When I was a teenager I worked at a local gym. In the back office there was a big sign on the wall that said “Choose Your Attitude!” in bright, happy letters. Admittedly, it was much easier to choose a positive attitude when I was clocking out to go home rather than clocking in to wipe sweat off plastic seats for five hours.
This spring, I don’t know the particulars of your season in life. I don’t know whether you’re “clocking in” to a world of discouragement and anxiety or “clocking out” to sweet rest and new adventures. But I do know this: You still get to choose your attitude. It was true when I was fifteen, and it’s true now. Spring is a season of new life and fresh beginnings, and that’s always worth celebrating! Here are five ideas for celebrating spring regardless of your season in life.
1. Make a list of three new things God is doing in your life, and thank Him for them.
Think about big or small life changes, opportunities, and new truths God is teaching you. They can be positive, painful, or both. Make your list, then consider how these changes allow you to experience God. Thank Him by faith for His fresh work in your life, regardless of how you feel. First Thessalonians 5:16-18 urges believers, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
2. Study a passage of Scripture about “newness.”
Here are three of my favorites:
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isa. 43:18-19).
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17).
“I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezek. 36:26).
Which one is your favorite? Look it up in the Bible, and read it in context. If you have a commentary, see what theologians have to say about that passage. Meditate on what it teaches you about God and yourself. Want to take it one step further? Dig into Kelly Minter’s Bible Study on 2 Corinthians, All Things New.
3. Choose one of the passages above and reflect it creatively.
Paint those beautiful words, if you’re artsy. Make a faux watercolor print using your computer if you’re not! If you’ve got a little Joanna Gaines in you, use the passage as inspiration to decorate a mantle or a shelf. Write a song or poem about it. You know all the hype about adult coloring books? There’s truth to the fact that using the right side of our brain reduces stress. Why not encounter God in the creative corners of your personality? There are so many ways to worship Him!
4. Learn one new thing about God through reading a nonfiction Christian book.
This spring I am learning about Union with Christ from Rankin Wilbourne’s new book. Does that sound a little boring to you? It’s okay, it did to me, too. But guess what? As a recovering fiction-only addict, it’s actually a feast for my soul! I just had to rustle up the discipline to crack open the cover.
What’s one new thing you want to explore about God? How to live boldly for Him? Try Radical by David Platt or Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman. Do you want to understand His purpose for marriage? One of my favorite books is The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller. Or you could read another Keller book like Walking with God through Pain and Suffering or The Prodigal God (this book blew my self-righteous little mind!). Do some investigating—ask Christian friends what one nonfiction book changed their life. Then read it this spring.
5. Bless someone else with a spring surprise.
Paul once told the Ephesian elders, “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35). Paul was describing an “outward-focused” lifestyle dedicated to evangelism and discipleship.
What is one simple way you can enjoy the blessing of giving rather than receiving? Instead of buying that cute spring necklace for yourself, why not buy it for a friend who’s been having a hard time lately? Or if you’re a mom of small children, plan a spring surprise for your kids—decorating cookies, making a craft, or a picnic at the park. Cultivating an outward-focused heart doesn’t have to be complicated. Start small this spring.
Choose Your Attitude
The one thing I loved about the bright, happy sign in that dingy gym office was the way it empowered me. It reminded me that although I rarely get to choose my circumstances, I always get to choose my attitude. I get to choose whether to trust God or doubt Him, whether to rejoice in all things or complain in all things. The story is in His hands, but that one small part—the part where I choose how I will respond to the God of the universe—that part is in my hands. And that little part makes all the difference in the world.
This article originally appeared on ReviveOurHearts.com. Used with permission.
Jeanne Harrison grew up as a missionary kid in the Philippines. Today, a frequent blogger and author, Jeanne is passionate about sharing her experiences and wisdom with potential world changers. She lives with her husband Clint and their four daughters in Macon, Georgia, where Clint serves as an executive pastor at a local church. When she’s not writing or changing diapers, Jeanne loves to teach, drink coffee on the back deck with Clint, and play a fierce game of ping pong!
Image courtesy: Unsplash.com
Publication date: April 12, 2017