Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Being In a Bad Mood is a Choice

        I learned something about myself recently, and it wasn’t pretty. When I have a lack of sleep, and thus wakeup with a splitting headache and burning, gritty eyes, I am in a bad mood. No, that isn’t the revelation. I am in a bad mood and I feel entitled. I feel like I have been robbed of comfort and I deserve a nap, some peace and quiet, or to just close my eyes. And then the twins both start crying and reality hits; I may never nap again.

        The ugly part isn’t that I wake up in a bad mood; it is the fact that I make the decision, the choice, to carry that bad mood with me throughout the day. It is like a heavy rain cloud or loaded backpack that I trudge around with, weighing me down. And I make sure that anyone around me knows about it. They must know how saintly I am, what a martyr I am for getting up with my baby(s) at night and then managing to get up in the morning (as if I am the only mother ever to do this.) Hey, I am just being honest.

        When I caught myself in this behavior early last week I was appalled at myself. It was as if I was seeing myself through someone else’s eyes. Sometimes God does that for me; it is like He allows me to see myself through His eyes. Sometimes it is good behavior, and sometime it is the brutal truth of my wicked heart. So as I was looking at myself plodding through my day, it was almost comical. I saw just how silly my behavior was. Just because I had a rough night does not mean that my whole day has to be darkened.

        The core issue behind this behavior of mine is selfishness. I didn’t get a full night’s sleep. I am tired. I have a headache. I want a nap. There is a whole lot of self and “I” going on there. Where does that leave my husband, my children? They get moody mama…and nobody likes moody mama. And that is not okay. Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. And Philippians 2:14a tells us to “do all things without grumbling” (NIV).

Wow, that means I am doing the exact opposite of what the Bible says to do. Therein lies my revelation; I have a choice. I can choose to be moody mama all day…OR, I can choose to try and apply the Bible to my life and value others above myself, not look to my own interests, and do things without complaining. So yes, I may be exhausted and have a headache, but I will choose to be obedient to God’s Word. And you know what? God has a way of turning my obedience, even obedience that starts out grudgingly, into a blessing.

So what choice will you make today? Even if you started out this day as a moody mama you still have a chance to turn things around!

Remember to slow down and enjoy the fruits of your labor and love on a daily basis and you will start to see life as a Mama on the Bright Side.

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