Attitude adjustment

August 17th, 2016

School starts today in my neck of the woods. Getting an eighth grader, two juniors and a college sophomore ready has been a process.

Emergency forms filled out. New shoes purchased. Binders, notebooks and writing utensils organized. Dresser and desk figured out for new college situation. As the kids get older, I find my enthusiasm for back to school waning. I want to be thanked and appreciated for all I do to get them prepared. Instead many times I hear desires for different or better. It can cause me to yearn for the days when they were little and told me how great I was.

Last week I watched a friend's four children — ages one, three, six and eight — for three nights. The darling three-year-old kept telling me she wanted me to be with her. She thanked me for food, reading stories and snuggling. It felt nice to hear some encouraging words. I could almost wish for those days back with my own kids… (but not really — memories of diapers and tantrums quickly push those thoughts away.)

Whether it was changing diapers and making lunches with little ones or taking older kids to buy shoes, get their driver’s license or fill out endless forms — I want to serve my family with the right attitude. This Sunday in church we heard Matthew 7:12 in a series on the Sermon on the Mount: “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”

It reminded me that if I want my kids to serve without complaining and to help others even if they don’t appreciate it, then I should model that attitude myself.

I can pick up the dirty socks left on the floor without muttering under my breath. I don’t have to defend myself and explain that I have a life too when they ask me for one more thing. I could try to enter their worlds and treat them the way I would want to be treated if I were in their shoes. Its all easier said than done… in fact almost impossible apart from God’s help. Jesus modeled service the very best though. I heard someone say that we are most like Jesus when we are serving. This is because he healed, taught and loved on people even when he was weary. Never in the Gospels do we find Jesus complaining. He mourned at disobedience and lack of faith, but he didn’t shame. Instead he served in love.

I am asking God to continue the process of helping me to serve my family with the right attitude. Today, what are some ways you can treat your children the way you would want to be treated if you were living their life?

God tells us we can live out the essence of all of the law and the prophets when we treat others the way we want to be treated. We could use a little more of this golden living around our house this time of year… and mommas — it starts with us. I hope you’ll join me with a back to school attitude adjustment when it comes to serving our families!

Serving is one of the chapters in my first trade book coming out September 20th: Total Family Makeover: 8 Practical Steps to Making Disciples at Home! Its available now for preorder at your local Christian retail store and online! You can read a sample chapter here.

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