4. Choose Your Attitude
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If I’m honest, I’ve had my share of mood swings and stress since this pandemic began. Some mornings, it took all I had to get up, pour the coffee, and push through even the shortest to-do list. Other days I was so bored and restless I found myself snapping at my kids and struggling to focus.
One moment I could be steady and calm, and the next I felt panic rising in my chest. As a parent, I want to be a stable rock for my children. Yet this season has exposed the cracks in my armor in a whole new way.
I’m only human. I can’t be a perfect example to my kids of how to cope with the pain of a new normal. But good news—my kids don’t need a perfect parent! They just need a mom or dad who’s committed to an attitude of growth and trust along the way.
I love Charles Swindoll’s perspective:
The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.
Today, I can give my kids a parent with an attitude of faith.
If I’m feeling low and discouraged, they can watch me name my feelings and pray for comfort. When I feel lonely, I can show them how to reach out for connection in creative ways. If the future seems bleak or scary, I can open the Word with my kids and read God’s promises to be my “refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
Even if I can’t answer their questions about what’s next, I can hold our future loosely and wait for God to accomplish his “good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).
When I’m irritable and acting out on my stress, I can show humility to apologize and make it right. Our attitudes will teach our kids how to cope with a new normal than almost anything else we do.
There’s no going back from change. And we know this journey of life will continue to twist and turn since change is inevitable for all of us. Aren’t you grateful we serve a God who is constant and sure? He never sleeps. Never forgets. Never changes his mind, and is never surprised or confused.
When we feel we’ll be drowned in the storm, he’s right beside us in the boat holding power over the waves and wind. In prayer today, let’s place our kids and our families in his hands that never let us go. He will guide us to help our kids cope with the pain of a new normal because he loves them with all he is.
Lord, we didn’t ask for our lives to be turned upside-down. Our hearts are broken over every loss our kids have suffered. We feel helpless—we can’t fix it or give them any assurances for tomorrow. Yet Lord, you promise to keep us under your wing. You say you establish your perfect plans in our lives, and you promise to use all things for our good in the end.
Show me, Lord, how to lead my kids to trust you more. Make me steady by your Spirit so I can give my children a parent at peace. Teach us to pray and put our future in your hands. Heal our hearts and give us courage. Draw us closer together and do a new thing in our hearts and our home. Your love is our life. Amen.
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