was definitely shaping up to be one of those days. Hard as it is to admit while I’m the one seeking to make a “perfectly peaceful” and loving environment for my family I am also usually the one stirring up conflict. Well I was about to get schooled!
There was no new revelation here. Basically, much of the conflict arises from my desire to have things my way. I have expectations that everyone should do their part at home and while, it is not an unrealistic expectation, the problem comes when I expect everything to be done my way and in my time. While many of these things are necessary to keep our household running, where I derail is building all of my happiness around whether or not these people who live with me are doing the things I want.
Right there on the little cheat sheet handed out at church was the fill in the blank sentence I’m frustrated because I’m not getting what I want! What I really want is for all of my family to see things the same way I do. Wouldn’t that make life easier? Probably a lot less interesting.
Keith and I are very different in our reaction to conflict. He is a retreater and is not much on hollering and duking it out where I grew up in a house where we didn’t hesitate to scream and stomp and voice our opinions. It gets a little tricky because the more I holler the more he retreats which only makes me want to scream more to try and convince him he wants what I want. Our pastor noted the best defense in a family conflict is no defense. Ouch.
I know all these things about myself. I also know when I begin to feel the anxiety building in my chest and the blood boiling to the point I know I’m going to blow it is usually because the most important thing has been left out. I have failed to turn to God in prayer. This was true Sunday. My quiet time is the first thing I put on the back burner when things become crazy but it is the one thing I can count on to release my anxiety and help me stay focused.
The big question at the end of the sermon was who is suffering today because you aren’t getting what you want? So many times I think we fail to realize how our wants can really pile up on our family, our friends, our coworkers to the point they cannot handle the burden. It is no one else’s job to create our happiness. I want to be a source of joy and not pain. There is always room to grow and once again I’m thankful for truth at the right time and grace to see me through.
Have a great Monday! To read more Grateful Heart Monday posts visit here.
Linking up today with Emily at Ember Grey for Grateful Heart Monday. See a full list of linkups on my contact page here.
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