(Originally posted on our former blog site on 9/5/2012)
While cleaning house I like to turn on the TV so the boys don't get woken up from their nap early from the sound of the vacuum or their crazy mother falling off of a table reaching for a curtain... not that it has ever happened, but hypothetically if it did- they didn't wake up.
During one such cleaning session recently I overheard a commercial playing a song that I used to hear growing up and it took me back. For that moment I felt like I was five years old again, without a responsibility or care in the world.
Then it happened again a few days ago, I turned on my parents television to put on some Saturday cartoons for Michael and the channel they had left it on was a music station and the song that was playing... only my one favorite song that I could sing from the time I could talk- "If you don't know me by now". Don't judge me. Isn't it crazy how a song, a sound, a smell, or the sight of something (yes, I may have purposefully found all "s" words for that) can bring you back in time to a memory that you may have stored away or forgotten? How easily we forget.
Too often in my teenage years I was a Negative Nancy, only thinking of how I "had it bad" because I was so focused on looking at the glass half empty. Everyone has memories that aren't so great, and some have a lot more of those memories than others, but I can guarantee that if you change your focus you can find something positive.
It has been said, if you are looking for the negative you will find it and if you are looking for the positive you will find it.. so what are you looking for? What are you focusing on?
The bible says in Philippians 4:8 that whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
It does not say- whatever is hurtful, whatever wrongdoing, whatever feelings of loneliness or abandonment, or whatever overwhelming circumstance. We don't have to be told to think of these things, we already do. At moments we don't just think of such things, we obsess over them. Then obsessing turns into anxiety or even further depression. So what do you do when life gets overwhelming? Because life has a tendency to do that... remind yourself of the good things.
When your parents are fighting, remind yourself of the good things. When you've tried your best and all it got you was a C-, remind yourself of the good things. When your friends have all made plans that didn't include you, remind yourself of the good things. When you fail big time, remind yourself of the good things. Or, when it is 4 in the morning and the baby won't stop crying, remind yourself of the good things.
It wasn't that long ago that our little guy was laying in a NICU bed, strapped to 3 different machines, and getting poked and prodded with needles every few hours with no end in sight.
It was in those times that all I wanted, the only thing that was getting me out of bed in the morning, was the hope that one day he would be home. Crying or not, sleeping or not, just home.
And now when it is 4 in the morning and Jacob has been crying for 2 hours my second thought is how I am so glad that he is home. (My first thought of course being, IT IS SO FREAKING EARLY! But hey, I am getting better. The positive thought used to come after fifty negative ones). One day I will wake up and just think how wonderful it is that he is home without any thought of lacking sleep or energy or patience. But until this Negative Nancy turns completely into a Positive Pollyana, I will just have to stick to reminding myself.
I hope you will join me in the pursuit of positive thinking. It doesn't mean that negative things won't happen, but it does mean that you won't happen to be negative with them.
Because let's face it, no one wants to talk to Nancy.
Psalm 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits.