A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about the 4 words that can change your mom-life. Though admittedly reductionistic, I wrote that there are 2 things that kids basically want from their moms:
A good mood and good food.
I chose the phrase “good mood good food” because its catchy and easy to remember, but let’s define it more specifically:
Good mood = attitudes. Good food = actions.
Our attitude needs to be JOYFUL. And our actions need to be SERVING.
Today, I want to dig deeper into the first of those two keys to thriving as a mom. What can we do to get in and stay in this ever-evading “good mood”? Because honestly, somedays it feels impossible. There are mornings when I wake up and already feel like I’m out of patience. Or I’ve already snapped at someone and it’s only breakfast. Or like the entire house needs my attention and I want to run out the front door and head for the hills. The struggle is real.
So how do we get to a good mood?
Begin by preaching the gospel to yourself. Because serving your family with a good attitude cannot successfully happen apart from the transforming work of the gospel in our hearts. What is the gospel? That Christ’s death on the cross freed us from our slavery to sin (including grumpiness!). That if we repent and turn to Christ, He will make us alive and give us a new heart. That we’ve been put right with God through Christ and we contribute nothing. Zero. Freely given.
Trying to self-manufacture happiness without Christ is futile and empty and unsustainable and will inevitably FAIL without His mercy. But Christ will meet you right there in your messy, sticky house and give you Himself. Which is what we need most anyways.
Focus on walking in a manner worthy of that gospel. Start each day in light of the reality of Christ’s saving and transforming work. Dwell on the Word. Pray before your feet hit the floor in the morning. Thank the Lord for the privilege of serving these precious little people. Ask Him for His joy…supernatural joy which finds its source in God not in ourselves. This kind of joy makes even the most mundane and thankless (yep, even the disgusting) housework become a beautiful act of glorifying God by serving others.
That’s how doing the dishes becomes kingdom work. That’s how cleaning the floors can have eternal value.
Good Mood = joyful attitude
I was a moody Junior higher.
7th and 8th grade seem to be the age where the struggle with moodiness really starts to surface. Having had 3 junior highers in our home so far, I’ve noticed this pattern. Physical and hormonal changes abound. Self-awareness and insecurity is at an all-time high. So, I had the same conversation with my junior highers that my mom had with me…
I was in 7th grade and feeling discontent, selfish, and frustrated YET AGAIN. “I’m just in a bad mood.” I told my mom. She sat next to me on the edge of her bed and gently explained that there is no such thing as bad moods, just bad attitudes. A mood is controlled by feelings and circumstances, but an attitude is something I am responsible to control. As my mom explained, I didn’t have to be a slave to my feelings of discontent, or any feelings for that matter. All I needed to do was repent and ask God for His grace.
Galatians 5:22 says that joy is a fruit of the Spirit, not a fruit of myself.
I can’t muster up enough joy to last through a single day! Let alone every day. That’s because it’s a fruit of the Spirit, not a fruit of ME!
I don’t have what it takes to keep reproducing joy in my heart. It’s impossible. It has to be the Holy Spirit in me. How? By obediently yielding to the Spirit; letting the “Word of Christ richly dwell within you…”as Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:18-19 tell us.
So… GET THE WORD IN YOU! And as you let Biblical truth control your thinking, you will experience the spiritual fruit of joy. Your joyful mood will rise above the tallest pile of laundry! (And mine are pretty tall.) And then you’ll be able to say:
“Rejoice in all the good which the Lord your God has given you and your household.” – Deut. 26:11“
In my next post, we will look at the second key to thriving as a mom: good food.